Sunday, November 24, 2013

10 Fun Facts About Australia and New Zealand

Its official, I once again have my feet firmly planted on U.S. soil.  I landed in Boston two days ago after the longest Friday of my life (literally the longest because of the time difference).  I don't think it will really hit me that I'm home until I get back home and enter the infinite stretch of boredom that is known as winter break.  To help keep the magic of my trip alive a little longer, though, I thought it would be fun to type out a list of things that were different or fun about Australia and New Zealand. 

1. Australians don't eat peanut butter and jelly. In fact many think it is totally weird. 

2. Tim Tams are by far one of the best cookies ever! 

3. It is normal to become aware of the fact that you now have a funny accent. 

4. The Great Barrier Reef is dying.  I am so happy I got to see it before it was too late.

5. Food is super expensive and portions are smaller.  

6. Aussies like to shorten everything.  For example, the city of Brisbane and affectionately called Brissie. 

7. New Zealanders are called Kiwi's.  Don't worry they don't mind. 

8. If you have the chance to see a glacier in New Zealand. DO IT. No matter the cost. 

9. New Zealand farms deer.  As a girl from the Northeastern U.S. this seemed so strange to me. 

10. Australians and New Zealanders are some of the nicest people I have ever met.  

In the end Australia and New Zealand are some of the most unique places in the world.  Seeing kangaroos never got old and the beautiful scenery of the South Island of New Zealand is truly spectacular.  If you ever have the chance to visit I say go.  My time down under was one of the best experiences of my life.  

Thursday, November 7, 2013

To the South of Middle Earth

If you ever have the chance to visit New Zealand, do it.

I don't really like making list of my favorite places I've been because really every place is so different and fun how can you compare them, but if I had such a list New Zealand would be pretty close to the top.  Right now I am touring around the South Island from Christchurch down to Queenstown and back up the Christchurch through the Kiwi Experience bus tour.  This tour was a little expensive but definitely worth it if you don't want to worry about driving yourself during your vacation.

The South Island has so far been one of the most beautiful places I've been to in a long time.  I would definitely recommend taking the train through the alps.  I did this on my first day from Christchurch to Greymouth and while Greymouth is not that great of a city the views of some of the most beautiful landscape is well worth it.

by Caitlin Maloney
After staying the Greymouth I slowly made my way down to Queenstown stopping along the way in small towns.  In Wanaka I took a helicopter ride up to a glacier which was quite possibly the most incredible moment of my life.  The glacier is one of only three in the world that goes right down into a rainforest.  It is slowly receding and it is sad to know that it may not be there when my children are grown.

By Caitlin Maloney

Franz Josef Glacier By Caitlin Maloney

Fox Glacier By Caitlin Maloney

Queenstown was my final destination.  Its a lovely little tourist town tucked deep in the mountains looking over a beautiful lake.  If you are in any way interested in adventure sports this is the place to get your adrenaline running. Whether it be bungy jumping, sky diving, or extreme biking this is the place for you.  It's also the place for you if you like looking at beautiful scenery, eating wicked good burgers, hiking mountains, and having a relaxing vacation in New Zealand.

Queenstown Warf by Caitlin Maloney 
Queenstown Warf by Caitlin Maloney

So really if you are looking for your next international adventure I would seriously consider jetting off to New Zealand.  In my opinion it is one of the most unique places on Earth.