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To The Other Side Of The World Part 2: CHC-SYD  
User currently offlineinfodesk From Switzerland, joined May 2006, 1447 posts, RR: 33
Posted (2 years 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 15156 times:

Dear readers,

Welcome to part 2 of my New Zealand adventure! The first section of this report will focus on the unescorted bus tour we took and then I will tell you about our flight to Sydney on Air New Zealand. If you’re only interested in the aviation part then feel free to scroll down.

If you missed the first installment, here it is:
To The Other Side Of The World, Part 1:ZRH-SIN-AKL (by infodesk Jun 10 2012 in Trip Reports)

Auckland
Part 1 of this series left me in Auckland, ready for a long sleep to try and recover from the jetlag. I woke about 10.30 the next morning and seeing a clear blue sky just had to get out and explore. We ended up on the ferry to Devonport, a 30 minute boat ride from Auckland which had been recommended to me by a friend. There we took a short but steep walk up Mount Victoria.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/NZ285.jpg

The evening was spent up the SkyTower, the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere. Normally you pay 25$ to ride up, but if you eat in the restaurant then you get the lift ride for free. It was a stomach lurching experience, but the views were worth it. The meal was good, or so we thought. Whether it was the food or the jetlag we will never know, but my husband was violently sick all night. I think we finally fell asleep about 6am.

Sky Tower


View from the Sky Tower. Now you know why Auckland is called the City of Sails
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/NZFuji084.jpg

The next day we had something special planned. I’d been in contact with fellow a.netter Nicholas/NZ107 and suggested meeting up. Well, I was thinking along the lines of a coffee somewhere, but Nicholas said he’d pick us up at the hotel mid-morning and take us for a drive. That was an understatement! What we were treated to would put any tourguide to shame. First we drove to Mount Eden, a hill above Auckland with great views over the city. Then we headed to the hilly Waitakere Ranges, where we did a short bush walk before driving to the coast to see some lovely, wild beaches.

Mount Eden
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/NZ334.jpg
Have you ever been this far away from home ?

Waitakere Ranges
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/NZ346.jpg
The impressive Piha beach
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/NZ367.jpg
Muriwai beach
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After heading back to Auckland we stopped at Mission Bay, a pretty man-made beach where we had a late lunch. It was a really great day and we saw so many beautiful places that we would have missed without Nicholas. So Nicholas, thank you for everything and I hope that we can return the favour one day in Switzerland.

Rotorua
After 3 nights in Auckland, our tour began. We headed to Rotorua, famous for its geothermal activity and with a distinct smell of sulphur in the air, where we stayed 2 nights.
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View from the Skyline gondola, Rotorua
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Wellington
There was a long 8 hour bus drive down to Wellington but it was very scenic. This was one thing about New Zealand that never failed to impress me: the scenery was constantly changing and you never, ever got bored of looking out the window. Here’s a shot of Mount Tongariro; driving through this national park reminded me of the desert landscape around Mount Teide, Tenerife.
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Our hotel in Wellinton had a super location right on the bay, here’s the view from the balcony
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We took a city tour which included a drive up to Mount Victoria, where we had great views over the city and the airport. After that we fitted in some shopping and paid a quick visit to Te Papa, New Zealand’s national museum. It’s free of charge (for the time being, at least) and they say you need days to see it properly. A real hands on experience, great for all ages.

WLG, as seen from Mount Victoria
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An ANZ ATR taking off
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Wellington city
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The classic Wellington photo
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Crossing to the South Island
After 2 nights in Wellington it was time to leave the North Island. The ferry crossing across the Cook Strait takes about 3 hours. I’m not that good on boats and have been prone to seasickness in the past. Coupled with the fact that this stretch of water is famous for being rough, well, I wasn’t looking forward to the crossing. However, we were blessed with a glorious day and the sea was so calm, I actually thought I was on a lake in Switzerland!

Our vessel for the crossing, Kaitaki, an ex channel boat (Pride of Cherbourg)
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Just like flying - a proper check-in procedure with boarding passes!
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Leaving the North Island
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Our route
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First impressions of the South Island
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Company traffic
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Arriving at Picton
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Baggage claim, ferry style!


From Picton it was a short 2 hour bus ride to Nelson, our base for the next 2 nights. It was a beautiful run past hills, over mountain passes and through the Marlborough wine region.

Nelson
Nelson really surprised us: a nice town with such friendly people, one of the sunniest places in the country & a good choice of restaurants. It’s known as the gateway to the Abel Tasman national park. At first we wanted to take an day trip into the park, but soon realised that it would be too much of a rush, so decided for something a bit more easy going.

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We walked to Tahunanui beach, about an hour away
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Looks like a great approach into Nelson airport
Punakaiki
It’s a long run down the West Coast from Nelson down to the Glaciers region (comprising of Franz Josef & Fox)and our journey was broken for a night in Punakaiki. It’s a tiny place, with 2 cafes, a tourist into and a couple of hotels. Punakaiki is most famous for the Pancake rocks: a heavily eroded limestone area where the sea bursts though a number of blowholes during high tides. To be honest, I wasn’t really sure what to expect of the area, but as we got closer, I was mesmerised by the coastline. We were dropped off at our accommodation, shown to our room and already I had fallen in love with the place. We had a room right on the beach, with huge windows and just the crashing waves of the Tasman to watch and listen to. Apart from the Pancake Rocks and a stroll along the beach, there is nothing to do here. Ideal for a romantic getaway (if only it wasn’t so far!).

The beach where our hotel was located
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Some of the special rock formations
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You can see why the Pancake Rocks are called so
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Looking South along the coast
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The beach. You can just make out our hotel on the far right
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Just incredible
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Our accommodation
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The Tasman crashing away
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Fox Glacier
The next day we had a 6 hour ride down to Fox Glacier and a very amusing driver called Glenn who kept us entertained the whole way with his jokes. At one refreshment stop I bought some Cadbury’s chocolate, dark with a mint filling and he commented on how much he liked it. So I shared the bar with him and we munched away happily.

Whilst Fox is bigger than Punakaiki, it’s still tiny and you can walk down the main street in 2 minutes. Our accommodation for the 2 nights was just excellent, a beautiful B&B/Boutique guesthouse. The next day we took a guided glacier hike, which was well worth it. As the glacier is just a couple of hundred metres above sea level, it was very special to us. Glaciers in Switzerland are usually 2000m above sea level and higher.

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In the afternoon, we took a taxi down to Lake Matheson (thanks Nicholas for the tip!) and walked round the lake. It’s famous for its reflections of Mount Cook. Well, the conditions weren’t perfect, but still more than acceptable!

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Mount Cook, at 3754m New Zealand’s highest mountain
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Wanaka
We left Fox in pouring rain (one of only 2 bad days during the whole holiday) for our drive to Wanaka, which we reached mid-afternoon. Our hotel was a little way out of town, but with a stunning lakeside location and we must have had one of the best views in the whole complex.

The West coast, famous for heavy rainfall
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I was not prepared for the beauty of Wanaka. I knew it was famous for its autumn colours, but it completely blew me away. The scenery reminded me of the English Lake District.
Dusk
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The next day we took a walk up Mount Iron to get lovely views over the town.
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On the shores of lake Wanaka
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The next morning, storms approaching
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Queenstown
From Wanaka it was a 2 hour ride to Queenstown, the adventure capital of the country, where we spent 4 nights. This was probably the part of the holiday I’d been looking forward to most (not because of the adventure, but because of the scenery!). We arrived in a downpour and couldn’t see one single mountain. Now I know how it must feel when tourists visit Zermatt and don’t even see the Matterhorn!

Our hotel was the St. Moritz, I chose it simply because of its name, but it didn’t quite live up to the expectations.

View from our room (in better weather)
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/NZ1682.jpg

As the weather was still unsettled, we decided on a trip to nearby Arrowtown. The bus schedule leant itself to making a detour to the aiport. Well, how could I miss this opportunity? Queenstown airport is the New Zealand equivalent of Innsbruck. Whilst I may not have had the chance to take a flight, I can see where the similarities come from. Surrounded by mountains, watching the planes bank after take off was quite special!

Some impressions of ZQN
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Nearby Arrowtown
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Queenstown impressions:
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We took a cruise on TSS Earnslaw, the only remaining commercial passenger-carrying coal-fired steamship in the Southern Hemisphere, which works the waters of Lake Wakatipu on which Queenstown lies.
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On our last day the weather was perfect and we took a ride up the Skyline gondola
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Milford Sound
After leaving Queenstown we had a day trip to Milford Sound. It’s a very long journey. There are plans to blast a tunnel through the mountainside as this would shorten the approach from Queenstown considerably.

Here are some impressions. It was, quite simply, the most scenic drive I’ve ever been on.
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A trip to Milford is the sort of example of mass tourism that I don’t really like. Very strict timings & everyone is given a picnic lunch a bit like on a school trip. The beauty of the place though cannot be denied. We had one of the very few cloudless days which meant we were very lucky, although the force of the sun made photography rather difficult.
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The famous Mitre Peak


It’s possible to fly back from Milford to Queenstown for a few hundred NZ dollars. As the weather was perfect, I wanted to do this. However, as we were to be based in Te Anau for the next 2 nights, it complicated things (the others guests in the group were all returning to Queenstown). Our driver seemd to think it would be ok and I really got my hopes up, only to be told at the last minute that there weren’t enough aircraft and that it wasn’t possible. I was so disappointed. Here’s the airfield at Milford:
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Heading back to Te Anau
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Te Anau
2 nights were then spent in Te Anau, the main base for the Fiordland region. Much of the area is uninhabited as it is so inaccessible.
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Dunedin
After Te Anau we left the mountains behind and headed back to real civilisation and the town of Dunedin, the second largest city on the South Island. It was graduation weekend and the town was full of students and their families.

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The famous railway station
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Christchurch
After one night in Dunedin it was time for the final leg of our tour to Christchurch. It was a strange feeling knowing things were drawing to a close and I felt quite sad on the bus.

Refreshment stop at Oamaru


We only booked one night in Christchuch as we’d been warned that much of the city was still inaccessible after the earthquakes. This was indeed the case and what we saw in those few hours really humbled me. So many damaged buildings and such resiliance amongst the locals. The New Zealanders should be proud of themselves.

