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Topic: Joyrides Down Under Part 7: The DUD Diversion
Username: NZ107
Posted 2010-07-03 18:03:11 and read 13034 times.

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Joyrides Down Under Part 7: The DUD Diversion

Joyride
Noun: A ride in a vehicle taken solely for pleasure
Verb: A ride in a vehicle with no particular goal and just for the pleasure of it


Ok, there seems to have been a small goal to my joyrides: that of trying out new aircraft and (hopefully) new airlines.


2 International flights.
8 Australian domestic flights, 3 airlines, 4 states, 5 types.
6 New Zealand domestic flights, 3 airlines, 2 islands, 3 types.



Welcome to my next series of Trip Reports. These flights over 3 weeks, summarised above, includes flights on Air New Zealand, Emirates, Qantas, Virgin Blue, Pacific Blue and Jetstar; takes me through New South Wales, Victoria, ACT, Queensland and New Zealand while travelling on 6 different types of planes. I hope you enjoy my journey around eastern Australia and also New Zealand. At the end of the final TR, I’ll write up a comparison between the domestic carriers in both New Zealand and Australia according to my personal experience with them.

If you missed the first TRs of the series, here are the links:
Joyrides Down Under Part 1: Air NZ AKL-CHC-AKL (by NZ107 Dec 23 2009 in Trip Reports)
Joyrides Down Under Part 2: EK A380 Revisited (by NZ107 Jan 8 2010 in Trip Reports)
Joyrides Down Under Part 3: East Coast Adventure (by NZ107 Feb 11 2010 in Trip Reports)
Joyrides Down Under Part 4: Int'l On Domestic (by NZ107 Feb 23 2010 in Trip Reports)
Joyrides Down Under Part 5: Capital Stopover (by NZ107 Apr 6 2010 in Trip Reports)
Joyrides Down Under Part 6: Homebound On EK A380 (by NZ107 Jun 27 2010 in Trip Reports)

This TR, the final of the series, covers my journey to the adventure capital of New Zealand – Queenstown. All with a catch.. As you will soon find out!

[Edited 2010-07-03 18:18:26]

Topic: RE: Joyrides Down Under Part 7: The DUD Diversion
Username: NZ107
Posted 2010-07-03 18:06:02 and read 13028 times.

Jetstar had a bunch of $10 one way fares around New Zealand. I decided to take them up on the offer even though they only have one flight a day doing ZQN-AKL-ZQN meaning that I’d have to stay a night in Queenstown. The flight was booked in February and I hoped for nice weather in December.

I got back from my Australian trip and 2 days later, I was off on this adventure. The forecast from the night before wasn’t looking great for down south but not too bad at the same time. The next morning I was off to the airport on a very average Auckland early summer’s day. I had already checked in online – saves the hassle of waiting in line especially if you have no bags and also saves you from the 30 minute deadline they impose and you can theoretically rock up to the gate while boarding is in progress.

Check In Area
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The size of the departure lounge at AKL for DJ and JQ has remained the same. It is tiny! There weren’t any seats for me so I just stood around, probably thinking why on earth I cleared security so early.

Departure Lounge
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Our plane finally rocked up to the gate and the Melbourne Victory football team were the first lot of people to disembark. Boarding was announced not long after in rather orderly fashion. A strange boarding announcement called over the area – all electronic devices off before boarding and only one bag allowed in the overhead bins. I found these announcements quite strange, especially because there are certain devices that JQ say are unrestricted throughout the flight, including cameras. The flight wasn’t near full yet the departure lounge still looked pretty full for this one flight departing.

Flight Information

2 Dec 2009
Routing: Auckland - Queenstown (AKL-ZQN), Diverted to Dunedin (DUD)
Airline: Jetstar
Flight: JQ279
Scheduled Time of Departure: 1110hrs
Actual Departure: 1107hrs (pushback), 1117hrs (rotate)
Scheduled Time of Arrival: 1300hrs
Touchdown (DUD): 1352hrs
Flight time: 2hr 42 min
Aircraft: Airbus A320-232
Registration: VH-VQD
Seat: 16A (moved to 15A)



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Photo © Colin Hunter
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Photo © Tsuyoshi Hayasaki - AroundWorldImages


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Photo © John Richard Thomson
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Photo © Jonathan Rankin




Jetstar currently have 4 A320s operating around New Zealand on domestic services, soon to be expanded as they look to increase frequency and possibly introduce new routes. I found the seats not bad for the length of time but I’d probably prefer the seats onboard the A321 I flew between Gold Coast and Melbourne in Part 3 of this series as they were a bit more comfortable. The tray tables were very stiff though. I had chosen seat 16A but when I got onboard, I noticed that the window was very badly misaligned with the seat so I moved up a row (from an empty row to another empty row) after takeoff. Pen marks weren’t as bad on this plane as on others, interestingly enough, and it is an older aircraft than the other JQ ones I’ve flown on.

Legroom
View From 16A
A Little Of The Trademark JQ Graffiti
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Pushback occurred surprisingly in front of schedule, unlike my other JQ domestic experience in New Zealand. Ten minutes later after taxiing to the active Runway 23L, we were off. It was a rather weak takeoff, probably due to the load and we were finally off, departing the dreary Auckland weather, not knowing what we were in for further south.

Fire Station
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NZ Maintenance Hangars
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Holding Short
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On Our Way!
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Off Into The Grey Rainclouds
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Banking Port, Southbound Through Cloud
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It was a very cloudy flight. Nothing else to see but cloud so there were no reference points to spot. I wish I had a GPS by then to track the entire flight. No food or drink was offered to those resting or appearing disinterested. Still a point where JQ differ to DJ as DJ actively seeks onboard sales.

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I got up to take the usual cabin picture/lavatory picture and while doing so, the purser noticed it. I had a really nice chat with him about cameras – he told me he had a 50D and he also invited me to visit the cockpit upon arrival.

Simple And Clean Lavatory
JQ A320 Cabin
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I remember looking at my watch and thinking why we weren’t starting to descend into Queenstown. Not long after, an announcement came across from the flight deck saying that the visibility in Queenstown wasn’t good enough for us to make an attempt at landing. They said we had enough fuel for another 1.5 hours of circling just in case there was an opportunity to land in Queenstown otherwise we’d be diverting to Dunedin. The crew were very calm about this situation and passengers were asked by the flight crew to query the flight attendants if they had any questions. Of course it did disrupt a lot of peoples’ plans for that afternoon if we were forced to divert. It was a very enjoyable holding pattern for me, just sitting back, listening to my iPod and looking out the window as we gently rolled for a bank every few minutes. Quite a few more items were purchased in this extra time in the air.

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Banking Starboard Again
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And Again!
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After 2 hours of being in the air (ETA passed already), we were told we had another 1 hr 15 min of fuel onboard but it soon became quite obvious that there was going to be no break in the clouds. Another 15 minutes later, the pilots confirmed that and said we were off to Dunedin. Joy for me! My first diversion at a time that wasn’t exactly crucial for me. They had notified us that there’d be buses waiting at Dunedin Airport to take us into Queenstown – a 4 hour bus ride. They were profusely sorry for the inconvenience caused to most people but it did happen to fill my afternoon up quite nicely.

Diverting To Dunedin
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It was a very nice 20 minutes from circling Queenstown to arriving in Dunedin. A few would probably be most relieved to get back to terra firma. So at last, we had landed. A good 2 hours and 42 minutes after leaving Auckland, I’d say it’ll remain to be the longest flight to Dunedin I’ve taken! My flight from SYD-AKL was nearly as long as this flight so we could have just as well flown across the Tasman.

Descent Through The Top Layer Of Cloud
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The East Coast, Slightly Southwest Of Dunedin City
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Mosgiel On Approach To DUD, Dunedin City Behind The Wing
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Lush Green Taieri Plains
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Touchdown In Dunedin
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Performing a 180 at the End of the Runway
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Terminal
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I followed up on the invite to the cockpit and was met by the pilots who seemed in good spirits. They said they were shortly off to Christchurch after taking on a little bit of fuel. I joked to them about the Jetstar fleet not having RNP and they both shook their heads and told me that was still a few months off. It must have been annoying for some of the passengers if they had realised that NZ 733s were able to make it through the seemingly low cloud. Too bad they booked Jetstar.

