New Zealand 2013: Slightly Smaller, Slightly Thinner

Sooooo, a lot of things have happened lately while I’ve been ever so slowly uploading Italy and London photos. (A report from London is still coming, stay tuned!) A while ago, the boyfriend said he wanted to take one last Big Trip before starting work properly. He officially graduates in September, but as of next month only has his thesis left to write. And I don’t officially start grad school until mid-October, so we thought, hey, let’s go away in September. When we started our research, we planned with six-ish weeks and the North American continent in mind. That got downsized veeeery quickly because we realised not only would the States be super crowded in August, they’d also be far too expensive for us. And I also wanted to do at least some of Canada, which would’ve made it even more expensive. Alas, the Big Fat North American Adventure was out. So we looked towards our other dream destination: New Zealand. It seemed it would be a lot less expensive, so we tried cramming a few weeks of NZ as well as two or so weeks of Australia into the trip, until we realised that that, too, would be too expensive. I’ve been trying to find a job and failing horribly, otherwise it would look at least somewhat different, but as things stand, well, Australia is just going to have to wait. That’s when the boyfriend mentioned half a week on a South Pacific island at the end, to unwind from the fairly active NZ tour we have planned. Except… Also too expensive! We’ve even scrapped the stopover in Singapore now, and since this weekend, our trip is officially the Slightly Smaller Slightly Thinner Middle Earth Adventure. Still an amazing trip, if not as epic as what we had originally planned. But I’m used to a lot of my plans falling through, and if it comes down to being able to feed myself and pay rent vs. spending a week in the outback, I guess I need to be the Responsible Adult people keep telling me I am now.

Things aren’t fully fleshed out yet, so expect another post on that in a bit, but what we have so far are travel dates! This is for anyone who’s interested, but mostly for my darling friend Kelly, who might be joining us with her boyfriend on part of the trip. I’m not even going to try to figure out the time zone issues, so everything should be in local time.

We leave here on the afternoon of 29 August, on a Qatar Airways flight via Doha to Melbourne, where we hop on a third (third! HELP! I hate flying!) plane, a Jetstar flight, to Auckland. We should arrive there very early on 31 August. In the process, we just skip all of 30 August. How does that even work? Time zones are weird, man. Then touring NZ is a go, and this is the part that isn’t fully fleshed out yet. We have planned two days both pre- and post-tour, just so we don’t have to rush, have enough time to get over the jetlag, and won’t end up missing our flight home (I guess…). Which leaves Auckland on an Air New Zealand flight in the late afternoon of 2 October. We get to Melbourne only an hour later (again, how?), get to Doha early on 3 October, and arrive back home in the early afternoon of the same day. So weird.

So that’s booked, and now we need to finish figuring out transportation in Middle Earth NZ, since I hear horseback riding is something you can do as an activity, but not as an actual means of transportation. But that is looking very good indeed. Wink wink nudge nudge. Gonna post about this again as soon as it’s all sorted out.

And we don’t have to worry about visa applications! Always nice, that. Although, now that I think about it, we might need a transit one for Australia. Ah, the life of a traveller…

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