Ultimate Girls' Trip: A Southern Pacific Adventure

A Bucket List Trip Shared by Sisters

In 2018, my cousin Mary Ann reached out to invite me on a Girls’ trip to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji set for November 2020. It sounded like a trip of a lifetime including countries I have dreamed of visiting since seeing the “Crocodile Dundee” and “Lord of the Ring” movies.  I said yes, I’m in, and immediately reached out to my big sister Minnie who said count me in too! 

Obviously, we could not have foreseen the coming pandemic when we were making our plans. In April 2020, we lost our dear cousin Mary Ann to Covid-19. She was a nurse working in Manhattan.  While we were dealing with the loss of our cousin, Australia and New Zealand closed their borders and the travel agency gave us the option of canceling the trip or postponing it.  Minnie and I decided to reschedule it for November 2022. We were committed to taking the Girls’ Trip in memory and in honor of Mary Ann who was an avid traveler. We wanted to fulfill her dream of visiting another part of the world that was on her bucket list.

We were so happy we decided to take this 18-day trip down under. We knew traveling from the US to the Southern Pacific would be an adventure of a lifetime! It would give us a chance to really reconnect and bond in our sisterhood. We were sure we would have fun together, despite the 12-year age difference between us. I flew from Charlotte to Los Angeles where Minnie lives. The two of us flew out of LA bound for the cosmopolitan city of Melbourne, Australia.  

This region of the world is home to some of the most breathtaking natural wonders, vibrant cultures and delicious cuisine on the globe. Upon our arrival in Melbourne, I immediately noticed the magnificent skyline. After a short rest following our long flight and adjusting to the time difference, we were eager to set out and begin sightseeing. 

On our first day, we visited St. Patrick's Cathedral and the Botanical Gardens, which were exceptionally beautiful and inspiring. While in Melbourne, we also explored the city's art scene, enjoyed great coffee and visited the iconic Brighton Beach. We also took a day trip (approximately four hours) to Victoria, Australia to marvel at the Twelve Apostles rock formation by the Great Ocean Road.

Next, we visited Sydney where we were greeted by the city's famous Opera House and Harbour Bridge. We spent the next few days exploring the city, taking in the stunning views and sampling the local cuisine. We visited the Royal Botanic Garden, watched koala bears at the Taronga Zoo and basked in the sun on Bondi Beach. Later, we took a ferry to Manly, where we enjoyed the relaxing beachside atmosphere and indulged in some delicious fish and chips.

Leaving Australia, we took a short flight to Auckland, New Zealand where we spent the next few days exploring the city's museums, galleries and cultural landmarks. We also took a ferry to Waiheke Island, where we sampled some of the region's best wines and enjoyed the island's beautiful beaches. Our next stop was Queenstown, New Zealand, which is known for its adventure sports and stunning natural scenery. The Milford Sound is amazing!

Our final stop was the beautiful island of Fiji, where we spent our days lounging on the beach and enjoying the local cuisine. We spent time in a traditional Fijian bure and took part in a traditional kava ceremony. We also took a day trip to the stunning Yasawa Islands, where we explored the hidden coves and marveled at the crystal-clear waters.

This trip to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. From the bustling cities of Sydney and Auckland to the stunning natural beauty of Queenstown and Fiji's islands, this itinerary offers something for everyone. Whether you're looking to relax on the beaches, watch adventurous activities, explore new cultures or experience native cuisine, this trip is sure to be an unforgettable journey. 

Above all else, we experienced a renewed appreciation for one another. We realized how much we have in common and appreciate that the opportunity to share this fantastic voyage at this point in our lives was truly a blessing. 

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