29 hours after setting off from Dublin, a very travel weary Irish party finally landed on New Zealand soil when Air New Zealand flight number 001 touched down in Auckland airport just before 7am today
It had been a gruelling journey that began with an hour delay in Dublin Airport before British Midland deposited them in London Heathrow in time nonetheless for their onward journey to Los Angeles, a flight that took off at 4.30pm (Irish time). That leg of the trip took eleven hours, following the well worn path over the southern reaches of Greenland down through Canada and crossing the Rocky Mountains north of Denver, touching down in L.A. at 3.30 am.
There, the tour party had to vacate the plane, remove all baggage and go through immigration and security before returning to the same plane, a process that took the best part of two hours. Eventually at 6.50 am (Irish time), the 747 NZ 001 thundered down the western runway and climbed out over Long Beach bound for Auckland.
On arrival in Auckland there was an onward journey to Christchurch before a 150 kilometre coach journey finally had the squad at their Timaru hotel at 1pm.