Jeff & Kristine

Jeff and Kristine

Jeff & Kristine

Jeff and Kristine will shortly be taking their first "out of the country" trip together in November 2015!

When trying to decide where to go and what to do, New Zealand seemed the perfect answer to both those questions. We enjoy the outdoors and "doing" while "seeing." Family and friends have visited New Zealand and we've heard nothing but wonderful tales from their adventures. celebrate 10 years of marriage we decided to create our own tales and experience new adventures!

Where will we go what will we do? Let me tell you, we have a jammed packed itinerary in place. Here's a snap-shot of our itinerary and we will be posting about each stop along the way.

We have also decided to eschew hotels/motels. Instead, we are staying exclusively at airbnb accommodations. Kristine spent vasts amounts of time exploring the different options and we are excited and anxious to stay at these wonderful places.

11/14 - 11/17 - Auckland - Kristine has planned a dinner cruise, the Coast to Coast walk and possibly a wine filled day on Waiheke Island.

11/17 - 11/19 - Waitomo - We are going to experience the Black Abyss Tour that Black Water Rafting Company offers...this is beyond exciting and you should check out the video of what we are going to be doing and decide for yourself if we are crazy or not!

11/19 - 11/22 - Rotura - Hobbiton will be toured (Jeff is very underwhelmed about this but Kristine is anxiously waiting to have a beer in The Green Dragon!), mud bath and sulfuric spas, Maori Hangi dinner performance, zip-lining and paddle tours to hot springs are just waiting for us there!

11/22 - 11/25- Taupo - White water rafting and mountain biking are one day's excursion while the next day we will be hiking the Tongariro Crossing. From what I understand we will be able to view "Mt. Doom" in the TLR movie and the views to be expected are amazing!

11/25 - 11/27 - Wellington - Time to enjoy city life and explore Cuba Street before we leave the North Island. We are also going to hit Weta Caves - why come to New Zealand without getting a huge dose of LTR?

11/27 - 11/28 - Greymouth - Excited to drive the coastal highway and check out the scenery while driving the Great Coast Road route to our destination.

11/28 - 11/30 - Franz Joseph - Our most exciting excursion will be happening here...we will be able to partake in a once-in-a-lifetime experience with the Glacier Heli Hike!!! Kristine is ecstatic for this adventure!

11/30 - 12/3 - Queenstown - Our last stop, and who knows what exciting adventure awaits?! We'll be exploring the downtown area along with the neighboring cities before we fly out of Queenstown to Auckland on our last day...then it's on board back to Los Angeles and then home!

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Wellington November 26th 2015

First off, Happy Thanksgiving to all our family and friends back home. This trip has made us extremely thankful for all that we have and all that we are doing. But most of all, we are thankful for our family and friends...we do miss you all! We awoke with a full agenda on our plate...explore Wellington. We only have 1 day to do it in, so let's do it up! First on the list was to get to the Beehive. That means driving in downtown traffic...okay...we can do this... And, we did! We found parking and was able to jump on a tour in progress. I happen to find touring buildings while listening to educational commentary fascinating! Jeff...well, he was humoring me, letting me play tourist...good husband! Seeing the architecture, listening to how New Zealand's constitutional ... read more
Government Library Next Door
Weta Cave - The Trolls
Weta Cave - High Five!

Ahhh....the sun woke us up and as we laid there in bed remembering our day before, we were happy! That is until we moved. Ohhhh....merrrr....gudddd....Ouch! But, I am happy to report, while the getting out of bed was painful, once we got moving things loosened up a bit. We reassured our bodies that the most physically challenging parts of our vacation were behind us. All's good. Pip was packed up once again because this was day we were heading to Wellington. But first, let us not forget High Tea at the majestic Chateau Tongariro right smack in the middle of the Tongariro National Park! Jeff reluctantly dressed up and came along. (Remember the eye rolling several days ago? Grumbling under the breath was added for nuance today.) This magnificent chateau is definitely an aging grandeur of ... read more
Mt. Tongariro
Tea Time!
Jeff and High Tea

WE DID IT! Today was the day...conquer the crossing...the Tongariro Alpine Crossing that is! This crossing is considered the best day hike in New Zealand. And it's not for the faint of heart! It's 19.4 km long along with reaching almost 1900 meters of altitude! (That translates to 12.055 miles and over 6200 feet!) We started our day earlier to meet our ride to the mountain by 7:30am. We stopped in at the local cafe and ordered a wonderful breakfast of french toast, pancakes, bacon and grilled bananas. Heck, we felt that a breakfast like that was in order to get us through the day. The shuttle bus collected us at the i-site and we were off to the mountain. The shuttle bus dropped us off at the starting point and would pick us up at ... read more
And we're off!
Mt. Ngauruhoe
Kristine All Geared Up!

