Nov, 2013: Our overnight flight to New Zealand was about 13 hours… We describe these long flights as: “It’s just like a long flight to Central Europe plus an extra movie!” Air New Zealand flies a Boeing 777 newer aircraft and the service lives up to the Air New Zealand’s excellent reputation. The pod environment business class was exceptional with amenities galore. Thanks to some of our clients for leaning me towards coach class, the airline’s ”Premium Economy” is the best in the air with their award-winning “Spaceseat” and their “Skycouch,” option in coach class is a great alternative also!
We arrived 30 minutes early in Auckland. Clearing customs was a breeze, but as a reminder, fishermen need to declare their waders and they will be checked. Do not bring felt soles… stick with rubber. Make sure the waders and boots are exceptionally clean… and do not bring any food into the country! The walk to the Domestic Terminal was a nice way to get some crisp morning air after a long night in a plane. Our 30-minute commuter flight to Kerikeri was also on time, and Mother Nature was treating us well with great views of the New Zealand coast heading to The Bay of Islands.
Our first stop is The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs and we cannot imagine a nicer place to start our itinerary and relax after the long journey. The level of accommodation, service and cuisine was absolutely world-class, and the views of the ocean are unparalleled. Did we mention that this 6000-acre property also boasts one of the World’s Top 100 Championship Golf Courses? We were met by the General Manager, Jay Robertson. His family owns the working farm, the lodge and two other great properties we will be visiting on this trip. After a thorough tour of the property, we settled into our lovely suite, followed by a terrific dining experience and our first introduction to the incredible wines this country offers! After a nice night’s rest, tomorrow promises to be an awesome first full day in-country! More to report on Kauri Cliffs….
By: Mike Jr. and Kristene Fitzgerald