The Cockpit
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Some background information about Dunedin: Dunedin Airport is the 5th largest airport in New Zealand behind AKL, CHC, WLG and ZQN. Its runway is 1900m long and is serviced by jet flights from Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Brisbane, Melbourne* and Sydney* (* denotes seasonal) using 737 and A320 aircraft. Other relatively big planes that often visit are ATR72s and Dash 8-Q300s of Air NZ Link. Jetstar don’t currently operate into Dunedin which makes it quite funny we diverted there. It was an airport monopolised by NZ for a while and still basically have the entire domestic market out of DUD sewn up due to sheer frequency. The terminal, renovated about 5 years ago, is very nice for a small international airport. It has 2 airbridges. Gate 3 can be used by either domestic or international services.

Jetstar In Dunedin!?
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Food Hall
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Baggage Claim
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No Jetstar Counters To Be Seen!
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After the nice chat, I was on my way to catch the bus.

Topic: RE: Joyrides Down Under Part 7: The DUD Diversion
Username: NZ107
Posted 2010-07-03 18:07:51 and read 13026 times.

Bus Information
3 Dec 2009
Routing: DUD-ZQN via Alexandra, State Highways 1, 8, 6.
Departure Time: 1440
Technical Stop Alexandra: 1655
Arrival Time: 1821
Journey Time: 3 hrs 39 min

Routing
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Bus
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Cabin Shot
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Legroom


The bus wasn’t too bad, the seats were quite comfortable. Each seat had an airvent and a footrest. The window was mine to bring you some pictures of the trip inland to Queenstown.

JQ Returning To CHC To Resume Schedules
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And so the long bus journey began! I think photos will suffice here, not much of an explanation is really needed although my iPod was a great friend for passing time by. Some had movies on their laptops. Sit back, relax and enjoy the photo journal!

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Sheep
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A Long Way To Go
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A Good Yield Here!
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The Mighty Clutha River, 2nd Largest In New Zealand
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One Lane Bridges – Where Else In The World?
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The Yellow Of The Gorse Flower
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Stone Fruit (Most Likely Apricot) Orchard
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Jimmy’s Pies, Roxburgh
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Venturing Into The High Country
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Alexandra
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Tech Stop
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Some Watermill Used In The Gold Mining Days Of Central Otago
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Clyde Dam, 3rd Largest In NZ
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Cromwell
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People Wanting To Sell Here, No Buyers
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Rugged Terrain
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The Gold Centre
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Being in a bus is great as you get an elevated view. While driving alongside the raging torrents of the Shotover River, I noticed these shacks appearing from nowhere on the other side of the bank. It immediately came across me that they must have been used by Chinese gold diggers who migrated to New Zealand from around 1848. My great great great grandfather was among one of those who ventured to this little land New Zealand to proper for gold. To think that they had such harsh living conditions and some of their residencies were teetering on the edge of a cliff with a 10m drop into the rapids below had a rather surreal effect on me. They risked their lives in an attempt to support their families back in China, were given land to prosper in which had already been quite exhausted by the Europeans and a lot never made it home. It’s amazing how some of them did survive and amazing also the fact that they were able to build these tiny huts so close to the river.

Shotover River
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Vineyards Of Central Otago – Famous For Its Pinot Noir
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Shotover Bungy Bridge Where Those People Are Looking
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Planes Fly Down This Valley Into The Airport At The Water’s Edge
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Queenstown Events Centre, Adjacent To The Airport
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A Familiar Sight!
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View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Nicholas Young



And after all of that, we were finally at Queenstown Airport; just 7 hours and 11 minutes after departing Auckland. It was freezing! Soon it was time to take the bus into town. It is $6 one way to get from the airport to town which isn’t too bad.

Topic: RE: Joyrides Down Under Part 7: The DUD Diversion
Username: NZ107
Posted 2010-07-03 18:11:11 and read 13021 times.

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I later checked into my hotel, the Novotel.

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It was quite basic but definitely did the job. The bed was a bit hard for what I’m used to.

Then it was time to explore a little more. Being so far south, the sun sets quite late.

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http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC20zDqDbDI/AAAAAAAAEhk/i6-M3MTukZ0/s800/IMG_7473edit.jpg

Louis Vuitton Here!
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC200EmDyQI/AAAAAAAAEho/wbUnBO85AKk/s800/IMG_7474edit.jpg

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC201YBeN5I/AAAAAAAAEhs/KFhR-_d_CYw/s800/IMG_7478edit1.jpg

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC202T3vWOI/AAAAAAAAEh0/Kcu8Q23c0ks/s800/IMG_7496edit.jpg

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC2032BUlnI/AAAAAAAAEh4/yEOpnK90npk/s800/IMG_7500edit1.jpg

The Earnslaw
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC205fn_8tI/AAAAAAAAEh8/IeN_JCunslY/s800/IMG_7507edit.jpg

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC206uhvDKI/AAAAAAAAEiA/lXFiCKSXzg0/s800/IMG_7516edit1.jpg

The Pig And Whistle Pub – Very Nice
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC208uR2VFI/AAAAAAAAEiE/1zil92a6vec/s800/IMG_7519edit.jpg

My Hotel
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC20-F-SbdI/AAAAAAAAEiI/0rpHhK9cMTo/s800/IMG_7522edit.jpg

Topic: RE: Joyrides Down Under Part 7: The DUD Diversion
Username: NZ107
Posted 2010-07-03 18:13:18 and read 13018 times.

3 December 2009

I woke up the next morning and it was pretty cold.. I then opened the curtains to this:
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC20_rcKdCI/AAAAAAAAEiM/UpimQCeWIsI/s800/IMG_7523edit.jpg

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC21A5uO7LI/AAAAAAAAEiQ/TnliboigjtI/s800/IMG_7524edit.jpg

Blue skies! Not only would I be able to get out on time, but blue skies bring out the best of Queenstown! I checked out and made my way to the waterfront, I didn’t have too long before I needed to be at the airport for my flight home.

Queenstown Is Stunning
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC21CRxqj9I/AAAAAAAAEiU/9AqGCdczN54/s800/IMG_7526edit.jpg

Clear Water
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC21D5JwI0I/AAAAAAAAEiY/zPPkqO9jmnk/s800/IMG_7531edit1.jpg

Just Superb
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC21GLRPc_I/AAAAAAAAEig/itJKqN_DL5Q/s800/IMG_7538edit1.jpg

Nice Day For A Cruise Too!
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC21HfL20vI/AAAAAAAAEik/mTuA41xcBMo/s800/IMG_7541edit1.jpg

Someone’s Firewood
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC21IgQnscI/AAAAAAAAEio/C2s-N5dBdqA/s800/IMG_7554edit.jpg

Gondola Up The Top, Bus Stop For The Airport Where The White Van Is
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC21KDrJfVI/AAAAAAAAEis/0CN-CFOhMZE/s800/IMG_7562edit.jpg

A short wait for the bus and a quick trip got me to the airport.

Nestled Nicely Amongst The Mountains
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC21LdfTSKI/AAAAAAAAEiw/hgKKnZwtP8E/s800/IMG_7575edit.jpg

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC21M-2G4MI/AAAAAAAAEi0/aAIoiV10Rk8/s800/IMG_7577edit.jpg

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC21OdGVoXI/AAAAAAAAEi4/UNN06QcHFWY/s800/IMG_7580edit.jpg

Inside
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC21QBuoMdI/AAAAAAAAEi8/9kt0aGky2GA/s800/IMG_7581edit.jpg

I had checked in online the following morning as there was less than 24 hours to go before this flight. There wasn’t much to do at the airport so I headed straight through security.


http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC21RNQKbLI/AAAAAAAAEjA/eOtkCgtZdQY/s800/IMG_7584edit.jpg


Everyone waited for a disabled person to be boarded by fork hoist before proper boarding commenced. It was a quick process and soon we were on our way up the stairs to the silver coloured plane, gleaming in the harsh early summer sun.

