Coming to New Zealand was an easy decision. Picking the North Island was not so easy, especially after hearing from everyone that the South Island was more beautiful. But with only 11 days at our disposal we put our money on the North and chose to make the best of this hyper-volcanic island.
After 4 days in the capital, we headed towards the Tongariro National Park (the oldest park in New Zealand), which is located in the middle of the North Island. Continue reading Day 204 – 207: Tongariro, Waitomo & Rotorua (New Zealand)
It’s always fun to visit a country right after they’ve achieved a noteworthy feat. The 2011 Rugby World Cup was won by New Zealand (in New Zealand), and so this was the next stop and 25th country on our trip. We had a feeling the nation would still be buzzing from its achievement and the numerous All Blacks flags and banners displayed in various parts of Wellington confirmed this. We planned for 4 nights in the capital which is home to about 400,000 people. It’s definitely on the smaller side but its character clocks in at heavy-weight. Continue reading Day 200 – 203: Wellington (New Zealand)
With 4 remaining days in Australia we popped into Melbourne, another impressively modern and large metropolis (Australia’s second largest city). Melbourne has a population of 4+ million and has one of the largest ports in the Southern Hemisphere. Thousands of early immigrants passed through here as they made their way into Australia. Today the city is very diverse and our plan was to immerse ourselves in its prominent cultural, social and food scene. Continue reading Day 195 – 199: Melbourne (Australia)
One of the things we really wanted to do in Australia was rent a car and hit the road. With about 600+ miles between Sydney and Melbourne, we figured this was a perfect opportunity. But what really fueled our motivation was to drive The Great Ocean Road, Australia’s most scenic road and arguably the most beautiful in the world. In doing so, we would also pile on another few hundred miles to our trip, so good thing for unlimited miles! Continue reading Day 190 – 194: Phillip Island & The Great Ocean Road (Australia)
Sydney, capital-grade city but not exactly Australia’s capital. The coastal sprawling metropolis is home to 4.5 million people and was the next stop on our trip. We planned for 4 nights there and were excited to see the city that’s always “first” to ring in the new year. Continue reading Day 186 – 189: Sydney (Australia)
At last, Australia! It was only fitting that we reached the “final frontier” in the last (official) month of our journey. We had always dreamed about coming here and this was it!
We planned to start off with a week in and around Cairns as it’s the most popular launch point to the Great Barrier Reef. Our first glimpse of the incredible natural wonder was from the plane on approach for landing. From the right side we could see the lush mountainous coastline and from the left window we saw the endless beautiful blue Coral Sea. Continue reading Day 179 – 185: Great Barrier Reef & Cape Tribulation (Australia)
Making the transition to Bali’s countryside was seamless. After 3 days of lounging on the beach, we headed northeast for the town of Ubud (or Bali’s cultural epicenter). Located in the middle of the island of Bali, Ubud is surrounded by incredibly lush tropical vegetation and continuous rice fields. It’s home to 30,000 people and is renown for several things among them: woodcarving and sculpting, a vast array of shops and an incredibly eclectic food scene as we found out. Continue reading Day 174 – 178: Ubud, Bali (Indonesia)