||Genelle & I flew direct from Los Angeles to Auckland on Qantas. It was a 11-½ hour night flight. Our friends from Auckland picked us up at the airport and drove us around for some sightseeing, then to their house for the evening. The next day they drove us north to Paihia with stops along the way at Whangarei and Kawakawa. We stayed in the Paihia "Bay of Islands" area for three days, then drove back to Auckland.
About a week later (with a flight to the South Island in between), our friends drove us south to Rotorua. There are a lot of exciting things to do and see around there. On our return trip, we stopped for a day in Taupo to take a jet boat up the Aratiatia rapids and ride 4x4 quads in the forest.