At the beginning of 2003 we wanted an overseas holiday. The main problem was that most other places in the world are far away for Australians and quite expensive. One place is not so distant, not so expensive to travel to and somewhere that is truly worth a visit. And after watching the first two parts of the Lord of the Rings trilogy at the cinema, it's somewhere we were keen to see. I am, of course, talking about New Zealand. And so it was that my wife and I spent a week at the end of January of 2003 driving around the South Island of New Zealand.
We flew across from Sydney to Christchurch with Qantas and had organised the hire of a Toyota Corolla with Hertz, mainly because they were recommended by STA Travel and the prices were much of a muchness. For accommodation, we purchased Golden Chain vouchers - we still had to book a room prior to arrival at each location, but at least we had a listing of motels and some certainty of prices.