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC21SImdIII/AAAAAAAAEjE/rANTuRIhZ6U/s800/IMG_7585edit.jpg



Flight Information

3 Dec 2009
Routing: Queenstown – Auckland (ZQN-AKL)
Airline: Jetstar
Flight: JQ278
Scheduled Time of Departure: 1000hrs
Actual Departure: 1000hrs (pushback), 1008hrs (rotate)
Scheduled Time of Arrival: 1150hrs
Touchdown: 1139hrs
Flight time: 1hr 39 min
Aircraft: Airbus A320-232
Registration: VH-VQD
Seat: 5F



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Photo © Colin Hunter
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Photo © Tsuyoshi Hayasaki - AroundWorldImages


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Photo © John Richard Thomson
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Photo © Jonathan Rankin



Well, it’s the same plane which took me to Dunedin. Enough said. This time I was flying on the other side of the aircraft though, if that’s any consolation (ie not the same seat).

Boarding didn’t take too long but it did seem like there were more people on this flight than the outbound one. I was correct when the door was closed.

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC21SpbDpvI/AAAAAAAAEjI/P-kSQYZZ7SE/s800/IMG_7586edit.jpg

Looks Pretty Long!
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC21TaL8ySI/AAAAAAAAEjQ/OYQcWyidYeg/s800/IMG_7590edit.jpg

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC21UGoXVKI/AAAAAAAAEjU/KEDEqmEx2oA/s800/IMG_7594edit.jpg

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC21VGuj2-I/AAAAAAAAEjY/hfehGHFgNVQ/s800/IMG_7596edit.jpg


My seat neighbours had this big hamper thing with them and kindly enough the FA asked if they wanted it stored in the cockpit for the flight for free. We pushed back 10 minutes after boarding and we were on our way, this time we could actually use Queenstown Airport!

The Red Checkers
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC21V9uh6cI/AAAAAAAAEjc/9eeJvSxST3Q/s800/IMG_7597edit.jpg

Queenstown Airport has no other taxiway (like Dunedin) so the one must head to the end of the runway before taking off. Today we were to depart to the east which required a short turn around at the near end. It wasn’t long before we were off and out of Queenstown. It was a more powerful takeoff but seemingly less powerful than what I’ve experienced in a 737 departing towards the west. I don’t normally post many pictures on departure but Queenstown is one of those special places where the scenery is just so spectacular I just cannot resist. Even a video doesn’t suffice – it’s something that is just an imperative for someone who goes to Queenstown!

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC21XJpxZKI/AAAAAAAAEjg/iC3l4jlCg7Q/s800/IMG_7604edit.jpg

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC21YE4tJ_I/AAAAAAAAEjk/H-gLJbU18lc/s800/IMG_7607edit.jpg

Beautiful Airport
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC21ZexgX-I/AAAAAAAAEjo/E9MN6Cy72ZE/s800/IMG_7614edit.jpg

V2
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC21aohRZkI/AAAAAAAAEjs/LeL3jZXUx58/s800/IMG_7615edit.jpg

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC21b5Rx3KI/AAAAAAAAEjw/RFnn966WdIQ/s800/IMG_7616edit.jpg

Road To The Remarkables Ski Area
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC21dd-vHiI/AAAAAAAAEj0/QKIvtHhx_2M/s800/IMG_7620edit.jpg

Barren Hills Of Central Otago
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC21eS3268I/AAAAAAAAEj4/E_0m7oWfVk0/s800/IMG_7626edit.jpg

And Cloud! Who Would Have Guessed From Such A Nice Day In Queenstown?
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC21fQD7fMI/AAAAAAAAEj8/1IWFWsY6Cu8/s800/IMG_7630edit.jpg

Lake Hawea
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC21ghuvB9I/AAAAAAAAEkA/MGW7zUOXvWo/s800/IMG_7632edit.jpg

More Of The Southern Alps
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC21iO9lN_I/AAAAAAAAEkE/lqLKifZq8yM/s800/IMG_7636edit.jpg

Mt Cook, The Tallest Mountain In New Zealand, Centre Screen
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC21jqWUsUI/AAAAAAAAEkU/qOaAFdz5Dwc/s800/IMG_7641edit.jpg

Franz Josef Glacier Leading Up To Mt Tasman And Mt Cook


Just to put it into perspective – Franz Josef Glacier is less than 20km from the seashore on New Zealand’s West Coast. Usually glaciers like these are high up in the mountains but not in New Zealand!

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC21moosLWI/AAAAAAAAEkc/5JQxR3aV9CM/s800/IMG_7650edit.jpg

No service for me again onboard this flight. There’s just no point in paying more for things which are identical to what you get on the ground when you don’t actually need to.

The flight was very enjoyable just gazing out over these mountains and some cloud. The cloud started to build up around Taranaki and cumulonimbus clouds were starting to grow in size. We were just about at the point of descent and I was clicking away in awe at the massive clouds which were at the time basically engulfing us.

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC21n0JDs0I/AAAAAAAAEkg/fJbq5KU9veU/s800/IMG_7663edit.jpg

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC21oljyhLI/AAAAAAAAEkk/WvXydkOjLuk/s800/IMG_7671edit.jpg

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC21pK3753I/AAAAAAAAEko/rXztzTdr6xc/s800/IMG_7673edit.jpg

The descent message was played over the PA – seats back upright, tables folded away etc. This American guy in the window seat in front of me refused to do what the flight attendants told him to do – kept his seat reclined, tray table down and armrest up. Then he started getting angry. I was still taking photos of the great clouds towering above us and then he turned around and told me to stop taking photos as he said it was annoying him (I’m sure nobody else would really care if I was taking photos or not) although I had been taking them all flight and he seemed to have no problems with it whatsoever. He tried backing up his case saying that it was ‘illegal’ for me to take photos as apparently ‘all’ electronic devices were to be switched off. My seat neighbour was getting frustrated with him too so he helped me out. If he had read the safety card properly, he would have seen that cameras were unrestricted at any time onboard Jetstar. I told him to read the safety card. Knowing the airport so well, I knew we were only 2 minutes out from landing and said to him that he only had to put up with it for another 2 minutes. We turned onto final approach and he did the most outrageous thing – unbuckled himself from the seat, turned around on his seat and shoved the safety card in my face. I have no idea what got into his mind and the flight attendants couldn’t do much either as they were strapped in. Thankfully he eventually sat down again after a bit of shouting from other people just in time for landing. That put a quite a dampener on my trip to Queenstown. Some people, huh.. Nonetheless, the rest of the landing and taxiing into the gate was just the same and that ended my fun 26 hour adventure away to the South Island.

Waiheke Island
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC21pvIG74I/AAAAAAAAEks/oriQ1Y-Qwko/s800/IMG_7674edit.jpg

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC21qDKaNSI/AAAAAAAAEkw/8kEdAXTiAp0/s800/IMG_7681edit.jpg


If you haven’t been awed by the picturesque scenes around the south of the South Island, then I don’t know what will entice you to come to this beautiful country! It’s such a wonderful place to visit!

I hope you enjoyed my report to Queenstown. One quick leg to go before I can wrap up the series with a conclusion of my thoughts about the domestic airlines in Australia and New Zealand.

I’ll do a quick run through of my last segment of the series below but the Queenstown trip was certainly the main part – photo quality was what was focused on above but another domestic flight in New Zealand is basically the same as what I’ve already covered and there’s nothing else to add.

Topic: RE: Joyrides Down Under Part 7: The DUD Diversion
Username: NZ107
Posted 2010-07-03 18:17:04 and read 13013 times.

