Finally, my dream of visiting New Zealand comes true. After seeing photos of New Zealand in National Geographic Magazines while growing up it became a country that I wanted to visit, take my own photos of the postcard landscapes and see if it really was as beautiful as I had been led to believe.
With Africa being so far away from New Zealand this desire seemed like it might never become a reality being 10 time zones away. From China however it is only 2 time zones away, all be it in a different hemisphere and still 15 hours flying but I figured this is the closest I have ever been and if I was going to visit New Zealand the time was now.
After scouring the internet for the cheapest flights I settled on Air Asia X which conveniently flew out of Hangzhou International Airport. A short 5 hour flight to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where if I had to layover for 12 hours I might as well stay for a few days which I did, before catching a 10 hour flight to New Zealand. There was some last-minute drama as Christchurch, where I was flying to, had a massive snow dump that closed the airport the day before I was due to arrive but luckily they had cleared the runway and so my flight took off on time and I was on my way.
This is the view that greeted me from 15000 feet as we descended over the Southern Alps of New Zealand’s south island before landing in Christchurch. I almost couldn’t believe that this childhood dream of mine was coming true and if this view was anything to go by New Zealand was definitely going to live up to my expectations.