|Subject: Re: Suggestions for Australia / New Zealand Itinerary|
It's been about 7 years since I was in Auckland, but my guess is that the B&B we stayed in, is still there. It's called the Chevron Chalet B&B, run by a nice family. It's not upscale, but all the rooms have private bathrooms and it was comfortable and certainly a lot nicer than a Y. Location was excellent for walking around Auckland.
In Melbourne, see the Victorian Art Center and all the shopping arcades. A day trip to Phillips Island to see the fairie penguins is a must, in my opinion. It can be arranged with any hotel - the tour bus will pick you up and bring you back late at night. It's a full day excursion. There's cable-car dinner in Melbourne. It's a touristy thing to do, but fun. Melbourne also has a nice zoo to visit.
A map of the Great Ocean Road will tell you all the key places to stop like Blue Lake, 12 Apostles, London Bridge, Mt. Gambier, etc.
The best place in the world for dairy farming is King Island, where it's all natural. I don't know if you'll be able to visit there, but have a look into it. And by all means, when a menu item mentions it's from King Island, make sure to taste it - the best creams, butter, cheeses, ice creams!
Have a great trip! Candice NYC