Going to Sydney the day before our flight was a good move. We had a good night's sleep, got up at a decent hour, enjoyed a 15 minute stroll to the terminal and were checked in with plenty of time to spare. Not that we needed it - turned out our aeroplane had managed a rather heavy landing on its earlier arrival into Sydney and had to be checked over by the engineers before it could be released for our flight. That caused a 75 minute delay, but we would prefer an aeroplane to be in good order when we fly in it!
Once on board, we made our way to our pseudo-Premium Economy seats - aka, the overawing exit row! The extra leg room is always appreciated. The flight was completely uneventful, but the delay did have knock-on effects for us. Our rental car company closed at 5, so when we arrived at 5:30, we had to collect the car from the public car park (extra $18! :( Not a biggie, really, just mildly annoying. We stopped by a supermarket for some supplies, as we are staying mostly in self-catering apartments, then finally made it into Auckland to our apartment - after it had closed, too! The building manager very kindly made space for us in the very limited car park, and up we went to the room.
Now, we know New Zealand is the land of Middle Earth and the Hobbits, but surely they can make allowances for their tourists? The apartment is the smallest room - hotel, motel or apartment - we have ever stayed in! The only smaller room we have stayed in was our cabin on the ship to Antarctica! That said, apart from having very little room to move around, it is very clean, tidy and comfortable, so what more can we ask for? :) Besides, the price is right - just $180 for two nights.
So, a bit of unpacking, planning for the morrow - a relaxed day around Auckland, we think - and off to bed!