New Zealand 2013

We finally made our Bucket List trip to New Zealand. Everyone we had talked to said it is a fabulous place to visit and they were right. We made the trip as a 16 day  cruise on the Seabourn Odyssey, a relatively small 450 passenger ship. Most of our cruising was at night and we were in a different port 12 of the 16 days. We boarded the Odyssey in Auckland and then made stops down the east coast  in Rotorua/Tauranga, Wellington, Picton/Queen Charlotte Sound, Kaikoura, Akaroa/Christchurch, Timaru and Oban/Half Moon Bay. We then headed up the west coast through the fjordland region to Milford Sound where we spent a half day before crossing over to Melbourne, Geelong and Sydney, Australia. We left the ship for a couple days in Akaroa for a trip across the heart of the south island to Mt. Cook National Park where we spent a night before returning to catch up with the Odyssey in Timaru. We were blessed with almost perfect weather the entire trip. Apparently the Mt. Cook summit is visible only about ⅓ of the time. As you can see below, we were treated to a crystal clear sky and view.

Air New Zealand and the Auckland airport are doing their best to capitalize on the success of the Lord Of The Rings and Hobbit movies. You are "Welcomed to Middle Earth" upon arrival in Auckland and the Air New Zealand safety video is done by the movie characters. The clever safety video can be viewed here.

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