^rad^'s adventures in New Zealand

11th to 14th of June 2006


This is a short trip for work, nothing exciting, and I was travelling with other people, so photo opportunities were minimal.
When I did take photos, I didnt do a great job, so apologies in advance, if you have a problem with that I really dont care.

Getting There

Although New Zealand is the closest country to Australia, it still effectively takes a full day to get there once you factor in time differences.
I got up at 5:30 a.m. to catch a flight to Sydney.

This is taken from the transfer bus between terminals at Sydney airport, they drive you right around the airport past all the parked planes, and through a hanger..I was pretty excited.

Heres the line for immigration at Sydney airport, the airport was totally overwhelmed with people on a Sunday morning.
People were sitting on the floor eating overpriced sandwhiches. There were 4 flights leaving for China in the space of an hour, a flight to the Phillipines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Dubai, and 2 to New Zealand including mine.

This is the duty free shopping area in the departure lounge, its quite large but they didnt have anything interesting.

Heres a plane going to the Phillipines, I couldnt help but feel every plane was going some place far more interesting than me.

This ones going to Guangzhao, every single person getting on board has the maximum duty free allowance of cigarettes.

The flight from Sydney to Auckland left at about lunch time, and gets you to Auckland at about 4:30pm. due to the time difference of 2 hours.
The service on these flights is very basic, Qantas is no longer a top class world airline, they are now bargain basement.
The meal wasnt too bad, some chicken surprise thing with mash potato, and a mini ice cream. The thing I find interesting is that all the packaging had advertisements on it, even the coke cans were advertising some banks or credit cards or something.
I suspect this is why planes have weird sized foods, as perhaps they are only allowed to sell ads on stuff thats not for retail sale or something...who knows.
The movie was the pink panther, the new one, whoever came up with the idea of remaking this film is hopefully dead already.

Welcome to New Zealand

Auckland airport is quite nice, especially when you get to immigration and theres a line just for Australians, in New Zealand, its good to feel special.
The airport is very quiet, the main carrier seems to be emirates but I dont see any passengers from the middle east at all, just white folks carrying large amounts of alcohol.

This is the last picture of a plane I promise, its my plane looking through the window in Auckland airport. The plane was older than me I think.

This is driving into the city in a taxi, note the skycity tower, the highest structure in the Southern Hemisphere. The interesting thing about driving from Auckland airport into the city is you follow a whole heap of tiny streets to get there, theres a motorway but according to the signs this isnt the best way to go.

My hotel is a Rydges, a worldwide brand, it looks impressive enough from the outside, and the location was superb. The rooms however were from the 70's, lots of blue plastic. The bathroom seems to have been transplanted from a nursing home, complete with a seat in the shower and pulleys suspended from the roof on chains to pull yourself up from various locations in the bathroom. I thought maybe I had got a special room but my workmates told me their rooms were the same.
Dinner was at a Korean bbq, where you cook your food at your own table. It was all you can eat...so I did. I took some photos around the restaurant afterwards whilst walking.

This is Queen Street, the most happening street in Auckland....not much is happening

The Southern Cross tower - you can go up here to a restaurant, but rumor has it the food is crap. More impressive is you can bungee jump off of it, but I dont think anyone was due to high winds...more on that later.

Some sort of a Church, I perched my camera on a rubbish bin to take this shot, to show my true feelings of religion

This is the bay area, hence the ship, some sort of a large fishing trawler. It was so cold I suspect there may have been icebergs.

Looking back at the city from the port

The next day, the power went out...not just in our hotel, not just in our street, not just in a city of 1.5 million people, but pretty much the whole entire country!
The hotel had no backup, there was no water pressure, and people had to climb up and down 20 floors of stairs, they provided water.
In the city most workers got sent home.
Luckily (depending on how you look at it) the place where I had to go to for work had backup generators.
We rented a car and drove, 20 miles with no traffic lights at all, it was interesting, I should have taken my camera.
The power stayed off from about 8am to 2pm, and was caused by a stay wire blowing over the main distributor wire, yes it seems the whole of New Zealand is dependant on 1 single wire for power.
This is even more humorous when you consider that the Auckland CBD lost power for 3 months a few years back when a similar incident occured, I guess building in some redundancy isnt a high priority.

I didnt take too many other photos, it blew a gale, rained a lot and was bitterly cold.
For dinner we went to a fancy seafood place by the sea, and then my favourite, ye olde english steakhouse.
I walked around a lot despite the weather, it was mostly deserted.

Heres Auckland as seen from the car, you can hardly see it, this was in the middle of the day!

The flight home meant getting up at about 3am Australian time, I was amazed when they actually supplied a hot breakfast, I didnt think Qantas did this anymore.
The movie was 8 below, it wasnt too bad, despite starring the dude from the fast and the furious and a bunch of dogs.
The highlight of the trip was the hilarity at having no power in a supposedly modern city.

See you next time!