Homeward Bound!December 29, 2018 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C
So here we sit at Auckland airport having a last glass of wine in New Zealand before boarding our flight home! We leave Dec.29 at 8:05 pm Auckland time, then travel back in time to arrive in Vancouver the same day at 12 noon!
Our last morning in Whitianga was pretty amazing. We went to the farmers market to say bye to Belinda, who was selling her beautiful cards there - she’s an artist and makes lovely cards depicting her artwork. While we were chatting with her, Brian showed up and offered to take us for a flight on his private plane!! Yes please! We said our goodbyes to Belinda and followed Brian out to the airstrip where he keeps his little 2 seater plane. Dave went for his flight first, while I had a cup of tea with Brian’s friends, Ken and Jan, and also met other friends, Ace (a former Air NZ pilot and small plane owner), and his wife Jeannie, who is a flight attendant for Air NZ. We watched Dave and Brian take off, then return about 20 minutes later - the look on Dave’s face after was priceless, and made the decision for me to get in this tiny plane a lot easier! Brian flew us over all the beaches we have been to this past week - Cooks, Cathedral Cove, Hahei and Hot Water beaches! It was amazing to see them from the air, and see how fast it was to get there when you didn’t have to drive the winding, hilly roads! We flew over all the little towns, the apartment where we stayed and Brian and Belinda’s house, before touching backdown on the grass airstrip! This generous “gift” on Brian’s part was truly the cherry on top of this amazing vacation!
We set off for Auckland at around 11:30, and after a few stops along the way, arrived at Auckland airport at 4pm, dropped off the rental car, and settled in for our 4 hour wait before boarding our flight home.
We touched down in Vancouver just before noon, and are now waiting at the Harbour Air terminal to the last leg of our journey and the float plane back to Nanaimo.
What an amazing trip this has been! We’ve been through 8 different airports and stayed in 14 different cities or towns, as well as driving through and seeing lots more. We’ve flown a total of 29,450 kms (including float planes, and Brian’s plane). Dave drove 3,916 kms through Australia and New Zealand - on the wrong side of the road to boot (and only turned the windshield wipers on instead of the turn signal about 3 times!). We walked 429.1 kms, took the train to Brisbane for another 180 kms, and Dave mountain biked 17 kms. All this for a grand total of 33,992.1 kms! 😳. We met some lovely people. We found penguins - and koalas, and Kangaroos, and kiwis, and lots of other interesting wildlife. This truly was the trip of a lifetime, but as the song says - it’s very nice to go travelling, but it’s so much nicer coming home! 😊Read more