Christchurch gardens

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Earthquake damage

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In one part of the city, a so-called pop up mall had been created, with shops and restaurants all in
these containers.
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"Do nothing in haste, look well to each step and from the beginning think what may be the end" - Edward Whymper
38 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineinfodesk From Switzerland, joined May 2006, 1447 posts, RR: 33
Reply 1, posted (2 years 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 15200 times:

CHRISTCHURCH-SYDNEY
In Christchurch we had the company SuperShuttle to take us to the airport. Our tour company had used them for several of our transfers and the drivers were always friendly. It gets cheaper the more people travel, but even for the two of us it was better value than a taxi.

Arrival at the airport
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Zone A for us


What a beautiful entrance!


Not many international flights this afternoon


With the domestics
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Check-in zone B
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When we entered the terminal building and headed for check-in, my husband nudged me and said 'Look who’s over there‘. I was expecting some D-List celebrity, but no, it was Mr. Grumpy. Forgive me for digressing, but I have to share the story of Mr Grumpy with you.

When we did our excursion to Milford Sound, the bus, as usual, picked up passengers along the way. At one stop the guests didn’t turn up and our driver made a few stressed phone calls saying he wasn’t going to wait any longer. Anyway, an American woman eventually appeared and got on the bus mumbling 'We were given the wrong time‘. Shortly after the husband appeared, to which some brave souls decided to clap. Well, bad move. The guy was furious and shouted down the bus 'What is your problem?‘ Mrs Grumpy, obviously knowing her husband very well, tried to calm him down by saying that they were just being welcomed on board (yeah, right). As we drove off, the cheery driver switched the mic on and 'Isn’t it a beautiful day today?‘. To which Mr. Grumpy shouted 'No it is not‘!

Well, this behaviour continued all day. They were always last on the bus, we were always waiting for them. At one refeshment stop he didn’t reappear and the wife went looking for him. They ended up following each other round in circles until half the bus started banging on the windows and shouting. When I overhead him telling someone he had a private flying licence, I had to stop myself from laughing out loud. Surely a guy this disorganised can’t fly a plane?!

Anyway, the last we saw of them was when we left the bus in Te Anau a few day earlier. And now, here they were, at Christchurch airport. And worse still, they were handing their bags in at NZ’s bag drop. For Australia flights. The only Australian flight leaving was ours to SYD. To borrow FlyingFinn’s expression, bugger.

Anyway, back to basics, flying. Like Swiss at ZRH, NZ want all their passengers to check-in on the machines.
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I entered out ticket number, it recognised us and then asked for the passports. Well, my husband’s worked, but it couldn’t read mine no matter how many times I tried and it told me to ask staff for help.

There was an agent nearby so when he was free I asked for assistance. He was a real, laid back local who helped us with a smile and explained that the machine often had trouble with strange symbols in names, in my case the hyphen. He entered the details manually, then scanned my husband’s passport. Well, would you believe it, his didn’t work this time. I commented on this, to which he looked at me seriously, said 'We don’t like the Swiss‘ and broke into a big grin.

Knowing how strict Quarantine is in Australia, I mentioned to him that I had some new sheepskin boots and asked whether I had to delare them. He looked at me again, deadly serious and said ’Well, they’re not alive are they?‘, before grinning at me from ear to ear.

On seeing that we were seated over the wing, I enquired about a seat change, saying we wanted to have the best possible view of the Southern Alps on take off. He kindly moved us to 5A&B, only much later would I realise how lucky we were to get these seats.

Note the comment ‚The Works‘ on the boarding pass – more on this later
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After thanking him, we proceeded to the baggage drop and didn’t have to wait long. The women that served us were dressed in an Air New Zealand uniform which was just gorgeous. A wrap dress with the NZ logo on it, one dress was turquoise, the other agent, a supervisor, wore a green one. A pink version also exists. Of course I had to compliment them on the outfit, so much nicer than the standard skirt/jacket/blouse that we have. Our bags weighed in at 20 & 19.6kg – the allowance on NZ is 23kg.
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Once we’d got rid of our cases, we wandered along to Arrivals.

The i-site. There’s a network of these tourist info offices all over New Zealand, they are excellent.
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Interesting set of rules


Arrivals
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Infodesk  

After that detour, we went back outside to enjoy the last rays of NZ sunshine.

Control tower


Some info about the quakes


We proceeded up to the first floor where there was an array of shops and restaurants. In fact, a very good selection. I used up the last of my coins and was shocked to discover my sheepskin boots on sale at 100$ more than what I’d paid in Queenstown. Airport prices, eh?

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Not too far away
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The EK flight to SYD that we could have taken.
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After that it was time to go through security. First, our boarding passes and departure cards were checked.
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Then came the usual security procedure. In front of me was a French speaking guy. His conversation with the security staff went something like this:

Hello Sir
Silence
Hello Sir (a bit louder)
Silence
Is this your bag Sir?
Silence

At this point the staff member gave up. When it was my turn I greeted the guy with a big smile and a hello, which really seemed to fathom him!

After security you queued for passport control. There was a fast lane for NZ/OZ residents and one for everyone else. Some daring granny decided that she didn’t have to queue and just tried to walk past, but got a nasty grilling from the officer afterwards. When it was our turn I handed the documents in and was rather surprised that the officer asked me at which airport I work. I was totally baffled, how did he know that? Then it clicked that I’d had to write my occupation on the card. So, a brief aviation based conversation ensued, after which we were free to go.

Like so many airports, you are sent straight through duty free into departures. There isn’t very much in departures, all the main shops and cafes are before security. There was plenty of room though as there weren’t many flights leaving.

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/OZ-SIN032.jpg

There wasn’t much activity on the apron, sorry for the poor quality
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/OZ-SIN034.jpg

Some nice adverts: here the Abel Tasman national park
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/OZ-SIN036.jpg

Mount Cook
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/OZ-SIN037.jpg

FlyingFinn- here’s an interesting carpet concept for you


Jetstar
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/OZ-SIN039.jpg

EK again
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/OZ-SIN040.jpg

Departures. Even tomorrow’s flights are already listed
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/OZ-SIN041.jpg

This got me excited. Viewing terrace?


Errm, where’s the view ?
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/OZ-SIN043.jpg

7.5.12
CHC-SYD
NZ881
STD 1600 / ATD 1614
STA 1730 / ATA 1711
A320 ZK-OJE
Seats 5A&B
34th flight on the A320, 1st on this machine


http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/OZ-SIN047.jpg
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http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/OZ-SIN050.jpg


Boarding was called at 1535 from gate 27. We weren’t in any hurry to leave New Zealand and boarded near the end. Seat 5C was taken by a middle-aged local man, travelling to OZ on business. He was quite chatty and interested to hear about our trip. I actually let my husband sit by the window for this flight. I’ve never been keen on flying long distances over water. So nearly all the window shots were taken by him.

More adverts in the airbridge
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/OZ-SIN052.jpg

The captain, Mr Ross Chamel, gave us some info before we pushed back – he was such a friendly guy. Once again, typical NZ style. He told us we’d take off to the north, make a left turn over the Southern Alps and head out over the Tasman. Good weather was forecast in Sydney and flight time was to be 3hrs. Distance to fly 2127km.

Headphones were distributed


4 ladies in the cabin today, our purser was Sandra. All wearing the lovely NZ wrap dresses again. I was amazed by the legroom on this A320, better than anything I’ve ever had on this type.
NZ operates 2 fleets of A320s – those for domestic flights and those for shorthaul (ie. Australia & Pacific islands). On the shorthaul birds, legroom varies according to seat row. The first couple of rows have 34’’, then some rows have 33’’ and the majority have 30’’. So my request to change seats had an unexpected bonus and we enjoyed a 33’’ seat pitch. (Thanks Nicholas for pointing that out!) The seats were, what else, all black!

Two pieces of hand luggage under the seat and still loads of room
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/OZ-SIN056.jpg

We pushed back at 1605 and the safety video was played. Well, I had no idea what treat was instore. I have never laughed so much at a safety video. Now, some may say that it should be a serious matter, but I think that anything that grabs your attention is a good thing and I couldn’t stop grinning.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/OZ-SIN057.jpg

Air New Zealand, well done! There have actually been 3 different ones produced and the one we were shown is the best of the best. Those of you who haven’t seen it, do watch it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgpYtJMQQjc

After that interlude, it was time to take off. At 1614, we started our take off roll. And after the smiles of the safety video, I suddenly felt very sad. As we left New Zealand soil, the tears came. Thank you New Zealand, thank you New Zealanders: you are wonderful people in a marvellous country and I had the trip of a lifetime.

It was as if someone, somewhere could read my thoughts. If you’re going to leave New Zealand, do it in style: on their home carrier, on a glorious autumn day, sit on the left and don’t bother with the moving map - just enjoy Mother Nature at her best.

.

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http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/OZ-SIN066.jpg
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http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/OZ-SIN069.jpg
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http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/OZ-SIN082.jpg
Mount Cook
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/OZ-SIN083.jpg
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http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/OZ-SIN084.jpg
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http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/OZ-SIN086.jpg
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http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/OZ-SIN092.jpg
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http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/OZ-SIN097.jpg
Bye bye!


For 15 minutes we flew over land, the clouds built up and we were over the sea. Our cruising altitude was around 10,300m with a speed of 800kmh.

Ok, time to check out the IFE.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/OZ-SIN054.jpg
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http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/OZ-SIN055.jpg

The IFE was excellent. We both agreed it was even better than SQ’s. In fact it was so good, my husband complained that the flight was too short. He spent the entire time listening to New Zealand rock bands and as a result we exchanged about 10 words in the 3 hours  http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/OZ-SIN104.jpg

First of all, I got a dose of British humour watching My Family. Then I took a look at the music and was pleased to see Australian artist Darren Hayes‘ latest album. I have it already, but hadn’t listened to it for a while.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/OZ-SIN103.jpg
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http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/OZ-SIN105.jpg

Anyway, I promised you explanation of 'The Works' that was printed on our boarding pass. On NZ’s Tasman & Pacific services, a variety of options are available:
Seat & hand luggage only, IFE available but films cost extra, BOB/free tea, coffee & water
Seat and hold luggage 23kg, rest as above
The Works - seat & hold luggage 23kg, meal & drinks, films free of charge
Works Deluxe, C-Class product
Nicholas had told me about this and I guessed that as the travel agent had booked it & we had a 23kg allowance we‘d also get the meal.

