Although we truly enjoy the beauty and many contrasts of Australia, we must confess our preference for New Zealand. We absolutely love New Zealand! In addition to the stunning landscapes, unique wildlife and colorful history, the people of this land are among the friendliest and engaging in the entire world. Bev and I feel New Zealand is like a throw-back to what America may have been like in the 1950’s.
South Island may be our favorite area of New Zealand—particularly the areas of and around Christchurch and the Milford Track. Christchurch has a wonderful English feel with is ubiquitous, colorful gardens and the tranquil Avon River running through the city. Continuing the English theme, a stay in nearby Otahuna Lodge is a relaxing, special experience.
In contrast to the sprawling 5,000 acre Wharekauhau Estate, Otahuna evokes the charm of an intimate, old English manor with only 7 suites/rooms. This place was once the largest private residency in all of New Zealand. Apart from the luxurious accommodations, Otahuna is most noteworthy due to its gardens and food. In fact, Bev and I feel the Christchurch area in general has among the most colorful, lush gardens we have seen anywhere—so beautiful!
For the intrepid hikers among us, we enthusiastically recommend the Milford Track, commonly known as the “finest walk in the world.” Beginning at the head of Lake Te Anau and finishing at Milford Sound, this 33.2 mile trek traverses rainforests, wetlands and an alpine pass. Part of the fun is meeting your fellow hikers while staying at the most accommodating lodges en route. Bev and I fully agree that the Milford Track is truly the most wonderful trek we have ever experienced.
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Australia, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and Fiji