8th May 2017
Wonder Down Under - Andrew & Sharon
There’s nowhere quite like Australia and New Zealand for an adventure-filled honeymoon as newlyweds Andrew De Giovanni and Sharon Attard De Giovanni soon found out.
Andrew De Giovanni and Sharon Attard De Giovanni got married in December, and seized the opportunity to get some winter sun on their honeymoon. Australia and New Zealand were high on both of their bucket lists, and with it being summertime at that time of year, it was an easy decision to make. “We flew to Dubai, and then had a very long flight to Sydney,” says Sharon. “We spent about a week there, and then flew to Christchurch in New Zealand, where we spent 10 days exploring the South Island.”
“We were kindly hosted by Andrew’s aunt and uncle and we mainly stayed in the New South Wales area, close to the stunning Blue Mountains. We also managed to spend a couple of days at a fantastic hotel, Pier One, in Sydney Harbour. It was a childhood dream come true to wake up so close to the Sydney Opera House, in the heart of such a vibrant landmark city. We also managed to venture around and explore Darling Harbour and Taronga Zoo in the time we were there.”
Sharon and Andrew’s next stop, New Zealand, took on more of a road trip-style of adventure. “We rented a car and moved to a different town every few days, from one motel to another. We landed in Christchurch, and stayed there for a few days, in which time we also travelled to some of the nearby towns like Hanmer, with its natural rock pools, and Little River. We drove up to Kaikoura and went whale-watching by plane, which was a surreal, once-in-a-lifetime experience – we were lucky enough to see two sperm whales that day.”
After a couple of days in Christchurch, the couple moved on to Lake Tekapo – an international dark sky reserve which is one of the world’s top spots for stargazing, due to the landscape and low levels of light pollution. “Andrew is into photography, and the few days we were there saw him take unbelievable pictures of the starry night sky, and of the clear lake and the Southern Alps. We spent time riding bikes around the lake, and managed a small plane ride over the lake too,” Sharon says.
“In those few days we also made our way to nearby Mount Cook and the Tasman Glacier. This was my favourite part of the trip, personally. When we walked through the Tasman valley and climbed to the top of a mountain to lay eyes on the glacier, I wanted to hold on to that moment forever. To make things even more magical, there was a stunning double rainbow at the time. When we left Lake Tekapo, we went on to Queenstown and stayed right by the lake. We visited the Skyline gondola and had fun on their luge tracks, zip-lined across the Kuwarau River, and dropped in to Arrowtown, a historic gold-mining village.”
“After we left Queenstown, we headed over to Lake Te Anau. There, we jet boated on the Upper Waiau river, where a few scenes from Lord of the Rings were filmed, and went into the glow worm caves. The caves themselves were magnificent, with underground waterfalls and whirlpools, but the highlight was being in a small boat under thousands of shimmering glow worms within the silent grotto. The next day, we hopped on a cruise at Milford Sound and took in the majesty of the breath-taking fjords, and even managed to drink from its fresh waterfalls, kayak in Harrison’s Cove, and say hi to some of the fjord’s resident fur seals!”
The couple’s last stop on the honeymoon was Dunedin, which was Andrew’s favourite. “We stayed in the stables of the historic Larnach Castle and went on a wildlife tour of the Otago Peninsula, getting a close look at penguins, sea lions, fur seals, and albatrosses in their natural environment, along with a string of other wonderful creatures. We hid in a dugout to get a good look at the local penguins without scaring them away, and got a chance to see one penguin chase another, screeching for half an hour to assert dominance over his territory! It wasn’t something you see every day and it was absolutely unforgettable.”
“The whole trip was like living in a postcard. At a different time in our lives, we may even have considered relocating there! Every day was a new adventure, filled with something else to discover. I couldn’t think of a better way for us to celebrate and start off our married life.”