7 December 2009

Preflight Spotting
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC7v3h-nuDI/AAAAAAAAEl0/PNJCx3u0Xqw/s800/IMG_7683.JPG

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC7v35YtRqI/AAAAAAAAEl4/sua0DneQAf8/s800/IMG_7685.JPG

Happy 747
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC7v4QeH3wI/AAAAAAAAEl8/Ke_uIbBwqTM/s800/IMG_7692.JPG

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC7v4xwUGDI/AAAAAAAAEmA/fSM6Jd75Rms/s800/IMG_7695.JPG

What I Just Flew On Twice The Week Before
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC7v5aBLKlI/AAAAAAAAEmE/ilyvah_ngb0/s800/IMG_7707.JPG

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC7v5r514qI/AAAAAAAAEmI/92v44_LUGMg/s800/IMG_7719.JPG

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC7v6OHcOgI/AAAAAAAAEmM/gQDWHjqGvC8/s800/IMG_7729.JPG

NZ 772
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC7v6WsRQYI/AAAAAAAAEmQ/3QGDPvCRB0M/s800/IMG_7734.JPG

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC7v6_W7FlI/AAAAAAAAEmU/f7m54ZKvif8/s800/IMG_7740.JPG

SQ 77W
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC7v7Uu5cII/AAAAAAAAEmY/__yWb7OfmxY/s800/IMG_7763.JPG

FJ 763
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC7v7tawMCI/AAAAAAAAEmc/XypYWt7WKiY/s800/IMG_7771.JPG

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC7v8MXN1xI/AAAAAAAAEmg/FpwPcbOAG9E/s800/IMG_7781.JPG

Say Ahhhhh..
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC7v8RY-ybI/AAAAAAAAEmk/C4VxU7ouMlk/s800/IMG_7782.JPG

See You Soon!
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC7v8wlI73I/AAAAAAAAEmo/nnLfsvv91Kk/s800/IMG_7789.JPG

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC7v9SS1GZI/AAAAAAAAEms/YjUYxZoL7m8/s800/IMG_7798.JPG

What’s Left Of The Qantas Club Lounge, Converting Into A Pay Per Use Lounge
More Like We Don’t Operate Domestic Anymore, You Don’t Need More Perks!
Flight Information

7 Dec 2009
Routing: Auckland – Christchurch (AKL-CHC)
Airline: Jetstar
Flight: JQ251
Scheduled Time of Departure: 1140hrs
Actual Departure: 1246hrs (pushback), 1255hrs (rotate)
Scheduled Time of Arrival: 1300hrs
Touchdown: 1404hrs
Flight time: 1hr 18 min
Aircraft: Airbus A320-232
Registration: VH-VQR
Seat: 17F


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Photo © Mark H
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Photo © Graham Weatherby


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Photo © Songyuan Andy Zheng
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Photo © Songyuan Andy Zheng

Menu
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC7v--bAw5I/AAAAAAAAEm8/sJmR5ZwSk6c/s800/IMG_7808.JPG

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC7v_d6xZjI/AAAAAAAAEnE/U3W0jejD-5o/s800/IMG_7810.JPG

Line Up 23L
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC7v_tfEnUI/AAAAAAAAEnI/jq8fLkB8qrM/s800/IMG_7813.JPG
International Airport
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC7wAPjphPI/AAAAAAAAEnM/E0zmfaXgXEc/s800/IMG_7818.JPG

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC7wAaG6GtI/AAAAAAAAEnQ/Ow9FCBGP5VY/s800/IMG_7821.JPG

Farewell Spit And Golden Bay
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC7wA96JMmI/AAAAAAAAEnY/GlA9pfT_C0Q/s800/IMG_7828.JPG

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC7wBVr1q0I/AAAAAAAAEnc/7UzvqAnn6RU/s800/IMG_7829.JPG

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC7wBk2mdeI/AAAAAAAAEng/1oMWqa7W-fw/s800/IMG_7836.JPG

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC7wCLJKsnI/AAAAAAAAEnk/F2nkGpul-34/s800/IMG_7844.JPG

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC7wCVA-ByI/AAAAAAAAEno/-hDK7NtuC4Y/s800/IMG_7846.JPG

Christchurch City
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC7wC11TWoI/AAAAAAAAEns/FtD50_xzl0U/s800/IMG_7852.JPG

Dirty! Probably Helps Them To Slow Down A Bit Too
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC7wDLh-kdI/AAAAAAAAEnw/xXKDpqxfEUc/s800/IMG_7854.JPG

Docked
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC7wDv2QXNI/AAAAAAAAEn0/KkIzLmBHX38/s800/IMG_7858.JPG

Full JQ Departure Lounge
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC7wEEe0PAI/AAAAAAAAEn4/Bw6F2J41Tjs/s800/IMG_7859.JPG

Any Similarities?
DJ Departure Lounge
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC7wEvEgX3I/AAAAAAAAEoA/gIzDvPIsVvE/s800/IMG_7861.JPG

Boarding Similar To How It’s Done In Australia
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC7wFC8FDQI/AAAAAAAAEoE/ltyi-BHiVqI/s800/IMG_7862.JPG

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC7wFl3ww6I/AAAAAAAAEoI/BcDuGgR3jgg/s800/IMG_7863.JPG



Flight Information

7 Dec 2009
Routing: Christchurch – Auckland (CHC-AKL)
Airline: Pacific Blue
Flight: DJ3117
Scheduled Time of Departure: 1450hrs
Actual Departure: 1447hrs (pushback), 1455hrs (rotate)
Scheduled Time of Arrival: 1610hrs
Touchdown: 1554hrs
Flight time: 1hr 7 min
Aircraft: Boeing 737-8FE
Registration: ZK-PBB


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Photo © Colin Hunter
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Photo © Daniel Nicholson


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Photo © James Eden
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Photo © Martin Eadie

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC7wF8IY8qI/AAAAAAAAEoM/eTmdBtfBoiU/s800/IMG_7865.JPG

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC7wHIpMuUI/AAAAAAAAEoY/idj-Ay9im8k/s800/IMG_7869.JPG

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC7wHUBXNFI/AAAAAAAAEoc/4gXASfggKPE/s800/IMG_7873.JPG

International Operations
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC7wHiupDFI/AAAAAAAAEog/sUaB4SQXm8Y/s800/IMG_7876.JPG

USAF C-17 For Antarctic Missions
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC7wIM056AI/AAAAAAAAEok/_bnABWvJBrE/s800/IMG_7878.JPG

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC7wIpP_jaI/AAAAAAAAEoo/cZtRJdSpQ-U/s800/IMG_7880.JPG

Marlborough Sounds
Descent
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC7wKb27iZI/AAAAAAAAEo4/bKANqQupFWw/s800/IMG_7898.JPG

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC7wLGS-BTI/AAAAAAAAEpA/pkPdZsw58JU/s800/IMG_7905.JPG

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC7wL_wcnHI/AAAAAAAAEpI/fq41fcOOdV4/s800/IMG_7911.JPG

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TC7wMZN_IwI/AAAAAAAAEpM/QPb2cy2pQas/s800/IMG_7913.JPG


Conclusion

The domestic markets of both New Zealand and Australia are quite alive. The LCCs bring the prices down. At least the 2 legacy carriers of NZ and QF maintain some pride in this price war.

Qantas remains very professional from my experience with them and it’s something I’d be willing to pay for any day (unless, of course, it’s unfeasible to choose that option) over getting rounded up and packed onto a plane. Jetstar International was a great experience – the Thai crew were seemingly livelier than their Aussie counterparts and friendlier too. With this, I do see them going further and even though it’s a long haul LCC, I wouldn’t mind flying on a comfortable A330 with ample legroom, given there’s a window for me to daydream and pass the day by. Gone are the days where Qantas used to operate 747s between SYD and MEL.. These days it’s frequency by 737s, 763s and A330s. The introduction of Jetstar by Qantas has added a new dimension to things but it by no means does it feel as good flying JQ compared with QF. For what it’s worth, Qantas do well by still offering free food, drinks and baggage with all their tickets. Sometimes their prices are cheaper than DJ’s on routes like SYD-MEL. The not as strict 30 min check in rule is very handy and you’ll know you’ll get looked after. Tiger Airlines.. Well, I don’t think I have to say much more from my experience. I was kind of looking forward to this bus style but at the same time worried about it being cancelled and being trapped in MEL. Turns out I would have been trapped in MEL regardless but thankfully I got a full refund after a lengthy phone conversation.

I thoroughly enjoyed every moment trying out different aircraft that I don’t have similar opportunities to do in New Zealand – A321, 737-700, E170, A330-200. Each came with their own unique experience. Too bad the E70 flight was so short but I’ll definitely be getting on another ERJ sometime in the future for what will most likely be a longer flight.

New Zealand’s market is still extremely dominated by Air New Zealand. No doubt about that but DJ and JQ lack a smaller plane in their fleets to be able to operate into the regional centres around New Zealand. This has meant that prices on the main trunk have fallen but those to other centres such as Napier, New Plymouth, Hamilton, Palmerston North, Dunedin (to lesser extent) and Invercargill haven’t changed too much. It remains a monopoly. It’ll be interesting to see how long (if at all) it takes for another airline to come and be competitive at the regional level. JQ have nearly attained RNP status so you should be safe getting into Queenstown if you so choose the LCC option. Air New Zealand remains top choice for domestic flights. Frequency is a big issue for the 2 smaller carriers. They struggle because they don’t have many services; nor are they given the room to do so. Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch have small departure lounges and few gates while NZ enjoys full use of basically a whole terminal to themselves in each of the centres. It shows how important Air NZ is to transport around this country. Jetstar’s measly 1 service AKL-ZQN a day cannot be matched by the 3 or so nonstop flights from NZ and the many numerous transfer options via WLG and CHC.

