Ian Johnston's New Zealand trip

Posted February 17, 2004

For the first two weeks of February, 2004, I was able to visit my parents in New Zealand. They had gotten there by way of their boat, from Portland. I went with my girlfriend, Sibyl, and we spent the time driving around and seeing the sights, and on a brief day-sail on Sequoia.

The Plan

In October, 2003, we had acquired tickets to travel on January 31st and February 14th, making just short of a 14 day visit to New Zealand. (Due to crossing the International Dateline, we actually entirely skipped February 1, and landed the morning of February 2 -- it's ok, we left Auckland on the 14th at 7:40 pm, and arrived in Seattle on the 14th at 4:30 pm.)

Our plan for our time in New Zealand was that we'd spend roughly the first week driving around in the Toyota Windom (aka Lexus ES500, in the US) my parents had bought, and the second week would be spent on the boat, sailing to Great Barrier Island, anchoring for a few days, and sailing back. This would allow us a good mix of seeing the touristy sights, as well as the less-oft viewed "wild side" from the boat. The Sunday between the two weeks was our planned "see Auckland" day, since the first week would be mostly out of Auckland, and the second week would be far from Auckland, travel-time-wise.

The Reality

Of course, every military commander knows that the battle plan is followed perfectly until the first shot is fired, at which point it all goes to hell. That's not exactly what happened with our trip. On the one hand, our plan for how time would be spent was barely followed. On the other hand, we had an amazingly fun time regardless, so it hardly matters.

I've broken this report up into days, in order to facilitate loading up each page, and in order to have it all make some kind of sense, without appearing to be one giant run-on brainwave.

The Days

(* indicates an unfinished entry)
Day 1: We Arrive
Day 2: All The Driving
Day 3: Taking The Aqua Taxi
Day 4: Awaroa Lodge
Day 5: Aqua Taxi To Nelson
Day 6: From The Ferry To Waipukurau
Day 7: How Far To Auckland?
Day 8: We Discover The Coromandel Peninsula
* Day 9: Coromandel To Auckland
* Day 10: The Sky Tower
* Day 11: Who's Kelly Tarlton?
* Day 12: The Day Sail
* Day 13: Lounging To The Airport

I took a great many pictures while in New Zealand, many of which aren't featured in this write-up. You can see all of the pictures here:

Gallery of all pictures from the trip

This report is Copyright © 2004 by Ian Johnston, all rights are reserved.

Created by Ian Johnston. Questions? Please mail me.