We had an early start on Sunday as our plane was due to fly to Christchurch at 9:30am. We arrived at the airport at 8am and spent the next 50 minutes queueing to check-in at the Pacific Blue desk. What a difference to the Virgin Blue domestic check-in which can be done electronically from kiosks around the terminal. The flight was due to board at 9am and at 8:50am we still had to pass through security and immigration. In the end the plane was delayed as there were quite a few people still behind us at the check-in desk, but it made the whole experience really tense as we rushed about to try to everything sorted out. As Pacific Blue is a budget airline we had to sort our own food and drinks out or buy them on the plane, which again added to the stress.
We finally made it into the air about 30 minutes late, and the journey passed uneventfully giving a great view of Melbourne as we flew over on the way out.
On the way in to Christchurch we flew over snow-capped mountains and green countryside, before landing at a chilly Christchurch Airport.
Christchurch is, as everyone will tell you, very like England. The architecture is very similar and the layout of the land and streets etc is very familiar. It’s been quite cool so far, topping out at about 20ÂºC though the sky has been mostly clear and sunny.
We’ve done a bit of shopping here, buying some warm clothes for the next few weeks and stocking up on recent CDs. I’ve picked up a couple of local ones, Fat Freddy’s Drop which is dub/reggae and Module which is electronic/dance stuff. The campervan we were due to pick up the next day has a CD player so we should be heartily sick of the CDs after 3 weeks on the road.
Vic bought some more wool as she was in danger of a) running out and b) ending up with a scarf 18 inches wide and only 12 inches long. The ladies in the craft centre in Christchurch were all very impressed with her efforts and said that she must be a natural.
I also bought the “The Lord of the Rings Location Guidebook – Extended Edition” which is a superb photo guide to locations around NZ that were used in the film, including information about where various sets were built etc.