Gee, 3:30am starts are great fun! Ok, no, not really they’re pretty horrible. But at least we had really good motivation – yep, today is the start of our short trip off to NZ.
Happily it was only about 30 minutes from when we left home to when we were ready to check in…but we were running so early that even Qantas wasn’t quite ready for us. After just a few minutes of waiting we were on our way, through security, and ready to enjoy (thanks for Perry’s Platinum Qantas status), the First Class lounge… which wasn’t going to open for another 40 minutes or so. Never mind, once we got in, it was very nice – table service, with delicious food (and good coffee). A nice design touch was the old-school black and white clack-clack departure board at the lounge entrance. Can’t half tell the primary audience is old people like us who remember this kind of stuff 🙂
After a delicious breakfast we had a quick wander through the duty-free shops. I needed an adaptor to plug my camera card into the laptop, and Perry decided to get a new point-and-shoot camera – neither of us had seen his old one since we moved house last year, so who knows where it might be. I also took the chance to snap up some Apple AirPods (wireless earphones) as this is the first time I’d seen them in stock anywhere.
Before long it was time to board – and even though it was a 737 with the old-style Qantas business class seats, it was still nice and comfy with tons of legroom and excellent service from the Qantas crew. Great good on board, too. And always nice to drink out of real glass and eat off real plates.
The flight itself was uneventful, had a bit of a nap to try and ward off the effects on the early early start this morning, and before we knew it, we were already landing.
Getting through passport control & customs etc was really quick, it was maybe 20 minutes from landing to being out of the airport. We took the SkyBus from the airport – it worked a treat, way cheaper than a taxi or an Uber, and dropped us off only a few minutes away from the hotel – The Sebel at Viaduct Harbour.
As luck would have it, at the hotel they upgraded us to a better room which was very kind – it’s basically a one bedroom apartment. It’s very comfy, plenty of room to move, with a view out to the Marina.
As seems to be a tradition when we’re on holiday, we jumped on the Hop-on/Hop-off bus to get to lay of the land and get an idea of places we want to go back and see later. So far the Aquarium and the Museum are on the list, and the Sky Tower of course (we’re tourists, I think it’s obligatory!). There’s so much water, it’s hardly surprising that apparently Auckland has one of the worlds highest per-capita level of boat ownership in the world.
After that, energy levels were somewhat flagging, so time to sample some local product – yep New Zealand Natural ice cream. What a winner – delicious of course, but served in a doughnut cone … holiday food doesn’t have calories, right? We also have to go back to try something that I bet would take off in Sydney if given half a change – ice-cream tacos. Oh yes! Thats definitely on the list to try before the end of this trip.
Another cool thing to see was a counter on the bike paths showing how many riders had gone past that day, and how many trips there had been that year. I’m surprised they didn’t have some kind of calculation about how much petrol or carbon has been saved, but still good to see they’re making good use of the cycling infrastructure.
After that it was time to go back to the hotel and check out the purchases – the AirPods work a treat, and Perry fumbled around in his hand luggage looking for the cable to connect his new camera to his iPad. And next thing you know … yep, hidden is his hand luggage is the old, lost, couldn’t-find-it-anywhere camera! A good laugh was had by all – but still, it was a good 8 or 9 years old and getting a bit temperamental so the new one was still a smart move. But still, kind funny 🙂 We now have no lack of cameras for this trip…
By dinnertime we were both exhausted so we travelled all the way to the Sushi Train right next to the hotel – good stuff, as always. Now it’s time to write this entry, collapse into bed and sleep for what probably be a heck of a long time!
(Tomorrow I’ll post a link to a video I took on the bus trip)