This morning saw us rise at 4am in order to get the airport so we could enjoy the all that the Business Class lounge had to offer for breakfast. 4am is not Harrison’s favourite time of the morning, and as he said in his journal he’s writing for school, his “eyes were very red and he was cold”. I was that tired I didn’t notice. The airport was quiet at that time of the morning so check-in and customs was very quick which left us an hour in the lounge for breakfast. AirNZ share the Qantas lounge which was right across from our gate making it handy.
Once onboard it was apparent the flight was only about 60% full. Business Class had about 12 seats free out of the 30 available which made it a pleasant flight. The food was good and plentiful, as was the wine and beer – Julie thought the champers quite good at 7am, though in her defense it was 11am NZ time.
The 6 hour flight went reasonably quick and before we knew it Harrison could see the beaches to the north of Auckland as we made our descent from the north past the city. Upon landing Harrison was quick to spot Gandalf Air, the AirNZ plane painted to promote the recent Hobbit movies. As luck would have it we parked right next to it.
After getting our bags which were nearly first off the plane, all the time we had saved getting the express lane through Customs was lost when going through biosecurity. The line up was huge (to be honest it was 5 lines!) and took us about 25 minutes to get to the end where we were promptly given the Green Lane (i.e. no checks for us). Lining up for things is not Julie’s favourite past-time and I think those around us in the line now realise this. Last time we came to Auckland we had the same problem. It was either a case of bad timing as many international flights landed at the same time, or this is the norm for Auckland.
Once through it was a simple stroll across the crossing and into the Novotel Airport hotel where upon check-in we found out we had been upgraded to the Premier Room on the top floor. They must have heard Julie cursing earlier in the biosecurity line. The room is very nice and the view is great without the faintest nose of aircraft taking off all thanks to the double-double glazing. We ordered some in-room service for dinner which was delicoius – picture the best BLT and a kids cheeseburger for Harrison! Following was a shower and now we’re ready for bed as tomorrow we’re off early to pick up the campervan to start the journey south from Auckland. Highly recommend the Novotel Auckland Airport for transit stays.