Arrival to Auckland

Thirty plus hours of flying and we arrive at our first day in Auckland New Zealand. Out of all of our flights the Air New Zealand flight from NRT Narita Tokyo to AUK Auckland was the nicest. They fed us two meals in the 10 hour flight, had free unlimited in flight personal entertainment consoles and the seats actually reclined a substantial amount without squishing the person behind you.

Surviving flights this long are all about forcing yourself to get up every 3-4 hours and stretch and move a bit to keep your body from aching so much. Regardless of how many stretch breaks, after 30+ hours of flying your feet and legs are going to swell. You can see a picture of our “Cankles” when we finally got to take our shoes off and put our feet up. Drink lots of water and elevate your feet on layovers as another tip to help reduce this. I’m sure we were quite the sight in Tokyo being shameful Americans laying on the ground with our feet on the seats next to each other.

On arriving to AUK the inspectors took away all of our fruit, the second half of our sandwiches, our salami, and our salad. Luckily we were able to keep our granola and trail mix. The other thing we had to declare, to avoid risking a $400 fine, was camping equipment. They inspected the hiking shoes on our feet, and took our tent for closer inspection. Be sure to clean your gear well if you bring anything, we heard of others having to pay about $60 to have their tent sprayed and cleaned.

Auckland felt much smaller to me than It actually is. Although the greater Auckland area has about 1.2 million people living in it, the downtown felt much smaller and less busy than Portland, OR.

Wifi is crap in New Zealand. Even when you pay, it is slow. Updating has been challenging. Most of the work has been done offline and uploaded in batches when we could.

The one saving grace for us was grabbing a travelers SIM card. VodaPhone had a good deal for 3GB of Data, 200 min, 200 txts, for $49. Too little bandwidth to do blog updates, but it has been invaluable for finding camping, buses, and general internet searches. I think the 4G when you have it is faster than most WIFI spots we found.

We wrapped up Day1 of NZ with a beer for Nat and a lesson from the locals on how to pronounce the names of places we butchered. Whangarei for example starts with an “F” sound, as do all Maori words starting with “Wh”.

More posts to come as soon as we get more Wifi!