In any trip, you need to take some breaks – time to drink a coffee or a glass of wine, walk by the beach, write postcards…do laundry or other similarly glamorous tasks. By Friday, after hiking, camping out, swimming, and diving, i was ready for a break. Plus I was flying to New Zealand on Saturday and I needed to clean the Outback dust and mud from my shoes. New Zealand takes protecting its biological treasures very seriously, and their bio-security is extremely strict.
So I spent Friday morning scrubbing my hiking shoes and sandals with a toothbrush and doing some other errands around the hostel. And I spent Friday afternoon eating seafood paired with Australian white wines.
Then Saturday it was off to Auckland! I had booked my flight from Cairns on Orbitz and hadn’t realized that the layover in Sydney was actually a change in airline (Jetstar to Qantas). It meant going from the domestic to the international terminal, checking in again, and dropping off luggage again. Luckily it wasn’t busy and I had a three hour layover, so all was fine.
Both Australia and New Zealand have an e-passport expedited immigration system where passengers from certain countries just scan their chip passport, get their photo taken, and go through without waiting for a person. It’s quite efficient, though I really do miss having the stamps in my passport!