Part 5: A Short Stopover In Sydney And The Ride Home

The flight path out took us right over central Queenstown, Lake Wakitipu, and The Remarkables mountains, that alone making it worth the claustrophobic window seat I had chosen on the tightly packed plane. I was actually quite surprised at how uncomfortably close the rows in coach were on this international Qantas flight and I was thankful it was only three hours.… Read More Part 5: A Short Stopover In Sydney And The Ride Home

Part 4: Exploring New Zealand’s Beautiful South Island

Upon arrival in Christchurch, I immediately set out to explore. We would be boarding the Kiwi Rail TranzAlpine train for a journey across the width of the South Island early the next morning, so I wanted to be sure to see a few things before dark. Our hotel was located a bit out of the city center, but getting there was a beautiful walk through Hagley Park containing the city’s Botanic Gardens.… Read More Part 4: Exploring New Zealand’s Beautiful South Island

Part 3: Exploring New Zealand’s Beautiful North Island

With little time between trips to plan anything myself, I decided to book an eleven day organized tour with G Adventures, a company I had used previously for a trip to Galapagos. G Adventures guarantees there will be no more than 16 people in each group, the actual average being closer to 12. The dates were perfect, the itinerary included key locations and experiences, and because I booked last minute and off season, the tour was discounted by 25%. I soon learned that there would only be three of us plus our full time driver / guide on the tour. Awesome!… Read More Part 3: Exploring New Zealand’s Beautiful North Island

Part 2: Spending A Couple Recovery Days In Kuala Lumpur

I arrived at KUL just after midnight, so it was necessary to take a taxi into the city rather than the ultra efficient airport train. There’s a convenient taxi stand within the airport (located just past immigration,) to pre-purchase vouchers at a pre determined fare, avoiding any late night monkey business with drivers. That’s the option I went with. There was no traffic at all, so I arrived at the Double Tree Kuala Lumpur just after 1am.… Read More Part 2: Spending A Couple Recovery Days In Kuala Lumpur

Part 1: Getting To New Zealand Via Asia

Even though it would cost me two awards to get to New Zealand via Asia, I welcomed the opportunity to fly on Cathay Pacific again, in first, though this time on the 777. I had previously flown up front on the 747 out of San Francisco, and it was a spectacular experience. This would also allow me the flexibility to stopover for a few nights in Kuala Lumpur, from where I found excellent award availability to Auckland.… Read More Part 1: Getting To New Zealand Via Asia