So interesting times lie ahead over the mid-term down under. How much will TT be able to expand in Australia and will they make it over the Tasman, also to operate domestic in NZ? Can they improve their image in Australia to remain truly competitive? How will QF and NZ be able to cope? What plans do the airports themselves have to accommodate these larger jets to try and reap in the benefits to tourism etc of cheaper flights into their region? Or will the LCCs be forced to acquire smaller planes in an effort to challenge NZ on the regional routes? All questions are likely to be answered over the coming years and it’ll be very fascinating to see where things go from here.


Well I do hope you enjoyed this long series as much as I have had bringing it to you! Comments are most welcome and I do hope to see you follow me on my future journeys from trip reports I post here!

Regards,
Nicholas

Photo Equipment
Canon EOS 400D
Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM
Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

http://www.flickr.com/photos/anz787900

Grabbing A Seat With Air NZ Part 1/2: AKL-ZQN-AKL (by NZ107 Dec 1 2008 in Trip Reports)
Grabbing A Seat With Air NZ Part 2/2: AKL-NPE-AKL (by NZ107 Dec 22 2008 in Trip Reports)
Air New Zealand: NZ105 AKL-SYD Economy (by NZ107 Feb 6 2009 in Trip Reports)
A Whale Of A Time: Emirates A380 Inaugural SYD-AKL (by NZ107 Feb 15 2009 in Trip Reports)
NZ Domestic Competition: Part 1 Air NZ AKL-WLG-AKL (by NZ107 Jun 24 2009 in Trip Reports)
NZ Domestic Competition: Part 2 JQ/DJ AKL (by NZ107 Jul 23 2009 in Trip Reports)
Joyrides Down Under Part 1: Air NZ AKL-CHC-AKL (by NZ107 Dec 23 2009 in Trip Reports)
Joyrides Down Under Part 2: EK A380 Revisited (by NZ107 Jan 8 2010 in Trip Reports)
Joyrides Down Under Part 3: East Coast Adventure (by NZ107 Feb 11 2010 in Trip Reports)
Joyrides Down Under Part 4: Int'l On Domestic (by NZ107 Feb 23 2010 in Trip Reports)
Joyrides Down Under Part 5: Capital Stopover (by NZ107 Apr 6 2010 in Trip Reports)
Joyrides Down Under Part 6: Homebound On EK A380 (by NZ107 Jun 27 2010 in Trip Reports)

Topic: RE: Joyrides Down Under Part 7: The DUD Diversion
Username: 767er
Posted 2010-07-03 18:46:36 and read 12969 times.

Nicholas,

The photos were just stunning, as was the commentary.

Another great effort.

Topic: RE: Joyrides Down Under Part 7: The DUD Diversion
Username: gardermoen
Posted 2010-07-03 19:41:24 and read 12865 times.

Hello

Excellent trip report and great photographs.
Very enjoyable read.

I would have that ZQN would have atleast 1 air bridge, and was surprised DUD has, not 1, but 2 of them!

Topic: RE: Joyrides Down Under Part 7: The DUD Diversion
Username: tk747
Posted 2010-07-03 21:05:09 and read 12743 times.

Great series of reports, well done and thanks for posting.

NZ is truly beautiful and your photo's definitely do it justice.

Topic: RE: Joyrides Down Under Part 7: The DUD Diversion
Username: akhmad
Posted 2010-07-03 23:39:10 and read 12541 times.

Hi Nicholas,

Nice conclusion of your joyrides. The road trip is simply brilliant as we have got the impressions of the country's landscape. Awesome! I like your observations about the domestic market of both Australia and New Zealand. I will certainly keep them in minds in case I am arranging flights down under next time.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
I got up to take the usual cabin picture/lavatory picture and while doing so, the purser noticed it. I had a really nice chat with him about cameras – he told me he had a 50D and he also invited me to visit the cockpit upon arrival.

That is how it should to be.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 4):
then he turned around and told me to stop taking photos as he said it was annoying him (I’m sure nobody else would really care if I was taking photos or not) although I had been taking them all flight and he seemed to have no problems with it whatsoever. He tried backing up his case saying that it was ‘illegal’ for me to take photos as apparently ‘all’ electronic devices were to be switched off.

What a crappy guy. He should have looked at himself in the mirror before teaching anyone else a lesson. Good on your seat neighbour for backing you up.

Too bad that the joyrides have come to an end.  

Thanks for sharing. I really enjoyed it.

Cheers,
Suryo

Topic: RE: Joyrides Down Under Part 7: The DUD Diversion
Username: airpearl
Posted 2010-07-04 00:55:42 and read 12410 times.

Hi Nicholas!

The weather must have been cooperating in AKL this weekend   Thanks for your latest installment. Another fantastic one!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
I'd have to stay a night in Queenstown

What tough dilemmas you guys face down in N.Z. hahaha..

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
oy for me! My first diversion at a time that wasn't exactly crucial for me. They had notified us that there'd be buses waiting at Dunedin Airport to take us into Queenstown - a 4 hour bus ride. They were profusely sorry for the inconvenience caused to most people but it did happen to fill my afternoon up quite nicely.

Lucky you! I would imagine this must happen quite often at ZQN with the mountains surrounding the airport requiring the weather to cooperate, otherwise something like this happens. I had been stranded in Queenstown before when the town got snowed in, and all air and even road links to Dunedin were cut off. It wouldn't have been so bad if I was skiing, but I was trying to fly out to catch a TG connection at AKL - I didn't make it out for another 2 days! Of course, there could be much worse places to be stranded in...

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
I followed up on the invite to the cockpit and was met by the pilots who seemed in good spirits.

Lucky you, a second time.  
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
Sit back, relax and enjoy the photo journal!

Thanks for this and those of Queenstown too... brings back nice memories of a driving holiday - one of the best ways to see the South Island I think.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 3):
Queenstown is one of those special places where the scenery is just so spectacular I just cannot resist. Even a video doesn't suffice - it's something that is just an imperative for someone who goes to Queenstown!

Fully agree! It's one of my favorites anywhere. Landing is quite an experience too.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 3):
We turned onto final approach and he did the most outrageous thing – unbuckled himself from the seat, turned around on his seat and shoved the safety card in my face.

What the...? Sorry it ended with such a nasty experience.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 4):
If you haven’t been awed by the picturesque scenes around the south of the South Island, then I don’t know what will entice you to come to this beautiful country! It’s such a wonderful place to visit!

You sold her well! It's very, very tempting...

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 5):
More Like We Don't Operate Domestic Anymore, You Don’t Need More Perks!

Alas, a sad reality. The last time I was there, QF was still operating domestic routes, but as you say, things have changed. I agree with you that as good as JQ is, it's not quite QF.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 5):
JQ have nearly attained RNP status so you should be safe getting into Queenstown if you so choose the LCC option.

That should be good, but I don't think it helps with international connections though. From what I recall, there aren't any flights into ZQN beyond about 5-ish in the afternoon, which means the last flight from AKL is the 2-ish NZ service. It's sometimes a very tight connection if you're coming in from Asia in the late morning.

Thanks Nicholas for this report. Enjoyed this whole series immensely. Look forward to your next one.

Cheers,
airpearl

Topic: RE: Joyrides Down Under Part 7: The DUD Diversion
Username: FLIEGER67
Posted 2010-07-04 02:41:32 and read 12277 times.

Hey, Nicholas,

as far as I dislike disruptions, its sometimes good for a nice story and high quality pictures.

I like you´re landscape shots, very well done,
tour New Zealand should link you´re story, very attractive.

Queenstown and surroundings with the bright sun in the morning that looks really nice.

Looking forward to more stories from you´re country,
I should visit it also.

Greetings,
Markus (FLIEGER67)

Topic: RE: Joyrides Down Under Part 7: The DUD Diversion
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2010-07-04 03:10:43 and read 12239 times.

Hi Nicholas,

very nice surprise to find another report from you - and it's an excellent piece of work as usual! I really enjoyed reading and looking at your outstanding pictures!

