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  • Writer's pictureAnnemarie Rawson


A NZ Police Sergeant boarded our aircraft when we landed at Auckland airport and informed all passengers we were now under the jurisdiction of the NZ Defence Forces. I must admit my heart sank a little when he said we’d be boarding a bus and heading for Hamilton (one hour 40 mins drive from Auckland).

It was 9.45pm when we arrived at the hotel and another hour of queuing for our health checks and to check-in at reception where we were asked if we wanted a one queen bed or two, room. I quickly calculated it would have to be a much larger room if it had two so opted for the two. It is certainly spacious and has two armchairs as well as the standard desk. Three large windows give us the view below and the three top ones all open for fresh air during the day.

The extensive car park has been turned into the exercise area and gives us an enormous space to walk - three times a day. Food to date has been good quality. Barista coffee is available any time of the day and delivered to your door for $5 each. I have coffee pods with me and my nephew, Craig, (who lives in Hamilton) is dropping off a Nespresso machine for us to use. Anyone can drop anything off to us at the gate, which is so nice to know and yes, we can get UberEats or a Countdown delivery as well.

After Day 3 we can put in a request for ‘lawn’ time during our allotted exercise time or to exercise in the ‘high intensity’ area.

Two flights of people are being accommodated here - ours from Sydney and the other from Brisbane. Sensibly, the two flights have separate times to exercise and for the health checks.

How lucky were we to be able to fly to Adelaide in time for the birth of our grandson and to have that precious two months with family and extended family? Neither of us has taken that for granted and the stress and anxiety of flight cancellations on four sectors of the journey to and from Adelaide were worth it.

We’ve got plenty to do so I’m sure the time will pass quickly.

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