We've officially received military orders.... you know what that means, right? ... Summer trip planning has officially commenced!
I am so excited about the places we are going! We are spending a few days in Malaysia - just around Kuala Lumpur, so if you have any recommendations or thoughts on possible day trips, let me know! ...followed by a flight to Brisbane.
The Australia portion of the trip, believe it or not, is the difficult one to plan. The country is just so darn big.... and expensive! Everything worthwhile costs a pretty penny. We are going to spend some time with our friends around Brisbane, but we still have time to see something else. I was of the belief "you can't go to Australia and not see the Great Barrier Reef" ... but as it turns out, trips to see the reef are crazy expensive! And to stay on one of the lovely islands around the reef, it is really, really expensive - what I like to call "French Polynesia overwater bungalow expensive!" And when you are taking a month long trip and what feels like a million flights, you have to save where you can, right?
I haven't given up on seeing the Great Barrier Reef yet, but our alternate plan is to head to Melbourne, drive along the Great Ocean Road and maybe stop in one of the little towns for a night, and finally go to Phillips Island animal parks where you can watch wild penguins come out of the water and up onto the beach to their nests. Aww.
After Australia, we are heading to New Zealand's South Island for some winter fun! The South Island is a ski destination for many, so hopefully we will get some winter sports in, too.
Followed by a wonderful, relaxing week on Rarotonga in the Cook Islands. Skiing in New Zealand one week, laying on the beach in the Cooks the next - awesome! After our trip to French Polynesia, I have been desperately waiting to head back to a tropical South Pacific island. We have rented a 1 bedroom 1 bath "villa" less than a 30 second walk to our own semi-private (no big resorts with screaming children near by!) beach. Don't get me wrong - I love kids. Just not while I'm laying on the beach in the Cook Islands. ;)
This is the beach I will be resting my pretty little head on come June! (the black stuff underwater? It's coral... teeming with life and pretty fishes!)
Almost all of our tickets and hotels/B&Bs (we are big B&B fans) are booked - just waiting to explore our options in Australia some more before booking our flight to New Zealand. I had to assure my credit card that this was indeed not fraud as I booked tickets all over the world yesterday.
If anyone has any input on any of these places, including must see places and must do activities, please don't hesitate to comment below. Help with the Australia portion is especially appreciated!!