Happy Friday, everyone!  I didn’t get to finish Olive’s 11-month post yet but will certainly have it for you early next week.  Instead, today I wanted to spill the beans on some exciting upcoming travel plans for our family!

In a few months, Erik and I (and of course, little Olive!) will be headed to New Zealand and Australia!  This plan has been on the horizon for a while, but we didn’t purchase our flight tickets until this week.  A trip isn’t official until you have your flights booked, right??  We will be spending about 2 weeks on vacation and you can bet that I’ve already started to pore through TripAdvisor reviews.  A trip to the travel aisle at Barnes and Noble is also in order!  Erik and I have always loved having dates at our local bookshop, sitting and reading and dreaming together.  And don’t worry, we buy books too.  😉

NZ has been one of my “top 3” dream destinations for quite some time, so I am thrilled to finally get to visit.  This amazing opportunity came to us because Erik was invited to speak at a Bible conference there (so cool, right??).  It is extra special to be able to visit as part of Erik’s ministry and then enjoy some vacation time as an added bonus.  Since we will be in NZ already, we decided we had to hop over to Australia as well.  It seems only right after flying halfway around the world!

I jokingly tell friends that we’re going to visit the shire.  And yes, we certainly are!  It will be winter when we are visiting, so there probably isn’t a lot of beach time in our future.  But, we should be able to enjoy less crowded venues due to the off-season.  I’m dreaming of cruising Lake Taupo, relaxing in geothermal pools and exploring glowworm caves in Waitomo.  We are flying to the south of the island and then driving back up to Auckland in a rental car, so the possibilities are endless!  In Sydney, we look forward to visiting the Opera House, Botanic Gardens and soaking up God’s gorgeous creation down under!

I thought I’d check in with my readers and see if any of you have been to either NZ or Australia!  I’d LOVE your insider tips.  We will only be visiting the North Island of NZ this time around… and our time in Australia will be focused on Sydney.  I SO wish we had the time to explore New Zealand’s stunning South Island and take trips to Perth, Brisbane and Melbourne in Oz… but you know, it isn’t so easy being away for 2 weeks as it is!  😉  Thankfully, it looks like there is still plenty for us to explore and experience while we’re away.  And considering we’re staying HERE while in Sydney… I think we will survive.  😉

the incredible Park Hyatt Sydney

I hope to get some great recommendations from you all.   Travel tips for a 15 month old (at the time of our trip) are also welcome!

Enjoy the weekend!  xoxo, Angel

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Comments (6)

  1. jen: February 22, 2013

    Never been myself, but my teammate spent 3 months with his wife and son travelling around AU, NZ, south pacific and southeast Asia.

    He and his wife blogged about their adventures and I’m willing to bet there are some great recommendations:

    have fun!

  2. Julie Song: February 22, 2013

    How fun!!!! Incidentally, this is very similar our 3-week honeymoon – a week in Sydney, followed by a week in NZ (road trip style), then Bora Bora – I may have to spam you with an email of all our fav spots and recommendations! xoxo

  3. Cynthia Aceves: February 22, 2013

    Amazing!! I loved NZ & Australia!! Auckland is kinda reminiscent of San Fran & if you have time, check out Windy Wellington as well! Try & check out a local farm in NZ and have some of their super delish & homemade cheeses & ice cream!
    If you are going to be around Rotorua, a hot spring bath is a must!
    Australia… Sydney is a beautiful city, with a vibrant nightlife. Make sure you take a ferry from Sydney (you can buy your tickets same day) to Bondi Beach. It’s a super cute beach & the ferry ride makes for awesome pics of Sydney Harbour & the Opera House. Oh, parks in Sydney have big bats in their trees…. Crazy but a cool sight.
    If you have time, take a day trip to Blue Mountain & stop off at the zoo on your way. You can walk around the kangaroos & get up close to cute koalas at this zoo. 🙂
    Message me if you need recommendations for hotels, etc.!
    So fun!!!

  4. Tina Yang: February 23, 2013

    Yayyy!! You know how incredibly excited I am for you guys! I have already started drafting my Sydney must-dos email to you, but for now my #1 must-eat: Bills in Surry Hills for brekkie (there are several locations, but Surry Hills is my personal fave). Their melt-in-your-mouth scrambled eggs are famous, but I can never resist ordering the sweet corn fritters with roasted tomato and Aussie bacon. It is literally perfection on a plate. If you or Erik prefer something sweet, the ricotta hotcakes with fresh banana and honeycomb butter is also beautiful (that’s Melissa’s fave!). And Australia is heaven for coffee lovers. Make sure to order a “(Skinny) Flat White” before you leave Sydney. Promise my email will contain more than food recommendations! 😉

  5. jenn king: February 23, 2013

    yes!!!!! so excited for you!

    i’ve been to new zealand. i would move to new zealand in a heartbeat. you will have to do a farmstay in new zealand! definitely rent a car (and GPS) so you can explore the countryside, beaches, and quaint little towns. i wouldn’t spend too much time in the big cities. everyone we met in new zealand was sooooo sweet and excited to tell us about their country and where we should visit.

    new zealand: http://jennrocket.blogspot.com/2012/02/new-zealand-trip.html

    we went to queensland too and stayed in brisbane. this felt more like the states. and australians aren’t too nice to americans. the zoo was AMAZING and there are pretty beaches but it was a TON of driving (not pretty driving like in NZ) and didn’t feel as foreign or thrilling to me as NZ.

    australia: http://jennrocket.blogspot.com/2012/05/australia-trip-2011.html

  6. michelle: February 25, 2013

    well you obviously know i plan on sharing all the greatest sites of sydney!! more to come on that, for sure. you’re going to have an incredible time!! xo

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