The Secret Diary of Adrian Petford Aged 39¾

New Zealand Trip Number 7… and AUSTRALIA!

Posted in Before,New Zealand and Australia 2011 by Adrian Petford on May 22nd, 2011

It looks like my seventh trip to New Zealand is finally brewing for August. After my plans were aborted by unforeseen circumstances last year, I’m really looking forward to being back in my “second home”! Due to existing commitments just before, I’m going to have to alter the dates slightly from my standard schedule, so will be starting out on a Monday this time. This would have meant an arrival in Auckland on the following Wednesday. Midweek isn’t ideal as all of my friends will be working, so this has forced me to be more creative and the result is… Australia!

The dates lend themselves perfectly to a few days in Sydney, a wonderful city I’ve always wanted to visit but have only ever marvelled at out of aeroplane windows on previous trips. I’ve considered an Australian stopover before, but the routings have never quite worked out – this time it looks like I can do it. One of my earliest memories is of travelling to Manchester Airport as a very small child in the early seventies to pick up my beloved Auntie Eunice, returning home from Australia where she’d emigrated – by boat as a “ten pound Pom” – a decade or so before. Ever since then I’ve always had a fascination with Australia and now I can’t wait to see it for the first time!

I’m sticking to the same routings as two years ago and will be flying with Emirates again, after their outstanding service on the previous trip. The first leg is 7 hours from Birmingham to Dubai by Boeing 777, followed by 14 hours on the Airbus A380 travelling from Dubai to Sydney. Airbus A380s will be essential for these longer flights in both directions this time; my days of stifling cramp on A340s or 777s for hour after hour are over. After 3 days in Sydney, I’ll catch the equivalent last leg (3 hours) of the A380 flight to Auckland on the Saturday. I’ll then have a full three weeks in New Zealand before heading home by the same route.

Everything is still in the very early stages of planning so far and as usual I’m a bit lacking in ideas at this point. In New Zealand, I’ll be going on a road tour for a week or two, possibly to the South Island again plus I’ll be able to attend my niece Chevelle’s 6th birthday party which will be really fun. Essentials for Sydney are the Harbour Bridge (Yes, I will be climbing it if they’ll let me!) and the Opera House. Not sure beyond that, although I’m sure Lonely Planet will save the day as usual!

But for now, it’s getting all the travel arrangements sorted. I’ve just applied for my Australian e-visa so once that’s gone through I’ll be able to book the flights!

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