Friday, 16th November – Sydney to Auckland

Not all that sorry to leave the Four Seasons Hotel – despite the fantastic view, the room was small and a bit dowdy. Certainly comfortable enough, but service levels really not up to those you should expect from a decent hotel. Plus it was VERY expensive. Don’t get me started on the price of a bowl of soup again…..

However, we are sorry to leave Australia, but really looking forward to the New Zealand experience.

This got off to a good start on a rather drab day with a trouble-free cab ride to the airport. Short queue at check-in, straight through Security, which always makes me feel good, and applied to the Tax Refund Service office to, er, get a refund of the sales tax I’d paid when I bought the new phone in Hobart (because I’m leaving the country). To my surprise and delight, this went through with no problem, although I’ve yet to see the money come back onto my card.

Plane left 40 minutes late, mainly because it seemed that quite a few people had checked their bags in, but were nowhere to be found when the time came to depart. Go figure. All sorted, and an uneventful flight to Auckland ensued.

Landed in temperatures warmer than Sydney and much, much clearer. Managed to get through the zealous bio-scanning – New Zealand is understandably paranoid about foreign plant and animal material invading their ecosystem.

Got sorted out with a SIM package for the phones in jig time – great service from the Spark shop at the airport.

Again, a trouble-free, if rather expensive, cab ride to our hotel, which is, er, different. Very modern, funky (whatever that means), rather noisy, but really nice design, light and airy. We also had the most delightful surprise when we found that our daughters had financed an upgrade to our room, left a card and a bottle of wine!

What a view again, as well!

Very nice meal in the hotel restaurant, but – and I know I sound like an old fart again – it was very noisy, with a DJ playing club music at a high volume, no doubt to emphasise the “funkiness” of this place. It was a lot better when he packed up and left.

We’re only here for two nights, and haven’t yet sorted tomorrow out, but we usually think of something…..

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