Sure enough soon the smell of food wafted through the cabin. The trolley stopped at our row and we were given a choice between chicken & lasagne. I asked about a vegetarian option and was told, most apologetically, that they have to be reserved in advance. I explained we’d booked through a travel agent and that the request had worked on SQ. The cabin crew member apologised about 6 times that they had nothing, but I really wasn’t that fussed. I took the chicken and picked around it, but the rice was too dry without the meat sauce.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/OZ-SIN106.jpg
.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/OZ-SIN107.jpg

Here’s the lasagne, together with a last NZ beer
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/OZ-SIN108.jpg

The ice cream was delicious. I ended up with two again, thanks to 5A choosing to drink beer again!
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/OZ-SIN109.jpg

As we were eating, right in the middle of the Tasman, the turbulence started. It lasted about 5 minutes, but there were some big bumps. The seatbelt sign came on immediately and the female F/O gave a very nice announcement, explaining that the wind had changed direction and that was the reason for the rough air.

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/OZ-SIN112.jpg
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http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/OZ-SIN115.jpg

Still time for a game of Bejeweled
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/OZ-SIN116.jpg

Cabin shot
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/OZ-SIN117.jpg

About 30minutes before landing the engines spooled down to prepare for our approach into Sydney. We were told there was a SW wind and it was 16C.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/OZ-SIN118.jpg
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http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/OZ-SIN119.jpg

I wasn’t expecting to see much of SYD on approach as I guessed the views would be on the right. Anyway, we ended up flying an unexpected routing which meant that, yes, we got our first sight of the city from the air. I was mesmerised. Apologies for the poor quality, it was getting dark.

First glimpse of land

.


Sydney!!
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/OZ-SIN128.jpg
Opera House

And again
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/OZ-SIN132.jpg
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http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/OZ-SIN133.jpg

Here you can make out the Sydney Tower Eye, the second tallest observation tower in the Southern Hemisphere after Auckland’s Sky Tower



We touched down at 1711, after a 3hr flight and had a long taxi to the gate.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/OZ-SIN136.jpg

I forgot to take this picture of the IFE whilst we were in the air!
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/OZ-SIN138.jpg

Nice sunset


Look at our beautiful neighbour
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/OZ-SIN145.jpg


When deboarding, I decided to ask the crew for a copy of the inflight magazine, as there were none in the seat pockets (Nicholas later told me that this is to save fuel). Sandra immediately asked her colleague to fetch one, but she didn’t have any success. She then asked a member of the ground staff, who said she could get one, but we’d have to wait a while. I said not to worry, it wasn’t important and then Sandra asked me would I like to visit the flightdeck to make up for it! Talk about proactive. So I gladly took her up on the offer and spent a few minutes chatting to the pilots. Of course I told them about my job and our big trip at which point the female F/O asked me did I speak Swiss German. Well, I was rather surprised until she told me that she lived in Basel for four years when she flew for Crossair. The world is a small place, even when you’re on the other side of it!



I thanked them and when left the cockpit, only for Sandra to hand me an inflight magazine that they’d found at the back of the plane. So I was totally happy but also sad to leave the wonderful flight on Air New Zealand. I really, really hope I get a chance to fly with them again one day!

I couldn’t get a decent, final shot of our plane, so made do with the neighbour instead!
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/OZ-SIN148.jpg
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http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/OZ-SIN149.jpg

A look at the departure board
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/OZ-SIN151.jpg

Heading through arrival duty free
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/OZ-SIN152.jpg

Luggage info. I stopped taking pictures at this point as there were warning signs up that it wasn’t allowed.



I threw the last bits of chocolate in the bin as I didn’t want to be bothered declaring food. The whole process, immigration & quarantine, was much smoother than I expected, quick and actually more relaxed than in Auckland.

Well thank you. Pleased to be here!
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/OZ-SIN155.jpg
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http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/OZ-SIN156.jpg
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http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/OZ-SIN157.jpg

We took a taxi from the airport to our accommodation downtown, this cost about 45$. The driver was a friendly Chinese chap who gave us lots of tips of what to see & do. It was quite a shock driving through the heavy rush hour traffic after the empty roads of New Zealand.

We chose the Swissotel, again because of a 4for3 deal through the travel agent. It’s close to Darling Harbour and about a 15 minute walk down to the Rocks. Our room was on the 19th floor, exactly the same as in Auckland.

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http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/OZ-SIN161.jpg

We were pretty tired after such a busy day and didn’t want to go far for dinner. A few blocks down we found a wonderful Greek restaurant and it felt so surreal to be eating such delicious Greek food in the middle of a busy Sydney street!

No Mykonos or Santorini trip this year, but they felt a little bit closer thanks to the menus…
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/OZ-SIN165.jpg

…and murals inside
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/OZ-SIN167.jpg

So, time to draw part two of this series to a close. New Zealand is a simply stunning country, landscape wise it has the best of everything and the people are some of the friendliest I have ever met in my life. It is a long way, but it is more than worth it. I would fly those 21 hours again without any hesitation.

As for ANZ, well, I’m so pleased we chose them over EK. The 3 hour flight was over far too quickly and I have very happy memories of my time of board. The New Zealand hospitality is what makes them so good.

Finally, a big thank you to Nicholas and his reports on Queenstown here on airliners. They were a big inspiration in making this trip. What you showed us of the Auckland area is something I will never forget and which would never have been happened if it wasn’t for this website.

I will conclude the remainder of the trip in part 3: our time in Sydney and the flights SYD-SIN-ZRH on SQ.

Thank you for reading this rather long report and if you’ve made it this far, please leave a comment, they are much appreciated!

Happy flying
Infodesk   



"Do nothing in haste, look well to each step and from the beginning think what may be the end" - Edward Whymper
User currently offlineLuxair747SP From Germany, joined May 2010, 504 posts, RR: 17
Reply 2, posted (2 years 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 15030 times:

Hi Hannah,

all i can say for the moment is WOW.
I still remember all these sights from my year living in Auckland and this made me wanna go back even stronger...The pictures of the landscape are just great.
Also nice to see you going past Mt Tongariro. I hiked up that one and the views were unbelievable.
Piha really is an amazing beach...have you been down there or just staying on top of the hill?

Your flight with ANZ also looks good and the beer of Mr 5A tastes excellent  
Have you tried L&P while in NZ?

Thanks a lot for sharing this amazing piece of work.

Cheers
Johannes


User currently offlinejwhite9185 From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 1256 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (2 years 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 14840 times:

Another great report from your trip with some stunning pictures from New Zealand!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Our vessel for the crossing, Kaitaki, an ex channel boat (Pride of Cherbourg)

Thought it looked familiar!

Looking forward to the next part.



A300,A319,A320,A321,A333,A343,A346,A388,732,733,734,735,738,741,742,744,752,763,772,77W,788,Q400,DC10,E145,E170,E175,E19
User currently offlineroberts87 From Netherlands, joined Dec 2011, 965 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (2 years 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 14657 times:

Great report! Thanks for taking the time to write it all down and share the memories of your trip.
New Zeeland sure seems like an amazing country, I would love to go there sometime!


User currently offlineKnightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1756 posts, RR: 18
Reply 5, posted (2 years 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 14547 times:

Blimey Hannah,

What an excellent follow-up after your great first part. Those pictures you took are absolutely amazing. Those are some seriously romantic landscapes you journeyed through. Perhaps it just seems like that in the pictures but I must say I thought the photos of the mountains could easily also have been taken in Switzerland.

As for Air New Zealand, their service looks really impressive and the meals don't look half bad.

Thanks for posting!

Cheers,
William


User currently offlineskyhawk707 From United States of America, joined Oct 2010, 6 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (2 years 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 14471 times:

Hi Hannah

Could hardly wait for this part of the TR, but the wait was worth it. Another Awesome Trip report with some of the most awe inspiring pictures of New Zealand i've ever seen.. Almost makes me want to book a flight and go right now.

Looking forward to your next part of the report

Cheers,

Mike


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6716 posts, RR: 77
Reply 7, posted (2 years 1 week 5 days ago) and read 14425 times:

Hi Hannah,

excellent report with outstanding pictures! New Zealand is a beautiful country. Good to see you enjoyed the flight on NZ, it offers a great product. My HKG-LHR and AKL-SFO flights on NZ belong to my most enjoyable long-haul flights.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
First we drove to Mount Eden, a hill above Auckland with great views over the city.

He also took me there, lovely place!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Have you ever been this far away from home ?

  

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):

Some info about the quakes

I remember there was a short one when I changed planes at CHC back in 2010.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Air New Zealand, well done! There have actually been 3 different ones produced and the one we were shown is the best of the best. Those of you who haven’t seen it, do watch it:

I have always liked NZ's safety videos!


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineZKSUJ From New Zealand, joined May 2004, 7088 posts, RR: 12
Reply 8, posted (2 years 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 14235 times:

Amazing trip report, I'm very glad to hear you enjoyed your time in our beautiful country. Great pics and capped off by a great flight  

User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3203 posts, RR: 12
Reply 9, posted (2 years 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 14179 times:

Hannah, THANK YOU for all those wonderful pictures - they brought back some wonderful memories of my gap year! (sadly before widespread digital photgraphy). NZ really is a stunning place, I really want to go back and spend a few months just driving around, enjoy the scenery.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
After 2 nights in Wellington it was time to leave the North Island. The ferry crossing across the Cook Strait takes about 3 hours

I decided to fly NZ on the WLG-NSN route on a Beech1900 - everyone was shocked I didn't take the ferry

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Our vessel for the crossing, Kaitaki, an ex channel boat (Pride of Cherbourg)

I've been on the Pride of Cherbourg!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):

Nelson
Nelson really surprised us: a nice town with such friendly people, one of the sunniest places in the country & a good choice of restaurants. It’s known as the gateway to the Abel Tasman national park

I loved Nelson - did you walk to the "Centre of New Zealand" statue?

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):

It’s possible to fly back from Milford to Queenstown for a few hundred NZ dollars.

You were unlucky it didn't work out. I managed to get a helicopter ride back for a quarter of the asking price as someone else pulled out at the last minute - we landed on a glacier half way!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Interesting set of rules

Ha, lots of trampy western backpackers and Asian wannabe cooks with their trangias! My old Korean roommate used to cook currry on the floor in the space between our beds on my year aborad in China!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
We pushed back at 1605 and the safety video was played. Well, I had no idea what treat was instore. I have never laughed so much at a safety video. Now, some may say that it should be a serious matter, but I think that anything that grabs your attention is a good thing and I couldn’t stop grinning.

