|tanithryudo (tanithryudo) wrote,|
@ 2014-12-26 23:56:00
Down Under Day 6
Continued from previous entry... So, the flight from Australia to New Zealand was not quite uneventful.
One family apparently joined our tour group using a third party tour company from China. Everyone else are from the USA using the actual tour company (Ritz Tours). The problem is whoever hooked that guy up only got him a visa for Australia. Now, apparently if you have a US passport, you don't actually need a separate visa for NZ. But a chinese passport? SOL. The guy ( who was there with two twin daughters maybe 12 years old) had to stay behind in Melbourne. Not sure if he can get a last minute visa to join the rest of the tour eventually or figure out a way to go back to Sydney and stay there until the return flight at the end (which has a connecting stop there).
Another thing that took everyone by surprise was how stringent Customs was in NZ about bringing in anything resembling food products. One family got fined $400 for a container of commercial honey they bought in Australia. My mom got pulled aside because their k9 unit caught a sniff of some shreds of curry beef jerky in her backpack (the rest of it had been eaten in the flight and it was just some spilled remnants, thank god). There was also a camera guy there taking pictures of everyone being pulled aside. When asked he said that the film was going to go on TV. Ugh. Dick move.
Anyway...after the almighty struggles with Customs, we finally left the (very...small) airport into the city proper. Queenstown, though, is also a very small city, for all that it's an almost 100% tourist city. It is maybe ten blocks by six blocks in size, and at most a 30 min walk to cross the whole place. Then again, NZ itself is a sparsely populated country; I think the entire population might be smaller than some chinese cities.
The hotel is called the Millennium Hotel. Decent for a small town I guess. WIFI is only freeform the lobby for 30 mins out of every day, so I'm actually purchasing my internet use for an outrageous price. Bleh.
Dinner was just some random chinese restaurant in the town. Tomorrow is another full day.
EDIT: Forgot to add...we did get some time to wander the town after eating. We took a short stroll through along Lake Wakatipu and then through the local rose garden. The flowers were mostly in bloom, and they were beautiful.
This entry was originally posted at http://tanithryudo.dreamwidth.org/441387.h