20th April: Edited based on feedback
It’s been a few months since my last post. This isn’t about the why’s of that. This is about TRAVEL!! I think I’ve settled on an itinerary for my trip to Australia and New Zealand. I had some tough decisions to make for this trip. In the end I had to cut Gold Coast/Surfer’s Paradise. It sounded really interesting but I couldn’t see going there just to go to the Hard Rock Cafe when there were so many other things to see in Australia and New Zealand! I also had the longest debate on timings: after dropping GC I thought I’d like to go to Melbourne but I also wanted more time in New Zealand. Around midnight last night I had an epiphany: what would happen if I turned the entire vacation upside down? What if I went to New Zealand first? Somehow that allowed for both Melbourne and an extra day or so in New Zealand. Time is strange.
Here’s what I’ve come up with:
Day 00 – Leave Canada
Day 0 – still travelling
Day 01 – Land in Sydney; travel to Auckland, New Zealand (2 nights in Auckland)
Day 02 – Free time exploring Auckland
Day 03 – Day trip visiting Waitomo caves, and cultural stuff ending up in Rotoura (2 nights in Rotoura)
Day 04 – Matamata (Hobbiton)? and free time; Travel to Wellington (3 nights in Wellington)
Day 05 – Free time in Wellington/free trolley
Day 06 – More free time in Wellington
Day 07 – Train to Christchurch (1 night in Christchurch)
Day 08 – Greyline bus to Queenstown (3 nights in Queenstown)
Day 09 – a couple of tours around the area
Day 10 – Free time in Queenstown
Day 11 – Free morning; flight to Cairns, Australia (3 nights in Cairns)
Day 12 – Cultural/Scenic Tour of the area
Day 13 – Full or half day snorkelling and free time.
Day 14 – Flight to Ayers Rock Resort (3 nights on the resort)
Day 15 – Uluru Sunrise and Kata Valley tours
Day 16 – Kings Canyon and Star Talk (or dinner and star gazing)
Day 17 – Sunrise camel ride; flight to Melbourne (2 nights in Melbourne)
Day 18 – Ocean Road Tour
Day 19 – City tour and free time; flight to Sydney (4 nights in Sydney)
Day 20 – City tour and cruise
Day 21 – Free time – the Opera House, maybe Featherdale Park, Hard Rock Cafe
Day 22 – Free time in Sydney
Day 23 – Free morning; flight home.
Cairns: Should I leave time to explore Cairns? Or should I spend more time on/around the reef?
For the locals or tourists that have been there: any major issues you notice? Things I should skip or I should do instead? I’m hoping this will leave a bit of time for random happenings in some places, like science or photography events. I also still have some questions of some of these places that I haven’t asked yet. Waiting until I know for sure I like this idea. I have some hotels picked out, but I’m open to suggestions. I don’t drive so they must be easy to get to, centrally located, and easy to get around town from. Wifi (preferably free but I know that’s pretty much non-existent) is a definite plus. Wired Internet is useless as I’ll just be bringing my tablet.
Thanks so much to @jeanne_crouse, @jeanettemarsh, @journeyjottings, @annacaronz, @JCHart, @RuthDaniels, @merrileefaber on Twitter for all your help! I owe you all a drink if I’m in your area. Message me on Twitter and I’ll tell you the actual date I’ll be there!
To everyone else: I’m still accepting applications for travel buddies! ;) Anything to help that Sydney hotel bill. ouch.