I've Never Been This Far Away From Home!

Trip Start Sep 05, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of New Zealand  ,
Friday, July 7, 2006

I'm back on the road again! Seems like forever since I was last travelling around and seeing new places and I can't wait for the hectic next few days!

Last night I went to the pub with everyone from the hostel to watch the State of Origin rugby final. Great night and well done to Queensland for pulling it off in the final minutes.

In order to get to Sydney I needed to get the Greyhound bus to Townsville at 5:20am. Getting up at 4am after a heavy night on the beer and goon wasn't much fun but I was leaving Ayr so the prize was worth it! Sat around in the bus stop and the bus arrived 10 minutes early.

I was flying (Jet Star) from Townsville to Sydney but the flight didn't leave until 9:45 and I was already at the airport by 6:30! Couldn't even check in my luggage until 7:45 so just sat around with a coffee watching Christiano Ronaldo crying like a little baby on the TV! Haha! The flight was far busier than I had expected and almost every seat was taken. It took only 2hrs 10mins before I was back in Sydney.

I noticed on the plane that Jetstar are starting International budget flights from November. This is good news if you are looking to fly to Aus on the cheap as the only other cheap option is Tiger Airways to Darwin. It'll be interesting to see how much they charge but I doubt I would choose to fly Jetstar for 12 hours Osaka-Brisbane with the amount of legroom offered on their flights!

Once back in Sydney I noticed the drop in temperature immediately. Sure it was a nice sunny day but it was still only about 15C and colder with the windchill. North Queensland had been 27C everyday for weeks! Only going to get colder in Auckland!

To get from the domestic to international terminal I needed to pay $4.50 for the shuttle bus! It should be free to transfer between the terminals so I wasn't best pleased. It seems impossible to go a day in Australia without spending a lot of money! On arriving at the international terminal I met up with Dave again and we headed off to change our tickets.

To change the dates on our flights we had to pay $20 which isn't too bad. I know loads of people using other airlines have paid far more to change dates so I think we got a good ticket. Still Singapore Airlines didn't charge a fee so I don't see why Air New Zealand do. As we got to the airport at 1pm we managed to get on the earlier flight! Bonus!

So we settled down at the airport for a couple of hours before finally boarding our tiny A320 to Auckland. The flight should have taken 3.5hrs but we had a killer tail wind so it only took 2.5hrs! The plane was very basic but adequate for such a short flight. I just hope the entertainment is better tomorrow as the film was so bad I couldn't watch it.

After finally clearing NZ customs, Dave had half of Borneo on his shoes apparently, we headed outside to catch the AirBus into town. It was freezing! -3C and probably colder with the bitting wind. I had arrived in a pair of sandals so quickly changed into shoes before the bus arrived. We were sitting around for 40 minutes before it finally turned up and we still nearly missed it! I had gone inside to complain and try to get my money back when it finally arrived.

Jumped aboard and shot off towards our hostel for the night, Base Backpackers, in the heart of Aucklands CBD. Checked in at the rather posh looking reception before visiting the usual cheapo dorm room.

Decided to head into town for a look around and a few drinks. Auckland seemed very nice at night. All the buildings were lit up in different colours and the fact it was snowing probably helped me like it even more. Couldn't find a bar open anywhere though so went back to the hostel bar. I've only had 2 types of beer in NZ and both had far more flavour than the bland beers in Aus. Whilst I was ordering a drink at the bar I bumped into one of the girls from the hostel in Darwin which was quite a surprise but shows you just how small the world is.

I am going to do a lot of sightseeing tomorrow in what will be the longest day of my life. Should be fun!
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