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The Rock-itt : March 2011
With so many Kiwi’s over here I thought it only fair to level things up a bit and pay them a visit. I had a mate down from the UK with whom I had briefly visited New Zealand previously. In actual fact it was supposed to be two mates from the UK but one of them had to pull out at the last minute because of a family bereavement. The reason I’m telling you that is the guy who pulled out had insist- ed that we take in some rather up market accommodation. It was to be a great deal, we would book a two bedroom suite wherev- er we went Keith, the guy who cancelled would get a room to himself and me and Brian the other guy would share a twin room. Keith would pay 50% of the accommodation costs and Brian and I would split the other 50% between us. W e would also hire a car and split the driving and costs three ways, sweet. Are you still with me? Anyhow with Keith pulling out at the last minute our bar- gain trip didn’t look as good. I like to stay in up market places but I’m not the type of per- son who needs to. Clean, quiet and comfort- able would do me just fine. I’ll come back to the accommodation experience later but before we get to that we have to get to New Zealand or to be specific Auckland. We had booked the flight early in September and got a pretty good deal from Qantas. Out to Auckland last month, February 3rd ,back from Christchurch five days later for a total of $453 Oz. Lots of carriers fly to NZ now so plenty of choice. The Qantas flight was on a 737 and was configured with a small busi- ness class area at the front of the plane. W e weren’t in that bit but its presence had a hand in giving me a rather uncomfortable flight. Because Club Class is up front it meant that we Proles could only use the rear toilets. For some reason I wasn’t allowed to choose my seat pre check in and ended up with seat 29C, adjacent to one of the toilets. I have never been on a flight where every- body felt the need to use the toilets, it was only a three hour flight but the queue was never ending and every one of them bumped into me on the way in and out! A cautionary note to advise you to try to influence where you sit and what you fly on. We arrived on time and collected our hire car from the lovely people at Hertz and zoomed off to find our first posh hotel. You can’t hire a car from North Island New Zealand and take it across to the South Island. You leave the car at W ellington Ferry port and pick up another car at Picton which is the ferry termi- nal for the South Island. The ferry is a car, truck and rail ferry but excludes hire cars. We hired a Ford Mondeo on the first leg, $399 for the first three days down to Welling- ton. A bit expensive and best split between three but we always take the full insurance option. Not a bad car actually but the dash- board is a bit plasticky. I pulled a master- stroke here, before we left I bought and downloaded the NZ road map for my Tom Tom, cost $70 to do it but it worked a treat A 1947 Chevy at the Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT) in Auckland, New Zealand