Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Made it to New Zealand

We made it to Kiwi Land!  Kia Ora!!

British Airways 7h40m SIN-SYD
We left Singapore last night and arrived in Auckland this afternoon.  The flight from Singapore to Sydney, Australia, was just over 7½ hours long.   We had a little over an hour to go through security and get to our connecting flight.

Our flight to Auckland was 3¼ hours long.  We then had to go through customs and immigration in Auckland.  They take it seriously here.

Quantas Airlines 3h15m SYD-AKL
At immigration the officer asked me what my travel plans were.  Auckland-Napier-Dunedin-Wellington.  He then asked me why on earth was I going to Dunedin?  Unless, of course, I was Scottish (I'm not).  Hmmm...I guess I'll figure out why next week.

Anyway, immigration was easy.  Customs was a bit more complicated.  Not for us but for a few other people.  New Zealand relies heavily on its agriculture so they have very strict biosecurity regulations.  You can not bring in honey or fruit.  Not even an apple from the plane (because the apple may not have originated from New Zealand).  Most airports have drug dogs.  In New Zealand the dogs are trained to sniff out fruit.  The automatic fine is $400NZ (€259 / $290 US).

If your hiking boots are dirty they will even take and clean them for you.  No problems for us but of course there were a few people who didn't bother to notice all of the signs warning what not to try to bring in to the country.

New Zealand really is far away.  It's 10 hours ahead of Brno, so basically a day ahead.  And it's in the Southern Hemisphere which means the seasons are flipped.  November here is Spring! 

At the top of AZ Tower
But the best part of arriving in Kiwi Land was Natalie waiting for us at arrivals.  Even though I just saw her in September it still seems like ages.

Our first day here has been settling in to the hotel and a bit of exploring Auckland.  We even went to the top of Sky Tower.  Tomorrow looks to be a hike to a volcano and we picked up tickets to see Priscilla at the Civic Theatre.

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