Before I get into New Zealand, I must let you know that I took over 2,500 pictures overall and so it has taken a lot of time and effort on my part to pick out which photos are worthy of being shared and so I hope you appreciate them and that you get a feel for what it was like in Australia, New Zealand, and Tahiti. I also forgot to mention before that Australia was great! It was beautiful and everyone there was so friendly. The downside was that it was HOT and HUMID, very very humid but, we handled it. Not only that, but it was expensive. We heard people say that Australia is 50% more expensive than New York and I sure do believe it. An average cup of Joe would set you back about $6 AUD, around $7 American! Ridiculous, we did well though by packing our lunches and eating in China Town, Thai Town, and Little India. Overall, Australia was wonderful and we are all satisfied with our trip to Australia and don't feel the need to return in the future.
Now onto New Zealand, New Zealand was gorgeous! It had every scenery possible: tropical rainforests, beaches, farmlands, and mountainous lands. It was a lot cooler than Australia, still humid, but in the 70's rather than the 80's and 90's, we actually had to wear sweaters at night. We only toured the North island and it was amazing but everyone we met said that the South island is better, which we can't even imagine since the North island was so great as it was. We all loved New Zealand and we agreed that we must return to New Zealand to see the South island in the future. So here is New Zealand:
Our first impression of New Zealand...we rented a car and drove ourselves from city to city.
First stop was Waitomo (population: 45), where we went hiking through jungles and caves...
Inside some caves we found on our hike
Glow Worms! What they look like with a flash and what they look like to the naked eye at night.
Sheep, sheep, and more sheep.
Sheep make up 75% of the population. Wool is New Zealand's primary export.
The beautiful countryside
The widest waterfall I have ever seen
More tropical rainforests
Our trip into the glow worm caves with The Black Water Rafting Co. We did the 5 hour Black Abyss Tour, where we repelled 11 stories into the caves, zip-lined in the darkness, black water rafted in inter-tubes, watched glow worms glow, and climbed up waterfalls to exit the caves...
Such beautiful and lush lands, not a single brown or dry spot in sight
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Park in Rotorua, NZ
Natural mineral hot springs, most were upwards of 100 degrees Celsius
On to Matamata for the Hobbiton Movie Set Tour and Sheep Encounter
The party tree and Sam's house
Hot Water Beach, during low-tide you can dig your own hole to create your very own natural jacuzzi, it was quite warm
Cathedral Cove in Corramandel
The set for Narnia 2
Just unbelievably breathtaking!