New Zealand is a land of inescapable beauty, where nature reigns supreme and darwinian concepts are constantly at play. From the ancient glaciers and soaring rocky peaks of the South Island to the rugged coastline, geothermal lakes, and volcanos of the North Island, New Zealand is a fitting end to our around the world adventure.
After months of tuk-tuks, taxis, and public transportation, we embraced the freedom of hitting the open road in a spacious SUV to drive from Adelaide back to Sydney. We mapped out our route as we went, one day at a time, but had intentions of taking in the Great Ocean Road, the (surfing) world famous Bells Beach, and Staffan's old home as an exchange student, Wollongong (aka The Gong).
The city of Melbourne is reputed to be the hip and artsy counter to Sydney. Although that could certainly be the case, we were not able to truly experience this due to the nature of traveling with small kids. We tried only a handful of the foodie restaurant offerings, the proposal to follow the food trucks scene was double vetoed, and the nightlife can only be left to our imaginations.
A short flight from Sydney took us to Adelaide in South Australia, which is surrounded by some of Australia's most famous wine regions. We had two goals: taste some good wine and spot kangaroos, which had been in remarkably short supply on the streets of Sydney. We started our mission in Clare Valley...
We celebrated New Years at the Singapore airport while standing in line at gate security. It's better than it seems: the best part about traveling on New Year's Eve is that entire planes fly unfilled, so we all had enough room to stretch out and get a good night's sleep on the 8 hour flight to Sydney. Staffan and I also took the time to reflect on 2013, extremely happy that so many of our wishes and resolutions had been fulfilled.