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  • Kiwi in Training
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Recon trip 2018
10 Feb is Marlborough Food and Wine Festival - http://www.wine-marlborough-festival.co.nz/ - a great fun day out!
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Cargo containers and moving house stories.
Hi Scott

We came from the UK last December. We looked for a removal company about 6 months in advance, choosing a shortlist of 3 companies headquartered in our locality (south west London). They each visited and quoted a price. We made our decision not only based on the price, but on overall impressions of their customer service, what was included in the quote, what services were offered at the other (NZ) side. To be honest there wasn't too much difference and they all sounded perfectly good. We had our packing done by the company as we've found that this is by far the quickest and best way - these guys are really professional and will pack up your valuables really well and really quickly.

NZ is really strict on cleanliness, in an effort to keep out nasty bugs and insects. We had to sign a declaration of cleanliness, and in order to sign it truthfully we had to buy an approved detergent and clean our shoes with it, plus my husband's work tools etc - anything that could be contaminated with earth. There are restrictions on what you can bring into the country so it's essential to check these before you pack.

Everything went fairly smoothly, with the main issues being at the NZ side (it took about a month from the moment our goods arrived in NZ to actually get them delivered to our door, partly due to communication issues with the NZ partner company and partly due to customs clearance times. If we did it again we wouldn't bother bringing any electrical appliances such as TV, DVD, printer etc because they don't work well here and in the case of our printer, we found that the toner cartridges we use aren't available in NZ! Most things here are more expensive in the UK, not sure if this is also true of the US.

Good luck!

Carole
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Flight Tools
We also use Momondo, another great site. Not sure where you're travelling from, Chris, but when we came over in Dec we booked our flights from Lisbon rather than Heathrow. By doing that we got business class seats for the price we'd have paid for premium economy from London! Our flights were with Swiss airlines from Lisbon via Zurich to Hong Kong, then Cathay Pacific to Auckland.  All fantastic service, and of course we got to use the nice showers in the business lounge at Hong Kong! Not to mention the free food and drink.

Not sure if similar deals will be available when you travel, but if you do fancy a European weekend on your way out (we had a great time in Lisbon), it's worth checking out on Momondo, Kayak or Expedia.  And we found that our flight wasn't available at the same fab price on the other sites, so do shop around.  They go quickly though so it's worth grabbing a deal when you see one.
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Weather blues
I'm writing this in Wellington, with weather warnings on the radio as Cyclone Cook heads towards NZ. It's raining and our hills are draped in thick mist. Yet I know we're probably well-off compared with other parts of the country, already deluged by Cyclone Debbie and bracing themselves for the next onslaught.  Since we came from the UK in December we've enjoyed what is reportedly the worst NZ summer in 30 years.  Now I'm looking enviously at my UK friends and family's gorgeous spring photos, as the 'season' gets under way (Boat Race, Grand National, Chelsea Flower Show...) and can't help wondering what on earth I'm doing here.  Anyone else feeling the same?
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