First stop Tahiti
Our first stop along this vacation was Tahiti. Let me start out by saying “yes the water is that blue and there are no touchups on the pictures” We flew from Phoenix to LAX and then onto Tahiti, it is about an 8 hour flight to Tahiti. We stayed at the Le Meridien hotel in Tahiti and were upgraded to a room with a slight ocean view, we checked in the evening and had no idea how beautiful the view was until we open the shades. My hubby booked a private tour to go snorkeling which is really nice, Captain Ben was very gratious served us water, soda and beer although my hubby does love his sugar cokes on vacation. It was really a nice day with the sun shining and the crystal clear water, my hubby was so preoccupied with the snorkeling that he forgot to put on sunscreen- big mistake!!!!! On the 2nd day of our trip to Tahiti we booked a ferry to go to Moorea (this is just a quick 30 minute ferry ride). We booked a tour with Captain Taina, little did I know that we would be snorkeling in crystal water with Blue Reef Tip Sharks and Sting Rays. She also took us to a private area for a barbeque that included fresh sword fish and a coleslaw that is made with fresh tuna, Okay and I am not one that likes fish so much but this meal was unbelievable!!!! OMG we still talk about this trip months later, honestly the highlight of our entire trip.
Auckland, New Zealand
Our next stop on this vacation was flying from Tahiti to Auckland, New Zealand. In New Zealand we stayed at the Crowne Plaza in Auckland, its a great location we had a nice room and did have access to the lounge which was nice-although the lounge was only opened in the morning and evening. Our jetlag was not so bad because traveling from Tahiti-New Zealand is only 6 hours, honestly I really like doing the stopovers, the jetlag is pretty good. So we decided to walk around the harbor to check out New Zealand, we are in the shoulder season of visiting New Zealand so the weather is pleasant 60-70*. Traveling to New Zealand there is so much to see and we only had a little time to get a taste of New Zealand. The first full day in New Zealand we decided to do a hop on/off bus which usually we don’t like to do but in this time of season it wasn’t so busy and we were able to get on and off very quickly and it gave us a good base of Auckland. The second day we took a ferry over to the island of Waiheke Island and decided to rent ebikes- let me start by saying do not rent anything but ebikes, the hills can be quite difficult on a regular bicycle. So we were able to ride our ebikes around the island visiting different wineries, such a great way to see so much of the island.
Our last stop was in Sydney, Australia. We were able to stay here for 6 nights, gave us plenty of time to be able to explore most of Sydney. We started by taking a boat over to Manley Beach, we are visiting in the shoulder season so the beaches are less crowded. You can take a ferry boat to Manley Beach, you will need to get an “opal card” which is sold right at the harbor. Cost is very inexpensive, you can also take the ferry to other destinations near Sydney, its great to take the ferry back in the evening so that you can get a great view of the Opera House.
Another great excursion to take is seeing the Blue Mountains, you can generally book this through various websites, we ended up booking at the Sydney Harbor and worked a little bit better deal. They pick you up in an air conditioned van and usually have a few others to pick up, its a couple of hours away from Sydney but if you are able to take an excursion with less than 12 people you can really get an understanding of the area, at all costs avoid large bus excursions!!!!! There is a gondola ride that you can take to view the mountains and a walk around some beautiful tropical plants and another tram ride to the top- always fun for kids and adults alike. From there they take you to a local place for lunch and then off to the Featherdale Wildlife Park to check out kangaroos and Koala Bears. Ah yes- the main reason you came to Australia was to snuggle up with one of these cuties!!!!!
Also check out the zoo- Taronga Zoo and take a ferry there. Cost is $43 which includes the ferry boat ride as well as the entrance into the zoo. Besides looking at the cute lemurs and koala bears there are incredible views of Sydney from the Zoo. You can also purchase a Sydney Pass which includes the Zoo, Aquarium and Sydney Opera house for $79, but you still have to purchase the ferry separately.
While we were in Sydney we decided to split our time between the 2 different Intercontinental hotels. That way we could see more of Sydney, there are some great parks and beaches that you can grab some lunch and take a look at the great landscaping that Sydney has to offer. We always like renting bicycle so that we can see more of the area, we always like to find the local restaurants and get immersed with the locals.
where we stayed
Intercontinental Hotel in Sydney is quite beautiful, great rooms but of course no free breakfast. They do have an intercontinental lounge but if you want to pay $250 per day you can access to the lounge which gives you free breakfast, snacks during the day and appetizers/desserts in the evening. We felt like we just could stomach paying that much per day, if you are a Royal Ambassador then you have access to the lounge for free. This location is really great, close the harbor as well as tons of restaurants near this location.
Travel take alongs
A Cute Suit!
Your vacay is only as good as you wardrobe, right? This cute lace one piece is the perfect suit to rock on the beach.
Mask & Snorkel
It’s true that every resort has them for you to borrow. However, they get a lot of use in the mouths of a lot of people whom you don’t know. We’ll leave it at that.
Easy to pack, and a great have-along if you purchase your own supply of Hinano, wine, or other beverages locally. You’ll also enjoy having a place to store locally purchased cheeses which are great for snacking on with fresh French baguette.
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