New Zealand- Take Two- Planning Stage

It seems like everyone’s dream trip is to visit New Zealand and Australia including us. It had been on the top of our bucket list for so long that we can’t remember when it wasn’t on the list. We visited Australia in 2017 but that trip was cut short due to a mechanical issue aboard our cruise ship. Our cruise ship lost control of both Azipod which caused us to become stranded at sea. Then we had to be towed back to Melbourne which took two days.  (This was not a joke this really happened as you can see here. We were even interview by the newspaper and TV stations in Australia. Famous for all the wrong reasons.) We were determined to try again in 2018 to finally make it to New Zealand. As they say New Zealand or bust baby!

We re-booked the NCL cruise (different ship) June 2017 and held our breath that we were not going to have to cancel the cruise or the flights. This time we were going to start the trip in New Zealand to make sure we finally made it to the island. At first I thought we could also make it to the Great Barrier reef in Australia and then New Zealand. But after coming to the realization that you can only do so much in one day. I revised the plan to spend our extra time exploring the north island of New Zealand. After exploring the north island, we continued on the cruise to explore the southern island of New Zealand and finished the cruise in Sydney. Because our weather in the Midwest for January and February is so so terrible this was the perfect time.

I love to plan!

This may be weird for some people but I actually think that the trip planning and research is the best part of the trip. More than even going on the trip. (Weird? I know) I love to figure out the puzzle and research cool off the beaten path things we can do. The excitement I get out of securing the hard to get reservation is more than going on the actual trip.  So, when I realized this trip was actually really going to happen I went into full on planning mode in Nov. and Dec.

We used Google Maps to plan our travel route

I figured out the route based on availability of the hotels. Then booked the big things first hotels, car rentals and then planned the activities. I talked to friends who had recently traveled to New Zealand. I even emailed my itinerary to a native New Zealander. He was impressed with the detail but cautioned me on “doing too much in a day”. Obviously doesn’t understand my “death march vacations” as my husband calls them. The days were planned and the spreadsheet for every hour was accounted for even the sleeping time. (not kidding)

Spreadsheet for every hour scheduled for our trip.

The 10 day cruise portion of trip started in Auckland with stops along the way at Tauranga, Napier, Wellington, Picton, Akoroa, Dunedin, Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound and Dusty Sound. The cruise finished in Sydney Australia. At the end of January, We were off for a second time to finally see New Zealand. Follow along as we travel on our dream trip to New Zealand.

This is part of a larger trip report, Please read more at the following links.

New Zealand- Take Two- Planning Stage

New Zealand- Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach

Hobbiton, Waitamo Glow Worm Cave and Tongariro NP

Tongariro Alpine Crossing & Taupo

Rotorua Adventure Day- Kaituna Whitewater rafting

Wine tasting on Waiheke Island from Auckland

Cruise New Zealand- Auckland

New Zealand Cruise- Tauranga- Mount Maunganui

New Zealand Cruise- Napier Winery Bike Ride

Cruise New Zealand- Wellington- coming soon!

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