Showing posts with label Auckland. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Auckland. Show all posts

Day 12: Auckland - Christchurch

If you don't already know, New Zealand is made up of two main islands and a number of smaller islands. The two islands are divided by a 22km sea known as the Cook Strait. There are 2 ways to get to-and-fro the North and South Island
  1. Ferries between Wellington and Picton
  2. Domestic flights between the the major cities (Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Queenstown, Dunedin) 
Options are available for you, should you want to bring your vehicle over to the other island, you can even drive it up on the ferries! We chose the latter of taking a morning flight from Auckland to Christchurch and rent another campervan instead. Mainly because first option is a lot more expensive and also we were rushing for the Bluff Oyster Festival (coming up on on Day 14). We booked our Jetstar flight tickets way beforehand at only NZD180

The morning went a little crazy, rushing for our 10:25AM flightGetting the campervan ready to drop off back at the depot (base for the campervan companies) was not exactly that easy. The vehicle has to be returned with full fuel tank (both petrol & LPG), waste water tank to be emptied and the interior of the vehicle to be generally clean to avoid extra charges!  

Time checked: 10:00AM at Auckland Airport domestic terminal. 

After a rather long flight delay and an hour 20 minutes (actual flight duration).. 

Kia Ora (hello in the Maori language), Christchurch

i-Site. Always our first stop whenever we're in a new city! 

Booking of campervan is so convenient in New Zealand. The different rental companies will have a common pick-up and drop-off point, also known as depot, that is conveniently located near the airports. Most importantly, they provide free shuttle service to pick you up at the airport for pick-up and back to the airport when you drop-off! 

Photo review of our campervan: Say Hi to Our United 2+1 Premier Motorhome!

About 50km south down from Christchurch Airport, there is a town called Rakaia, also known as The Salmon Capital of New Zealand. Salmon World is an attraction featuring an aquarium showcasing the lifecycle of the salmon and other local aquatics. No, they don't sell salmon. 

..and we ended our day at Caroline Bay, Timaru. 

As usual, ending off with the overview of our flight and drive route of the day! 

Information you might be interested in:

New Zealand Salmon World - CLOSED
9 Railway Tce East
Rakaia 7719, New Zealand

Caroline Bay
Timaru Port
Timaru 7910, New Zealand

Day 06: Hi, New Zealand!

After hours and hours of wait and some self-entertainment overnight in the not-so-awesome Melbourne Airport, we were ready to venture into the second part of our adventure!

I was pretty excited about our Emirates flight from Melbourne to Auckland, New Zealand, because it was an A380! Our first time onboard the legendary airbus - the world's largest passenger airliner. Did you know that Emirates also owns the most number of A380? They have made an order of 140 A380 from Airbus, followed by Singapore Airlines being in the second with 24 A380 and Qantas having 20. Nope that wasn't a typo, Emirates owns 140 of the giant aircraft! On top of that, we were told that all Emirates A380 are fitted with WiFi on board! How cool is that!  But they say nothing is free and indeed this very cool feature actually comes with a cost..

Sleepy faces for our morning flight at 7.00AM. 
I love their inflight entertainment system!
Spot my USB cable right there. Yes, I was charging my phone on 30,000 feet up in the sky! #awesome
Charges for the Emirates on board WiFi plans.
One thing about non-budget airline is definitely their FOOD! Yummilicious. 
As much as I love everything about my Emirates A380 flight. The cabin crews are really terrible in terms of their service.. Oh well. I guess sometimes we just can't have the best of everything. 

That's the giant airliner with a passenger capacity of 525 passengers. 

It was a 4 hours flight between Melbourne and Auckland, New Zealand. We reached Auckland in the afternoon at about 12:45PM local time. The country is 4 hours ahead of Singapore.

A little about New Zealand comprises of two big islands, known as the North Island and the South Island. Auckland, the largest and most populous urban area in New Zealand, located in the North Island of the country. Exchange rate between Singapore and New Zealand (as of 11 December) is SGD1 = NZD0.9669

Singaporean Passports doesn't require to apply for a VISA if you are going in to New Zealand for less than 3 months. Prior to the trip, I was told that New Zealand customs clearance in terms of whatever you are bringing into the country is really strict to protect the community, environment and economy of the country.

While you are still on your plane entering New Zealand, you will probably watch an inflight video 'Declare or Dispose' explaining the importance of filling out the New Zealand Passenger Arrival Card and biosecurity entry requirements for entering the country. Thanks to the invention of the world wide web, you can watch the video here and the sample of declaration form is available here.

After witnessing the hectic customs clearance, we were ready to adventure the award winning New Zealand!

Anyhow, something that I'd recommend to everybody to get a prepaid plans if you are going on a road trip in New Zealand. I must say the data plan came in really handy during our entire trip. Telecom and Vodafone are two large telecommunications companies in New Zealand. The prepaid plans for the two companies are pretty competitive. In the end, we got ours from Telecom for NZD25 for 500MB data, unlimited local text, 100 mins local calls

(Taken from Google) The two major New Zealand telecommunications companies available conveniently at Auckland Airport International Terminal Ground Floor.
Complimentary shuttle transfers from airport to rental depot to pick up our vehicle.
The registration of the campervan was a little long.. From the entering of the particulars, explaining the types of insurance available, payment for the rental, waiting for the vehicle, exploring and understanding how to operate etc.. Have to take note of if you are gonna be planning a long and packed itinerary after the collection of the campervan. 

Examining our little home for the week. Photos of the interior of our campervan here.
Sadly, the rain seem to have tailgated us all the way from Melbourne to Auckland. Dedicated our first meal in New Zealand for Carl's Junior

Spot the gloomy sky and wet floor. 
(Left) Not-enough-sleep kind of face // (Right) No chilli sauce kind of face
NZD19.90 for our late lunch. 
Hungry stomach no more and we headed opposite of Carl's Junior to Pak'nSave to do our first round of groceries shopping! Pak'nSave is one of the three major supermarkets in New Zealand (the other two are Countdown and New World). My personal favourite among the three.

Snippets of my favourite supermarket! 
By the time, we finished our shopping the sky has already turned dark. Driving at night can be a little challenging for not so experienced drivers. After an hour or so of driving from the supermarket, thanks to our very trust worthy GPS - TomTom GO LIVE 1005 World, our first night was spent exploring our little home for the week at Rosa Birch Park.

Overview of the route for our first day in Auckland, New Zealand. 
Information you might be interested in:
Customs Declaration for Arrival to New Zealand

New Zealand Passenger Arrival Card

What to declare when you are entering New Zealand

Award Winning New Zealand

Auckland Rental Depot
36 Richard Pearse Drive
Mangere, Auckland 2022, New Zealand

Carl's Junior Mangere

94-96 Bader Dr
Mangere, Auckland 2022, New Zealand

Pak'nSave Mangere
Corner of Bader Drive and Orly Avenue
Mangere, Auckland

Rosa Birch Park
Beresford St
Pukekohe 2120, New Zealand

Overview of our route in New Zealand