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New Zealand and Australia in 27 days

I recently returned from an extended trip to New Zealand and Australia (read more about packing for this trip here). The trip was anchored on an academic conference in Melbourne, but if you're going to go all that way, you might as well go big or go home. In case you're planning a similar trip, here's my itinerary:

Day 1 – Depart PHL, connecting in SFO

Day 2 – SFO to AUK

Day 3 - Arrive in Auckland early in the morning; walked around town, went up the Sky Tower, and took a harbour boat tour

Day 4 – Picked up rental car in Auckland and drove to Rotorua, stopping on the way at Waitomo Glowworm Caves and Ruakuri Caves

Day 5 - Day trip from Rotorua to Waimangu Volcanic Valley park and Wai-o-tapu Thermal Wonderland

Day 6 - Drive to Wellington

Day 7 - Wellington cable car, botanical gardens, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, City to Sea Bridge

Day 8 - Wellington to Picton ferry...Drive to Kaiteriteri (drop off rental car in Wellington, pick up a new rental car in Picton)

Day 9 - Day trip from Kaiteriteri to Abel Tasman national park; take a boat in/out and hike in the park

Day 10 - Drive to Franz Josef

Day 11 - Franz Josef glacier hike and hot pools 

Day 12 - Drive to Queenstown via the Haast Pass

Day 13 - Queenstown gondola, afternoon trip to Glenorchy

Day 14 - Doubtful Sound day trip from Queenstown

Day 15 - ZQN to SYD flight

Day 16 - Circular Quay, Sydney Harbour, Botantical Gardens, The Rocks, Museum of Contemporary Art

Day 17 - Queen Victoria Building, Hyde Park, Art Gallery of NSW, Darling Harbour, Paddy's Market, Chinatown

Day 18 - Paddington, Australian Centre for Photography, Oxford Street, Hyde Park, stubbled upon a political protest at Town Hall

Day 19 - Manly Beach

Day 20 - SYD to MEL flight

Day 21 - Hosier Lane, Centre for Contemporary Photograpy, Fitzroy neighborhood, Brunswick Street; dinner with friends

Day 22 – Attending an academic conference

Day 23 - conference in the morning; National Gallery of Victoria in the afternoon; saw a show at the Regent Theatre in the evening

Day 24 - conference

Day 25 - Laneways, Queen Victoria Market; St. Kilda, Brighton Beach

Day 26 – depart MEL

Day 27 - arrive PHL in the morning

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