It's been a day that 4 of us waiting for, can you imagine that we have to wait for a year? Don't start imagining that or you will be stuck in the your imagination and miss the story itself
It is very true when quoted "It is better to see something once than to hear about it a thousand times", or in my case I heard for hundred times about the beauty of New Zealand, including the pictures in others' Facebook and I told myself, I will go to see it myself one day and that one day is today.
It is a super long flight but it was the most exciting flight for year 2017, not in previous years nor my life, never!! It took us ages to get to Auckland because we flew with Air Asia, no complaint as this is what I can afford for now, or maybe better saying what we are willing to pay for this trip for now. There is no actually Day 1 in our trip because the flight itself took us one full day which landed in Auckland at around 4.30pm. Now you may imagine,
2 hours 10 minutes from Jakarta to KL (CGK - KL) , most people flew with Air Asia will know that this is their base, so the transit point will be here for most of my trips.
6 hours transit in KL, I will tell you another time on what you may do in KLIA2 Airport, 6 hours to midnight is not easy to pass, bring some board games for your next transit to kill time.
8 hours from KL to Gold Coast (KL - OOL), this is actually a short transit to drop and pick up some passengers, but as all that have been visiting Australia has known, that this country is not easy, the checking point with their beep beep and scanner really left us with no time but just pee, grab some yogurt and get on back to the flight. I am always a fan of Oz yoghurts and now adding NZ yoghurts on to my list. Yes indeed, I love yoghurt, made this not important part to tell haha. And yeah, you will still need to bring all your belongings down just to make sure nothing goes wrong unless you may would like to give to others as souvenirs.
3 hours from Gold Coast to Auckland (OOL - AKL), finally and time is 4.10 pm already, New Zealand operates Daylight saving time and on GMT +12 on June but GMT +13 started at end of September, it's 5 hours ahead of Jakarta time.
Well, lucky we changed our plan to get the car from the airport on arrival because Jucy Auckland airport which is around 5 minutes away from airport closes at 6 pm, and with the spare of 2 hours we will not be able to make it because the line on the quarantine is very very long. Australia has better arrangement, if you don't declare those are restricted to bring into the country, you may choose the green line which is much quicker but in Auckland, they just separated into 2 lines which all the foreign passport has to queue on red line (declare) and we had a lot to declare, we brought some food and ingredients from our country. But the officer is much more friendly than Melbourne, my last year trip after 14 years leaving Perth. We are allowed to step in together and she noted down all what we declared and if any that she doesn't sure, she will appoint us to one of the x-ray officer, that includes the rice they need to check.
This is the arrival hall on which you can see people starting waving to their loved ones, it is not very big hence crowded with people.
First thing we headed to is the phone card provider, lived in Australia in the past made me choosing Vodaphone over Sparks, which is not necessary better option though. We chose Travel SIM Card, there is extra benefit compare to normal SIM Card which you can call or text home free for 200 minutes and 200 texts. There are several options depends on the data plan you would like to get from NZ$29 to $99. We get 3GB for $49, although we have bought the Scoot WiFi Service from Jucy but carrying that tablet everywhere is quite heavy hence decided to buy an attached one to our own phone.
Got out from all is around 8 pm roughly, there are several ways to get to city from airport but we only compared sky bus or taxi, sky bus is $18/person/trip, added together 4 of us is $72 plus the hassle of carrying back not to say from the stop to hotel so we decided to take taxi. We read that it's only $35 with Cheap Taxis to city but our hotel apparently is not within the area which they named "city". You may see the list of fare with a few taxi companies once you stepped out to taxi stand, and for sure we chose the cheapest one. It ran on meters but was told it will be around $50-60 hence we spent $58 to get to our hotel, City Lodge Accommodations.
We booked quadruple/family room for NZ$118 (paid in Rupiah, calculated with exchange rate 9,400 IDR/NZD). Arriving late and expected to wake up late, but seeing the sign of check out time is 10 am, our wish is just vanished.
The room is very small, written on the booking confirmation is 15m2, didn't really measure that, with private bathroom and small credenza. But the communal area is very big, especially the kitchen and dining room, they also got free pizza and drinks for movie night every Friday, and the most important, its spotless, I believe they probably have someone to clean everyday as it will not happened in any hostel that fully occupied and the kitchen is still spotless. Walked out to find some mineral waters because heard that we can't drink from tap, the mineral water in the convenience store is shocking, $3 for 1.5ml mineral water. Nothing much we can do for the night although surrounding got minimarket, restaurant, clothing store, chinese supermarket (we found it the next morning), but it's closed by the time showing 9 pm on weekends. I will give rate 9 for this hotel, taken into consideration size, location and cleanliness, the only problem is probably they don't have parking lot so will be hard for those that have a car.
Another day, another city, another story, See you tomorrow, tomorrow can be the someday you are waiting for.