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Another 15 minutes later, the pilots confirmed that and said we were off to Dunedin. Joy for me! My first diversion at a time that wasn’t exactly crucial for me. They had notified us that there’d be buses waiting at Dunedin Airport to take us into Queenstown – a 4 hour bus ride.

Wow, I guess some people weren't happy about that.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
The bus wasn’t too bad, the seats were quite comfortable. Each seat had an airvent and a footrest. The window was mine to bring you some pictures of the trip inland to Queenstown.

The bus looks really comfortable - I wouldn't mind about such a tour if I had plenty of time.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Clear Water

Stunning pictures, what a scenery!

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Well, it’s the same plane which took me to Dunedin. Enough said. This time I was flying on the other side of the aircraft though, if that’s any consolation (ie not the same seat).

Too bad you got the same again, but with only four aircraft operating on these routes chances are high for getting a bird again.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Beautiful Airport

I really need to go there...

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Franz Josef Glacier Leading Up To Mt Tasman And Mt Cook

Fantastic shot!

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
The descent message was played over the PA – seats back upright, tables folded away etc. This American guy in the window seat in front of me refused to do what the flight attendants told him to do – kept his seat reclined, tray table down and armrest up. Then he started getting angry. I was still taking photos of the great clouds towering above us and then he turned around and told me to stop taking photos as he said it was annoying him (I’m sure nobody else would really care if I was taking photos or not) although I had been taking them all flight and he seemed to have no problems with it whatsoever. He tried backing up his case saying that it was ‘illegal’ for me to take photos as apparently ‘all’ electronic devices were to be switched off. My seat neighbour was getting frustrated with him too so he helped me out. If he had read the safety card properly, he would have seen that cameras were unrestricted at any time onboard Jetstar. I told him to read the safety card. Knowing the airport so well, I knew we were only 2 minutes out from landing and said to him that he only had to put up with it for another 2 minutes. We turned onto final approach and he did the most outrageous thing – unbuckled himself from the seat, turned around on his seat and shoved the safety card in my face. I have no idea what got into his mind and the flight attendants couldn’t do much either as they were strapped in. Thankfully he eventually sat down again after a bit of shouting from other people just in time for landing. That put a quite a dampener on my trip to Queenstown. Some people, huh..

Unbelievable, that guy should have been arrested directly afterwards. What an idiot!


Thanks again for posting that amazing series of reports!


PH

Topic: RE: Joyrides Down Under Part 7: The DUD Diversion
Username: NZ107
Posted 2010-07-04 05:08:51 and read 12077 times.

Quoting 767er (Reply 6):
The photos were just stunning, as was the commentary.

Another great effort.

Thanks for your comments 767ER!

Quoting gardermoen (Reply 7):
Excellent trip report and great photographs.
Very enjoyable read.

I would have that ZQN would have atleast 1 air bridge, and was surprised DUD has, not 1, but 2 of them!

Thanks Gardermoen! Glad you enjoyed.

It comes down more or less to the layout of the airport. DUD was basically refurbished, already had 2 stories and air bridges so there was no need to get rid of them. ZQN on the other hand didn't really have much of an airport in the mid 1990s but has built up from there. Its layout at present would make it pretty hard to make air bridges and anyway it's such a nice feeling walking out to the aircraft on some days - you're in paradise! In some ways it's nice to not have such an 'airport' feeling to Queenstown with all the airbridges. But thinking back a few years, there weren't that many jet services to begin with. Dunedin have had jets for decades.

Quoting tk747 (Reply 8):
Great series of reports, well done and thanks for posting.

NZ is truly beautiful and your photo's definitely do it justice.

Thanks TK747! My pleasure bringing it to you. Sometimes I forget how beautiful the very country I live in is and then I happen to edit these photos and it brings everything back! I'm glad I took this trip and those pictures definitely paid it off for me.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 9):
Nice conclusion of your joyrides. The road trip is simply brilliant as we have got the impressions of the country's landscape. Awesome! I like your observations about the domestic market of both Australia and New Zealand. I will certainly keep them in minds in case I am arranging flights down under next time.

Thanks for your comments Suryo! IMO it's the only real way to explore New Zealand. The flights are all very fun and also quite scenic (if the weather gods are on your side) but the experience is very different to being on ground level where you can actually count sheep in the paddocks!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 9):
That is how it should to be.

Wish it was, huh!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 9):
Too bad that the joyrides have come to an end.

Thanks for sharing. I really enjoyed it.

It was great fun writing it, glad you enjoyed! Bring on Netherlands v Germany for the final!
To be honest, I'm glad it has come to an end because it means I can move onto (hopefully) better ones and maybe more exciting ones. Keep your eyes open and hopefully I can get at least one more down by the 19th of July (uni restarts then).

Quoting airpearl (Reply 10):
The weather must have been cooperating in AKL this weekend Thanks for your latest installment. Another fantastic one!
Quoting airpearl (Reply 10):
Thanks Nicholas for this report. Enjoyed this whole series immensely. Look forward to your next one.

Thanks Airpearl! Not a problem. One hand must go to the football.. You see the quarter finals didn't start down here till 2am local giving me plenty of time to finish the photos then! But yes, the weather was appalling (and cold) today. It's great to see you guys enjoy it and it does keep me wanting to continue to write them. I just have to find more interesting flights now that I've covered most of NZ and a bit of Australia..

Quoting airpearl (Reply 10):
What tough dilemmas you guys face down in N.Z. hahaha..

Haha, I could have just as easily tried to get a NZ flight out later that day.. In which case I would have been completely screwed.. I wouldn't have expected December weather to be like that but I guess I did go around the same time the year before and encountered similar weather..

Quoting airpearl (Reply 10):
Lucky you! I would imagine this must happen quite often at ZQN with the mountains surrounding the airport requiring the weather to cooperate, otherwise something like this happens. I had been stranded in Queenstown before when the town got snowed in, and all air and even road links to Dunedin were cut off. It wouldn't have been so bad if I was skiing, but I was trying to fly out to catch a TG connection at AKL - I didn't make it out for another 2 days! Of course, there could be much worse places to be stranded in...

I guess so but RNP has drastically reduced diversions for NZ, and eventually for JQ as well. DJ is trialling a geolocator GPS system which sounds like some sort of sonar style + GPS guidance through the mountains is used to get the plane down onto the runway. Sometimes I believe mountain level (not low) cloud prevents non-RNP flights from getting into the airport. But when the weather is clear, it's an absolutely beautiful place to be.Funnily enough, Dunedin was completely cut off by snow a couple of weeks ago.. And the few roads in meant that if you were driving from Christchurch, you'd have to go all the way inland and up to Dunedin from the south. Shows how backward this country can get sometimes!

Quoting airpearl (Reply 10):
Thanks for this and those of Queenstown too... brings back nice memories of a driving holiday - one of the best ways to see the South Island I think.

THE best way I think. You miss so much by flying over the top. But the flight's always fun as well! I didn't have an option to omit them from this report!

Quoting airpearl (Reply 10):
Fully agree! It's one of my favorites anywhere. Landing is quite an experience too.

Landing is so awesome. That's probably the only downer about diverting to Dunedin.. I paid the whole figure of $10 one way to experience another landing in ZQN (experience is worth hundreds!!) and I never landed there.

Quoting airpearl (Reply 10):
You sold her well! It's very, very tempting...

That's good to know! Now for a trip in winter so I can take that identical picture with snow on the mountains!

Quoting airpearl (Reply 10):
That should be good, but I don't think it helps with international connections though. From what I recall, there aren't any flights into ZQN beyond about 5-ish in the afternoon, which means the last flight from AKL is the 2-ish NZ service. It's sometimes a very tight connection if you're coming in from Asia in the late morning.

Probably not. You're right about that, the last flight to ZQN from AKL leaves AKL at 2:30 and leaves ZQN back for AKL at 4:45. So unless you're on SQ282 or some NZ late night flight, you'd have a problem.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 11):
as far as I dislike disruptions, its sometimes good for a nice story and high quality pictures.

Thanks for commenting Markus! That's true, I'm lucky I don't do as many sectors as you in a day so this disruption didn't disrupt my plans as I'm sure it'd change your situation pretty quickly if one sector was delayed for quite a while.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 11):
I like you´re landscape shots, very well done,
tour New Zealand should link you´re story, very attractive.