I've heard some people love those, others hate them I guess they suceed in getting first time NZ flyers to pay attention, but I guess for a frequent traveller, they'd be REALLY annoying!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
I asked about a vegetarian option and was told, most apologetically, that they have to be reserved in advance. I explained we’d booked through a travel agent and that the request had worked on SQ. The cabin crew member apologised about 6 times that they had nothing, but I really wasn’t that fussed. I took the chicken and picked around it, but the rice was too dry without the meat sauce.

It's a shame your veg request didn't come though - and a shame that the crew couldn't come up with anything else - did you feed back to your agent?

Again, thanks for the amazing report and pictures! looking forward to see what SYD has to offer, a city I've yet to visit.



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: LHR-GVA-LHR-TXL-LHR-VE-PRN,SPU-OSL-LHR, LGW-DXB-BKK-DXB-LHR
User currently offlineZKOJH From China, joined Sep 2004, 1661 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (2 years 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 14117 times:

A fantastic report, makes me miss home a lot more, and I haven't been there in 5 years, must make the trip soon , the pictures are very nice and well presented.


NZ 787-9 flying between PVG - AKL ! CAN'T WAIT!!
User currently offlinesultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1661 posts, RR: 30
Reply 11, posted (2 years 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 13725 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hello Hannah,

Wow, that is one marvelous report you present us here  Wow! Thanks for taking us with you on this retrospective trip to NZ. A spectacular country with amazing scenery it is for sure, almost like Switserland   And indeed, no better way to leave the country than on NZ, you certainly did it in style.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Whether it was the food or the jetlag we will never know, but my husband was violently sick all night.

Most probably it will have been the fatigue associated with all that traveling. Now it is demonstrated once again that us man are the weaker sex  
Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Have you ever been this far away from home ?

Hey, even Brussels is mentioned there. I’m glad to see that. It shows that Belgium indeed deserves its tiny little place on the world map!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
View from the Skyline gondola, Rotorua

Nice views there. Did you ride down in those go cart like thingies?

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
I’m not that good on boats and have been prone to seasickness in the past.

Welcome to the club! Give me any mode of transportation any time, but not a boat 

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Kaitaki

Now how come this name reminds me of a certain airport in the Southeastern Asia region?

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Now I know how it must feel when tourists visit Zermatt and don’t even see the Matterhorn!

Ha ha, good comparison. You of course are used to those gorgeous mountain views.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
With the domestics

I guess you could’ve scored some nice domestic rides over there, but I know, there’s more to a holiday than aviation, no?

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
To borrow FlyingFinn’s expression, bugger.

You always have this type of people, no matter where in the world you go. I hope he hasn’t been hauting you in your dreams? Still a very funny story though!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Interesting set of rules

Now who come up with the idea of setting up a tent in the airport terminal. But given the fact that it is mentioned, I thing they have come across people who did just exactly that.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
The EK flight to SYD that we could have taken.

Any reason as to why you didn’t choose EK? Not that you made the wrong decision in flying NZ though  

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
So, a brief aviation based conversation ensued, after which we were free to go.

You airport workers seem to be 1 happy family?

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
34th flight on the A320, 1st on this machine

No ‘All Blacks’ for you unfortunately. But doesn’t that one only fly domestics?

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Now, some may say that it should be a serious matter, but I think that anything that grabs your attention is a good thing and I couldn’t stop grinning.

Agreed. Watched it on YouTube and it is very funny indeed. Still, the onboard crew has to take it seriously as well of course but they most certainly did just that.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
I suddenly felt very sad. As we left New Zealand soil, the tears came.

Sweet. Did your husband shed a tear as well?

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
If you’re going to leave New Zealand, do it in style: on their home carrier, on a glorious autumn day, sit on the left and don’t bother with the moving map - just enjoy Mother Nature at her best.

I’m delighted to see your husband took the ‘photo job’ seriously, the pics are fantastic! I guess you clearly told him the rules 

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
I ended up with two again, thanks to 5A choosing to drink beer again!

Love and marriage at its best!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
and then Sandra asked me would I like to visit the flightdeck to make up for it! Talk about proactive.

Wow, what a nice gesture! You didn’t tell the crew you have already jumpseated this type of airplane over the Alps?

Sultanils



In thrust we trust.
User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2438 posts, RR: 53
Reply 12, posted (2 years 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 13570 times:

My dear friend Hannah,

Waking up in a depressing stormy morning on my day off with no sun to be seen and that in summertime! But I have found my sun, in your greatest report ever about the country on the other side of the world.

Dear Heaven, you left me speechless by everything you captured there. Cities, suburbs, villages, parks, beaches… I just had… I just had to put my feelings into words,

B-R-E-A-T-H-T-A-K-I-N-G … B-R-I-L-L-I-A-N-T …


Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
It was a stomach lurching experience, but the views were worth it.

A-W-E-S-O-M-E.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Whether it was the food or the jetlag we will never know, but my husband was violently sick all night.

Luckily, the illness did not last any longer.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
View from the Sky Tower. Now you know why Auckland is called the City of Sails

I did not know that, but yes, indeed.  



Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
That was an understatement! What we were treated to would put any tourguide to shame.

Our Nicholas is a true host of his home country.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Have you ever been this far away from home ?

Not yet. Did you spot Zurich somewhere?

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Rotorua, famous for its geothermal activity and with a distinct smell of sulphur in the air,

A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
they say you need days to see it properly.

Could the museum be as big as The Louvre?

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
The classic Wellington photo

C-H-A-R-M-I-N-G.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
the scenery was constantly changing and you never, ever got bored of looking out the window.

F-A-N-T-A-S-T-I-C

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Here’s a shot of Mount Tongariro; driving through this national park reminded me of the desert landscape around Mount Teide, Tenerife.

I believe you. I have never been to Tenerife myself.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
a proper check-in procedure with boarding passes!

Do you mind showing us the boarding pass?   



Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
First impressions of the South Island
Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
I was mesmerised by the coastline.
Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
we took a taxi down to Lake Matheson (thanks Nicholas for the tip!) and walked round the lake. It’s famous for its reflections of Mount Cook.

G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Baggage claim, ferry style!

With luggage tag as well?

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
At first we wanted to take an day trip into the park, but soon realised that it would be too much of a rush, so decided for something a bit more easy going.

I think it’s a wise decision.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
We had a room right on the beach, with huge windows and just the crashing waves of the Tasman to watch and listen to. Apart from the Pancake Rocks and a stroll along the beach, there is nothing to do here. Ideal for a romantic getaway

Or a honeymoon.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
You can see why the Pancake Rocks are called so

Definitely.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
I bought some Cadbury’s chocolate, dark with a mint filling and he commented on how much he liked it

I know you like anything minty, how sweet of you to share it with the driver.  



Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Mount Iron to get lovely views over the town.

A-R-T-I-S-T-I-C.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Our hotel was the St. Moritz, I chose it simply because of its name, but it didn’t quite live up to the expectations.

That’s a pity. What does TripAdvisor say about it?

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
The bus schedule leant itself to making a detour to the aiport. Well, how could I miss this opportunity?

Of course not.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
We took a cruise on TSS Earnslaw, the only remaining commercial passenger-carrying coal-fired steamship in the Southern Hemisphere,

E-X-C-I-T-I-N-G.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
A trip to Milford is the sort of example of mass tourism that I don’t really like. Very strict timings & everyone is given a picnic lunch a bit like on a school trip.

Hmm, is there any way to visit Milford at your own leisure?

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Our driver seemd to think it would be ok and I really got my hopes up, only to be told at the last minute that there weren’t enough aircraft and that it wasn’t possible. I was so disappointed.

  I assume, it would be wiser to book in advance.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
It was a strange feeling knowing things were drawing to a close and I felt quite sad on the bus.

I can imagine your feeling.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
So many damaged buildings and such resiliance amongst the locals. The New Zealanders should be proud of themselves.

M-O-V-I-N-G

Thank you, thank you for truly inspiring story about the bus tour and sharing the most intricate details of places you visited.

One may only be interested in aviation, but how could you possibly skip this part of your story?



Friends forever
User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2438 posts, RR: 53
Reply 13, posted (2 years 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 13563 times:

Now, it’s aviation time!  



Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
Arrival at the airport

Look the ramps agents resting outside.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
What a beautiful entrance!

As if it wants to say, ‘Please come back soon!’

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
The guy was furious and shouted down the bus 'What is your problem?‘ !

I wished there was a huge body builder among your group who stood up and came to him and said, “You are the problem! So, have a seat and shut up!”

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
To which Mr. Grumpy shouted 'No it is not‘!

I wished someone would have said, “Then, it’s your problem, not ours! ”

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
When I overhead him telling someone he had a private flying licence, I had to stop myself from laughing out loud. Surely a guy this disorganised can’t fly a plane?!

You should have asked him whether he could spell F-L-Y-I-N-G L-I-C-E-N-C-E properly.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
I commented on this, to which he looked at me seriously, said 'We don’t like the Swiss‘ and broke into a big grin.

What a funny guy.



Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
Our bags weighed in at 20 & 19.6kg – the allowance on NZ is 23kg.

Speaking of traveling light. Well done, Hannah!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
Interesting set of rules

I did not expect CHC to be a dry airport.  



Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
Infodesk  

How appropriate.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
was shocked to discover my sheepskin boots on sale at 100$ more than what I’d paid in Queenstown. Airport prices, eh?

You must have felt relieved that you bought it outside the airport.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
Hello Sir
Silence
Hello Sir (a bit louder)
Silence
Is this your bag Sir?
Silence

That’s very rude of the passenger!  



Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
Some daring granny decided that she didn’t have to queue and just tried to walk past, but got a nasty grilling from the officer afterwards.

You’re never too old to learn. Way to go for the officer!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
Errm, where’s the view ?

Perhaps, there’s used to be a tarmac view long time ago…

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
So nearly all the window shots were taken by him.

Great job of your husband!   



Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
So my request to change seats had an unexpected bonus and we enjoyed a 33’’ seat pitch. (Thanks Nicholas for pointing that out!)
Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
Nicholas had told me about this and I guessed that as the travel agent had booked it & we had a 23kg allowance we‘d also get the meal.

Undoubtedly well-appreciated recommendations from our expert Nicholas.  



Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
Two pieces of hand luggage under the seat and still loads of room

Wow! Masses of legroom!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
Air New Zealand, well done! There have actually been 3 different ones produced and the one we were shown is the best of the best. Those of you who haven’t seen it, do watch it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgpYt...MQQjc

    . I love to see the cabin attendants and also the hunky passengers!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
As we left New Zealand soil, the tears came. Thank you New Zealand, thank you New Zealanders: you are wonderful people in a marvellous country and I had the trip of a lifetime.

I can imagine how hard it must have been to say goodbye.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
sit on the left and don’t bother with the moving map - just enjoy Mother Nature at her best.

I found myself speechless again…..

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
He spent the entire time listening to New Zealand rock bands and as a result we exchanged about 10 words in the 3 hours   

Cool! There must be dance music collection as well!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
I asked about a vegetarian option

I did not know you’re a vegetarian.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
The ice cream was delicious. I ended up with two again, thanks to 5A choosing to drink beer again!

Nice F&B arrangement! Herman and I would have to negotiate further as both of us love beer.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
Apologies for the poor quality, it was getting dark.

Poor quality? Please don’t be so modest.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
Nice sunset

 Wow!



Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
Sandra immediately asked her colleague to fetch one, but she didn’t have any success. She then asked a member of the ground staff, who said she could get one, but we’d have to wait a while. I said not to worry, it wasn’t important and then Sandra asked me would I like to visit the flightdeck to make up for it! Talk about proactive.

Kudos to Sandra!   



Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
the female F/O asked me did I speak Swiss German. Well, I was rather surprised until she told me that she lived in Basel for four years when she flew for Crossair

You’re kidding? It’s indeed a small world.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
The whole process, immigration & quarantine, was much smoother than I expected, quick and actually more relaxed than in Auckland.

That’s good to hear.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
A few blocks down we found a wonderful Greek restaurant and it felt so surreal to be eating such delicious Greek food in the middle of a busy Sydney street!

What a feeling indeed. I am sure they have proper Greek salad on the menu.  


Dear Hannah, thanks again for letting me and all others take part in your adventure to the other side of the world. So sweet, mesmerizing details made me feel I was there with you and your husband.

May I give you the honor of becoming a great ambassador of New Zealand? I have never felt so inspired and encouraged to visit New Zealand.      


Warmest regards,
Suryo  


PS. I am having trouble to post my reply in once. Hence, the split up. I hope you don’t mind.



Friends forever
User currently offlineLoveNZ From New Zealand, joined Jul 2012, 6 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (2 years 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 13544 times:

Hi infodesk,

Your trip report finally inspired me to join A.net after 5 years of reading. What a great report! Isn't the West Coast fantastic! I was lucky enough to do the Heaphy Track ealrier this year and I have to say that the scenery was amazing! I have always enjoyed NZ's Trans-Tasman service even though I usually fly at the cheaper end of the plane. Thanks again for the great picutres.

LoveNZ


User currently offlineinfodesk From Switzerland, joined May 2006, 1447 posts, RR: 33
Reply 15, posted (2 years 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 13166 times:

Wow. I'm quite overwhelmed by all the replies so far! Thank you!

Johannes,

Quoting Luxair747SP (Reply 2):
all i can say for the moment is WOW.
I still remember all these sights from my year living in Auckland and this made me wanna go back even stronger...The pictures of the landscape are just great.

Must have been super living there for a year!

Quoting Luxair747SP (Reply 2):
Also nice to see you going past Mt Tongariro. I hiked up that one and the views were unbelievable.

How cool, would love to do it. Bet the views were amazing.

Quoting Luxair747SP (Reply 2):
Piha really is an amazing beach...have you been down there or just staying on top of the hill?

Yeah, Nicholas drove us down there and we walked along the beach.

Quoting Luxair747SP (Reply 2):
Your flight with ANZ also looks good and the beer of Mr 5A tastes excellent
Have you tried L&P while in NZ?

Ah, you see, Nicholas told him to make sure he tried that beer! Yes, I did have some L&P, up the Skyline gondola in Queenstown, but unfortunately it attracted rather a lot of wasps...!

Quoting Luxair747SP (Reply 2):
Thanks a lot for sharing this amazing piece of work.

Thank you for your kind words!

James

Quoting jwhite9185 (Reply 3):
Another great report from your trip with some stunning pictures from New Zealand!

Glad you enjoyed it.

Quoting jwhite9185 (Reply 3):
Thought it looked familiar!

Must have been quite a journey it took to get it down to NZ!

Robert,

Quoting roberts87 (Reply 4):
Great report! Thanks for taking the time to write it all down and share the memories of your trip.
New Zeeland sure seems like an amazing country, I would love to go there sometime!

Thank you for taking the time to read it and leave some feedback. I can highly recommend NZ.

William,

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 5):
What an excellent follow-up after your great first part. Those pictures you took are absolutely amazing. Those are some seriously romantic landscapes you journeyed through

Thanks William, much appreciated.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 5):
Perhaps it just seems like that in the pictures but I must say I thought the photos of the mountains could easily also have been taken in Switzerland.

Yes, you're right, there are a lot of similarities. I guess some would say why go all that way when you have it on your doortstep. For me it was the whole package though: cities, beaches, rainforest, snow, mountains, lakes. What it does make you realise is how compact Switzerland is.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 5):
As for Air New Zealand, their service looks really impressive and the meals don't look half bad.

Just a shame it's so hard to fly them in Europe!

Mike,

Quoting skyhawk707 (Reply 6):
Could hardly wait for this part of the TR, but the wait was worth it. Another Awesome Trip report with some of the most awe inspiring pictures of New Zealand i've ever seen.. Almost makes me want to book a flight and go right now.

Well, if you do then I can assure you you won't be disappointed! (And no, I'm not being paid by the NZ tourist board  )

PH,

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 7):
excellent report with outstanding pictures! New Zealand is a beautiful country. Good to see you enjoyed the flight on NZ, it offers a great product. My HKG-LHR and AKL-SFO flights on NZ belong to my most enjoyable long-haul flights.

Thank you & glad you enjoyed it. It must have been fab to fly NZ long-haul, I'm sure that would be a truly great experience. I'm a little sad we didn't do that ourselves!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 7):
He also took me there, lovely place!

Super views indeed up there.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 7):
I remember there was a short one when I changed planes at CHC back in 2010.

Gosh, that must have been quite scary.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 7):
have always liked NZ's safety videos!

So innovative, aren't they?

ZKSUJ,

Quoting ZKSUJ (Reply 8):
Amazing trip report, I'm very glad to hear you enjoyed your time in our beautiful country. Great pics and capped off by a great flight

Oh, indeed, it was one of the best trips of my life. You live in a wonderful country.

Gabriel,

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 9):
Hannah, THANK YOU for all those wonderful pictures - they brought back some wonderful memories of my gap year! (sadly before widespread digital photgraphy). NZ really is a stunning place, I really want to go back and spend a few months just driving around, enjoy the scenery.

That's really nice of you, thanks! I'm so glad digital photography was invented, I dread to think how many films I would have got through otherwise!

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 9):
I decided to fly NZ on the WLG-NSN route on a Beech1900 - everyone was shocked I didn't take the ferry

You know, I did briefly consider that as I was so worried about the sea sickness. I'm sure the take off from WLG and approach into NSN must be pretty impressive.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 9):
I've been on the Pride of Cherbourg!

Glad to note that you and James log boats as well  
Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 9):
I loved Nelson - did you walk to the "Centre of New Zealand" statue?

No we didn't. If I remember correctly it's a little way out of the centre?

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 9):
You were unlucky it didn't work out. I managed to get a helicopter ride back for a quarter of the asking price as someone else pulled out at the last minute - we landed on a glacier half way!

Well, some things aren't meant to be. Glad it worked out for you.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 9):
I've heard some people love those, others hate them I guess they suceed in getting first time NZ flyers to pay attention, but I guess for a frequent traveller, they'd be REALLY annoying!

Yes, I suppose the frequent flyers just ignore the video on most carriers, that would rather difficult with that film! Perhaps that's why they made a few different versions?

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 9):
It's a shame your veg request didn't come though - and a shame that the crew couldn't come up with anything else - did you feed back to your agent?

Well, it really wasn't that bad as it was only a 3 hour flight. I guess if it had been longhaul then they would have had spares. I didn't tell the travel agent as it really was the only thing that didn't work out during the 4 weeks.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 9):
Again, thanks for the amazing report and pictures! looking forward to see what SYD has to offer, a city I've yet to visit.

SYD is just as great, believe me!

ZKOJH

Quoting ZKOJH (Reply 10):
fantastic report, makes me miss home a lot more, and I haven't been there in 5 years, must make the trip soon , the pictures are very nice and well presented.

5 years is a long time, you must miss those landscapes. Hope it didn't make you too homesick!

Nils,

Quoting sultanils (Reply 11):
Wow, that is one marvelous report you present us here Thanks for taking us with you on this retrospective trip to NZ. A spectacular country with amazing scenery it is for sure, almost like Switserland And indeed, no better way to leave the country than on NZ, you certainly did it in style.

Such kind words, thank you. There are indeed many similarities with Switzerland.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 11):
Now it is demonstrated once again that us man are the weaker sex

Oh, I don't know about that. I would have been feeling pretty sorry for myself if I'd been as sick as that. The fatigue caught up with me a couple of days later, but thankfully I didn't get as ill.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 11):
Hey, even Brussels is mentioned there. I’m glad to see that. It shows that Belgium indeed deserves its tiny little place on the world map!

I thought you'd like that  
Quoting sultanils (Reply 11):
Nice views there. Did you ride down in those go cart like thingies?

Not in Rotorua, but there was something similar in Queenstown so we gave them a go there.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 11):
Welcome to the club! Give me any mode of transportation any time, but not a boat

That's quite refreshing to hear when you live in a country with a coastline   I think I get it from my Mum, she's so bad she only has to look at a boat and she feels sick!

Quoting sultanils (Reply 11):
Now how come this name reminds me of a certain airport in the Southeastern Asia region?

A coincidence. Kaitaki is a Maori word meaning challenger.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 11):
I guess you could’ve scored some nice domestic rides over there, but I know, there’s more to a holiday than aviation, no?

Oh yes, we could have indeed. But the way things worked out it just wasn't really feasible. Maybe next time.....

