By now our faithful followers will know what to expect after releasing our last post of Australia. Exactly: “tindy’s Travel Facts & Figures”. So before taking off to Asia here our review and some statistics:
In total we spent 81 nights in French Polynesia, New Zealand and Australia.
60 of them we stayed in hotels, hostels or bungalows. For example this nice bungalow on Huahine:
10 nights we spent under the open sky, camping. All of them during our time in NZ:
6 nights we stayed with friends of friends in Sydney (Thank you, Moni & Phil!):
2 airplane/airport related nights: 1 night we spent at the airport of Tahiti and 1 in a plane from Tahiti to Auckland:
2 nights we spent on the ocean, sleeping on our sailboat the Ragamuffin II during our Whitsunday sailing cruise:
1 night (mysteriously) went missing (the one of the 4th of January 2014)! It didn’t exist for us since we crossed the date line from French Polynesia to New Zealand. So our 2014 will only have 364 days… 😉
Way of Travel:
We traveled by airplane 11 times. For one thing the island hopping in French Polynesia was more comfy by airplane and later on in New Zealand and especially in Australia the distances were so vast that flying saved both time and money.
On the islands of French Polynesia we traveled by bus, scooter, car and bike.
In New Zealand we drove 2’224 kilometers with our red rental Getzi. At this point we did not yet know that our front right tire would explode while driving on the last day:
In Australia we had several flights as well and rented a car for the last part of the trip, driving 2’400 kilometers. And no, we didn’t specifically ask for a red car again:
During this part of our trip we traveled the following 3 countries and consequently Tini got three new patches for her backpack:
French Polynesia (11 nights):
These islands are known as paradise on earth for a reason: crystal clear waters, turquoise lagoons, dazzling white sandy stretches of beach, moss-green peaks, friendly people, incredibly fresh fish, … The perfect exotic setting to gear down, relax, reflect on past adventures and plan the next steps. We spent Christmas on Moorea, unwound on Huahine and celebrated New Year on Bora Bora. A perfect setting to escape the cold European winter 🙂
New Zealand (38 nights):
We saw a wide variety of landscapes and sceneries during our almost six weeks in New Zealand! The two main islands have so much to offer which makes it difficult to decide what things to do and see. From the adrenaline adventures to the great hiking spots and stunning beaches, coastlines, volcanoes, glaciers and wildlife. The list of attractions is seemingly endless! We enjoyed many different activities and the amenities of a well developed and English speaking country. Our “first-time” experiences in NZ: helicopter trip, bungee jumping, skydiving and a fishing trip. And there are enough things left to visit again. Ka kite anō, New Zealand!
Australia (32 nights):
This was also our first time in Australia and it is difficult to decide which parts of this huge continent to visit. We chose to travel along the east coast and had a great time! It was stunning to see the Sydney Opera House in real life, cuddle a koala and feed kangaroos. The beaches were beautiful and our Whitsunday sailing trip was definitely one of the highlights! The Aussie people have a very relaxed and laid-back attitude which makes travelling even more enjoyable. Unfortunately we only managed to cover a small part of Australia and there are a lot of exciting places left. So without any doubt, we will have to return to Australia as well!
Lost & Found:
Since we are both big fans of the NZ Icebreaker clothes, it made our day when we accidentally drove by an “Icebreaker Outlet Sale” in a town we just happened to pass through! Of course Tini spotted it 🙂 We ceased the opportunity and stocked up on some pieces of clothing partly reduced by over 60 %.
As we were quite behind with our blog and tired of sitting in shabby internet cafes or typing entire posts on the iPhone, we decided to buy a sub-notebook in Australia. Since then it has become much easier to write up the posts and book flights and hotels. Bizarrely we did not manage to significantly catch up with the posts yet…
Besides the notebook and clothing we only bought several smaller souvenirs and added a couple free T-shirts of our adventures to our gear. As we identified several items we would not need anymore on our upcoming trip through Asia (eg.: tent, sleeping bags, cooking gear, hiking boots, etc.) we strung a big package and sent them back to Germany. Now we not only had a lot more space in our backpacks but they were also far lighter.
The only thing we lost during the last three months was Andy’s washcloth. We can’t really reconstruct where or how, but it disappeared somewhere along this part of the trip. Fortunately that’s not a very big loss and easily replaced 🙂
We had a lot of fresh fish on the islands of French Polynesia, for example Tahiti’s national dish called Poisson Cru:
Especially in New Zealand we prepared many meals ourselves and several of them were delicious barbecues:
One of the highlights was definitely preparing and eating the self-caught fresh fish and crayfish:
In Australia we enjoyed good food as well, although there was nothing really special (we missed to try some exotic meats like crocodile or kangaroo). Most of the time we had pizza, burgers or some kind of “standard” meat:
While reading our posts from Australia and especially New Zealand one perhaps gets the feeling that we were drinking wine all the time… Well, almost right: But being in the these wine countries we felt obliged to sample as many different wines as possible 🙂 We especially fell for New Zealand’s white wines…
Another tasty discovery was ginger beer. It was available all over NZ and Australia and although it is called beer, most of the brands are non-alcoholic (a good alternative to wine :-). But coming from a beer-loving country we tried our best to sample local beers wherever we went:
Travelling only on islands for nearly three months (some bigger than others), water was always close. But there were quite some differences: In French Polynesia the ocean was warm and calm with a lot of colorful fish and for that the perfect place for swimming and snorkeling. In contrast to this the waters around New Zealand were quite cold and especially for Tini only suitable for cooling down the feet. In Australia the water temperature was warmer and suitable for Tini to go swimming, but here there were unpleasant crocodiles, stingrays, sharks and jelly fish also out swimming.
All in all Australia was the most restful part of our entire trip so far, as we had a lot of time for relaxing at the beaches 🙂