Planning a New Zealand Trip

Some say life is somehow planned and some say it’s unplanned. I’ve learned both in a different way and i’ve been through both. And this is the planned part of if. It doesn’t start on March 23rd 2012, it was started a year before then – or so when i talked with my friend Amelia about New Zealand ( in Maori: Aotearoa ). We were talking about how beautiful that country is (looking at books, magazine, internet, or television) and how bad i wanted to go there. She replied with the same excitement as i was and we started this plan to visit, along with my other friend, Adrian.
We bought the ticket from Singapore – Auckland airplane ticket on June 2011 and on July 2011 we got Pekanbaru – Jakarta – Singapore tickets. We did not know what will happen next from that moment on till then – what we knew was we wanted to go there and there’s nothing can come between us and ‘the plan’. Luckily it works as planned.

It took 1 hrs 40 mins from PKU to Jakarta and the same from Jakarta to Singapore with several minutes allowance may applies depends on flight preparation and its speed. We departed from Pekanbaru at 7 am and arrived at Singapore at 2 pm (LT). There’s 1 hour time difference between Indonesia and Singapore, and it took us forever to wait our flight to Auckland since it was scheduled on 7 pm. 5 hours we spent to explore Singapore International Airport (http://www.changiairport.com/) and i found it very exciting. Even just walking and sightseeing, it’s architecture and grandeur atmosphere always attracts it’s visitors.

Picture

Our day 1 itinerary

Highlights and Tips:

1. Flight options/ Transit Visa
We chose JetStar’s Direct flight from Singapore to Auckland to prevent transit in Australia and shorten the travelling hours as well as avoiding applying transit visa. With direct flight to Auckland we can save up to 5 hours. Following is the list of airways from Indonesia (Jakarta) to New Zealand vv. You can check the flight detail on each airways’s website for more infomation.

Depends on your budget and schedule, advance booking can always benefits you. It allows you to monitor certain airways promotional offer thus enable you to get the best price.
Several flights to NZ transits in Australia (melbourne or sydney) – if you wish to continue your trip (connecting flight) direct to NZ no visa is required for transitting in Australia (check out this website: http://www.immi.gov.au/visitors/transit/no-visa.htm . But if you wish to stay longer in australia, you may required visa for transit (http://www.immi.gov.au/visitors/transit/771/)​2. Early check in
If you carry heavy luggage, early check in always help J. Before exploring Changi Airport, we ensure we are checked in and our HEAVY luggagge well handled, thus we can take a stroll lightly

3. Classic Goodbye
Left your liquid or anything whatsoever related to gun, weapon, sharp stuff before boarding. Well, the officer would check every inch of your body anyway, but of course you don’t want to be embarassed being caught up carrying scissor, shampoo and dissamble all your hand luggage and reveal any private stuff inside it in front of other passanger. Liquid has been my hardest goodbye – i always brought my mineral bottle as inseparable part of me. I had to spent sometime drinking it before step up to the boarding gate ‘screening line’. It probably because whatever drink ( or any other goods sold in the plane) i get in the airplane would cost 5-10 times from ‘normal’ price.

4. Waiting time
what can i say? Waiting always boring, but you’ll be surprised by what you can do during waiting time especially if you have plan in advance. Books and gadget help you killing time. Bring book (enough to accompany you during the trip, and ensure it won’t burden you with lots of weight) and your gadget (smartphone, tablets, games, etc). If you choose to explore the airport – ensure you know best the airport layout and map. In Changi, you can find almost everything, if you hunt for some stuff in specific store, make sure whether the store located inside or outside checked-in gate. Duty free store most likely located inside the checked-in gate and in some airport, after the boarding gate. It makes no matter, figure out what you want and locate it, or ASK! It helps.

5. $$$
You may want to check your local bank or money changer whether they have New Zealand Dollar currency stock (especially in Indonesia), because it’s rare and we got naught from our search for NZD (We have searched in some banks and money changer in Jakarta). So we bought USD and planned to change it abroad. Changi Airport has several money changer and bank outlets though, and there we have it changed. Otherwise, lots of money changer available in each city in new zealand, and new zealand airport. You may want to ask the teller the rate first and if you insist to get the best rate, you can compare it to another outlets nearby. The difference won’t be significant though, but still, who doesn’t want to get the best?

Pay also attention to money changer that usually owned by store (sovenire, etc) since it may have higher rate compared to bank, post office, or individual money changer and it’s quite significant.

Asana Kusnadi
I'm Asana Kusnadi from Semarang Indonesia. Some of my friends call me Mei, it is taken from my Chinese Name. I was born in Semarang, capital city of Central Java and lived there until I graduated from University. After graduated i worked in Sumatera island and it's been almost 9 years now i live in Riau Province

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