Quoting sultanils (Reply 11):
Now who come up with the idea of setting up a tent in the airport terminal. But given the fact that it is mentioned, I thing they have come across people who did just exactly that.

I guess so! I've never seen an airport with such strict rules, but I think it's a good thing they try and keep some order in the place.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 11):
Any reason as to why you didn’t choose EK? Not that you made the wrong decision in flying NZ though

EK would have been cheaper. However, I just felt that my chance of flying them in the future was far greater than NZ and wanted to take the opportunity whilst I had it.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 11):
You airport workers seem to be 1 happy family?

Something like that!

Quoting sultanils (Reply 11):
No ‘All Blacks’ for you unfortunately. But doesn’t that one only fly domestics?

Correct. I didn't know that until Nicholas pointed it out in one of his reports.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 11):
Sweet. Did your husband shed a tear as well?

Yes, he's usually worse than me  
Quoting sultanils (Reply 11):
I’m delighted to see your husband took the ‘photo job’ seriously, the pics are fantastic! I guess you clearly told him the rules

He'll be pleased to hear that. I kept telling him to try and include the wing/engine!

Quoting sultanils (Reply 11):
Wow, what a nice gesture! You didn’t tell the crew you have already jumpseated this type of airplane over the Alps?

Oh no, how could have forgotten to tell them that?! Must have been the excitement!

Suryo,

Quoting akhmad (Reply 12):
Waking up in a depressing stormy morning on my day off with no sun to be seen and that in summertime! But I have found my sun, in your greatest report ever about the country on the other side of the world.

Dear Heaven, you left me speechless by everything you captured there. Cities, suburbs, villages, parks, beaches… I just had… I just had to put my feelings into words,

B-R-E-A-T-H-T-A-K-I-N-G … B-R-I-L-L-I-A-N-T …

Suryo, I am touched by your kindness. You're quite right about the summer, I don't know where it has gone!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 12):
Luckily, the illness did not last any longer.

No, thankfully. It took him a few days to get back to normal though.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 12):
Our Nicholas is a true host of his home country.

He certainly is.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 12):
Not yet. Did you spot Zurich somewhere?

London was near enough for me  
Quoting akhmad (Reply 12):
Could the museum be as big as The Louvre?

It could well be, it's certainly massive, on about 7 floors.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 12):
Do you mind showing us the boarding pass?

Here you are:
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/NZ794-Kopie.jpg

Quoting akhmad (Reply 12):
With luggage tag as well?

Indeed, and barcode.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 12):
Or a honeymoon.

It would be rather cool for a honeymoon, yes, but maybe not for a whole week.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 12):
That’s a pity. What does TripAdvisor say about it?

Most of the reviews were good, which is why we went for it. Somethimes though the places you expect to be the best though let you down and ones you expect the least from really surprise you.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 12):
Hmm, is there any way to visit Milford at your own leisure?

Well, it's difficult. You can of course drive there yourself but it's an awfully long way along narrow roads and very tiring. The boats go first thing in the morning and at lunchtime like ours, so unless you stay at Milford itself there's no way round it.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 12):
I assume, it would be wiser to book in advance.

You can do, although I think most people decide on the day of travel after seeing what the weather's like.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 12):
Thank you, thank you for truly inspiring story about the bus tour and sharing the most intricate details of places you visited.

So pleased that you enjoyed it so much.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
As if it wants to say, ‘Please come back soon!’

And I would like to!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
wished there was a huge body builder among your group who stood up and came to him and said, “You are the problem! So, have a seat and shut up!”

Oh Suryo, if only somebody had!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
wished someone would have said, “Then, it’s your problem, not ours! ”

Yeah, such people should stay at home if they're going to complain so much on holiday.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
You should have asked him whether he could spell F-L-Y-I-N-G L-I-C-E-N-C-E properly.

Haha, that would have been an interesting one!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
Speaking of traveling light. Well done, Hannah!

Well, I had to. SQ's allowance back home was only 20kgs each 
Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
You must have felt relieved that you bought it outside the airport.

Never buy your souvenirs at the airport. It's the same the world over

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
Great job of your husband!

Thanks

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
love to see the cabin attendants and also the hunky passengers!

I like the little granny who's trying to put the picture in the overhead locker!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
I did not know you’re a vegetarian.

Have been for quite a few years now.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
Nice F&B arrangement! Herman and I would have to negotiate further as both of us love beer.

No problems with the beer here thankfully.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
Poor quality? Please don’t be so modest.

Well, some of them are blurred!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
You’re kidding? It’s indeed a small world.

No joke!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
What a feeling indeed. I am sure they have proper Greek salad on the menu.

Oh yes, and Mousakka and Ouzo!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
Dear Hannah, thanks again for letting me and all others take part in your adventure to the other side of the world. So sweet, mesmerizing details made me feel I was there with you and your husband.

May I give you the honor of becoming a great ambassador of New Zealand? I have never felt so inspired and encouraged to visit New Zealand.

What an honour Suryo, I will gladly accept  
Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
. I am having trouble to post my reply in once. Hence, the split up. I hope you don’t mind.

No problems.

LoveNZ,

Quoting LoveNZ (Reply 14):
Your trip report finally inspired me to join A.net after 5 years of reading. What a great report!

Now that is one of the nicest compliments I've ever had. Thank you so much!

Quoting LoveNZ (Reply 14):
Isn't the West Coast fantastic! I was lucky enough to do the Heaphy Track ealrier this year and I have to say that the scenery was amazing! I have always enjoyed NZ's Trans-Tasman service even though I usually fly at the cheaper end of the plane. Thanks again for the great picutres.

The West Coast is just out of this world, I loved it! We saw so many places we'd loved to have done some hiking. A reason to return? As for the "cheaper end of the plane", I guess I'd do the same if I used that route regularly.

Happy flying
Infodesk [spin]



"Do nothing in haste, look well to each step and from the beginning think what may be the end" - Edward Whymper
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3203 posts, RR: 12
Reply 16, posted (2 years 1 week 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 13052 times:

Quoting infodesk (Reply 15):
Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 9):
I've been on the Pride of Cherbourg!
Glad to note that you and James log boats as well

Ha, I don't log boats, but in my youinger years I think we (as a family) logged the entire P&O/Stena Dover fleets! I think it was either the Pride of Calais or Pride of Dover than had a McDonalds onboard!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 15):
No we didn't. If I remember correctly it's a little way out of the centre?

Yes, it was a bit of a walk. I think I went there 3 times in the week I was chilaxing in Nelson



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: LHR-GVA-LHR-TXL-LHR-VE-PRN,SPU-OSL-LHR, LGW-DXB-BKK-DXB-LHR
User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6407 posts, RR: 38
Reply 17, posted (2 years 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 12915 times:

Hi Hannah,

Great to see this one up! And what a wonderful job you've done in helping me promote my home country!  
Pictures are stunning to say the least. I need to get myself down there during autumn!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Whether it was the food or the jetlag we will never know, but my husband was violently sick all night. I think we finally fell asleep about 6am.

How horrible.. And then you followed that up with a whole day in the car!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Well, I was thinking along the lines of a coffee somewhere, but Nicholas said he'd pick us up at the hotel mid-morning and take us for a drive. That was an understatement!

I'm glad (I think) you didn't have any other plans that day and I was able to show you as much as I did.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Have you ever been this far away from home ?

I can finally say the opposite is true for me!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
What we were treated to would put any tourguide to shame.

Too kind! But thank you!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
So Nicholas, thank you for everything and I hope that we can return the favour one day in Switzerland.

You're most welcome!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
An ANZ ATR taking off

Looks like a Dash 8 from here  
Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
However, we were blessed with a glorious day and the sea was so calm, I actually thought I was on a lake in Switzerland!

Very lucky indeed, just as you were with just about the whole trip!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
This was probably the part of the holiday I’d been looking forward to most (not because of the adventure, but because of the scenery!).

I think it was good that you stopped in Wanaka too.. Both places are wonderful.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
There are plans to blast a tunnel through the mountainside as this would shorten the approach from Queenstown considerably.

And also a huge gondola/cable car was in the planning too as it's not very far from the other side of the lake.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
A trip to Milford is the sort of example of mass tourism that I don’t really like. Very strict timings & everyone is given a picnic lunch a bit like on a school trip. The beauty of the place though cannot be denied. We had one of the very few cloudless days which meant we were very lucky, although the force of the sun made photography rather difficult.

Regardless, I'd still like to visit it someday!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
Shortly after the husband appeared, to which some brave souls decided to clap.

Something you'd usually see on a plane when someone's holding it up   I suppose a bus ride is a bit different. Wouldn't it be funny if they clapped after every single time they got back onboard!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
To borrow FlyingFinn’s expression, bugger.

It's a common expression down here too, made famous by this ad: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbBx4Ql6Umo (haha the French subtitles are hilarious!)

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
On seeing that we were seated over the wing, I enquired about a seat change, saying we wanted to have the best possible view of the Southern Alps on take off. He kindly moved us to 5A&B, only much later would I realise how lucky we were to get these seats.

Great service.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):

Interesting set of rules

Very interesting.. I don't know any other airport which would 'ban' half the things on that list.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):

Then came the usual security procedure. In front of me was a French speaking guy. His conversation with the security staff went something like this:

Hello Sir
Silence
Hello Sir (a bit louder)
Silence
Is this your bag Sir?
Silence

At this point the staff member gave up. When it was my turn I greeted the guy with a big smile and a hello, which really seemed to fathom him!

2 extremes.. I guess some people can be really ignorant!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
Some nice adverts: here the Abel Tasman national park

Enticing you back to places you didn't get to see this time round  
Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
Errm, where’s the view ?

Looks like they'd be better of changing the name to smoking terrace or something.. It's not very good if you get a view back towards landside!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
We pushed back at 1605 and the safety video was played. Well, I had no idea what treat was instore. I have never laughed so much at a safety video. Now, some may say that it should be a serious matter, but I think that anything that grabs your attention is a good thing and I couldn’t stop grinning.

Yeah, it's fun to watch for the first couple of times.. But then it gets really annoying! I particularly loathed the Richard Simmons one..

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
And after the smiles of the safety video, I suddenly felt very sad. As we left New Zealand soil, the tears came. Thank you New Zealand, thank you New Zealanders: you are wonderful people in a marvellous country and I had the trip of a lifetime.

