Travel days are always interesting – sometimes they are good, sometimes they are too long, and sometimes what is not a ‘travel’ day can feel like one even when we are not moving from one location to another. We have found that we have come to want less travel on our ‘home’ days than we would normally accept on a day when we are moving from one location (whether that be between homes, or between countries) to another. This can prove challenging at times if we are not staying in the immediate area of something we wanted to see or do. We also have found that our willingness to accept travel on non-travel days can often be improved by having a very set plan of when we will stop, for how long, and for what purpose.
Given that yesterday was a travel day, not only between homes, but between countries, we knew that we were in for a bit of a long day (not including the time change). We headed out around 9:30am – for a series of planned stops – Zorb, coffee, ice cream & lunch, the drop off of the car in Auckland, time at the airport, a flight to Melbourne, a car pick-up and a drive to our next place (another fantastic home). Given our planned stops and the driving time of 3.5 hours from the Rotorua area up to Auckland, and the fact that we had to get our rental car back some 4.5 hours before our flight, our planning was somewhat detailed…
We offered the kids the chance to go to Zorb as we left Rotorua – an opportunity to roll down a hill in a large ball filled with water. Not surprisingly they all thought this was a great idea and opted for the zig-zag course. Thankfully none of them came away feeling car sick before hitting the road!
Our next stop was our last coffee stop in New Zealand – given the cost of these coffees we had taken to sharing one between us – however Rebecca asked if she could have her very own on our last day. We stopped in Matamata for a great latte (each) at Espresso Go and some treats to use up some of our leftover New Zealand cash.
Next it was another 90 minutes or so to our lunch and ice cream stop – nothing like huge ice cream cones for much less than we had spent on coffee or ice cream in New Zealand over the last three weeks. A double scoop was $3.00 (check out the joy and pleasure shown on Rebecca’s face and the ice cream on Genevieve’s body).
We then dropped off our 2007 Blue Nissan Station Wagon (thanks Apex Rentals – great car for what we needed as we covered some 3,500kms over our three weeks in New Zealand) and headed to the airport where we managed to pass the time quite quickly (we are good at games, reading, and catching up with the rest of the world on wifi) and then were thrilled, or at least Jonah and I were, that we were flying on an Airbus A380-800 (double-decker plane) with Emirates. Have to love the sign as well that tells you where you gate is… ours simply said ‘Relax’ until closer to our boarding time.
After our smooth flight and quick pick-up of our next rental car we made the 30 minute drive to our next home in Melbourne, Australia – what a treat as we head into our time in Australia.