Ummm....Where's our luggage ?It started off as an adventure from the moment we arrived in Nelson at 7:30 pm to discover that our bags did not make it !!! Here's the whole crazy story...the Qantas agent checking us in @Sydney said they could forward our checked bags from Sydney through Auckland all the way to Nelson. I thought this was strange as Sydney-Auckland is an international leg but even after I questioned her she convincingly said "No, your bags will go through, you just need to pick up your boarding cards at Auckland". I verified both checked bags were tagged for Nelson and we boarded our plane with the understanding that Australia and New Zealand must have some agreement in regards to customs entry. Unfortunately, she was very wrong... So yes, we arrived in Nelson with no luggage except the clothes on our backs (me = JEANS !) and the essentials we had as carry on...luckily this included passport, runners, money, cameras, computers, minor toiletries. It did NOT include aqua socks, swimsuits, rain jackets, shorts, hats etc.... basically we did not have ANY of the clothes that we needed for 3 days of kayaking/hiking in sun or rain. The tour was starting at 7:45 am the next day.
(I spent the next day (or so) berating myself for not listening to my gut and years of travel experience that said this didn't make sense that they could be checked through.
Anyway, apparently Nelson is a small town but it has many people working night shifts so ... Kmart is open till midnight ! I cannot express how relieved we were in our moments of cursing and panic at the Nelson Airport. So it was time to regroup, compose ourselves and improvise = we went to our hotel, dumped everything we had on the bed and took a quick inventory of what we had and then with the 'pack list' for our tour in hand, we headed over for the fastest $ 200 Kmart shop trip you can imagine. We were actually laughing by the end of it (10:30 pm) since the scenario was so ridiculous but surprisingly we really did get all of the essentials that we needed. We also ate the most expensive pizza EVER for dinner since we paid a cabby to wait over 10 minutes while Pizza Hut cooked it so we could take it back to our hotel, dinner was at 11 pm but we got it done.
P.s. It is now 3 days later and the last update just this evening is that our baggage is 'HELD' at Auckland for customs clearance - I will feel more assured when I actually see the bags at Shailie's house when we arrive there in a couple days.