Sunday, March 2, 2008

Day 16 - Chirst Church Airport, New Zealand

Sunday March 2 – Chirst Church Airport, New Zealand – 7:30 AM

Happy Birthday Mom!!!!!!!

Hello from NEW ZEALAND!!!! Yesterday was a pretty easy travel day – starting in Carins at 9:00 AM and landing in Christ Church, New Zealand at Midnight. The only slight setback was when we reached New Zealand, customs almost didn’t let me into the country! (Nathan says I’m such a liability) Anyway, apparently when traveling to New Zealand as a US citizen your passport can not expire within 3 months of your travel – mine expires in 1 month! When we got to customs the officer informed us of this and had to call his boss over – the boss man was like “they shouldn’t have even let you on the plane, blah, blah”. Nathan explained that he did extensive research on travel visas, etc that we would need for our trip and he found nothing about New Zealand – apparently they didn’t care b/c we were put through about 30 mins of waiting, worried looks from the customs agent, and extensive questioning before they finally said that we looked like honest people and they would allow us the 1 month passport expiration exception. Thanks. The silver lining was no waiting in the declaration line (since everyone else was long gone) and we sailed on through – approx. time 1:30 AM. OH – and they found my bag!!!!!! Yippee! NOTE TO ANYONE TRAVELING TO NEW ZEALAND – Your passport can not expire within 3 months of your trip – of course they obviously make exceptions but why bother trying!!!! I’m not sure I mentioned this before, but b/c of our flight delay out of Cairns, the refund on our airline ticket, and lots of travel advice from the Kiwis (New Zealanders) we decided to go ahead and fly directly from Christ Church to Queenstown and just spend our entire trip there. We would have loved to spend some time in Christ Church but due to time restraints and the fact that we “can’t do everything” we decided on Queenstown. Queenstown is known as the Adventure Capital of the World as well as having the most breathtaking views in all of New Zealand. We both can’t wait!!! Our flight to Queenstown is at 9:00 AM this morning and we would have had to be at the airport around 7:30 – so we decided to just sleep in the airport with about 30 other back packers and one older couple (who says I’m high maintenance?) Here is a picture of our accommodations for last evening!:)

We are off to Queenstown – I can’t wait to take pictures to show you guys!

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