Friday, March 20, 2015

New Zealand: Milford Sound

One of our top to do's in the South Island was to take a cruise the famous Milford Sound.  We did one better and joined one of the two overnight cruises through the sound.  This allowed us more time to take in the magnificent natural wonder but also we weren't surrounded by other boats.  It was a nice time, but reminded us that sometime we forget that we are traveling with a toddler and this could have been way more relaxing if we weren't chasing Adalyn around the boat making sure she didn't fall overboard.  We did take full advantage of the quite decks after bedtime and enjoyed the beautiful southern hemisphere stars.  Here are a few pictures from our time in Milford Sound.

The drive to Milford Sound is stunning.  Around every turn there was beautiful scenery to shoot. These are just a few of our favorites.

Mirror Lakes
Middle Earth

And then we were off to the Sound...

Our Boat
On our dingy having a closer look at the wildlife
A rare sight..a very calm Tasman Sea

Sunset in Milford

Adi loved watching the dolphins chase our boat.  A highlight for her

Not sure it gets much cuter than that!

After the boat trip, we did a short hike to a gorgeous waterfall.  We all loved it, especially Adi who loves her backpack!  A fun few days in NZ!

Stay tuned...more to come on our New Zealand trip!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

New Zealand: Christchurch and Dunedin

This year for Chinese New Year, we decided to return to New Zealand.  This time, to explore the South Island and spend time with our friends Nikki, Leon and Ellie and meet their 7 month old twin girls.  This trip came at the perfect time for us, we were in need of a break from Penang and needing to spend some quality family time outdoors.  Top that off with time with some of our best friends in the world and perfect weather, and this trip was great!  We spent our first three days in Christchurch, although we did not go into the city.  Our days were spent catching up, playing in the lawn, watching cricket, eating good food and being with our friends.  It felt like going home.  Adi and Ellie picked up like they had never been apart and Eric and I fit right into Leon and Nikki's amazing family.

After a long weekend with our peeps, we headed down the coast for Dunedin.  We stopped at the famous Moeraki boulders and filled our stomachs with a delicious fish sandwich and TipTop ice cream.  Adi loved playing in the cold ocean and chasing the foam bubbles from the waves.

Another hour in the car and we made it to our motel in Dunedin.  We quickly set up shop and headed out to explore the city.  We would up having a nice dinner in and Adi had an awesome play at a local park.  The next morning we were set to take the scenice Taieri Gorge train, but our little one woke up vomiting.  It was a sad choice, and one of many I'm sure we will making while traveling with kids, but we decided that I would go on the train alone while Eric nursed Adi back to health.  I was a bit bummed to go without Eric and Adi, especially because Adi loves trains and would have had a blast.  But alas, it was a nice trip.

I made it back to town by early afternoon and Adi had made a quick recovery.  We decided to drive out to the Otago peninsula to see the endangered yellow penguins.  We booked a tour that took us "off roading" to see albatross, seals and penguins.  The views from the peninsula were stunning and Adi was a good sport, although I'm not sure the activity was the best for pregnant ladies and small children.  Lots of bumping and hanging on over rough rough terrain.  We did get to see a few penguins in the wild which was cool.

We wrapped up our time in Dunedin at Speitz's Brewery, a New Zealand beer staple.  Eric was super happy.  The next morning we headed out for Te Anu and Milford Sound.  Stay tuned...