Wednesday, July 27, 2011
New Zealand On My Mind
It seems like only yesterday I was there but when I checked my journal, my God, it was 5 years ago during the spring of 2006 when we took a self-drive holiday there with friends and mainly in the South Island. How fast time flies!
The natural beauty and serenity of the meadows and distant hills had always entice me but for lack of time I've relied on my journal to recall the good days. The opportunity to re-visit NZ surface when I discover late last year that my good friend Aaron had migrated there and retired in Auckland. So a 2 in 1 trip is being planned next year after Easter (which I am told is a busy peak season to avoid) to revisit NZ, this time avoiding popular destinations we've been and to discover where else are scenic and pleasant to go. It will not be a self drive but a coach holiday as it will be too strenuous on me alone to drive. Choosing April in the autumn will enable us to see NZ in a different season.
The earthquake tragedy in Christchurch last year and tremors felt again this year jolted me and made me despair and doubt if I should be there at all. But I shall put my trust in God that all will be well wherever we travel. My tentative itinerary is to arrive at Christchurch and join the TranzAlpine train journey through the Southern Alps to Greymouth on the west coast and visiting Punakaiki's rock formation, then onward to Blenheim and visiting a winery before heading to Picton for the Interislander Ferry ride through the Queen Charlotte Sound across the Cook Strait to Wellington, the capital city of NZ.
After one or two night stay in Wellington we will head north to Taupo and Rotorua (we've been there but these places are worth a re-visit, especially Huka Fall which is really sparkling fresh in our minds) then to Auckland for a city tour before moving towards the final destination in the Bay of Islands. We may or may not go to Cape Reinga, the northernmost tip of North Island but we may just do it to balance our drive to Bluff on the southern tip of South Island in 2006, even if only to boast that we've been to the extreme ends of NZ.
The tour will end on our return to Auckland where we will stay a few days with Aaron and Gabrielle, maybe doing some nearby short trips and catching up the missing years. The holiday will take up around 18 days, hopefully more leisurely than our 12 days trip previously. A local travel agent is customizing this package for us to compare with a similar package offered by an NZ travel company.
I am excited just thinking of this trip although we are not done yet with our upcoming Hanoi holiday in October.