New Zealand Air Travel from the USA

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New Zealand Air Travel from the USA

I have finally arrived in New Zealand, having departed San Francisco on a non-stop flight on Air New Zealand Monday night at 9:30 PM and landing in Auckland on Wednesday morning at 6 AM (lost a day crossing the international date line).  As long flights go, this was relatively easy. We were in darkness the whole time, so it made it super comfortable to get 8 hours of sleep, two meals and a few hours to play around with the computer or watch a movie.

Auckland is the main gateway city to New Zealand and its largest city, but interestingly it is not the capital. Still it’s a place that nearly every arriving guest to New Zealand will visit and it will be the main destination for some guests.

Although the airport is only about 40 minutes from the city center, there isn’t a direct highway. Enroute to our downtown hotel, we passed through several homey neighborhoods, most houses are built with timber; wood from the khouri tree is perfect for construction, it’s light with beautiful grains and grows straight, so the logging and cutting make it the perfect choice for bungalow type homes.

Some will venture to the Northlands where the Pacific Ocean meets the Tasmanian Sea. Known for snorkel and dive adventures, the famous Kaori forests and the Maori culture center. The North Islands can be reached in under three hours by car and the most Northern Islands are about 4-5 hours from there by car or ferry.

Others will head down the west coast of the North Island along the Surf Highway. I dream of having the time to tramp along one of New Zealand’s nine Great Walks or to ski on a glacier during another trip.

Today, though, I will tour Auckland, a city of 1.4 million residents. A city set between two harbors, where there is no shortage of water activities. Located in the northern half of the North Island, it has a moderate climate, suitable to sun worship and relaxation. It is also perfect for those seeking adventure.