Brisbane, Australia to Auckland, New Zealand

Distance: 0 miles
Time on bike: 0 hours

It’s our last day in Australia today and can’t believe it’s nearly three months since we arrived at the beginning of January. We have a flight booked at 12.20 pm, but we get a lift into town with Simon and Sarah when they leave for work as we need to get to the airport early so we can get our motorcycle carnet documents stamped and signed by Australian Customs to confirm the bikes have left the country.

The day starts with a bit of luck as our ‘Go Pass’ tickets we bought for travelling on Brisbane public transport only have £4 credit left on them, but it costs £10 to get to the airport. When we ask about topping up to get to the airport we get told just to use the remaining credit and bin the cards at the other end. We’re not sure how this system works, but it saved us a bit of cash! When we get to the airport, we get told by the machine that there is negative credit on the cards, but we don’t really care and just chuck them in the bin.

We then have to get a free shuttle bus to where the customs office is and we’re there just after it opens. Carl phoned a couple of days ago to make there would be no problems with coming this morning to get the Carnets stamped, as it would save two trips to the airport which (if we paid full price) would cost £40 return for both of us. But when we get to the Carnet desk we’re told that Carnets take until close of business the next working day to process, which will mean they won’t be available until Monday evening.

Oh dear, this is a slight problem and luckily Carl wrote down all the numbers he tried when attempting to speak to a human being in Australian Customs and explains that we were told we could come this morning to get the job done. The lady is thankfully understanding of our situation, but a bit frustrated that we’ve been told incorrect information by someone in their bureau.

We have to wait about twenty minutes before a customs officer emerges with our Carnets, but only to tell us that two of the digits do not match up with the shipping documentation so they won’t sign and stamp the carnet for one of the bikes. Oh dear again! Carl has to make a quick call to the shippers to explain the situation and thankfully we have a revised document faxed through in about ten minutes so all can be sorted out.

It’s a huge relief when we eventually get the stamped and signed Carnets handed back to us, which means the bikes have officially left Australia, even though the ship actually sailed yesterday. At least this means we still have a fighting chance of getting our deposit back when we get to the UK. If we don’t get the carnet done when required, the Customs can claim for five times the value of the bike!

After getting a bite to eat in the nearby supermarket and gaining some composure again after the slight stress of Customs, we hop back on the courtesy bus to the airport where we arrive at about fifty minutes before check-in closes. The airport seems to be quiet and there’s no queue when we go to check-in; but this is when our world is again turned slightly upside down for the second time today.

Although we don’t need a visa to get into New Zealand, we do need proof of onward travel arrangements i.e. a flight booked out of the country. Oh dear again!! We get directed to a Quantas counter, but have a bit of difficulty getting an answer to our question to obtain the cheapest flight out of NZ to anywhere to satisfy immigration requirements. We then head over to a Flight Centre stand and they manage to sort us out with a cheap flight back to Sydney in June which we are likely to be able to use.

The flight from there goes well and we even get to see a movie on the way, as well as a good dinner on China Air, before we’re coming in to land at Auckland.

As we’re travelling light we get straight out of the airport and meet with Carl’s old colleague and friend Brian, who has very kindly offered to pick us up. Brian is a fellow petrol head and moved across to NZ in 2003 and it’s great to be able to see him again.

Brian and his wife Caroline have very generously offered to put us up in Auckland, which again means a great deal to us and we’re very grateful. In the evening we get to meet their kids Ollie and Emily and have a lovely meal.

Jour 341 – Vendredi 25 Mars 2011. De Brisbane, Australie à Auckland, Nouvelle-Zélande.

Distance: 0 km – Temps à moto: 0 heures

Ca fait presque trois mois qu’on est arrivés en Australie et c’est passé très vite, on a vu pas mal de choses, mais on aurai encore beaucoup de choses à voir, mais ça sera pour une autre fois. Notre vol est à 12h20, on a donc pas mal de temps, mais comme on est prêts en même temps que Simon et Sarah, ils nous déposent en ville, et on prend donc le train direct pour l’aéroport.

On va directement au bureau de frontière pour faire signer le carnet des motos avant de sortir du pays, au téléphone, ils nous avaient dit qu’on pouvait juste passer ce matin, mais quand on arrive ils nous disent que les papiers seront prêts lundi matin… heureusement, quand on leur explique qu’on nous avait dit qu’il était possible de faire remplir les papiers ce matin, ils nous font attendre un peu et nous disent que c’est possible. Quelques minutes plus tard un gars vient nous voir avec nos papiers et nous dit qu’il y a une erreur sur nos papiers et qu’il ne peut pas remplir les papiers si on ne les corrige pas.

Carl appelle le gars qui nous avait envoyé le papier et il nous dit qu’il peut nous faxer le papier avec les bons numéros en quelques minutes, ouf ! Apres quelques minutes d’attente on reçoit leur coup de fil pour nous dire que le papier est fait et qu’il nous l’a faxé. En quelques minutes les papiers sont faits et on est bien contents, on n’a plus qu’a prendre l’avion !

On avait lu que pour le visa en Nouvelle-Zélande il nous fallait une preuve de réservation de billet de sortie du pays, mais Carl avait dit que ça irai sans…et bien sûr, quand on va l’enregistrement, la femme nous dit qu’elle ne peut pas nous enregistrer sur l’avion si on n’a pas de réservation… heureusement il y a un bureau de vente de billets a côté et on arrive à acheter un billet d’Auckland a Sydney pour le 10 juin à un prix raisonnable et on finit enfin par pouvoir nous faire enregistrer sur le vol pour la Nouvelle-Zélande.

On pensait avoir quelques heures d’attente à l’aéroport et finalement on a juste le temps de passer dans le magasin sans taxes pour prendre deux bouteilles de vin à boire avec la famille de l’ami de Carl quand on arrivera là-bas. On monte rapidement dans l’avion et on s’installe dans no sièges, c’est une surprise agréable : on a chacun nos écrans et on a le choix entre une dizaine de films, de la musique et des jeux. On choisis un film chacun et les 3 heures de vol passent rapidement. On arrive à Auckland et il y a 3 heures de décalage, il est donc 6 heures ici.

A peine sortis on retrouve Brian, l’ami de Carl qui nous ramène chez lui pour faire connaissance de sa famille : sa femme Caroline, son fils Ollie et sa fille Emily. On passe une soirée très agréable avec eux.