Australia/New Zealand Retrospective – 2019

After 24 hours at home, here are our final thoughts about the trip plus some advice for next time!


Australia Highlights

  • Place: Pamela’s living room
  • Activity: Petting Aubry the Dingo
  • Sight: Pamela narrating her photo book
  • Meal:
    • Angeleno’s with Pamela
    • BBQ at Andrew and Wendy’s


The ferry system is a great, pleasant way to get around. Plus, sailing into and out of Circular Quay provides amazing views of top sights! Sydney’s summers can be brutally hot, so visiting later in their fall (maybe in April) probably would have been more temperate but still not wintery.

Things to do Next Time

  • Luna Park
  • Taronga Zoo’s Meerkat Encounter
  • Visit the gay penguins at Sea Life Sydney Aquarium

New Zealand Highlights

  • Place: Queenstown
  • Activity: Heli-Cruise-Fly
  • Sight: Glowworm Caves (magical)
  • Meal:
    • The Grille by Eichardts for exceptional food
    • Inati for the tasting menu
  • Hotel: QT Queenstown

New Zealand Advice

The south island is without a doubt more mountainous and beautiful. Our itinerary order made a lot of sense given our time in Sydney but I can see why most tours run the other direction (since the scenery keeps improving).

I preferred Auckland to Christchurch, so would recommend it as an entry/exit point to the country. Since Auckland’s weather is so fickle, scheduling a couple days there at the beginning and ending of your trip might give you the best shot at good weather there.

If you can drive a right-hand drive car on the left side of the road, New Zealand would be incredibly road-tripable. In fact, after a week there, I thought there might be a chance I could cope with driving on the other side on the south island’s more deserted roads. Having a car would certainly give you more flexibility to travel between sights/activities without relying on expensive tours.

That said, I would still 100% recommend the flight-cruise-heli combo to get to and from Milford Sound if you’re day-tripping from Queenstown as a home base. That drive is just too far to make it worth doing twice in a day.


Australia Highlights

  • Place: Featherdale
  • Activity: petting ALL the things!!
  • Sight: Opera House
  • Meal: BBQ and Dani making me soup

Australia Advice

Don’t get sick! But if you do, have a fianc-wife there with you to make it all better <3

New Zealand Highlights

  • Place: Queenstown
  • Activity: Landing on the mountain
  • Sight: Water all around from the waterfall
  • Meal: Inati
  • Hotel: QT Queenstown

New Zealand Advice

Spend more time in the mountains of the south island. I’d like to go back and stay around Aoraki Mt. Cook and try some day trips and hiking trips out of there. But whatever you do, make sure you find time to see some Kiwi Birds!!!!

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