Travel Plans!

Friday, February 28, 2014


So the Huz and I are officially going to New Zealand, Australia and Fiji this fall! We bought our plane tickets and I am over the moon! We have been planning and saving for this trip for years and now it's really happening, just in time for our 5th anniversary.

We are planning on taking a Lord of the Rings tour of spots in New Zealand, camping and road tripping through NZ's south island, seeing the Opera House in Sydney, maybe kayaking at Milford Sound, relaxing in Fiji and so much more. But as we start planning out the details I would love to hear your input. There are two major things I would love to know.

If you've been, what should we make sure we don't miss?

I love reading fiction and nonfiction set in places I'm going to visit.

What books are set in those areas that you would recommend?

Photo of Milford Sound from here.

14 comments:

Ekaterina Egorova said...

Oh, I envy you so much! Congratulations on making this happen! My friend was in NZ two years ago and showed me the photos. The most amazing trip was a hike to the top of the volcano.(Ngauruhoe, I guess) I'm not sure if this is not too sporty for you, but the views are completely alien! Or Mordorian :))

Sarah said...

Kiwi here at your service if there's anything you'd like to know :-) I've been pretty much everywhere in NZ. Milford sound is worth seeing, in whatever form - kayaking it would be lots of fun, so long as the weather's good!!! I think the volcanoe hike mentioned above would be Tongariro, in the central North island, not Ngauruhoe. The hike's certainly interesting, but you need a really good level of fitness to do it in a day.

Books set in New Zealand - if you're up for a challenge then The Luminaries, by Eleanor Catton or The Bone People, by Keri Hulme (both Man Booker winners). Maurice Gee (adult and teen), Witi Ihimaera (wrote Whale Rider), Margaret Mahy (children/teens), Lloyd Jones (literary) and Ngaio Marsh (queen of detective fiction, contemporary of Agatha Christie) are all high profile NZ writers whose books are also often set in NZ. Whale Rider would probably be my recommendation - it's a nice introduction to Maori culture and easy to get hold of overseas because of the film. And it's not to dark - a lot of the best NZ fiction is quite dark in tone, in my experience.

Anyway, apologies for the extremely long comment! Feel free to tweet me (@SarahJLisle) if there's anything specific you'd like to know. I've travelled in both Aus and Fiji as well, so may be able to answer questions there, but without quite so much accuracy.

Sandy Nawrot said...

So excited for you! I don't know if you communicate with Swapna Krishna, but I know she has been fairly recently.

Meg @ write meg! said...

Oh, how awesome -- so pumped for you! We've been talking about going to New Zealand, too, and briefly entertained the idea for our honeymoon, but I think that's going to have to wait for a while. Can't wait to hear all about it (and see your photos, of course!).

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Ekaterina Egorova - That sounds incredible! I've just been blown away by the photos of landscapes in NZ. It looks surreal.

Sarah - Oh my gosh, thank you for these incredible recommendations! I'm tweeting you now.

Sandy - That's right! Thanks for the reminder, I'll have to email her.

Meg - We almost did it for our honeymoon too! But we bought a house instead : )

cleopatra said...

That is fantastic news! I always say that no matter how much money trips cost, the memories are always worth it. You carry them with you for the rest of your life.

Wishing an amazingly stupendous vacation! I hope to see a blog post about it when you return! :-)

Kailana said...

Sounds like you are going to have a fabulous time!

52booksorbust said...

Have a wonderful time. And check out TripFiction for books set in the area!

Trish said...

OMG OMG so amazing!!!! I can't wait to hear all about your travels and I'm sure you'll have an amazing time. It's not a happy book but The Bone People by Keri Hulme is fantastic (NZ)

Trip planning is so much fun!

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

cleopatra - I completely agree! I never think about how much a certain trip cost me a few years later, but I cherish the memories! I will definitely be posting pics when I get back too!

Kailana - Can't wait!

52booksorbust - Thank you! I hadn't heard of that site before.

Trish - I'll check that one out! I love reading more books set in areas I'm about to travel to. Thanks!

Jeanne said...

Please, please, please post lots of photos!
We wanted to go on one of the Middle-Earth tours last summer, but the plane fare for a family of four was beyond our means.
I like Melina Marchetta's On the Jellicoe Road.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Jeanne - I will!!! We've been saving for this trip for years. I have Jellicoe Rd on my kindle but had no idea it was set in one of those places!

Jillian said...

So exciting!! :) Can't wait to hear all about your LOTR tour!

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Jillian - I'm so excited about that part!!!