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Old 12th September 2018, 01:53 AM   #16
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After 2 nights in Wellington, we again took the airport shuttle back to Wellington airport.




What greeted us as we stepped into the check-in hall were SQ's check-in counters for the SQ flight to MEL/SIN.






However we would not be flying SQ today and instead proceeded to the NZ self-check-in kiosks and bag-drop. There is also a premium check-in area.








After checking in, we proceeded into the modern departure hall. Non-travellers were also free to come into this part of the terminal as well.











Apart from the usual NZ A320s, JetStar's rare Dash-8 and A320s were spotted.



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Old 12th September 2018, 10:20 PM   #17
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NZ's Dash-8s on the remote stands.




Our aircraft operating the flight to Queenstown. NZ and JetStar each has a daily flight from Wellington to Queenstown.





21 August 2018
Air New Zealand
NZ 605
Wellington (WLG) - Queenstown (ZQN)
A320
ZK-OXM
Economy Class
Flight Time: 1H01M



Boarding to commence shortly.




Boarding the aircraft. Similar domestic cabin configuration as the previous flight.








Decent legroom.




View out the window.




Boarding in progress. The flight was about 70% full. Most visitors to Queenstown would have flown from Auckland.




Boarding completed, doors closed and we pushed back.




SQ's B772 has arrived from Melbourne.




Taxi to the runway.

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Old 12th September 2018, 11:09 PM   #18
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Holding for another A320 to land.




Followed by our turn for departure from Rwy34.









https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukly9dogang


Leaving North Island and my first glimpse of South Island.




IFE consisted of inflight trivia shown on the dropdown screens.




Flying along the coast of South Island.






Refreshment service commenced, where we were offered a choice of cassava chips or chocolate chip cookie. The crew were kind enough to offer me one of each when I requested, all washed down with a cup of tea.






View of the cabin.

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Old 12th September 2018, 11:40 PM   #19
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A look at the half-galley of the domestic-configured A320.




Same amenities in the single rear lavatory.




Crew clearing the trash.




The first snow-capped mountains spotted.




Just prior to descend, crew came around with baskets of lollies.




Rest of the flight was spent just admiring the scenery down there.




The approach and landing into Queenstown was amazing as we flew in between mountains into a valley. This certainly ranks as one of the most challenging and beautiful landing in the world!







https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qe10cxvC6aA


Final approach to Rwy23 as we exited the valley.





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Old 13th September 2018, 12:21 AM   #20
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Touchdown in one of the most beautiful airport in the world, Queenstown Airport.








Video of the landing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dadlceVLEw&t=198s


Parked at the stand. There are no aerobridges at Queenstown and hence disembarking is via the traditional stairs. It was amazing as we disembarked to snow-capped mountains in the distance!








View of the aircraft as we walked on the tarmac towards the terminal building.












It was another standard Air New Zealand domestic sector, again with friendly and efficient service, and an awesome landing to boost!


Queenstown airport only has a small terminal with both domestic and international (from Australia) flights, and during the peak seasons, I suspect the terminal may be straining from the additional flights and travellers.

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Old 13th September 2018, 02:02 AM   #21
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From Queenstown Airport, it was only a 15min and NZ$2 bus ride to the hotel. We stayed at Heartland Hotel, which was built chalet-style. Rooms, though not the most modern, were comfortable enough for the stay.






The best thing about the room though was the incredible view of the mountains and lake from my room at the 3rd (and topmost) floor!




The hotel was only a short 5-10min walk downslope to town. Queenstown would be hosting a Winter Pride just a week after my stay.




First meal at Queenstown would be some Fish and chips by the lake (while avoiding the attacks at the chips by seagulls and ducks).






Enjoying the sight of the beautiful Lake Wakatipu, with mountain ranges around.










Walked towards the small town area, with the usual tourist shops, restaurants and boutiques.



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Old 13th September 2018, 11:15 PM   #22
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Queenstown town center






Popular fudge selection at the Remarkable Sweet Shop.






Dinner of burrito at a Mexican eatery.






The next day, we went on a day trip to Milford Sound. It was an early departure, with The Remarkables range basking in the dawn light.




During the 300km ride to Milford Sound, we passed by various sights, including:

Mirror lake which reflects the mountain range.




Streams with crystal clear water






And wild native birds Kea which love to peck on vehicle rubber lining.



