New Zealand

Posted: December 13, 2010 in Uncategorized

In case you didn’t recognize the flag, we’re headed to New Zealand! Getting 3 weeks of vacation is not an easy task for Kelly or me, and so we found ourselves very fortunate to be able to take a trip like this around the Christmas holidays, when summer is approaching in New Zealand. Daytime temps look to be in the 70’s, while nighttime temps drop to the 60’s in the northern city of Auckland, and down to the upper 40’s in the southern city of Queenstown.

It’s about 19 hours in the air to get to New Zealand from Boston: 6 hours non-stop to L.A., then another 13 hours non-stop to Auckland. I was lucky to be able to upgrade to business class on our flights from Boston to L.A., and then L.A. back to Boston on American. But our Qantas flights from L.A. to Auckland and back are in coach. Hoping the plane won’t be too full and we’ll have some space to spread out.

Ava is coming along for the ride, of course, a seasoned traveler who will be adding New Zealand to her international list of countries that already include France (twice), Italy, Lithuania, Canada and the British Virgin Islands. We will be landing in Auckland on her 4th birthday, December 20th.

We will be driving north to south in New Zealand, from Auckland down to Queenstown. A direct drive would be a mere 975 miles (including the 3-hour ferry trip from the North Island to the South Island), but we will be taking many detours along the way, adding many more miles with our itinerary.

Here’s the planned trip (you can follow along with the map):

  • Auckland 2 nights, including Ava’s birthday
  • Lake Taupo 1 night
  • Havelock/Napier/Hawkes Bay 3 nights, including Christmas
  • Blenheim (Marlborough wine country) 4 nights
  • Kaikoura 2 nights
  • Christchurch 2 nights, including New Year’s
  • Franz Josef 1 night
  • Queenstown 5 nights

Driving New Zealand will be a fun challenge: they drive on the left side of the road, which is really only a problem in the big cities where it can get confusing…but they say the rural roads are winding, steep and slow. You need to give yourself lots of time to get from point A to point B. Hopefully, we’ve scheduled ourselves well and will be able to handle all that without too much of a hassle.

And, by the way, we will fly back to Auckland from Queenstown, a 90-minute flight that will start our very long journey home.


  1. cindy knoke says:

    Sounds like an awesome trip, why not? It’s New Zealand!


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