This is it! The big one! The final trip! A full MONTH of adventure!
Yes, a month traveling Australia and New Zealand! We’ve been saving this for our final trip from Korea, and it is finally here! This is the longest (and most expensive!) trip that we have ever attempted. It’s exciting, but a little stress inducing at the same time. We saved this trip for last because we knew we would need so much time for it. Jared finished his time as a company commander, and we move in one month. We know that our travels will slow significantly once we return to the US, so we decided to go big before we go home.
Did you know that Australia is just far away from everything? My perspective was skewed by the western-centric map that places Asia and Australia on the right side of the map. I assumed that meant they were closer. Nope. Australia’s still really far away. We decided since we were making the time to go there, we might as well add on New Zealand. However, as we started researching more, I got really excited about New Zealand. We increased the amount of time in New Zealand, but now won’t be able to see much of central and western Australia.
We will start our trip on the south island of New Zealand. We are renting a small camper van and planning to drive around the island visiting national parks. This is the least scheduled portion of our trip. I have a list of many things I’d like to do, but I’m also excited to know that we will just be exploring and taking it easy during this time. Milford Sound and Abel Tasman are on that list, and I plan to do some hiking and kayaking. Though it will be summer there, we will be so far south that we should be able to see glaciers. I also hoping to see seals, penguins, and, if we are really, really, really lucky a whale.
After the south island, we will fly to Australia! We have friends flying in from the US meeting us for this portion of the trip. We plan to drive the Great Ocean Road along the southern coast for a few days. Along this drive we will see the Twelve Apostles, Bondi Beach, and if we are really, really, really lucky koalas! From there, we will fly to the northern part of Australia to visit the Great Barrier Reef. We are scheduled for three dives and if we are really, really, really lucky we might see dolphins, whales, sharks, octopi, and turtles. We will spend Christmas in the part of the country and also visit a rainforest! Then we will spend a few days in Sydney, and if we are really, really, really lucky we’ll get some amazing night pictures of the Opera House. We had originally hoped to spend New Years Eve in Sydney. However, spending $500 for a hostel, setting up 36 hours in advance (without a guaranteed view of fireworks), and the possibility of not making it back to a bed until 10am made us think again. As amazing as it would be to be part of one of the biggest NYE parties in the world, I don’t really like parties enough to deal with that. Instead, we’ll fly back to New Zealand and plan to see the first sunrise of 2016 in the place where the sun first rises. After that, we return to Korea for our final days of packing and clearing.
I am going to try to post updates on here as much as possible, but I really have no idea how easy it will be or how motivated I will be. If you aren’t already, follow me on Instagram in case I am able to post quick pictures and updates there!
This itinerary is crazy busy! It took several Saturday afternoons at coffee shops, countless hours on TripAdvisor, and two compromised debit cards, but here we are! We are really, really, really lucky to have the means and opportunity to make this trip possible. And, I am really, really, really grateful to you who follow along on all our adventures.