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Our journey to paradise.  A Xena experience! A unique happening in our life!
Unforgetable moments which we would like to share with you all!
Auckland has become our second home and you soon will understand why.
Sit back, enjoy and dream away!  Honeymoon 26/2-26/3/2007
How to get to NZ? 
Easy, take a plane.  If you are not in a hurry you can go by car which make this a life- time trip or you can take the boat so you can count the waves.  You will have to count the sheeps in New Zealand as this country is famous for it.
We took a KLM flight in combination with Malaysian Air leaving from Schiphol/Amsterdam.  Not bad but Malaysian Airways was much more confortable luxury wise, then again KLM was more hygienic.  We went via Kuala Lumpur but you also have other possibilities such as Singapore.  Anyhow book your flight as fast as possible to have a lower rate.
From Belgium/Europe you can get your train to Schiphol/Amsterdam. From Schiphol/Amsterdam  be prepared that you have about 24 hours of flight to go through. You can choose your transittime. We took 4 hours which was long enough.  Get yourselves served in a lounch room so you are brand new again for the second ride. 24hours of flight means e.g. you leave on Monday evening and arrive at Auckland on Wednesday noon.  You have to count another 12h of time difference.  This time difference depends on the season you leave in.  For summer season flight you have 12 hours difference.
A time difference of 12hrs means that when it is noon at Auckland your family is nearly to go to bed or is already a sleep as it is midnight in Europe (Belgium).  You will have to get used to count half a day difference in both ways.  So your family gets a brain training aswell!

I advise you to stay awake until 7-9pm and take a long night sleep.  You will have no problem at all the day after to get into the NZ-time zone.

Forget the Star heaven of Europe cause you will see a total other sky at night.  Instead of the Polar Star say hello to the Southern Cross.
New Zealand Season
They are the opposite of the European Seasons.  When is it the best time to go?  Well that depends on which season you prefer. The Northern Island has soft winters and wet summers. 

Spring (September- October-November).
The days become longer but it can be windy (but it is always windy) and rainy. We have an average of 18 degrees. For us Europeans already a nice temperature

Summer (December - January - February)
It is warm, sundy and at the West coast always windy (you be lucky for that if it gets hot). We have an average of 25 degrees.

Autumn (March-April-May)
Temperature drops a bit to an average of 20 degrees and you will get a little bit more rain.  Then again we were the whole month march at Auckland and the first 2 weeks we had temperature of 25-30 degrees, no rain, strong sun, windy days.  By the end of March the weather turned and we got the first rains.  But rains are not as we know in Europe. You get a few drops or you get a short and hard shower.  The other moment it is sunny weather again. At Bethels Beach you are protected by the mountains and you often have better weather then elsewhere.  My advise, even when it is cloudy or raining get out and do your thing.

Winter (June-July-August)
Seems in the winter it gets to 13 degrees average.  For us Europeans we still get treated then.
Driving around in New Zealand
Okay be sure you get your international drivers licence.  You will need it together with your national drivers licence.
In New Zealand people drive on the left side which is the opposite of us Europeans (except for the UK).  You get used to it in a very short time. So no worries.  First go with the flow.   As for the direction you cannot go wrong.  Well, we never did.   On the highway (oh yes you have to get used to the names of the roads which might be confusing in the beginning) you have so much indications you have plenty of time to get into the correct stroke.  Round-abouts!!!!! If you can take them you passed the test and you are ready for driving around anywhere you want to.

Kiwi's are very creative when it comes to license plates.  Go see the album.

A good address to hire a care is :http://www.wendekreisen.co.nz
Ask for Harald.
Most of the cars all are automatic transmissions.

There are also buses and trains. We didn't use them as we had a car.  And you have the hop-on/hop-off buses.
Where are you? Orientation problems?
Auckland is about 45 minutes from the West coast.  On the other side Auckland has Rangitoto and Mission Bay on Tamaki drive.

Kiwi language
A link to help you with some specific words and expressions : http://www.chemistry.co.nz
This dictionary will help you to avoid you say something that means something totally different then we think.  Just to avoid some unlucky moments!!
The way of living
You will be surprised how friendly and helpfull people are. No rush and no stress.  Ohyes, if you are in a supermarket do not be surprises when you are at the check out.  The women at the check-out they pack your grosseries into cartons or plastic bags.  So you do not have to rush yourselves into a positions to get it all in your basket again.  No, they do it for you and ..........you have a nice chat at the same time.  Just pay and have a nice day further.
Nature and the ecologic system.
New Zealand is almost a zero-carbon nation and thank you for that.  After a few days you will benefit of this way of living.  Get healthy again.   Also most things you buy are 98% fat- free and fruit and vegetable are organic.  You can't get more healthy then there.  We lost a lot of weight and we keep on going on that healthy road although it is hard to find the same things to eat in Belgium.  But sofar we managed to go along.

Okay and now let's go for the real work such as Xena Film Locations, In the Footsteps of Lucy and other nice places to visit.
After a perfect day of celebration on 24/2/2007, a short night rest it soon was monday 26/2/2007. And there we went for our adventure to New Zealand. A journey from 26/2 until 23/3/2007
Loyaltoxena (former Lotolux) is a fan run, non-profit web site. All articles, images and other works are copyrighted to the original owners.
©2006/01/25 All rights reserved - Martine De Grauw
Bethells Beach Cottage site and Xena-Lucy-Land site created on 22/5/2007.
©2007/5/22 All rights reserved - Martine De Grauw