After about 31 hours of travel, we are finally in Auckland, New Zealand. Our departure from Heathrow was delayed by 2 hours because of an 'error by operations staff' who allowed some bags to be checked onto the flight without their owner. The error was only discovered after the half hour taxi from the terminal to the runway. Needless to say we had to turn around and come back, remove the bags, refuel and re-taxi. The whole saga took 2 hours. We made up a bit of time between Heathrow and LAX and a little bit more in the transit, but still arrived in Auckland about 90 minutes late, at around 06.30 local time on Friday, having lost a day crossing the dateline.
We were in the arrivals hall just before 8, and called Alpha Campers a couple of minutes after the hour. They sent a bus to meet us within only a few minutes, to transfer us the few kilometers to the camper depot. We were lucky to be at the depot so early actually as we were the only ones there and there was a lot to cover. We had to check the vehicle over for previous damage, go through the paperwork and 'user instructions', run through all the particulars of the vehicle and unpack our luggage (as we left our bags with them at the depot). After a couple of emails on their free internet service, we eventually pulled out in our camper around 10.30am.
It was quite a hard drive actually and the driving was a bit dodgy today too. It's not an easy vehicle to drive, by any means. Must do better tomorrow! We went down Highway 1 (when we eventually found it), then along Highway 2 and eventually onto Highway 25. There's a major difference between the highways, H1 being a 3 lane motorway and H25 nothing more than an A road. It rained on and off - not enough to dampen our mood though, and we also had some bright sunshine.
The last part of the drive was very scenic, and is indeed called the Pacific Coastal Highway scenic route. We stopped a hundred times and took a zillion photos.
We drove into Coromandel around 18.00 and it was just drawing towards dusk. We found a campsite just outside of Coromandel, connected up the power supply and turned on the gas. Nick made dinner...we were both really tired so we just had the rest of the chicken in rolls. I was in bed by 20.30 and Nick followed a little bit later after a couple of emails and share deals!
Although the first moments in the bed over the cab were a little scary...it does feel a bit claustrophobic, especially on the inside pressed up against the wall, but it passed soon enough and it was very comfy and with our two quilts and one blanket was also very snug!