Make youn way to the airport. It is again about a $40 taxi ride.
We are up and in the lobby by 6AM for our booked car to the airport. 6:30 comes and goes and no car. A driver comes in byut has no name no room number so the desk clerk sends him away. She then calls the company and the driver is nowhere near the city, seems he had arranged for that driver to pick us up.
Traffic to the airport was really heavy, it is Monday morning and the Grand Prix and surfing championships are over. the ride actually cost $61.
We do the automated check in with Air New Zealand, get our luggage tags but no boarding passes, some message directs us somewhere. It is absolutely chaotic.
I track down an agent and she says New Zealand law requires we produce evidence of an outbound ticket. Why not tell me that?? I do and we get boarding passes. OR even better, do a simple enhancement to your online check in and ask for the details of your outgoing flight.
We board and the seats are so tight it is not funny. You have to pay for everything but you can do it on your in seat monitor.
Depart for Queenstown, New Zealand
Check-in at Melbourne Airport, Terminal 2 for:
VIRGIN AUSTRALIA INTL VA 7410
Depart Melbourne Airport at 9:30am
Arrive Queenstown Airport Monday 16 March 2015 at 2:40pm
Queenstown, New Zealand is 18 hours ahead of Toronto, ON, Canada
1:30 PM Tuesday, in Toronto, ON, Canada is
7:30 AM Wednesday, in Queenstown, New Zealand
5:32 AM Wednesday, in Melbourne VIC, Australia is
7:32 AM Wednesday, in Queenstown, New Zealand
Flying into New Zealand we pass over Milford Sound where we are heading tomorrow.
Looking at the mountains makes me feel like we are being dropped into a 3D IMAX movie clip of Lord of the Rings!! The views are amazing. As we get closer to landing it is even more stunning.
The flight is three hours and we lose two hours so it is around 2PM when we get into the terminal. We line up for customs, then another line that asks if you have used your shoes outside?? Really? How do I answer this we have walked everywhere. We get sent into the line to have our luggage re-x-rayed. What a pain. Some people had to step out of line, have their luggage examined and then back into the x-rayline.
Finally we are through and our shuttle is waiting. The woman sitting beside me is from Georgetown, right near us. They had gone to the Grand Prix as it was a passion of her husband's, and she had always wanted to go to Australia.
Queenstown is very hilly and everyone is getting nervous about their hotel location. Our description had said walking distance to town no hills!
Transfer from Queenstown Airport to Peppers Beacon - Queenstown.
Transfer Type: Seat in Coach
Pick up: 2:40pm
Drop off: 3:10pm
Queenstown, New Zealand, is the Southern Hemisphere's premier four season lake and alpine
resort. Surrounded by majestic mountains and nestled on the shores of crystal clear Lake
Wakatipu. Queenstown's stunning scenery is inspiring and revitalising. With such a huge range of
activities in Queenstown, no two days will ever be the same.
Peppers Beacon - Queenstown
33 Lake Esplanade, Queenstown New Zealand
Duration: 2 nights
Peppers Beacon, Queenstown is situated on pristine Lake Wakatipu, an easy five-minute level
walk (no hills) from the centre of town. Many of Peppers Beacon's hotel rooms, and two- and three-bedroom suites offer superb views of the stunning lake and picturesque Remarkables mountains.
Pepper's Beacon is right on Lake Wakatipu. We check in and explain to the clerk that for some reason our agent had made us two bookings March 16 - 18 and then March 18-20. Different types of room, one a hotel roon, one a studio. We explain that we do not want to move, and in any case, can't as we will be overnight on March 17 at Milford Sound. The clerk agrees to find us something that we don't have to move.
Our room does not make me happy. It is at the end of a hall with a postage stamp balcony, facing a rock. I have decided, enough, so I call the desk and say it isn't satisfactory. The clerk, not the one who checks us in, comes and sees the room even though I explained it was the view I wasn't happy with.
I ask for the manager. Ashley and I have a phone conversation, he appears to understand that I don't like the room, and don't want to move. I agree to an upgrade fee of $265 for a one bedroom with a view.
It is a good view and the unit is good, a little odd, in that the bathroom is in the bedroom. But there is a washer and dryer. The balcony is huge overlooking the lake.
I am a happy camper (for now).
We go out exploring and doing a couple of errands like finding a new sim card for John's phone. I but a sweatshirt for tomorrow as it is a wee bit cool here in Queenstown.
It is a backpacker kind of town, so prices are reasonable. The town is delightful, provided you don't have to clime one of the hills back to your hotel.
It is so odd to see the leaves turning colour in March.
We stop for a beer at Sublime, which has a fire burning. then pick up Indian take out for dinner.
Lots more photos tomorrow!