…and then home!

My flight out of Christchurch left at 9.05 on Sunday morning.   Did I really need to take a taxi?   After a little research, it seemed that there was just one scheduled bus on Sunday mornings that got to the airport in time.

IMG_1175a early am Christchurch
Early morning skyline

So I got up early and headed to the  shiny new bus station with fare in hand (extra because I didn’t have the equivalent of a Myki – but here you can pay the driver) and plenty of time, and yes, the bus left on schedule and delivered me to the airport very satisfactorily (for a fraction of the cost of a taxi).

 

IMG_0988a Bus station
Impressive new bus station
IMG_1182a lots of space
Wide open spaces at bus station!

Check-in times for international flights from Christchurch are 90 minutes before departure, but this was more than adequate as there were no queues anywhere.  I had time to have a coffee, check emails and relax.

The Air New Zealand flight back across the Tasman had a tail-wind – very unusual in this part of the world.   Hence, it arrived 40 minutes early.

Tullamarine was a completely different story to Christchurch,  The queue for immigration was immense, stretching w-a-y back up the concourse.  It seems that a number of flights (including at least one A380, maybe 2) had arrived from Asia/China  all at the same time.   What a terrible first impression for the Asian tourists we’re supposed to be trying to persuade to visit Australia.

With nothing to lose and a bit of local knowledge, I by-passed the queue and headed to the “Smartgate” ….only minimal delays here (especially as I remembered to wear my reading glasses to more closely match my passport photo, which has glasses).

The baggage arrived quickly, too, except mine was upside-down, and I didn’t recognize it.  But that got sorted, the quarantine man took my word for it that I had cleaned my walking shoes (which I had), I was on the Skybus a minute or so before it departed and was soon at Southern Cross and on the train home.

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