I've already written about my visit to Melbourne,where I spoke at the annual conference of the Romance Writers of Australia. The day after that conference ended, it was off to New Zealand for the conference of the Romance Writers of New Zealand.
This is my third visit Down Under, and I firmly believe that one shouldn't fly that far without seeing both countries. As former British colonies that are a long way from the rest of the world, Australia and New Zealand have much in common. But they are also very different, and beautiful in very different ways. Australia is vast and ancient and has a lot of desert, while New Zealand is green and lush and–Middle Earth-ish.
Before traveling Down Under for our third visit, we watched the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy again, partly because it's a great story with great characters, but also to feast our eyes on the stunning scenery, from the green fields of Hobbiton to the rolling grasslands of Rohan and the dramatic snowy peaks that must be conquered on the route to Mordor. Splendid!