Journal of a visit to New Zealand, via Singapore

The Land of the Long White Cloud
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Photographs by Gerald England
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This page last updated: 29th November 2005.
Day 31: Auckland to Singapore Map

Day 31 Breakfast is a fulsome leisurely meal. Our flight is not until the afternoon, so we have no need to rush.

We go for a drive down to the harbourside and along Tamaki Drive. The waters are quiet and grey with just a few boats plying their way across to the various islands and promontories. We pass through the suburbs of Mission Bay and St. Helier. There is an atmosphere of gentle affluence. It reminds us somewhat of the less seedy parts of Los Angeles.

At Ladies Bay there is a good view across to the old volcanic island of Rangitoto. Looking down from the viewpoint, the ground is covered in cigarette-butts and other litter. This is in marked contrast to similar places elsewhere in New Zealand.

As we drive around, we are struck by the unusual number-plates displayed on vehicles. Examples are MUDP1G, DENSE, SAY1DO and FØRGERY.

Eventually, we make our way down to the airport and drop off the car. After checking in, we have to pay a departure tax! This is done at a branch of the Bank of the New Zealand so at the same time I change all my remaining New Zealand money into Singapore dollars. We manage to procure a buggy-ride down to the departure gate.

We get a seat next to the wing. The flight itself is rather uncomfortable, but the first in-flight meal of baked cod, potatoes and vegetables is surprisingly tasty. The Frenchman on the aisle seat next to us keeps complaining about the video system which isn't working properly. In the end, a flight-attendant finds him an alternative seat until landing.

We arrive mid-evening. This time it takes us less than an hour to clear customs, visit the Stopover desk and be on our way in the shuttle to the Peninsula Hotel. As before, we are treated to a refreshing drink, while we await the arrival of our luggage.

Journal - Day 32 Photographs - Day 31