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Well, I am back from my trip to Australia and New Zealand. First, I need to thank my parents, who made this trip possible for me. For many years, I have wanted to visit Australia, and as that dream moves towards reality this year, I realized that New Zealand is also a very worthwhile destination. Based on the writings of others, I decided that two weeks in Australia and three weeks in New Zealand would be the right mixture of time for this trip. The only part where I was wrong is that both countries could really use a lot more time.

Australia is an enormous country. It is the modern version of the US West during settlement times — everything is so spread out, and there is plenty of space to spread out in. We spent our two weeks (actually 11 days due to the flight time and the international date line) in three areas: Canberra, the Australian federal capital city, Sydney, the largest and best-known city in Australia, and Port Douglas, the town closest to the Great Barrier Reef, just north of Cairns (pronounced “Canes” or “Cans”). The sporadic twitter messages I was able to send throughout the trip are a pretty good timeline of the trip, but I will probably post a more detailed itinerary in the next few days.

Also forthcoming will be a selection of the best pictures from the trip. Preparing these will be quite the task, as I have over 30 GB of pictures from my two camera from my summer travels (both Peru and Australia/New Zealand). I’m not sure if I’ll finish this before I leave for California, but I should certainly be able to finish before I start at Facebook on the 14th.

Regardless of the details, this summer was the best vacation I have ever had, and this trip was the crown jewel of the summer. Both Australia and New Zealand are countries that I want to visit again. Among many other things, New Zealand looks to offer excellent summer skiing (from our northern perspective) and a large variety of high adrenalin activities, while Australia is a country still full of places and mysteries that I would like to discover.

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