We've been making lots of travel plans lately, which is just the way I like it! We are coming up on one year since we moved to Melbourne, and the current plan is to return to the states in August 2016, so we are conscious of the fact that our time is limited. We plan to have some visitors this summer (December-February) so we are trying to fit in a few trips before they arrive. We have scored a few good airfare deals on Tiger lately, so if you can handle potentially (probably) hating your life on the day of travel, then you should check out some of their sales!
Anyway, here's where I'm headed:
Brisbane- In August we fly to Brisbane for 5 days to explore a few areas along the coast. I'm not going to lie, the main motivation for this trip (at least for me) is to hold a koala at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. This place is apparently the gold standard for koala holding. Australia has really strict rules regarding handling of koalas and I believe Queensland is the only state that allows you to fully hold one. You can pet them here in Victoria but that doesn't cut it for me. Aside from the koala thing, we plan to take a day trip to Moreton Island and then road trip either north to Noosa or south to Gold Coast and Byron Bay. Currently taking suggestions for this trip, so let me know if you have any experience with any of these places!
New Zealand- We are so excited for this trip! We will be heading to the South Island for 9 days and are considering the whole camper van thing. Also taking opinions on this, because Peter is really into it and I'm really just the type of person who prefers hotels. Anyway, we plan to whale watch, visit the Marlborough wine region and then head down the west coast to the mountains. Peter is also interested in seeing some Lord of the Rings filming locations. Fun fact: there are 20 day guided LOTR tours- that's an actual thing that people do. And they're not cheap. Anyway, I've heard you could spend weeks on the South Island alone, so currently trying to narrow down must-see places since we aren't going to be able to hit everything.
So if you've got any advice for any of these trips, leave it in the comments!