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Background

I had always wanted to visit New Zealand and having arranged 3 weeks holiday for March 2005, it was time to make some arrangements. Luckily a friend of mine also wanted to come along, so I would have some company for my three week stay! As we began to formulate an itinerary, we decided that it would be nice to break up the journey out. Based solely on the fact that we got a great airfare with Singapore Airlines (see below), we decided on a Singapore stopover for a couple of days.

My friend had never been to Australia, so we decided to take flights to Sydney and get onward connections to NZ from there. So basically it ended up being Singapore and Sydney for the first week and then two weeks in New Zealand. But I have called this section New Zealand, as that is the main focus of the trip.

Planning - Flights

Flight planning was determined by the fact that I was travelling down under with a friend. We hunted around for some good flight deals and eventually settled on taking Singapore Airlines in economy to Sydney, with a stopover in Singapore. Not only was this a cheap fare, around 100 cheaper than the BA / Qantas equivalent, but it proved to be effectively fully flexible as we changed one of the flights after we had booked, for free! We then needed to get some trans-Tasman flights to NZ and settled for Qantas, who were marginally cheaper than Air NZ.

Planning - Hotels

As we would be visiting many different places on this holiday, we booked up only a few places in advance. We got a great deal for the Grand Copthorne Waterfront in Singapore on Expedia and I used my Starwood points for 4 nights at the Four Points by Sheraton in Sydney. I booked the Holiday Inn on Avon in Christchurch for a couple of nights and got a further good deal at the Hyatt Regency in Auckland for the end of our holiday. With all these booked, we decided to plan the rest of our accommodation around New Zealand as we went along.