I am Linda and along with my husband Richard and our dog Muffin we enjoy our summers on the UK's canal system

Monday 22 April 2024

The BIG One - Our Last Day, Trip Summary and Photos

Monday 8th April 

Our last day ☹️. We had breakfast in the hotel and then set off for Napa Valley. We weren’t heading anywhere in particular but I noticed that Oakville was about half way. That would do for coffee we thought, however there was nothing at Oakville!  

Our next goal was Antioch Bridge, a very steep bridge which I thought looked like fun!  We followed Google Maps until it took us to the gate of a gated community of a place called Blacknest!  The security guard said we were miles from the bridge ☹️. When I looked at Google, Blacknest is where it was set to. Goodness only knows how that happened. It was too late to do it so we headed for the airport. 

We found the rental car return car park easily. It’s a multi storey with different companies having different floors. We emptied the car and walked to the sky train which took us to our terminal. Easy peasy!

We checked in then sat down to wait for boarding. We had 4.5 hours to wait. I think of all the 8 check-ins we have done this had to be the easiest. I had checked in online - easy as they already had our details from the last flight so it was to a computer terminal which scanned the boarding cards and printed out the baggage tags. Tags put on then over to the bag drop where a guy just put the bags on the conveyor belt. Security was simple, no iPads out of bags and then we went straight into a scanner so there were no extra checks for my knees!  Only one complaint was that we had to take our shoes off!

We did have quite a long wait, but the plane was only about a third full and we actually left the gate about 5 minutes early.

Tuesday 9th April - Hayling Island

Neither Richard nor I slept at all, we both tried but to no avail.

We were a little later landing at Heathrow but we were super fast getting through border control and getting our luggage.  Our taxi driver was waiting for us and we were soon driving home.  All I wanted to do was sleep but our driver was very chatty but maybe it was just as well.

Victoria was waiting for us with a cup of tea when we arrived home, a lovely welcome.  We managed to keep going until 9pm when we gave in and went to bed.

Trip Summary

New Zealand mileage 3,423 miles

Tasmania mileage 888 miles

San Francisco mileage 457 miles

Milage in the air 27,462 miles

That makes a total of 32,230 miles, not taking into account the Uber trips!


Singapore - the view from our room on the 22nd floor

New Zealand, North Island - our first freedom camping spot

New Zealand, South Island - the helicopter ride to the Franz Josef Glacier, Milford Sound,          Doubtful Sound, the Catlin beaches, driving alongside Lake Pukaki towards Aoraki/Mount Cook

Tasmania - the wallabies at the campsite on our first night, the kangaroo we saw hopping across the road, the drive up to Strathgordon

Sydney - the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge

San Francisco - the sea lions and our Ford Mustang drive

General - meeting friends and family in Christchurch, Hobart and Sydney

Since being home I have been asked about my favourite thing and it has been very difficult to pick one thing however I have narrowed it down to two.  The first one was our drive along Lake Pukaki towards Aoraki/Mount Cook.  We turned a corner and there was this huge great mountain with snow on top looming up in front of us.  As we drove along, the mountain got bigger and bigger and more and more wondrous.  The second has to be the kangaroo that hopped across the road in front of us - it really was quite surreal.  We were told that it probably wasn’t a kangaroo but a very large wallaby but I’m pretty sure it was a kangaroo!!

Richard’s favourite was the helicopter ride up to Franz Josef Glacier.

Would we go back?  In a heartbeat but we won’t as sadly the flights were too long for us.  We spent 6 weeks in New Zealand and feel that we covered everything that we set out to do.  However, if you are thinking about going to New Zealand - just GO!

Here are a few of my favourite photos, well maybe more than a few!


  1. Loved reading all about your trip took me back to our trip in 2009 as you went to a lot of places we did.

  2. Looks amazing, so pleased you had such a wonderful time!