A quick 3 hour hop over the Tasman sea has us in NZ! We had repacked our bags in the hotel last night thinking that they may have the same regulations as Australia on not bringing in any food or wood or anything that might have mites or bugs. I had put all of the stuff in one bag and thought we would cruise right through as I didn't think I had anything contraband. Wrong! I forgot about the honey. there is a mite here called the Varroa Mite which is endangering the bees here (I'm not sure if it the same one that is hurting them at home but I know we have a problem too). 2 hours later all of our bags have been checked, the honey confiscated and we are ready to proceed. The customs people were actually great and said they were the guys checking for bugs. David asked what the other people were doing at the table beside us and our guys said they were checking for something that rhymes with bugs!!
Out in the arrivals area we picked up a SIM card for John's Blackberry and lots of pamphlets and books on things to do and see. I am happy they have lots of forests here as everywhere you turn there are brochures on every kind of activity imaginable. NZ is really set up for tourists and adventurers alike.
Many of those people opt like we did to travel in campervans. These are like small Winnebagoes (not "Meet the Fockers") and are self sufficient. We picked up Ruthie our RV and headed out with a Thermos a lady gave us from their trip and went to the "campground" right in Christchurch. We went the wrong way and were now negotiating things in the dark in this big vehicle that was right hand drive and left hand manual. It was raining which meant that John had to operate all of the switches and gear shift in a new vehicle in a new city in the dark and everything was backwards!! We did arrive safely and were stunned by the setup in this place. There was a full-fledged travel agency, full heated kitchen (did I mention it was cold and we could see our breath for the first time in 5 months?) hot showers, games room and lounge. Now this is camping! We walked to dinner and then crawled under our duvets for our first night in NZ.