Queenstown and surroundings with the bright sun in the morning that looks really nice.

Looking forward to more stories from you´re country,
I should visit it also.

Thanks! All down to the superb lens I borrowed from my friend and have subsequently bought one myself. Queenstown is hard to turn ugly! My next TR is of my jumpseat trip in a CV580 so something to look forward from your point of view.. And mine I guess in terms of editing!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 12):
very nice surprise to find another report from you - and it's an excellent piece of work as usual! I really enjoyed reading and looking at your outstanding pictures!

Thanks for your comments PH! Glad you enjoyed. Yeah my support for Bayern (and also Germany) kept me up and gave me enough time last night to get the photos and things sorted out before watching the game. One good game to watch too, I'm glad I stayed up for it!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 12):
Wow, I guess some people weren't happy about that.

They were the ones calling the FA button. It was soon clear that not all were destined for Queenstown - they had people picking them up. And actually thinking about it properly, I think I remember the communication in Queenstown wasn't great for those picking up people from our flight. Luckily for a few people, the bus went along the route of where they were going anyway so the bus driver simply dropped them off at certain places.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 12):
The bus looks really comfortable - I wouldn't mind about such a tour if I had plenty of time.

I had no other choice but yes it was definitely good enough for even the 4 hour bus ride.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 12):
Stunning pictures, what a scenery!

Has my NZ enticer worked on you?   Come and experience it for yourself, it's hundreds of times better than what I can give in a few pictures of a report!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 9):
What a crappy guy. He should have looked at himself in the mirror before teaching anyone else a lesson. Good on your seat neighbour for backing you up.
Quoting airpearl (Reply 10):
What the...? Sorry it ended with such a nasty experience.
Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 12):
Unbelievable, that guy should have been arrested directly afterwards. What an idiot!

I guess he was lucky that NZ is not that strict on things like these.. I have no idea what was up with him but whatever it was, he didn't deserve to get away so lightly. Disobedience like that can't be tolerated like that, especially if it puts more people in danger from his acts of stupidity. I hope it doesn't happen to me again!


Thanks again everyone for your comments, they are greatly appreciated.


Regards,
Nicholas

Topic: RE: Joyrides Down Under Part 7: The DUD Diversion
Username: ronerone
Posted 2010-07-05 11:36:52 and read 11563 times.

Hey Nicholas,

GREAT pictures on this grande finale   ..

I think you ended this series in the best way possible by posting pictures of some beautiful scenery! .. I think this caught my attention more than the actual flights this time around (though JQ seems like a good quality LCC!)

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
I noticed that the window was very badly misaligned with the seat

This has been happening to me quite a bit lately. But luckily they have been on flights where i have been dead-beat and only wanting to catch some sleep.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
he also invited me to visit the cockpit upon arrival.

Lucky you!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
the pilots confirmed that and said we were off to Dunedin. Joy for me! My first diversion at a time that wasn’t exactly crucial for me.

I love delays and diversions! ..

I have had my first and only diversion in 2008 on Syrian Air, and it was so much fun! haha

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 2):
The bus wasn’t too bad, the seats were quite comfortable. Each seat had an airvent and a footrest. The window was mine to bring you some pictures of the trip inland to Queenstown.

The perfect way to enjoy the beautiful scenery! .. I would have been so glad to take that bus ride!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 3):
The descent message was played over the PA – seats back upright, tables folded away etc. This American guy in the window seat in front of me refused to do what the flight attendants told him to do – kept his seat reclined, tray table down and armrest up. Then he started getting angry. I was still taking photos of the great clouds towering above us and then he turned around and told me to stop taking photos as he said it was annoying him (I’m sure nobody else would really care if I was taking photos or not) although I had been taking them all flight and he seemed to have no problems with it whatsoever. He tried backing up his case saying that it was ‘illegal’ for me to take photos as apparently ‘all’ electronic devices were to be switched off. My seat neighbour was getting frustrated with him too so he helped me out. If he had read the safety card properly, he would have seen that cameras were unrestricted at any time onboard Jetstar. I told him to read the safety card. Knowing the airport so well, I knew we were only 2 minutes out from landing and said to him that he only had to put up with it for another 2 minutes. We turned onto final approach and he did the most outrageous thing – unbuckled himself from the seat, turned around on his seat and shoved the safety card in my face. I have no idea what got into his mind and the flight attendants couldn’t do much either as they were strapped in. Thankfully he eventually sat down again after a bit of shouting from other people just in time for landing. That put a quite a dampener on my trip to Queenstown. Some people, huh.. Nonetheless, the rest of the landing and taxiing into the gate was just the same and that ended my fun 26 hour adventure away to the South Island.

That's a tad overkill on the guy's part! .. I wonder what he was freaking out from?

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 4):
If you haven’t been awed by the picturesque scenes around the south of the South Island, then I don’t know what will entice you to come to this beautiful country! It’s such a wonderful place to visit!

Once again, the pictures were amazing! .. If anything, you sold me a trip to New Zealand!!!  

Thanks a lot for sharing!

Cheers,
Roni

Topic: RE: Joyrides Down Under Part 7: The DUD Diversion
Username: SpdBrdConcorde
Posted 2010-07-05 14:36:35 and read 11517 times.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 3):

The descent message was played over the PA – seats back upright, tables folded away etc. This American guy in the window seat in front of me refused to do what the flight attendants told him to do – kept his seat reclined, tray table down and armrest up. Then he started getting angry. I was still taking photos of the great clouds towering above us and then he turned around and told me to stop taking photos as he said it was annoying him (I’m sure nobody else would really care if I was taking photos or not) although I had been taking them all flight and he seemed to have no problems with it whatsoever. He tried backing up his case saying that it was ‘illegal’ for me to take photos as apparently ‘all’ electronic devices were to be switched off. My seat neighbour was getting frustrated with him too so he helped me out. If he had read the safety card properly, he would have seen that cameras were unrestricted at any time onboard Jetstar. I told him to read the safety card. Knowing the airport so well, I knew we were only 2 minutes out from landing and said to him that he only had to put up with it for another 2 minutes. We turned onto final approach and he did the most outrageous thing – unbuckled himself from the seat, turned around on his seat and shoved the safety card in my face. I have no idea what got into his mind and the flight attendants couldn’t do much either as they were strapped in. Thankfully he eventually sat down again after a bit of shouting from other people just in time for landing. That put a quite a dampener on my trip to Queenstown. Some people, huh.. Nonetheless, the rest of the landing and taxiing into the gate was just the same and that ended my fun 26 hour adventure away to the South Island.

Oh Man...That was not cool at all..What a w@*ker..I would have called the airport police after landing.

It reminds me of the time i got slapped by a passenger on my ORD-DEL AA flight...I could have taken his teeth out but my employee badge came in the way..LOL

Nevertheless..Your pictures are astounding and you have a great series..Well done..

Topic: RE: Joyrides Down Under Part 7: The DUD Diversion
Username: NZ107
Posted 2010-07-06 00:53:12 and read 11353 times.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 14):
GREAT pictures on this grande finale ..

I think you ended this series in the best way possible by posting pictures of some beautiful scenery! .. I think this caught my attention more than the actual flights this time around (though JQ seems like a good quality LCC!)

Hey Roni, thanks for your comments! Glad you enjoyed the photos. Yes, the scenery can be much better than JQ sometimes! I do thank JQ for giving me the most out of my $10, partly offsetting the relatively expensive (most expensive) domestic Australian flight from OOL-MEL.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 14):
This has been happening to me quite a bit lately. But luckily they have been on flights where i have been dead-beat and only wanting to catch some sleep.

Yeah, it's something you don't want if you're flying to ZQN for sure! No point staying in a seat with a misaligned window when the flight is so empty either.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 14):
I love delays and diversions! ..

I have had my first and only diversion in 2008 on Syrian Air, and it was so much fun! haha

I reckon one's going to happen when I need it the least.. But so far I love diversions!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 14):
The perfect way to enjoy the beautiful scenery! .. I would have been so glad to take that bus ride!

I just have one objection - the windows. At least if you took a rental car with someone else driving, you can wind the window down!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 14):
That's a tad overkill on the guy's part! .. I wonder what he was freaking out from?

