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23rd January
written by Hazel


  • Our cruise with Captain Fiord and Fiordland Expeditions.  This was an overnight cruise and we truly cannot say enough about how much we loved it, how pampered we were, and how much fun we had with the fishing, kayaking, and amazing food.
  • Paua Nite!  Chris and Leah-Anne are some of the most gracious people we’ve met anywhere!  And good cooks!  And they have awesome kids.  It was so incredible to meet people who live here and chat with them and hear about their lives and we absolutely hope some day they will come and visit us!!!
  • Mt. Cook.  Incredibly beautiful.  Awesome DOC campground.
  • Franz Josef glacier.  It’s so cool.
  • Blackwater rafting and surfing.  Both absolutely great experiences and things I had never tried before.
  • Christmas in Christchurch.  We liked that town!
  • The Twisted Hop Brewpub.  Best beer in NZ.  Awesome sweet potato (kumara in NZ) fries.  Awesome atmosphere.
  • Hiking and wildlife and all things outdoors.  There are birds and trails and swimming holes and seals and strange scenery and waterfalls and cool tree ferns EVERYWHERE here.  It is not hard to find an awesome outdoorsy adventure every single day.
  • The Tongariro Crossing.  Totally unique.


  • Being rained out a couple of times.  Most notably at Arthur’s Pass where the trail had turned into a flooded river.
  • One or two of the DOC camps were a little stinky.  Filthy smelling restrooms and right next to the highway.  That being said, we stayed in tons of them and it was only two that were a little unfortunate.
  • Mosquitos and sandflys.  If you do a little research it’s not hard to predict where you’ll find them.  But they are totally evil and Vinnie (our van) had no screens on his windows.
  • Queenstown madness.  This was actually in a couple of places.  Crowded town designed mostly to get tourists to spend their money.  Not hard to avoid, but a bit of an eyesore, and sad because the countryside around needs no money spent to have an amazing experience.  We mostly avoided these touristy places.
  • NZ coffee.  The same everywhere, but always a milky, mediocre experience.  (Except in Raglan and one place in Christchurch where we had very good coffee)

All in all, hardly any lows, and only minor.  We’ve loved New Zealand and would definitely come back for another vacation, short or long.  It’s an incredible country to visit.  Easy to get around, friendly people, incredible scenery.


  1. Bob D

    Good coffee coming soon I bet

  2. Andre

    Hey you two,

    I used to love the twisted hop when I lived in Christchurch. Really nice place. Thanks for the shark pictures, really appreciated. I hope you guys have a save trip around LA. Maybe we see you in the summer…

    All the best


  3. Hazel

    Indeed, it’s better already!

  4. Joyce Butler

    Hope you had the mountaineers breakfast on Mount Cook We did and we were full for the rest of the day .

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