By Barbara and Alan Fischl
The west side of the South Island is spectacular. Milford Sound, Te Anau and Queenstown are all exquisite. If you are wishing to spend a couple of days, Nugget Point, just outside of Queenstown, is one of the best hotels we have ever stayed in. As far as the North Island is concerned, Auckland is a charming city (Wellington less so) and the Coromandel Peninsula opposite Auckland is worth seeing. Also not to be missed are Bay of Islands and Cape Reinga, northernmost point of the North Island.
On both of our visits, probably the most exciting experiences entailed charter flights. The first, on the South Island, was in a small plane flying into Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, right over the two highest peaks, Mount Cook and Mount Tasman. The vast panorama of glaciers and mountains was awe-inspiring. It truly took our breath away. The second was a charter flight up from Bay of Islands to Cape Reinga, where we spent the better part of a day before flying back later that afternoon. Cape Reinga is one of the most spectacular places on earth: the juncture of the Pacific and Tasman Sea. High up on cliffs, the visitor stares into eternity. Our daughter, who took a year off to travel around the world, loved New Zealand so much that she is seriously considering permanently relocating there after her children finish college.
Mr. and Mrs. Fischl have scuba-dived all over the world but keep coming back to Eleuthera, Bahamas, where they make their home half the year, spending the rest of their time in Long Island, New York.
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