Thursday, 3 February 2011

A Kiwi Break - Getting There

So we wanted to experience the wonders of New Zealand that we had heard so much about. But it had to be via a trip on the cheap. RM7,000+ tour packages no can do... we prefer free and easy.

Hubby found a pretty good deal at the September MATTA (Malaysian Tourism and Travel Association) fair for RM2,000+ per pax - airfare only. However it is to be a hop-step-jump thing with the flight-connections just like in the athletics triple-jump event, though not in the same order.

Last week we (hubby, daughter Munie and I) made the trip. First we stepped across to that little red dot of a country just below our peninsula, albeit in a MAS aircraft. Then we jumped onto a Qantas landing down-and-under in Sydney, after which we hopped across the ditch (as the Ozzies say) in a no-frills JetStar setting down in the adventure playground of South Island in New Zealand.

Though that little red dot below is just a step across for us, negotiating it's extensive airport was an adventure in itself. It took a long walk in very brisk mode plus a short ride on the Sky Train to get us us from the Budget Terminal to the International Terminal No 1, and after that even more fast-walking to locate and get to the Qantas Transfer Desk.

By then we had worked up some perspiration wheeling our trolley bags while hubby was heavily laden with a rucksack and a laptop bag. Earlier we had decided not to check-in our luggage because of the short transit times. There was a long line and an hour to departure but it was no sweat for the system to push us through, with seat upgrades to boot.

These "singas" operate fast and efficient systems. No real wonder for all they seem to do is fiddle with their gadgetries.

Singapore-bound Passengers at KLIA departure gate

In Sydney, after hubby passed a random bodycheck conducted by a big, strong and friendly Ozzie Singh, we had to again walk some distance down one level to the airport's Budget Terminal. There the officer checked-in our luggage instead of letting us carry them explaining "leetle aircraft, beeg bags, we can'thave them in the cabin, sir". Gosh, remember that "me-no-spiki-ingleez" ex-Menteri Besar? He must have done an excellent job ingraining this impression of Malays upon unknowing Ozzies.

But no matter... we were soon on that flight to rainy Queenstown and friendly Kiwis.

Queenstown from across Lake Wakatipu

8 comments:

Pak Zawi said...

Zen,
Would love to do the Kiwiland next and if possible the Free n easy way. The current turmoil in Egypt means I have to abort the trip to the place this coming 17th. Feb.
Please write the details of your Kiwi adventure as I would love to replicate your journey minus the hopping around on aircraft via the red dot and Ozie land. Pls include the contact numbers and cost too as an indicator on how much to budget. Any clean room to stay will be good enough for me. Heard using self drive caravans is the best way to tour NZ.

Zendra-Maria said...

Pak Zawi, insya allah I will write out the details but only the ones I remember though. So I have to start on them soon before they are totally erased from memory.

Driving through NZ IS the best way to enjoy it's natural beauty. After doing the costings, we decided to rent a car instead of a camper-van, and put up at motels at nights. Everything is super-clean so no worries on that aspect.

BTW, alhamdulillah the protests in Egypt are going on now and not later while you are there...

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Aunty Zen,
If someone had emailed us of her intentions, we could have made the journey simpler and easier for you. Lain kali habaq no? purrr....meow!

Pak Idrus said...

Zen thanks for sharing.

Alway do the free and easy way and never on an organised tour group. I did that all the time and enjoyed all the trips.

Just go with your spouse and maybe with your grownup kids but never in a group or with other friend/family. It would create headache if other family/friend follow and you could not make your own decision. Stick to the You, Your spouse and may be a grownup kid.

Have a nice day.

zafi said...

Oh auntie,
I wanna go there as well.. :D I really need a break now! Thinking of Going to Ireland as well... konon nak lari from hiruk pikuk :P
(ps I love punya penangan)
Its been ages at last I have finished read the book and watched movie :P


Show me some more pics please

Zendra-Maria said...

Cats, say thank you to mama for auntie, I would certainly keep that in mind. Psst... simpler and easier is nice but cheaper will be better still :)))

Zendra-Maria said...

Pak Idrus, we love travelling free and easy too, and doing things according to our own preferences as well. And like you we travel only with our own grown-up children as well (unless of course we really know that others who tag along are flexible enough to accept our style).

Zendra-Maria said...

Zafi,

I think Ireland is a beautiful place to take a break - even before or after "PS ILU" :)