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Land of the Long White Cloud,
August, 2002

Prologue and Preparations

8th January, 2002
9th March, 2002
18th March, 2002
2nd April, 2002

Tuesday, 8th January, 2002

Drop Cap e decided to take a tour of New Zealand this year. It is so relatively close that we should really have done it before but we were concerned with going to the furthest ends of the globe while our health and strength held out. Pity about that. Good in theory but not in practice. Still, although lacking in health and strength , we decided on an escorted tour by Australian Pacific Tours, with whom we went to Western Australia. From a selection in their brochure we decided on the 14 day Great New Zealand Rail Tour, which toured both islands using eight different railways as well as the usual coaches.

Drop Cap o we went today to Jetset Travel in Glenbrook to book the tour. To our disappointment APT informed the travel agent that several of the trains were no longer available. This is in the current brochure and is still being advertised on their website! So some of the journey would be replaced by coaches. I notice that there is no reduction in fare, however. Still, we decided to do it just the same, New Zealand has such an awesome reputation for scenic delights that I am sure we will enjoy it anyway.

Drop Cap o we have booked it, our air fares (nearly $700 each, including all the various taxes) and travel insurance. We leave on Sunday 7th April and return Saturday 20th April. That will not take long to go. I will write more when it is all paid for.

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Saturday, 9th March, 2002

Drop Cap ell, it is all paid for and we have received an email from the APT company detailing the amended itinerary. It still looks good and should give us a good trip. After the stresses of the beginning of this year, I feel in need of a holiday.

Drop Cap ow just waiting until Jetset notify us that the tickets etc have arrived. From past experience, this could be the week before we travel.

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Monday, 18th March, 2002

Drop Cap maligned them. Today we collected all the tickets, vouchers, baggage tags etc all packed into two very smart APT travel bags. Much snazzier than the last ones we got from Australian Pacific.

Drop Cap o we are all ready to go, apart from packing, haircuts, stacking the fridge for Geoff and Carrot, washing clothes and all the rest.

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Tuesday, 2nd April, 2002

Drop Cap uckily this week is not quite as wet as the last one and I have managed to get most of the washing dry so far. Must collect some cash from the bank tomorrow and stack the fridge as well. We will take Aussie dollars and change them at the airport, that with our Visa cards and Maestro from England as well, should do. Almost everything except lunches, a couple of dinners and optionals and souvenirs is covered by the tour. Must get a stock of film at the airport as well.

Drop Cap etset says we should not bother to confirm our flights this side but should do so 24 hours before the flight home. We have booked our Airport Shuttle from Anchor Minibuses as we did last time away and they are picking us up at 6:15 for a 10:20 flight! They say it is necessary and they should know better than we do. I will leave this here and continue with the trip itself.

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