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Australia and New Zealand in 16 Days

Guest post by Dani the Wanderer

A wonderful adventure Down Under and in Kiwi Land

Map tips: each color represents a different day. Click a marker to learn more about the spot, and click the star in the map header to save the entire map under Your Places in Google Maps.

Day 1: Getting to Cremorne

We landed in Sydney, Australia early in the morning after over 20 hours of air travel. We were staying at an AirBNB in Cremorne, Australia which was a ferry or Uber ride from Sydney. Cremorne is a great town and the walking path to get to the ferry was beautiful. We went to Balmoral beach for the day until we could get into our AirBNB. We enjoyed an amazing lunch at Kazzi Bach Greek restaurant. One of the best meals of the trip. We were tired from travel so had dinner at Fratelli’s Wood Fired pizza and called it a night.

Day 2: BridgeClimb Sydney

We took the ferry to downtown Sydney. Ate breakfast in the Rock area district and climbed the Sydney Bridge. Highly recommend this. We went to the Glenmore rooftop bar afterwards to catch the Super Bowl – it was Monday morning in Australia. We explored the Darlinghurst area in the evening and even found a country bar, Shady Pines.

Day 3: Bondi Beach and sunset cruise

Went to Bondi Beach for brunch and walking/relaxing on the beach. Went to the Sydney Opera Bar by the Sydney Opera House (best Calamari we have ever had). That night we took a dinner cruise in the harbor at sunset.

Day 4: Cairns

Travel day to Cairns. We landed in Cairns in the afternoon. We had a shuttle to Port Douglas. This was a wonderful AirBNB with a beautiful pool and excellent host. The town was a very cute beach town! Dinner at The Mexican was extraordinary!

Day 5: Great Barrier Reef

We took a Calypso Snorkeling tour to the Great Barrier Reef, saw a lot of parrot fish and large clams. Enjoyed a great day on the water!

Day 6: Wildlife Habitat

We rented tandem bikes (single bikes would have been better :)) and went to the Wildlife Habitat. We were able to feed kangaroos and get up close to koalas, crocodiles and many birds. We grilled at our AirBNB that evening with our host and a couple from France.

Day 7: Travel to Queenstown

Travel day to New Zealand. Our down under adventure was over. We explored the very cute town of Queenstown. We were staying in an AirBNB 15 minutes from the city.

Day 8: Milford Sound

One of the many highlights of the trip was Milford Sound. We were supposed to fly there in the morning but the wind and clouds delayed us until afternoon. We took advantage of having the morning open and took the Skyline Gondola to the top of Queenstown.

Queenstown from the gondola

After lunch we took a Cessna to Milford Sound. The flight was a bit scary but we saw breath taking sights. We cruised the Fiordland National park once there.

Day 9: Queenstown adventure

Our last day in Queenstown was filled with what Queenstown does best…Adrenaline rushes! Eric & Dustin Bungy jumped at the highest bungy – the Nevis. Brett and Danielle took a shotover boat and then we hit the road for Lake Wanaka stopping on the way at Arrowtown and Cardrona Hotel.

Day 10: Lake Wanaka

We walked around Lake Wanaka to That Wanaka Tree and on to Rippon Winery, we took a 7 mile hike around the lake and enjoyed the evening.

That Wanaka Tree

Day 11: Pools and waterfalls

  • Blue Pools
  • Fantail Falls
  • Thunder Creek Falls
  • Knights Point Lookout
Along the Blue Pools Track

We left Lake Wanaka to drive to Franz Josef. The stops along the way were breath taking. That evening we checked into our AirBNB that did not have an address and had dinner at the Snake Bite in downtown Franz Josef.

Day 12: Lake Matheson

We woke up early to walk at Lake Matheson and see the sunrise over Mt. Cook. The reflection was beautiful.

We were supposed to go on a Heli-Hike trip on Franz Josef glacier but it was canceled due to weather. Unfortunately we never got to go on this excursion. With all the great things we did on the trip it was fine but for anyone planning to stop here I would highly advise giving it a few days so you an ensure to do this. If not there isn’t really a lot to do in the town. This ended up being our down time to catch up on rest and laundry.

Day 13: Driving to Auckland

We got on the road early this day for our 5 hour drive to Christchurch. We took the route through Arthur’s Pass. We had a late flight and got to Auckland around 11pm.

Day 14: Waitomo Caves

We woke up to drive to Waitomo Caves where we went on the Black Labyrinth excursion rafting through caves with the Glow Worms. This was a good experience! Highly recommend.

Day 15: Piha Beach and Kitekite falls

Piha Beach

Eric’s friend who lives in Auckland picked us up and took us exploring. We went to Piha Beach and Kitekite Falls. We would not have known to go there unless he took us. Gorgeous hike to the top of the falls! We had dinner that evening at the top of the sky tower.

Kitekite Falls

Day 16: Waiheke Island

Our last day! We took a ferry to Waiheke Island and went on a food and wine tour. It was the perfect way to end the trip. Had delicious oysters, wine, olive oil and local honey. Learned to combine honey with blue cheese – it was delicious!

The people of New Zealand and Australia are so friendly, welcoming and fun. This was the trip of a lifetime and we highly recommend this to anyone. Kia Ora!

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