After almost 2 weeks of diving and chilling in Koh Lanta it was time to pack our backpacks and continue our journey to New Zealand. Hopefully we would still catch some late summer sun before autumn was upon us.
With an early start on Wednesday at 5:45am, a rushed stop-over at Singapore airport, we arrived in Brisbane at around 1 am (local time). In Singapore Alex’s passport was initially refused with some error but after a quick chat with her colleagues the check-in attendant passed us our boarding passes so we didn’t think much of it. The booking website had stitched Alex’s name together to produce a long Mr. Alexanderpaul as a first name so we thought maybe it was just that.
Later, we landed in Brisbane at 1 am, and facing a 6 hour stop-over we started our search for a suitable napping spot. In between the loud and regular flight announcements for “Quantas flight to Auckland at Gate 75” we managed to get some sleep and at 6 am staggered like zombies to our gate to finally board our plane to New Zealand.
There it seems another passport error was found and a rather strict flight attendant asked us if we had booked a return ticket. We stared at each other blankly before shaking our heads ‘no’. “Then you cannot board this flight” was her response. “They should’ve sorted that in Singapore. What was your flight number?”
We quickly made the decision, or were rather forced by circumstance, to book a ticket out of New Zealand to our next destination Fiji. We double-checked if that would secure us a spot on the plane and were told to do it quickly as the gate was closing in 10 minutes. Stressed and sleep-deprived I was handling the Skyscanner app as competently as a one-year old but somehow, albeit my toddler-like frustration managed to book a flight for the 20th May to Fiji giving us 87 days in New Zealand.
The flight attendant seemed satisfied with my confirmation email but was still sorting out some (other?) passport errors. She appeared very competent and with the help of her colleagues managed to sort it out and finally pressed the boarding passes into our hands with minutes to spare. Needless to say, we were the last passengers to board the plane.
Our luggage didn’t make it unfortunately, but we were told we should receive it in the next day or so and were given Quantas goodie bags to tide us over.
After 27 hours of travelling we had finally made it to the Old Country Backpacker hostel in Christchurch! Yay!