HIKING AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
The couple: Stephanie and Darnell Smith, married October 24, 2015, in Healdsburg, California. The plan: The Tiburon, California, duo (who own a consulting business) wanted a place neither of them had visited—and one that, to some extent, pushed them physically. But Darnell also had his own agenda. “I’m on a path to hit all seven continents, and this was my sixth,” he says. (All that remains: Antarctica.) They settled on Australia and New Zealand, the self-proclaimed “adventure capital of the world.” Tough trails: Their outdoor activity of choice was hiking New Zealand’s diverse landscapes, including the intense Ben Lomond Track near Queenstown. “We climbed rocky, mountainous terrain before reaching the top, where you come to an electric-blue lake with snowcapped peaks on one side and green mountains on the other,” Darnell says. “It was amazing.” Underwater outing: Stephanie had snorkeled in Florida and Hawaii, but the Great Barrier Reef was unlike anything she had experienced. “I didn’t know how colorful coral could be when it’s thriving,” she says. Their guide from Marcrista Luxury Charters (marcrista.com.au) took them to a secluded spot where they saw reef sharks in the water before diving. “I can’t believe I went in after that,” Darnell says. “But when in Rome. . .” Favorite hotel: The town of Te Anau is known as the gateway to New Zealand’s fjords. After navigating winding roads, the couple followed a narrow path to the quiet Dunluce Bed & Breakfast ($180 per night, dunluce-fiordland .co.nz). “It’s run by a sweet retired husband and wife,” Stephanie
Sydney Harbour Specialists (sydneyhs.com.au) to tour the bay. “The concierge at the Park Hyatt (from $500 per night, parkhyatt.com) made sure our room overlooked the water so I could point out the boat below,” she says. But as she did just that, another couple got on, thinking it was a water taxi! Luckily, it was quickly returned to the rightful renters.