New Zealand · 15 Days · 35 Moments · September 2017

Around NZ in 16 days


8 October 2017

Day 16 Christchurch Following our trip to Quake City we made our way to Little High Eatery. A bustling little food court with many different cuisines to try from Pizzas to hamburgers to Japanese to Mexican. A quick bite to eat and we were off again on another walking tour. The rain had eased so it was okay, although it was still a balmy 10 degrees We ventured past shopping district - Re Start - shops that were built from old shopping containers. This was quite interesting to see - makes for some earthquake proof shopping you would hope. Our final stop was to the monument of the 185 Whit Chairs - a monument dedicated to the people who lost their lives in the 2011 earthquake. Back to the car and off to the airport. It was time to say goodbye to NZ and a fantastic 16 day journey. It would be fair to say that the people of NZ were some of the most friendly and hospitable people that I have come across on my travels. Look forward to going there again some day.
Day 16 Christchurch Our final day in NZ was quite a gloomy one. The rain had not really eased from the day therefore wet weather gear was going to be needed. A quick check out and a light breakfast and we went off to our first destination for the day - Quake City. This museum told the story of the two earthquakes which shocked the city in the most recent times - the September 2010 and February 2011 earthquakes which devastated the city. Many buildings fell to the ground, many families left in ruins and tragically a few lives lost. It was a real eye opener to see the devastation looking at photos of roads, houses and other buildings both before and after the event. Listening to some of the stories of people who lived through the earthquake also gave us insight into how bad it must have been. Also, walking around the city afterwards we noticed how many of the buildings including the Cathedral in the main Square had still been left untouched, but also how the city was rebuilding.
Day 15 Queenstown to Christchurch The night before was a cold night, so once we arrived we went out for dinner, a short walk around town and then home to bed. The next morning we awoke, checked out of our hotel, went for one more walk around town before stopping in for breakfast. A quick stop in at the car rental to change our windscreen wipers for what was going to be a wet journey ahead, a quick stop in to watch a few jumpers and zipliners at the bungy centre and then we were off to Christchurch. It was a 6 hour journey so we left about 12pm. Apart from the weather, the drive was a nice one - a few stops along the way and we arrived at about 6pm. We checked into our hotel and decided to brace the cold, wet and windy weather to find some dinner. In the short walk to get to dinner, it was quite surprising to see how many streets and buildings are still affected by the 2011 earthquake. I am sure in the daylight tomorrow this will be even more evident.

6 October 2017

Day 14 Milford Sound to Queenstown We decided it would be easier to drive straight back to Queenstown to spend one more night there. This would make our final journey to Christchurch the following day a little shorter. On the way out of Milford Sound we were given a few tourist spots to stop at along the way. 1. The Chasm - a short 15 min round trip to watch the waterfalls as they come streaming down from above. You could only imagine what it would be like in the winter time. It was here that weren't the Kea (bird). On our way out just before the tunnel, one of these decided to land on the roof of the car. 2. Cascading Creek - a 35 min round trip to the creek through the rainforest. The colour of the creek itself was beautiful, but it was the trees through the rainforest that were even more amazing. Moss covering the trunks and branches, some trees fallen to the ground, some trees over 700 or more year old. 3. Mirror lakes - not as amazing as expected but maybe due to weather.
Day 14 Milford Sound The cruise around the fjords was quite incredible. Despite the weather being a little cold, windy and overcast, the views were magnificent. The size of each of mountain is just amazing. Mitre Peak itself, rises up to 1623m above sea level. Also the depths of the waters would allow cruise liners to pass through them or even from the Eiffel Tower into the water and not be able to see it. The cruise was a 17km journey out to the heads which opened up onto the Tasman Sea. If we continued our journey straight ahead we would end up on the coast of Queensland (a 1200 n.m. distance). Along the way we passed many waterfalls being fed from the melting glaciers above as well as the rainfall. The average rainfall per year in the fjords is 7000mm per year. We also passed a couple of seal colonies who were taking some time out of the water to relax on the rocks. Before too long we were headed back to the passenger terminal and our cruise had ended. Well worth the trip.
Day 14 Milford Sound We were up early to check out of our hotel and begin the journey down to Milford Sound for our 9:55am departure on the Mitre Peak cruise of the fjords. We were told it would take about 2 hrs to get there, so a quick coffee stop at Sandfly Cafe and were were off. The drive down was quite scenic. The beginning is quite flat with the mountain peaks in the distance. Then as you approach the mountains, it becomes twisty and a little steeper climb down to the bottom. Along way you pass through the Homer Tunnel, a 1.2km one way tunnel that goes through the mountain. It took almost 20 years to build due to weather constraints and a delay due to WWII. After two hours we arrived at Milford Sound. A short walk from our car to the Passenger Terminal, check in and we were ready to board. There would have been about 30 people on board, therefore it was not too crowded.

