New Zealand Adventures - Part 1

Over Thingyan Holiday (Myanmar's water festival) we took a break from the heat and spent two weeks in New Zealand. What a beautiful and amazing country! Our friends, Craig and Crystal, and their three kids - Bryce, Juliet, and Rhett - are based in Auckland, and this was our last chance to get visit them before they head back to the US this summer. And we are so happy we made it work! 

We spent the first two days in Auckland, adjusting to jet lag, and exploring the beautiful beaches and nearby islands. The first afternoon there we visited the Muriwai Gannet Colony where about 1200 pairs of gannets nest from August to March. We were lucky and there were still a good number hanging around.

Piper, Juliet, and Bryce became the best of friends pretty much upon arrival. Piper and Juliet in particular were two peas in a pod!

The second day in Auckland we took a ferry over to Rangitoto Island, the youngest volcano in New Zealand (600 years). It is a pest-free island and it was great to see the authorities implementing biosecurity measures to ensure it remains so. It was a beautiful sunny day and with the kids in tow we hiked the 5km from dock to cone and the kids did great!

After two fun filled days in Auckland it was time for us to head to the South Island for our week-long Jucy campervan road trip adventure. Piper was super excited that we were renting a campervan just like Gramma and Papa's (my parents)! 

First stop on the South Island was Queenstown where we did the skyline luge! First you take a gondola up to the top of the mountain overlooking the town and Lake Wakatipu, then a ski lift that carries people and the luge carts to the top of the track, then down you race. We did it three times before Piper was tired of it. 

After a night in Queenstown we headed up to Wanaka town and lake where we hiked Mt. Iron for some amazing views. We bought Piper a kids hiking backpack with a water bladder...with that and her own little camera she turned her into the world's best 5 year old hiker! 

After our hike and some great local food, Piper held court over the ducks on Lake Wanaka. 

That night we camped in a beautiful holiday park on the lake (Glendhu Bay campground). Being outside at night and early morning was quite cold, but the views and scenery were worth it! 

Stay tuned for more New Zealand Adventures coming up!