Travel Tuesday's: New Zealand Part 1, Kauri Cliffs
Destination: Matauri Bay, New Zealand
Weather: 50-80 degrees Fahrenheit, sunny and partly cloudy
As many of you know, Bill and I got married in October 2015, but due to our work schedules we didn't have a chance to plan / go on our honeymoon until this past February AND LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT.
Honestly, New Zealand was never on my "bucket list" of places to travel, but I quickly came to see why this place is known from their marketing as 100% pure. If I could live there, I probably would! The locals, also known as kiwis, were extremely friendly and helpful (unlike their bird counterpart they are named after and rarely spotted as they are night birds that are very shy).
After Bill and I spent the time driving to Miami to catch a plane to LA and then another American Airlines plane (BTW, was the new dreamliner and although we weren't in business class, we sprung for the extra leg room and SO HAPPY we did, the plane was really quite nice!) straight into Auckland, New Zealand's most populated city. We rested and got onto NZ time, a whopping 16 hours ahead of Florida time.
Once we were relatively close to the same time zone, we picked up our rental car and headed north toward the Bay of Islands and Kauri Cliffs Lodge. Quick side note: most people tend to skip Bay of Islands because it is much further north, but if you have the time to do, I would highly recommend it!!
Driving on the opposite side of the car AND opposite side of the road, I HATED IT! Although the roads were well paved, they were narrow and at times windy. Bill didn't have as much as a problem as me, but I seemed to have trouble judging the distance on the left side of the car, the passengers side. Most rental car places should have a manual for you to look over before you start driving in the country, everything else seemed pretty straight forward.
But, once we made it to Kauri Cliffs, it was COMPLETELY WORTH IT!! Prettier in person than it ever could be in pictures, but have some below...Just to let you know, Bill and I didn't stay in these perfect Relais and Chateaux hotels the entire way through, but we had a couple of splurges and did some Airbnb, regular hotels and even a motel in a small town!
We spent 3 impeccable days here, the Pacific Ocean views with the cliff backdrops were UNREAL, beautiful pink sand beach, infinity pool, 4-wheeling, golfing (course normally gets somewhere around 10 rounds a day and kept in the most incredible shape), getting to know some pretty neat guests and 5-star food / service.
Hope you enjoy these pictures and only wish that my entire extended family and friends were with us to experience this together.
I have also posted the map of the initial itinerary of our NZ Trip to see where future Travel Tuesday's will go.
*Some of these pictures are from the Kauri Cliffs website / others are from our iPhone pictures