Day 1: Auckland
New Zealand is a country where most of people dream to visit. However, not everyone can make the dream come true. The distance and the cost are not that different from a visit to Europe as most of them decide to go to Europe instead. I am able to visit many countries , however in the lure of New Zealand which I have seen in the documentaries from the world and have heard many stories. It made me lots of excited for this trip.
On the first day of our trip, we traveled with Thai Airways direct flights from Bangkok to Auckland which took about 10 hours and 30 minutes. It was very excited moment to look at the small aircraft window with clear blue sky and fluffy white clouds. Imagine the smell of fresh air and wind blowing my hair. Finally, the plane landed completely at Auckland airport. Only the first step out of the door to the steam winter with the scent of wood in winter, it began to awaken the senses and refreshing up quite a bit on the seat behind the coil back hard on the plane for 10 more hours. Luckily immigration was not busy. Both of us are travel light so we don’t have anything to declare. The only thing we have to declare if we have the items such as plants, food and etc. enter into their country.
Since this is the agricultural country. They are very strict about food and medicine if they detected that we carry food or drug and not declare, we may be arrested and have to pay high amount of fine. Once we passed through Immigration Customs and Quarantine of plants and animals, if you look to the right you will see a sign advertising the hotel and car rental and a headphone jack on the side of the car or the hotel. It was very comfortable, but we have friends that are waiting for us at the gate.
Tonight, we are staying at Jet Park Hotel which is located close to the airport. We chose this hotel because we have to travel early morning on the next day. After we checked in and dropped our bags off at the hotel room, our friend took us into the city to find something to eat. We chose Denny as we both lived in US before and it sound familiar and we missed the taste of American food. It is funny that we are in New Zealand, but would rather have American food. We were hurried open the door and walked inside, the restaurant’s atmosphere was similar to US, but the whole menu was completely different. We were not disappointed to choose this restaurant as it was delicious meal with taste of American mix with NZ meat.
Day 2: Auckland – Queenstown
We really enjoyed traveling with local airline in New Zealand. We check-in in advance via the internet and when we came to the airport all we need to do was just entered the code to get the tags to attach with our bags. Then just placed our bags on the belt and waited for boarding inside the passenger terminal. They called for boarding and we were marching to our seat. Only a short haul flight, but still aching with long haul yesterday. Well, this was only one hour and 40 minutes then we will arrive at Queenstown airport. We had a great seat in the middle row to watch beautiful scenery from a high angle of mountain covered with snow. It was stunning scenery and beautiful prairie scenery. We heard captain called for landing, it was very fast flight as we really enjoyed the beautiful scenery from mountain to mountain and didn’t pay attention to time. After landed, we went to the luggage belt to grab our belongings and headed to car rental. We hire a car with Europe Car Hire as we will use to travel in the winter time. The snow and ice may be encountered during the trip; we opted to rent a car, Toyota Highlander, 4-wheel drive vehicles to ensure safety on the road with the laws of New Zealand and the path we must take. May be faced with snow, but it forced us to be there lanyard chain wheel with the car at all times. After received the documents from car rental staff, we were given the car keys and then went to the parking lot and drove it comfortably.
We stayed at the Queenstown Spinnaker Apartment building with 3 floors, 2
bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 1 kitchen fully equipped and we were able to make our own food. We drove into town to get food and eat in Queenstown is a resort town located on the edge of Lake Wakatipu is very famous in the activity Adventure as Bungee Jump,Jet Boating, Biking, Skiing, and more. After we finished breakfast, we began to explore the city without hesitate. We must say that this is a city that we love, stores at Town Center was lovely and warmth when we walked through the Town Center, we saw Lake Wakatipu in front of a lot of people sit on the Jet Boat or Boat Earnslaw (steamship driven by the power of coal) cruise on the lake. We went to the art market located on the shore next to the lake with white capped mountains scenery. It was a very good fortune to see the artist’s work and sold there. These artists are selling remarkably well as their artwork was authentic and is sold at reasonable price. In the evening, we sat on the cable to the Sky Line Restaurant, which is located on a hill top, we could see Lake Wakatipu and the peak there, like Cecil Peak and Walter Peak and the town of Queenstown.
Day 3: Trip Queenstown – Milford Sound
Milford Sound is a city in the southwest of Island located in Fiord land National Park Distance from Queenstown to Milford Sound is 302 kilometers and the travel time is about 4 hours and 19 minutes during the first voyage after leaving the town of Queenstown, we ran into the State Highway6 along Lake Wakatipu term an approximately 87 km. Then we turn right Mossburn five rivers road or State Highway 97 to Te Anua distance of about 19 kilometers, then turn right on Sandy Brown Road a distance of approximately 1.4 miles, then turn right again onto Te Anua – Milford Sound Highway, or State. Highway 94 a distance of about 115 kilometers on the way to the tourist attractions. Another famous one is Mirror Lake; here we can see the reflection of the views of the calm waters of the lake like a mirror, which is the origin of the name of this lake. Then we run again. It is through many of the beautiful valley to the tunnel. Homer tunnel until we came to the other side which was the most beautiful of this road. So beautiful that we could not wait to stop but we need to keep going up the hill. At this point, if we look down to the bottom, we see the long road winding like a snake was creeping into sight far below. If we look further, we will see in the high mountains with snow-capped peaks. It is very beautiful and cannot describe in words. From there we have to ran for our next stop at Milford Sound.
When we arrived at Milford Sound the car parking is provided. We have to run as we have only 10 minutes to get to the ferry Fjord Cruise on Milford Sound which is the highlight for today. The cruise took about 2 hours on the boat with buffet, we chose Japanese set. On the way, we were on the upper deck to feel the breezy air and saw the small waterfalls that flow down from the summit. This was very impressive as well as lucky to have seen the blue bird Cisalpine cut the smallest in the world swimming ashore. After we finished the boat ride, we ran back to our old ways. For people to drive to Queenstown this thing to be aware of is that gasoline as we run mostly forest trails are no gas stations along the way. At first we planned to run ahead to make it to the city. But who they closed the station at 5 o’clock to 6 o’clock, we had to return the car to a gas station at the entrance to Te Anua because it was getting dark. Luckily, we found one station to fill up the tank. Phew! After a long ride back to town, our friends recommended us to have the nicest burger of New Zealand “Ferg Burger”. The size is huge about 1 foot thick with big french fries for each. However, with the mellow taste, the fragrant smell of grilled meats and delicious BBQ sauce we ate it all. We recommended that Ferg Burger is the most delicious burgers in New Zealand.
continue with whale watching and so on…
Cinema in Arrow Town
Snow Landing on the top of the glacier
Beautiful Land of Sheep
The Seal Colony in Kaikoura
Before the sunset at Kaikoura
Such a great trip together
Credit pictures to Andy C