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Our Travel Adventures

Welcome to the Adventures of Larry and Connie Farquhar.

Day 48 - "Epic" New Zealand Adventure 2022

20221107_122924 West Coast New Zealand

While staying in Queenstown, Connie, Bob and Joyce took another wine and beer tasting tour. They visited 3 wineries and sampled over 12+ wines (and some beer). They again enjoyed their tour event.  

It was another beautiful drive to the West Coast to visit the Franz Josef Glacier. During the drive, we saw a different look for New Zealand. There were more farming and heavy forests. The forests reminded us of the rain forests of Costa Rica or Panama.

Franz Josef glacier was a bit of a disappointment. It was smaller and less impressive than glaciers we visited in Alaska. You weren't even allowed to hike that close to the glacier. But we still enjoyed our short stay in town. While here, Connie, Bob and Joyce went on a couple hikes. The first hike took them to some old mining tunnels. Unfortunately, they were full of water, and they didn't have strong flashlights for them.

Early on Wednesday, we started out on our final road-trip in New Zealand. It was around a 6-hour drive back to Christchurch. I should have learned by now, but I did it again, we had half a tank of fuel left and I was thinking we could make it to the next big town for fuel, as we drove by three gas stations. Opps! We kept driving on as I watched the fuel gauge slowly get below 1/4 of a tank. A bit of concern settled in while we never drove past another gas station. Finally, at the top of a mountain pass was a single fuel pump selling diesel. We paid over 40 cents per liter higher than normal, but we had fuel to get us into Christchurch! Whew - I dodged that bullet!

Since I wasn't impressed with the hotel we stayed in during our last visit to Christchurch, I had cancelled our 2nd reservation for that same hotel. Instead, I booked a motel "apartment" closer to the airport. Here, the four of us shared the apartment. We had separate bedrooms and bathrooms, with a shared living room and kitchen. This arrangement worked out fine and saved us a few bucks. The problem we did encounter was trying to find a place for dinner. The nearby restaurants couldn't fit us in for a few hours due to it being busy for the horse races. I guess New Zealanders are pretty adamant about their horse racing! We settled on Domino's pizza, which was affordable and pretty good.

After a restful night, our last day in New Zealand was finally upon us. We loaded up the van and headed off to the airport. Bob and I dropped Connie and Joyce off at the airport, along with all 10 of our luggage bags. Returning the van was easier than we expected. It was simply a matter of driving up and giving them the keys. No paperwork or inspection with an easy walk back to join the girls. Simple! 

This last day was pretty grueling and long. At first, we had to wait almost 6 hours for the first leg of our flight. Then we had to change terminals and go through security again in Auckland. Luckily, it was only an hour's wait there for the flight to Honolulu. The final grueling part was sitting cramped in the airline seat for over 8 hours for the flight to Honolulu. It was nice that Air New Zealand served dinner with free alcohol drinks, and breakfast on the flight.

The below map shows the locations we visited and stayed at. 

We arrived safely in Honolulu, Hawaii yesterday evening. Bob and Joyce's son, Bobby, met us at the airport. It had been planned ahead of time that he had a friend with him with a pickup truck for all of our luggage. Bobby and his wife, Andreea, are graciously letting us stay with them for our visit in Hawaii. Bobby is on active duty with the Army stationed in Honolulu (thank you for your service!). While we all kind of slept during the day, we enjoyed a fantastic night out in Waikiki. Bobby had obtained tickets for the 6 of us for a Veterans Day jazz/rock concert at a local night club. An Army band was playing, and they were great. We had a wonderful night. We fell asleep as soon as our heads hit the pillows and slept soundly until 8am. We're now ready to take on our Hawaiian phase!

Location (Map)

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Day 57 - "Epic" New Zealand Adventure 2022
Day 45 - "Epic" New Zealand Adventure 2022

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Tuesday, 28 May 2024