I guess I can safely say I can expect to see you back down here sometime?  
I'm glad you enjoyed your stay!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
It was as if someone, somewhere could read my thoughts. If you’re going to leave New Zealand, do it in style: on their home carrier, on a glorious autumn day, sit on the left and don’t bother with the moving map - just enjoy Mother Nature at her best.

Yes, you may not have had the same feeling if you had flown EK out of CHC!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):

The IFE was excellent. We both agreed it was even better than SQ’s. In fact it was so good, my husband complained that the flight was too short. He spent the entire time listening to New Zealand rock bands and as a result we exchanged about 10 words in the 3 hours

Many FFs complain about the lack of content; but the system itself is great.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
The trolley stopped at our row and we were given a choice between chicken & lasagne. I asked about a vegetarian option and was told, most apologetically, that they have to be reserved in advance. I explained we’d booked through a travel agent and that the request had worked on SQ. The cabin crew member apologised about 6 times that they had nothing, but I really wasn’t that fussed. I took the chicken and picked around it, but the rice was too dry without the meat sauce.

That's a shame.. Oh well, next time you'll know to reconfirm.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):

The ice cream was delicious. I ended up with two again, thanks to 5A choosing to drink beer again!

You can order more beer on the ticket that you bought but you can't order anymore ice cream!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):

I thanked them and when left the cockpit, only for Sandra to hand me an inflight magazine that they’d found at the back of the plane. So I was totally happy but also sad to leave the wonderful flight on Air New Zealand. I really, really hope I get a chance to fly with them again one day!

Great touch, glad they found one!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):

We chose the Swissotel

Swissotel and St Moritz! Haha. I guess you felt like you never even left home!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
So, time to draw part two of this series to a close. New Zealand is a simply stunning country, landscape wise it has the best of everything and the people are some of the friendliest I have ever met in my life. It is a long way, but it is more than worth it. I would fly those 21 hours again without any hesitation.

As for ANZ, well, I’m so pleased we chose them over EK. The 3 hour flight was over far too quickly and I have very happy memories of my time of board. The New Zealand hospitality is what makes them so good.

Finally, a big thank you to Nicholas and his reports on Queenstown here on airliners. They were a big inspiration in making this trip. What you showed us of the Auckland area is something I will never forget and which would never have been happened if it wasn’t for this website.

It looks like you saw a heck of a lot in that short time. And you presented it well for the rest of the A.Net community to admire!

My pleasure. It was always fun for me to get away and hop down to Queenstown every now and then. A.Net has provided many experiences which would have never been possible otherwise and I'm also grateful for it/being part of it.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 16):
Quoting infodesk (Reply 15):
No we didn't. If I remember correctly it's a little way out of the centre?

Yes, it was a bit of a walk. I think I went there 3 times in the week I was chilaxing in Nelson

The place itself is less than a km from the town centre.. But it's at the top of the hill and that takes a wee while to get up!


Thanks again for a great trip through my country. It's always good to get refreshers of how wonderful the scenery is from others!


Cheers,
Nicholas



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offline7seven7nz From New Zealand, joined Jul 2012, 2 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (2 years 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 12695 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi infodesk

I've been lurking reading trip reports on here for a while without posting but wanted to say how much I enjoyed reading this report and part one as well.

I'm glad you enjoyed our little country and NZ put on a good show for you. You've officially seen more of the west coast of the south island of my own country than I have, you've inspired me to book flights to the coast. (maybe I'll even post a report).

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
Interesting set of rules

After the Earthquake there was a lack of good backpacker accommodation in Christchurch so the airport became the default location for those needing somewhere to rest before flying out. It seems not all were respectful that it is a public place - hence the interesting rules.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
Errm, where’s the view ?

CHC used to have a brilliant outdoor viewing deck with excellent tarmac / runway views - sadly gone now with latest renovations.

Once again, thanks for your interesting reports. Looking forward to part three.


User currently offlineinfodesk From Switzerland, joined May 2006, 1447 posts, RR: 33
Reply 19, posted (2 years 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 12412 times:

More replies, great!

Suryo,
The picture didn't work in my last post, here's another try:
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/New%20Zealand%202/NZ794-Kopie.jpg

Gabriel,

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 16):
Ha, I don't log boats, but in my youinger years I think we (as a family) logged the entire P&O/Stena Dover fleets! I think it was either the Pride of Calais or Pride of Dover than had a McDonalds onboard!

And compare that with me, who has to travel all the way to NZ just to log a Channel vessel (the disadvantages of growing up in the North )

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 16):
Yes, it was a bit of a walk. I think I went there 3 times in the week I was chilaxing in Nelson

Time was against us, sadly.

Nicholas,

Good to read your reply.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 17):
And what a wonderful job you've done in helping me promote my home country!
Pictures are stunning to say the least. I need to get myself down there during autumn!

Do you think we should ask the NZ tourist board for jobs?

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 17):
How horrible.. And then you followed that up with a whole day in the car!

Believe me Nicholas, I was VERY relieved that the sickness had passed by then. I did not want any accidents in your car!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 17):
I'm glad (I think) you didn't have any other plans that day and I was able to show you as much as I did.

No, we had no other plans and would never have seen half as much without you.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 17):
Looks like a Dash 8 from here

Oh shoot. Whoops!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 17):
Very lucky indeed, just as you were with just about the whole trip!

The weather god was certainly looking down on us those 4 weeks.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 17):
And also a huge gondola/cable car was in the planning too as it's not very far from the other side of the lake.

Now that sounds cool! The bus driver only mentioned the tunnel.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 17):
Something you'd usually see on a plane when someone's holding it up I suppose a bus ride is a bit different. Wouldn't it be funny if they clapped after every single time they got back onboard!

I think there would have been a mass punch up!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 17):
It's a common expression down here too, made famous by this ad: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbBx4Ql6Umo (haha the French subtitles are hilarious!)

I watched it and it's really funny! You do know Toyotas are the preferred cars in our household?!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 17):
2 extremes.. I guess some people can be really ignorant!

Oh believe me, I know all about it......

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 17):
Enticing you back to places you didn't get to see this time round

And there were many of them.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 17):
Looks like they'd be better of changing the name to smoking terrace or something.. It's not very good if you get a view back towards landside!

It's exactly like the one at BSL which is also only used for smoking, no view in sight.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 17):
guess I can safely say I can expect to see you back down here sometime?

We both think it's one of the most beautiful places we've ever been to. If it was up to me, I'd come back next year. My husband, however, says he needs 10 years to recover from those flights  
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 17):
Yes, you may not have had the same feeling if you had flown EK out of CHC!

No way, it would never have been as special.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 17):
That's a shame.. Oh well, next time you'll know to reconfirm.

True, but as it was only a 3 hr flight, it really wasn't that serious.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 17):
You can order more beer on the ticket that you bought but you can't order anymore ice cream!

Then they should certainly change the rules!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 17):
Swissotel and St Moritz! Haha. I guess you felt like you never even left home!

Imagine checking in at the Swissotel and seeing a huge poster of the Jungfraujoch in reception!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 17):
It looks like you saw a heck of a lot in that short time. And you presented it well for the rest of the A.Net community to admire!.

They certainly were an action packed 4 weeks!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 17):
Thanks again for a great trip through my country. It's always good to get refreshers of how wonderful the scenery is from others!

Glad you liked the report & and thanks for all your feedback.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 17):
The place itself is less than a km from the town centre.. But it's at the top of the hill and that takes a wee while to get up!

Ok, good to know.


7seven7nz,

Quoting 7seven7nz (Reply 18):
I've been lurking reading trip reports on here for a while without posting but wanted to say how much I enjoyed reading this report and part one as well.

Another new member, how cool! Welcome & thank you!

Quoting 7seven7nz (Reply 18):
I'm glad you enjoyed our little country and NZ put on a good show for you. You've officially seen more of the west coast of the south island of my own country than I have, you've inspired me to book flights to the coast. (maybe I'll even post a report).

Well, it's often the way that people have seen more of a foreign country than their own. Really, you've booked some flights to the West Coast? Then you must write a report on them, that would be fantastic.

Quoting 7seven7nz (Reply 18):
After the Earthquake there was a lack of good backpacker accommodation in Christchurch so the airport became the default location for those needing somewhere to rest before flying out. It seems not all were respectful that it is a public place - hence the interesting rules.

How very interesting. I would never have though there was a connection.

Quoting 7seven7nz (Reply 18):
CHC used to have a brilliant outdoor viewing deck with excellent tarmac / runway views - sadly gone now with latest renovations

What a shame. Always sad when something like that disappears from an airport.

Quoting 7seven7nz (Reply 18):
Once again, thanks for your interesting reports. Looking forward to part three.

So glad you enjoyed them. Thank you for your kind words.

Happy flying
Infodesk   



"Do nothing in haste, look well to each step and from the beginning think what may be the end" - Edward Whymper
User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From France, joined Sep 2003, 5138 posts, RR: 55
Reply 20, posted (2 years 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 12267 times:

Ah, superb, H.,

really superb pictures and also story.
How I love to go there also sometimes. That looks definitely like my part of the world.

Also really good to follow you´re experience by NZ, also missing from my books till now.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):

We took a cruise on TSS Earnslaw, the only remaining commercial passenger-carrying coal-fired steamship in the Southern Hemisphere, which works the waters of Lake Wakatipu on which Queenstown lies.

Count me in this way.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
act it was so good, my husband complained that the flight was too short. He spent the entire time listening to New Zealand rock bands and as a result we exchanged about 10 words in the 3 hours

Now that´s what I call a conversation!.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
. I took the chicken and picked around it, but the rice was too dry without the meat sauce.

Same happened to me for several times, the picky eater, you know.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):

The ice cream was delicious. I ended up with two again, thanks to 5A choosing to drink beer again!

Both on their choices!.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
I will conclude the remainder of the trip in part 3: our time in Sydney and the flights SYD-SIN-ZRH on SQ.

Looking forward to this one, you know.

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)



Next: How to deliver a present in style!.
User currently onlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 2996 posts, RR: 8
Reply 21, posted (2 years 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 12075 times:

Hi Hannah,

stunning, what more can I say? A combination of beautiful places, and excellent photography (and commentary!)
I almost ended up being a New Zealander (my parents considered emigrating before I was born) and have plenty of family already there, and aside France (and possibly now South Africa) it's the foreign country I've probably spent more time in than any other. Just a shame it's so remote, though that's part of the charm of the place...

