We had a wonderful flight on Air New Zealand. After going through customs in Aukland, we transferred to a flight to Christchurch. We splurged for Premium Economy. Big bucks, but worth it if you can afford it. Check in was faster, more leg room, the seats were roomy with lots of leg room and service was excellent.
We collected our bags in Christchurch, then headed to Vodaphone, the cellular provider. I had planned on getting a wifi hotspot, which was NZ $79 for 500 MB. The salesman suggested a SIM card for NZ $55, with 2MB data, 200 texts and 100 minutes for local calls and calls to the U.S. That is a better deal as long as your cell phone is unlocked. It's working fine in Christchurch and should in cities, though we'll encounter less populated areas where we won't have a connection.
Renting the RV
Freedom Camper picked us up at the airport once we called them. While they cleaned up the camper, we filled out paperwork. Since they hadn't finished when we were ready, they loaned us a car to go get groceries. After a walk-through and demo, we loaded groceries and our things, storing our bags at the office since we are returning to the same location. More next issue.
RV Park or Boondocking?
We are at a Holiday RV park in Christchurch for a night before heading south. We'll be freedom camping or boondocking a lot since one night was NZ $37! We figure we'll stay in a park every three nights or so. This park has powered sites with water, tent spots, cabins, and bunk houses (much like a hostel). Bathrooms are unisex at one end of the park and divided into separate rooms at the other. There are 2 communal kitchens and laundries. The dump station is centrally located.
Jaimie Hall Bruzenak