I think he was completely overreactive and grumpy as he was woken by the flight attendant to put his seat back upright, armrest down and traytable up.. But that shouldn't have any affect. Just my luck. If he was on Aerolineas Argentinas, he would have had the flight attendant push the recline button for him and push his seat up (yes, look forward to that TR in a couple reports' time!). None of that is an excuse to lash out and even unbuckle on final approach.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 14):
Once again, the pictures were amazing! .. If anything, you sold me a trip to New Zealand!!!

Waiting for that booking..  
Quoting SpdBrdConcorde (Reply 15):
Oh Man...That was not cool at all..What a w@*ker..I would have called the airport police after landing.

It reminds me of the time i got slapped by a passenger on my ORD-DEL AA flight...I could have taken his teeth out but my employee badge came in the way..LOL

I'm very sorry to say where he's from and no, I don't think of all Americans in the same way. Quite frankly I didn't want to be involved in the situation more than I had to so I just got out of the airport. Definitely uncool, I didn't quite have enough time to take the safety card off him and thank him for showing me the bit where it said I was able to use my camera.

Quoting SpdBrdConcorde (Reply 15):
Nevertheless..Your pictures are astounding and you have a great series..Well done..

Thanks! Much appreciated. Pictures are my forte!


Regards,
Nicholas

Topic: RE: Joyrides Down Under Part 7: The DUD Diversion
Username: airbuseric
Posted 2010-07-09 05:21:41 and read 11079 times.

Hi Nicholas,

fantastic pictures again, great report also. Very interesting to get diverted actually. Doesn't happen too often.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
Jetstar had a bunch of $10 one way fares around New Zealand. I decided to take them up on the offer

Oh yes, of course without hesitation! Great deal I would say!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
I got back from my Australian trip and 2 days later, I was off on this adventure.

Hey, you're almost as 'crazy' as we are overhere in Europe. Do we have the same virus?!

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
JQ A320 Cabin

Reminds me slightly on easyJet's cabin...

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
The bus wasn’t too bad, the seats were quite comfortable. Each seat had an airvent and a footrest.

Looking good indeed. Never got on such a 'luxury' bus in Europe yet, but I'm sure we have them around here also.

Regards
Eric

Topic: RE: Joyrides Down Under Part 7: The DUD Diversion
Username: pilotdude09
Posted 2010-07-09 05:36:28 and read 11068 times.

Awesome trip report, nice to see you vistied my hometown Dunedin albeit accidentally :P

Central Otago is a stunning place and just a terrific place to visit and the Dunedin to Queenstown drive is great too and done that drive hundreds and hundreds of times, so this trip report struck a cord with my heart  

Topic: RE: Joyrides Down Under Part 7: The DUD Diversion
Username: NZ107
Posted 2010-07-10 02:43:50 and read 10912 times.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 17):
fantastic pictures again, great report also. Very interesting to get diverted actually. Doesn't happen too often

Hi Eric,

Thanks for your comments! In some ways it's good that JQ didn't have RNP by the time I flew with them to ZQN!

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 17):
Oh yes, of course without hesitation! Great deal I would say!

And made that much better by extra flying time and a tour through that wonderful scenery.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 17):
Hey, you're almost as 'crazy' as we are overhere in Europe. Do we have the same virus?!

I think a lot of us share it! In hindsight, I was glad to do this series and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 17):
Looking good indeed. Never got on such a 'luxury' bus in Europe yet, but I'm sure we have them around here also.

Interesting. Some buses in Europe look extremely flash! Wouldn't mind one of them over some of the buses they have here (I had no idea what we were going to get for this journey).

Quoting pilotdude09 (Reply 18):
Awesome trip report, nice to see you vistied my hometown Dunedin albeit accidentally

Thanks Pilotdude09! It was nice to visit DUD again, albeit only the airport; my last flight there was in 2006, long before my trip reporting days.

Quoting pilotdude09 (Reply 18):
Central Otago is a stunning place and just a terrific place to visit and the Dunedin to Queenstown drive is great too and done that drive hundreds and hundreds of times, so this trip report struck a cord with my heart

Good to know! It did the same for me! A great reminder of how awesome this country is, 3 years after I travelled on it last.


Regards,
Nicholas

Topic: RE: Joyrides Down Under Part 7: The DUD Diversion
Username: infodesk
Posted 2011-11-23 22:08:18 and read 8510 times.

Hi Nicholas,

Better late than never I guess?!

Thanks for the link to this report, I really enjoyed it! I see what you mean about Queenstown being the Innsbruck of NZ. Really beautiful photos, that road clinging to the mountain's edge looks a little scary! The thing that fascinates me the most is that you have everything landscape-wise in your report, from mountains, lakes and glaciers to the sea, that's pretty special for me living in a landlocked country. As for your shots on the ground at Queenstown, some remind me of the Alps and others of the English Lake District, very special.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
They had notified us that there’d be buses waiting at Dunedin Airport to take us into Queenstown – a 4 hour bus

4 hours! That puts the terrain into perspective! It must have been quite exciting to experience a diversion, especially as it didn't disrupt your travel plans.

Jetstar look perfectly acceptable, their colour scheme would suit easyJet pretty well with the black & orange.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Knowing the airport so well, I knew we were only 2 minutes out from landing and said to him that he only had to put up with it for another 2 minutes. We turned onto final approach and he did the most outrageous thing – unbuckled himself from the seat, turned around on his seat and shoved the safety card in my face. I have no idea what got into his mind and the flight attendants couldn’t do much either as they were strapped in. Thankfully he eventually sat down again after a bit of shouting from other people just in time for landing.

Scary guy. What a weirdo. Hope the crew gave him a good telling off after landing.

Happy flying
Infodesk   

Topic: RE: Joyrides Down Under Part 7: The DUD Diversion
Username: NZ107
Posted 2011-11-26 13:30:41 and read 8142 times.

Hi Hannah,

Quoting infodesk (Reply 20):
Better late than never I guess?!

I suppose so?  
Quoting infodesk (Reply 20):
Thanks for the link to this report, I really enjoyed it! I see what you mean about Queenstown being the Innsbruck of NZ. Really beautiful photos, that road clinging to the mountain's edge looks a little scary! The thing that fascinates me the most is that you have everything landscape-wise in your report, from mountains, lakes and glaciers to the sea, that's pretty special for me living in a landlocked country. As for your shots on the ground at Queenstown, some remind me of the Alps and others of the English Lake District, very special.

My pleasure, glad you enjoyed it! I bet the view from that road would be amazing. I suppose that's the thing about the South Island in particular - such a beautiful place and also a decent place to find some nice scenic pictures of those things mentioned above, sometimes nearly all in one shot! If you do come down to NZ, make sure you head to Queenstown!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 20):
4 hours! That puts the terrain into perspective! It must have been quite exciting to experience a diversion, especially as it didn't disrupt your travel plans.

Definitely no straight roads in that part of the country. I suppose you'd be used to these winding roads! In some aspects, it was exciting to experience a diversion, however landing in Queenstown is so special that sometimes you wonder whether the diversion was 'worth it'.. But luckily, I live in this country and I can access this wonderful airport rather easily.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 20):
Scary guy. What a weirdo. Hope the crew gave him a good telling off after landing.

I'm glad I haven't experience such an irate passenger since and I hope I never do again! Unfortunately, he just walked off the flight like everyone else without any word from the FAs.


Thanks again!

Cheers,
Nicholas

Topic: RE: Joyrides Down Under Part 7: The DUD Diversion
Username: MSS658
Posted 2011-11-27 05:04:35 and read 8000 times.

Hi Nicholas

great trip report!
Enjoyed reading every bit of it, nice mix of flights you got!
The Bus ride seems interesting as well, nice scenery pics!

Greetings
Marc

Topic: RE: Joyrides Down Under Part 7: The DUD Diversion
Username: NZ107
Posted 2011-11-30 01:52:59 and read 7773 times.

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 22):
great trip report!
Enjoyed reading every bit of it, nice mix of flights you got!
The Bus ride seems interesting as well, nice scenery pics!

Hi Marc,

Thanks for your comments! Glad you enjoyed. Yeah, I may have exhausted a lot of flying options this country's commercial services has to offer..   No new types scheduled until the ATR 72-600 - that'll be one for me to grab.

I suppose bus rides do have their merits now and then - you actually get to see the country and take it in rather than fly over it and only see the surface!


Cheers,
Nicholas


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