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
We headed to Rotorua, famous for its geothermal activity and with a distinct smell of sulphur in the air, where we stayed 2 nights.

So much to see around Rotorua. Did you visit the thermal area at Whakarewarewa? A Maori hangi? The sheep sheering demonstration place?

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Our hotel in Wellinton had a super location right on the bay, here’s the view from the balcony

Looks like it was near the youth hostel we stayed at on my only trip to Wellington. Despite visiting NZ many times, I've only been south of Taupo once, during my gap year of 2001-02. I took the train Auckland to Wellington to re-meet with my friends there, we spent New Year's Eve there (a damp squib really) then headed to the South Island and rented a car for a fortnight.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Our vessel for the crossing, Kaitaki, an ex channel boat (Pride of Cherbourg)

I'm sure I too have taken her accross the Channel!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
The next day we took a guided glacier hike, which was well worth it.

That day I had a stomach ache, so I rested in the hostel while my friends did the hike. As everywhere, it looks spectacular. I do remember seeing a huge possum in a tree about 30cm from the hostel door on evening there!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):

Queenstown impressions:

Stunning. The mountains are not called the Remarkables for nothing!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
After leaving Queenstown we had a day trip to Milford Sound

Again, stunning. We took our car there for a day from the hostel in Te Anau. Had a bit of a panic as I was taking my turn in driving, wearing my prescription sunglasses, when we entered the unlit tunnel. I couldn't see a thing. Had to stop to change glasses! Fortunately other traffic was almost non-existant.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Earthquake damage

Remember I mentioned my sister and brother in law moved back to NZ this year? He's a builder and got a job helping with the city reconstruction.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
o borrow FlyingFinn’s expression, bugger.

At least you didn't encounter them again on the flight.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):

FlyingFinn- here’s an interesting carpet concept for you

Very nice idea.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
I asked about a vegetarian option and was told, most apologetically, that they have to be reserved in advance. I explained we’d booked through a travel agent and that the request had worked on SQ.

That happened to my wife last year with her gluten free meal, on Thomson. The crew kindly found some snacks from the BOB trolley that she could have instead.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
then Sandra asked me would I like to visit the flightdeck to make up for it! Talk about proactive.

Excellent service.

Fantastic report Hannah, making me want to remortgage the house again to revisit that stunning part of the world. Thank you!

signol



Flights booked: none :(
User currently offlineCaptainRed From Germany, joined Oct 2010, 684 posts, RR: 21
Reply 22, posted (2 years 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 12039 times:

Hi Hannah,

wow, simply amazing report with so many wonderful pictures, both from the ground and from the air. New Zealand must be an amazing country with many wonderful people, I can really imagine how much you must have enjoyed your stay there.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
only to be told at the last minute that there weren’t enough aircraft and that it wasn’t possible. I was so disappointed.

Oh, that's too bad, to fly into Queenstown would have been another highlight on your trip, another once-in-a-lifetime experience. I know how that must have felt  ...

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Forgive me for digressing, but I have to share the story of Mr Grumpy with you.

Doh, I hate people like this. Come on, you are on holiday, just relax and keep it to yourself instead of annoying other people with your grumpiness.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
I forgot to take this picture of the IFE whilst we were in the air!

That's an interesting display, never seen this on any airshow so far. Would be nice to have an attitude indicator (or artificial horizon) as well on the display.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
I said not to worry, it wasn’t important and then Sandra asked me would I like to visit the flightdeck to make up for it! Talk about proactive.

How cool is that, a flightdeck visit without even having to ask for it. Nice that you flew that leg on NZ, service seemed to be really top, also food looks good. That flight was for sure a nice endpoint to your visit of the country.

CaptainRed


User currently offlineRyan h From Australia, joined Aug 2001, 1534 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (2 years 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 11975 times:

Great report.

When I flew to Canada last year, could not fault Air New Zealand in any way.



South Australian Spotter
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 31
Reply 24, posted (2 years 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 11863 times:

Hi Hannah.

Well, what can I say - stunning shots from a stunningly scenic part of the world. New Zealand never fails to look fabulous in photos, and these are no exception. If I ever make it down to kiwiland I'm sure I'll need to remember to pick up a couple of extra memory cards jut for the occasion!

Great nature photos abound, looks like a dream destination to an outdoor person like you!

Good that you had a nice experience with NZ as well.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
It was a stomach lurching experience, but the views were worth it.

Was it a revolving restaurant? My hometown has something similar (but of course much meagre, albeit it is on top of a 250 meter hill so the views are still great) and the restaurant revolves the full 360 degrees every hour. The tower in Kuala Lumpur (forgot the name) does the same plus it had an excellent Indian buffet.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Whether it was the food or the jetlag we will never know, but my husband was violently sick all night. I think we finally fell asleep about 6am.

"We"? You stayed up for sympathy?

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Well, I was thinking along the lines of a coffee somewhere, but Nicholas said he’d pick us up at the hotel mid-morning and take us for a drive. That was an understatement! What we were treated to would put any tourguide to shame

Ahh, great hospitality by him. Thumbs up.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Have you ever been this far away from home ?

No.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
After 2 nights in Wellington it was time to leave the North Island. The ferry crossing across the Cook Strait takes about 3 hours.

You could've flown from Wellington fo Blenheim, just right next to that ferry port. Apparently it is the shortest flight in the NZ network and quite a funny short hop to do on a turboprop!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Just like flying - a proper check-in procedure with boarding passes!

But no security check?

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
You can see why the Pancake Rocks are called so

Those remind me of Scrooge McDuck's piles of coins more than pancakes to be honest!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
2 nights were then spent in Te Anau, the main base for the Fiordland region. Much of the area is uninhabited as it is so inaccessible.

Te Anau is well known for a certain a.netter here...

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
he town of Dunedin, the second largest city on the South Island.

Dunedin looks so much like Edinburgh (and to a lesser degree, Glasgow) that it is almost scary!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
I was expecting some D-List celebrity, but no, it was Mr. Grumpy. Forgive me for digressing, but I have to share the story of Mr Grumpy with you

Hah, nice story. There are these people always. That is one of the reasons I would never do a guided tour like this. The long bus rides are another one, although sometimes riding a long distance is fun, I just prefer to do it at my own pace and without any guides interrupting my daydreaming and fantasies about faraway places to ramble through...

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
The only Australian flight leaving was ours to SYD. To borrow FlyingFinn’s expression, bugger.

Well I guess it is quite a common expression after all! But no trouble from them any more during or after the flight?

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Infodesk

Did you drop in to say hello?

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Departures. Even tomorrow’s flights are already listed

They could've split the codeshares into separate lines to appear more busy - a trick many airports employ just for this reason!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Two pieces of hand luggage under the seat and still loads of room

Looks quite impressive!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
I took the chicken and picked around it, but the rice was too dry without the meat sauce.

Hey, that meal looks very nice. Haven't you seen the "Big Fat Greek Wedding" (being such a fan of Greece you surely have) - chicken isn't meat so it is ok for you  .

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Still time for a game of Bejeweled

Addictive, isn't it?

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Here you can make out the Sydney Tower Eye, the second tallest observation tower in the Southern Hemisphere after Auckland’s Sky Tower

Do I sense a certain rivalry here?

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
So I was totally happy but also sad to leave the wonderful flight on Air New Zealand. I really, really hope I get a chance to fly with them again one day!

Maybe next year your holidays will take place in SE Asia, then you can do LHR-HKG with NZ. Or go to California aboard their LHR-LAX service (yes, it is the only airline that still flies around the world, although not like e.g. the old Pan Am flights with a single flight).

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
We were pretty tired after such a busy day and didn’t want to go far for dinner. A few blocks down we found a wonderful Greek restaurant and it felt so surreal to be eating such delicious Greek food in the middle of a busy Sydney street!

You know Australia has a large Greece population, a lot of people have traditionally (and not the country is going down the drain they are doing it again) emigrated there? That's why even Olympic used to fly there when the government coffers were still seemingly endless to cover the huge losses their long haul routes accrued. This is exactly the same reason why they flew to YYZ as well, the district of Danforth in Toronto is known as "Greek Town".


25 ZKSUJ : I agree, living here you tend to take alot of what the country has for granted. (Oh, theres another mountain etc...)
26 rogerbcn : Hola Hannah! Impressive TR, the pictures of New Zealand look awesome, what a beautiful country; it is really heaven on earth, I like those wonderful l
27 Post contains images infodesk : More replies, super! Hi Markus, Looks like you have a few good reasons then to head down to that part of the world. It was a lovely, nostalgic experie
28 MSS658 : Hi Hannah Another great report, thanks for sharing it with us. The NZ landscaping is awesome and breathtaking. Great you where able to upgrade to The
29 Post contains images deltamartin : Hi Hannah! Again a great report, with really nice pictures of New Zealand. The country sure seems spectacular and very photogenic, the scenery is just
30 Post contains images infodesk : Marc & Martin, Thanks for your comments! Marc, Beautiful, isn't it? It has the best of everything. The upgrade was really only regarding the legro
31 The777Man : Hi Hannah! Stunning report with stunning pictures ! Especially the pictures from Wanaka and Milford Sound are amazing! It seems you had the trip of a
32 Post contains images infodesk : Hi Lars, Thanks for your kind comments! It really was the trip of a lifetime. The scenery never failed to impress me and as I mentioned, I loved Wanak
33 Post contains images OA260 : Hey Hannah Really loved this report. NZ looks amazing and you really showed it to its best. I want to go NOW ! Seems so scenic and pretty and such mem
34 Post contains images infodesk : Hi Philip, Good to read your feedback. Thank you. You'd love it there, I'm sure. Oh yes, memories to last a lifetime. Indeed, real top notch service h
35 Quokkas : Hi Hannah, I somehow managed to miss this report so had to backtrack from Part 3. What can I say? Thank you for inviting us along on your tour of New
36 Post contains images infodesk : Hi Roy, Thanks for taking the time to backtrack and read this one! We were so lucky with the weather, we never expected to have so many glorious days.
37 Post contains images airbuseric : Hannah, finally my time and a great read, that's for sure! Oh no, never nice when such things happen far from home on a holiday. Spot on! Also my thou
38 Post contains images infodesk : Hi Eric, Sorry, I must have missed your reply! Thanks for taking the time to leave your feedback. No, never indeed. He felt really rotten. Beautiful a
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