Saturday, March 19, 2016


After Auckland, we flew to Fiji staying at the Sofitel Resort and Spa in Port Denarau near the city of Nadi for three nights before heading home. After 26 active days, Kay and I decided to spend most of our time poolside, especially since it was too hot and humid to do much else. My only outing was a thirty minute boat trip to a snorkeling spot out on the coral reef breakers. Overall, our entire tour gave us a wonderful quick overview of Australia and New Zealand. If there's ever a future trip back, it would be on our own so that we could explore in more depth and at a slower pace. Below are some pictures from Fiji.

Our ocean front

The resort had a grand pool.

The only way to beat the heat is in the polo

Nights are a great time to sit out by the beach listening to the waves and feeling the breeze.

Port Denarau

How hot and humid was it? Condensation on my lens below.

The gang in Fiji

Sunday, March 13, 2016


We only had two nights in Auckland, the largest city in New Zealand, so we had to make the most of it. Although very metropolitan, I liked Auckland due to its smaller size, about one and half million people, hilly terrain and great active waterfront. Like other major cities we've visited on this tour, there is a strong Asian presence which means lots of Asian cuisine.

Robert, Glen, and Barbara bounce down the hillside inside an "ogle"

For "Lord of the Ring" fans, North Island is the land of the Hobbits where fans can visit the shire

Approaching Auckland along the harbor

Visiting the Auckland's Sky Deck, tallest in the Southern Hemisphere.

From the Sky Deck

The Sky Deck Tower is a great landmark when walking the city. You always know where you are.

Ferry Building and Terminal

Auckland at night

We hired a tandem on our free day and rode the northern suburbs across the harbor

City view from harbor

City view from Devonport


Flying from the South Island to Rotorua on the North Island along the Southern Alps. Two pictures from our turbo propeller airplane.

New Zealand's volcanic origins was clearly visible during our visit of the Whakarewarewa Maori village.

A guided tour of the living Maori village.

Dinner is ready by the time they get home for the day

Bathing pools; way too hot for me

Around the village

Carving illustrates the standard greeting of the Maori people

Looks like Yellowstone

Visiting a Kiwi park where are they trying to save the Kiwi bird. Eggs are removed from the wild, away from predators, and hatched in the safety of the sanctuary. When the chicks have grown in size enough to protect themselves, they are returned. Note the size of the egg.

Lake Rotorua near our hotel smells of sulphur

Dinner with the Maori

The greeting: are you a friend or foe

Thursday, March 10, 2016


Queenstown, which attracts a younger demographics, is located along the shores of a clear pristine lake, Lake Wakatipu, surrounded by mountains and perfectly situated for year round outdoors activities. The list of activities is long and the energy in this small city is high. We spend fours nights in Queenstown. Below are pictures from our activities around Queenstown.

Gondola ride to the top of Ben Lomond Mountain.

Views from Ben Lomond

Views from Ben Lomond

Birthplace of bungee jumping, the Kawarau Bridge.

Lake tour on a 1912 steamer

Steamer tour includes dinner at Walter Peak

And sheep shearing demonstrations

Hike Queenstown Hill with Richard and Kurenai on our rest day, at 4.2 km and 500 meters.

View from Queenstown Hill

Below are pictures around Queenstown