Having daydreamed for ages about travelling to NZ, as well as spending considerable time since returning from Scotland trying to get a job there, the confirmation of my job offer in China was at last the catalyst for a whirlwind tour.
I had an assignment due the Friday before we were due to leave (garrr) so planning and booking was a nightmare and I didn’t get to bed until 4am the night before we flew out. It is bloody hard trying to work out an itinerary without someone to sound out ideas against. My mother had absolutely no interest and walked away every time I started going over options and although my sister has been to NZ twice she doesn’t have much time for listening to others and her previous trips had not been in the same vein (first trip she did a backpacker tour bus and second was as part of a quartet in a motorhome).
I find choosing between unknown quantities difficult enough when it’s just flavours of porridge or types of apples so it was pretty draining. Nevertheless, one assignment and 3000 draft itineraries later we were on our way.
The main problem was fitting so much country into just 2 weeks. I was also trying to follow online travel advice and make sure I organised a couple of nights in each place to make things easier for Matilda (and myself!).
In the end we flew into Auckland (half the price of flying into Christchurch plus I have a friend there who I’ve not seen since uni days), then had to fly to Wellington to save time. From there we planned to take the late ferry to Picton, TranzScenic to Christchurch, then Tekapo, Dunedin, Queenstown, Franz Josef, TranzAlpine back to Christchurch.