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Turangi November 23rd 2015

We awoke to beautiful weather...fantastic! Today was the day for mountain biking and white water rafting. The New Zealand weather gods looked down upon us and smiled. We shall give thanks by enjoying the day and appreciating the beauty before us! First thing first, back down to the i-site to purchase and sign up for our transport for tomorrow's hike. No problems there, now our day can begin. We head into the Tongarrio River Rafting headquarters and are met by our two guides, Tom and Justin. Jeff and I were the only ones signed up for the mountain biking tour that day so it was just us and the guides...sweet! It was also reassuring for me to know that I would be making a fool of myself to only 3 other people rather than more. Although ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand November 22nd 2015

Time to pack up and leave Rotorua. We were a bit sad about this. There is still so much to do and see, we didn't have enough time! But, as Jeff pointed out, we will come back. We were, however, able to explore the farm for a short time before we hopped into Pip to our next adventure. I was so very excited when I booked this place and seeing the absolute beauty in person did not disappoint! This farm is such a tranquil and peaceful part of the world. Our hostess, Jenny, was so welcoming and loved nothing more than a good gab. Sheep, cows, horses, chickens, dogs and beautiful country, could you ask for anything else? Regrettably, we had to go, no more sticks to throw Missy! Off to Lake Taupo we went! The ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Turangi November 22nd 2015

Since Kristine has been writing the blog entries, all I've been doing is taking and managing the pictures. I've reached 839 in the picture count. It's time for me to memorialize some of the things I've been enjoying. First, let's start with the friendly people everywhere. Not just the locals who live here and help the tourists, but all of the people we've met. First day, when we just got into town and went to the outdoor market, we didn't have NZ cash to pay for our fruit and breads, and they didn't take plastic. The guy at the stand told us "Just take it and pay me when you get back." When we did the coast to coast hike the next day, a guy was finishing the walk going the other way. After talking for ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Rotorua November 21st 2015

We awoke to a wonderful sight...sun! We hurriedly pulled out the camera to take pictures of the view we have at the farm. It's very idyllic out here. As we were admiring the view, the sheep came in. Missy, the very friendly working dog here brought us sticks non stop so we'd throw them for her. Wow...peace! The sun just made a quick appearance though, rain was the main focus of the day. But we didn't care! It was New Zealand rain after all. After a pop into the i-site, we had our day in order. (The i-site here in Rotorua is fabulous! Very friendly and helpful. It's also ground zero for all the backpackers and tourists.) Instead of the paddle boards (way too cold out) we opted to visit Skyline, take the gondola up to ... read more
Idyllic x 2
Gondola Ride

Oceania » New Zealand November 20th 2015

Jeff and I woke up to cloudy skies with a promise of rain...but no worries, it fit right in for the day's activity. Flying through the treetops in a rain forest! Today was the day on the itinerary for zip lining. After getting all geared up for the weather, we set out to find base camp for our next adventure. A mere 15 minutes later, there we were signing our lives away again with waivers. No problem...right? We rented a GoPro for Jeff to wear so he could document our excitement in hi-def! Our guides got us all fitted with our gear and then we were piled into the van to make the 20 minute drive out of town to the forest. A little bit of a trek to our first platform and then we ... read more
Second Zip Line
Second Zip Line

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Rotorua November 19th 2015

Jeff and I woke up still exhausted from yesterday's adventure and decided a slow start to the day was in order. Our bodies were letting us know that we weren't in our 20's any longer...yes, WE KNOW! We took our time packing up and reviewing the day's itinerary. Drive to Rotorua, grab lunch then relax in the volcanic mud baths and sulphuric spas...NICE! We left Waitomo and drove through some very picturesque, pastoral country. Unfortunately, the roadway was too narrow to pull over for pictures. We pulled into Rotorua around noon and stopped at the local i-site for info. (These sites are in each town and are a wealth of information!) There, we bought our tickets to Hells Gate - The BEAST of all Geothermal Parks...Exciting! The lovely lady helping us recommend the Lime Cafe down ... read more
Bubbling Mud
Inferno Pools

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Waitomo November 18th 2015

After a late night check in, Jeff and I attempted to sleep off the gluttony we embraced at The Green Dragon to be ready for a completely different adventure. The day's activity was a complete 180┬░from the previous. So upon waking we attempted the coffee find...and discoverd there wasn't even a McDonalds to go to! This coffee delinquency is becoming a problem...where's our embassy? Get the Secretary of State on the line! (Although please make it Tea Leone rather than John Kerry, I feel Tea would understand the depths of the needs of these two Pacific Northwest travelers better than John.) These Kiwis need to discover the joys of java stat! being desperate, we came to the conclusion that we'd have to drink the instant that seems to be readily available. Well, the experience is not ... read more
Kristine and Pip
Choose one!
All Dressed Up and Ready To Go!

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