New Zealand Travel Log Day 1: Queenstown
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it up in a larger second window)
it could be Day 2, if you count the travel time...
We are writing this on Wednesday evening in Queenstown. We left JFK at 5 PM
on Monday, and arrived here Wednesday at noon, for an elapsed travel time of
25 hours, but we essentially skipped Tuesday.
We stopped in Tahiti for 90 minutes, landing at 1:30 AM local time, and
departing 3 AM local time. It was 77 degrees Fahrenheit in the middle of the
night, and reasonably humid. The airport didn't have walls on most rooms,
just a roof to keep the rain out. We also spent about 90 minutes changing
planes in Auckland. We casually walked from the international arrivals
terminal to the domestic terminal, and Nancy smelled the flowers. The sun
was shining and Nancy loved all the trees and flowers, but the Auckland
sunshine was almost the last sunshine we would see for a long time.
Here's my trip report for Day One (or Day Two):
When we landed in Queenstown today, it was partial sun, but looked like
rain was coming. By 2 o'clock it was pouring and hasn't stopped. Rain all
day. Queenstown is in the mountains and far south, so it is also colder than
Our hotel is pretty fancy (Crowne Plaza). We have a top-floor suite with a gorgeous view
of the lake in front and the mountain immediately behind. There is a balcony
which will be great if it stops raining. The suite has a nice living
room; it even has a dining room table; there is a second flat screen TV in
the huge bedroom.
We rented a car and drove around in the rain. Went to two wineries in the
Otago Valley, a growing wine region near Queenstown.
For an analysis of the grocery store, I documented some produce and lamb
prices. All the food seems expensive to me, but that's my perception of food
prices in many countries, where people spend a larger proportion of their
disposable income on food.
The lamb chops seem very expensive, however, for this country of sheep.
As you can see, the unit price is NZ$27.54 per kilogram, which is
NZ$12.50 per pound. That's not cheap. Salaries in NZ (paid in NZ dollars)
are less than comparable jobs in White Plains (in US$). So a programmer
making US$70,000 in White Plains would make about NZ$50,000 here. (And I can't
imagine a programmer spending $12.50 per pound for lamb chops!).
As for produce, the prices were higher than we are used to, and the
vegetables are much smaller than we have. The avocados are much smaller than
ours. Tomatoes were all smaller. The heads of broccoli are compact.
Remember these prices shown are per kilogram (equal to 2.2 pounds).
Nancy and I slept enough on the airplane, so we aren't too tired.
But I do need a shave.
Oh yes, it is just 3 weeks until the summer solstice here, so the days
are long. It is 9:30 PM and still daylight outdoors (although still
As I mentioned, it is getting cold. Although today was reported to have
Celsius, tomorrow's high is forecast to be only 12 C (which is low 50s
That's all for today's report.