For our big trip last year (2008), Holly and I decided to go to Australia and New Zealand… I can’t say enough about how awesome it turned out to be.  Both are very cool places.

Brisbane, Australia

So this was really a New Zealand trip that turned into an Australia AND New Zealand trip.  It turned out not to be a huge price difference to do both, so we thought, what the heck?  We spent a little less than a week there so we decided to focus just on one area… and Brisbane is where we landed.  Australia was all about the animals.  From hanging out with a cheetah at the Australia Zoo (Steve Irwin’s zoo), to holding a koala at the Koala Sanctuary and feeding all manner of kangaroos, wallabies, elephants… turns out Brisbane has it all.  We also drove down the road a bit (driving on the wrong side of the road as well as the wrong side of the car was quite the experience) to the Gold Coast and checked out the beach, which was beautiful as well.

Dan, Holly, and Cleo

New Zealand

For our time in New Zealand we decided to tour the south island, which is the bigger of the two.  New Zealand is breathtaking… that’s really all you can say.  From beautiful beaches to incredible snow capped mountains, New Zealand has it all.  Being a Lord of the Rings fan, I of course had to check out some of the film locations… and ended up getting stalked by a deer at one location… crazy.  Holly on the other hand had a hanker’n to sheer a sheep (I’m not sure where she comes up with this stuff)… so we found a sheep farm, and she got her wish.  Hilarious.  This was actually one of the more memorable things we did.  The farmer, John, and his dog Glen were very hospitable and showed us everything from how to round up the sheep to how they bail the wool once the little sheepies are naked.  Awesome experience.

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All in all this trip turned out to be quite the adventure.  Cruise on over to our photo albums and check out the pictures in the vacation section… and start planning your trip!

— Dan Thompson

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