We arrived at Queenstown International Airport to a busy terminal, and followed the signs to the bag claim. For an international airport the terminal is quite small [map], but that said, there appeared to be some construction underway to improve some areas, and it was easy to find our way around with the facilities well signposted.
While waiting for our bag to come out onto the carousel, I made a call to the rental company to confirm our pickup by the shuttle to the depot, and was given directions to the pickup point just a short walk from the terminal exit. It was a short 2-3 min drive to the About New Zealand Rental Cars depot, where we signed off the paperwork for our rental car. I had managed to book a pretty cheap deal for our 4 day stay at $42/day, $168 in total. There are varying rental options available, but this was the cheapest for the type of car we wanted.
Now usually I have some form of credit card (usually to earn Airpoints and Status Points 😉 ) but due to recent changes with Miss. Kiwi Globetrotter and I buying a small abode just recently, I’d decided to change to using a Debit Mastercard for a while – Which, as I learned, can potentially have issues when renting a car, namely in the form of a $1,500 bond (each rental car company has their own requirements). Most people don’t have that much spare cash readily available, but luckily I did anticipate this possible predicament and brought with me a credit card used for emergencies, in case of such incidentals. Strangely, we did also experience some issues using EFTPOS when trying to pay the rental fee, but for some reason the debit function on my MasterCard (same card) worked – Anyway, eventually we had the keys to the car and were ready to go.
Here’s a photo of our beautiful vehicle for the weekend:
Miss. Kiwi Globetrotter summed it up quite nicely when she saw it: “Well, as least we won’t have any trouble finding it..”
37 The Landing Motel is probably one of the nicest accommodations in Whakatane. I base this judgement upon the appearance and newly renovated feel of the rooms, as well as its top rating on Tripadvisor (no. 1) – This was the second time I had stayed at The Landing (both times were for work, so it appears it must be a preferred place to stay for staff visiting the city), the first time was very comfortable and I had a good sleep, so I was very happy to be staying here again.
The motel gets its name as it is aptly located on Landing Road, which is one of the main roads leading into the city from the State Highway if you are driving in from the West, and is located on the right just after crossing the bridge over the Whakatane river.
Checking in was a quick and easy process, the staff were very welcoming and also gave me a small carton of fresh milk to make tea/coffee. Funnily enough, when I checked into the motel, I was given room no. 11, an Executive Studio. I thought this number sounded familiar – when I drove the car to the parking space in front of the room I realised it was the exact same room I had last time I was here! Needless to say, I knew exactly what I was in for, which I was happy about. Some of the other rooms, for example, do not feature the king spa in the bathroom but instead have a larger living area and/or couch – As my colleague disappointingly discovered in her room last time we were staying at the Landing Motel.
Something that I was very surprised to find last time I was here was the availability of free wifi to guests – In this day and age, you would think that this would be a standard inclusion; although more and more accommodation providers are starting to offer at least some degree of free internet (even if it is limited) but I still find the majority do charge for the service, so when I do come across such a place on my travels, I typically end up tethering my phone to my laptop for access when required.
It is refreshing to see someone bucking the trend and makes this an even better place to stay, particularly for business travellers when internet access is more important to catch up on work and emails at the end of the day. FYI – The wifi access code is printed on the welcome ‘stand’ on the table in the room, take note of the code, as it looks straightforward but is craftily not *quite* in a sequence.. 😉