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Old 13th September 2018, 11:29 PM   #23
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As the tour bus passed through the mountains, we were greeted by snow and controlled avalanches at certain areas.




Reached the Milford Sound jetty to board the ferry for a 2hrs tour of the Sound. Buffet lunch was served onboard. The view was magnificent, and we even came right u to a cascading waterfall!












Leaving Milford Sound for another 300km ride back to Queenstown.




Dinner back at Queenstown was at one of the 2 most popular burger restaurants in Queenstown. For tonight, I would be trying out Devil's Burger. Very tasty and filling burger and fried mushrooms!




Some gelato for dessert!




On the 3rd day, the first thing to do was to grab a burger at the famous Fergburger. Even though it was only 11am, there was already a queue (which moved fast) for burgers! Luckily the wait was only 10min as compared to dinner time.





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Old 14th September 2018, 12:29 AM   #24
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The burger from Fergburger is indeed juicy and delicious!




At the lakefront, where I would be going on a Jetboat ride to the Shotover River.








Did a short trip to the historical mining village of Arrowtown, which was only about 30min away by bus.










Another Remarkable Sweet Shop




A historical Chinese village





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Old 15th September 2018, 12:26 AM   #25
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One of the few rainbows sighted while on the ride back to Queenstown.




Shed with a view




Sakuras in Queenstown too!




Dropped by the Remarkables outlets for a bit of shopping.




Dinner at a very popular restaurant in Queenstown, Flame Bar and Grill. Best to make a reservation prior as it is almost certain that no tables would be available for walk-ins during the dinner hours. We had steak, pork ribs and lamb chops, all of which were delicious! Just simple grilled meats to perfection and light seasoning.








More gelato for dessert.




On the last day in Queenstown, it was perfect weather. Walked to the cable car station for the trip up to Skyline Queenstown!








Had buffet lunch with a magnificent view at the Stratosfare Restaurant. The lunch buffet offered quite a variety of choices and was value-for-money if purchased with the cable-car package.

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Old 15th September 2018, 01:08 AM   #26
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More of the buffet selection.












And of course the magnificent views!










Paragliding is very popular in such nice weather.






Descending back to town. It was certainly a beautiful ending to the Queenstown leg.

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Old 17th September 2018, 12:02 AM   #27
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After walking back to the hotel to pick up our luggages, we again took the public bus from the bus stop outside our hotel back to Queenstown airport. It was only a 15min bus ride at a very affordable NZ$2 per pax.






The pretty small Queenstown Airport terminal building.




Traditional manual check-in counters for JetStar, Qantas and Virgin.




While NZ uses mainly self-check-in kiosks.




Boarding pass printed.




Queenstown is proud to hold the annual Winter Pride.




FIDS and waiting hall.






Queenstown Airport is certainly one of the most scenic airport in the world!






Virgin arriving from Australia.

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Old 17th September 2018, 12:45 AM   #28
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JetStar arrived from AKL and Star-liveried NZ A320 pushed back.




Fun fact: JQ uses Australia-registered aircraft on domestic NZ flights due to open-skies agreement between Australia and New Zealand.




Our ATR72 arrived from Christchurch. This afternoon flight was originally scheduled on an A320, but was changed to the ATR72 instead subsequently.







24 August 2018
Air New Zealand
NZ 5652
Queenstown (ZQN) - Christchurch (CHC)
ATR72-600
ZK-MVH
Economy Class
Flight Time: 0H51M



Boarding gate for the prop flight is via Gate 1. Interestingly, there were no security checks prior to boarding the flight. We were scanned through and allowed onto the tarmac to board.












Beautiful tarmac view! The red-roo was also at ZQN.




Legroom on this ATR was good, helped by the slimline seats fitted.




Safety card

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Old 17th September 2018, 01:23 AM   #29
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View out the window.




Boarding completed. The flight was totally full. With no IFE system on this prop, safety demo was done manually.




Started the short taxi to the runway.




Holding short for Virgin to depart.




Taxiing down the runway and making a U-turn to depart from heading Rwy23.






Very scenic departure from the beautiful Queenstown!














Video of the taxi and beautiful departure.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDd-oU2CjPk&t=357s
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Old 18th September 2018, 12:30 PM   #30
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The fergburger receipts entitles you to some discounts at mrs ferg gelato. I found out only after returning to hotel and looking through the receipt.

I was also at South Island for 3 weeks in August. Locals were saying this year was a warm winter.
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