5 October 2017

Day 13 Te Anau After the film we walked along the lakefront and to what is known as Ivon Wilson Park. Ivon was a dentist from Invercargill who basically owned the land and donated the reserve back to the community. He was lover of nature and wanted the reserve looked after even long after he was gone. A short 1.8km walk, we took the time to enjoy the serenity of having not too many others around and also an afternoon of warm sunshine beaming down on us. A walk back to the accommodation, dinner at an Italian restaurant in town and then time for bed. We had an early start the next morning (6am wake up) for our cruise through the fjords at Milford Sound and it was a 2 hour drive to get there.
Day 13 Te Anau Just before dinner the day before, we had to go back to the car rental place. Our brakes were squeaking and our tail light was not working. We ended up with a new car as the brakes had been burnt out - apparently I had been using my brakes going down the mountainsides - funny that!!! We woke early, went for a morning walk into town to get a coffee before making our way down to Te Anau, the gateway to the Southern Fjordland, and our destination before heading down to Milford Sound. A 2 hour drive and a few stops along the way we arrived about 3pm. We checked into our hotel and as what became the norm went walking around the town. Our hotel manager had given us some advice on what we could get up to. We first went and watched a short 30 minute film on the fjords. It took us through the fjords during the different seasons of the year giving an insight into the amazing waterfalls, flora and fauna. Quite amazing to watch. All cinematography was taken from a helicopter.
Day 12 Queenstown That night we had booked ourselves in for dinner at Prime Restaurant for a belated anniversary dinner. Our booking was for 8:15pm as they managed to squeeze us in. On the way to the restaurant we noticed a fire engine up the street. As we neared the centre of town, many of the streets had been cordoned off. Apparently a storm water pipe had burst and had flooded many of the surrounding streets. Whichever way we went we could not get to our restaurant. Fearing we would lose our reservation we spoke to one of the firemen who told us that the only people allowed into Prime were those already in there. As we had a reservation he went and spoke to the manager who came down and collected us. Avoiding the flooded streets by climbing through garden beds we managed to get up for a lovely dinner. Quite large servings and very delicious. We left feeling absolutely stuffed but had enjoyed everything. Unfortunately no room for dessert but we had eaten enough for one day.
Days 11 & 12 - The Triple Ferg + 1 Ferg 3 - Mrs Ferg - too top off the afternoon, before heading home we indulged in the final of the Ferg Chain - ice cream. Although we didn't overdo it, Kristy indulged in a Peanut Butter and Banana jam flavored waffle cone and I the Pavlova flavoured one. Both of these were delicious. The + 1 - As much as we tried to resist going back to the Ferg again, their coffee was quite good, but the thing that lured as back that we didn't try the first time was their Boston Donut - basically a donut filled with whipped cream. So that we didn't have to fight over the last bite, we ordered one each and we were satisfied customers. (this was the day after so we did not feel quite as bad) I think Ferg got his money out of us but we were not complaining.

3 October 2017

Day 11 & 12 Queenstown-The Triple Ferg + 1 If you don't already know, Fergburger is the most popular burger joint by far in all of Queenstown. Open until 5am, the lines can be up to 50 or more people. People from all over the world come here and don't leave until they try one of their famous burgers. Ferg 1 - Ferg Burger - We had to try one. We waited for 25 minutes just for our order to be taken and a further 30 minutes before our order was ready. I have to admit, the burgers were good but I was expecting a little more from it. I think the reputation has out-surpassed the deliciousness of the burgers themselves. In saying that I was not overly disappointed. Ferg 2 - Ferg Bakery - the next day after our time up the mountain, we decided to back to the second part of the chain for lunch. Kristy had a bagel and a pretzel and I the original Ferg Steak Pie- delicious.
Day 11 Queenstown To say the Shotover Jet was an exhilarating experience is an understatement. From the moment we got on, our driver Nick, put the throttle down reaching speeds of up to 95km/hr and coming within what felt like inches away from cliff faces and rocks popping up from out of the water. Throw that in with 360 degree spins at high speeds, I absolutely loved it. When I returned, Kristy had some fantastic footage of me coming in from under the bridge. What an experience. From here we took the opportunity to go up the mountainside to Coronets Peak. This ski field was closed as the season is almost over, however we managed to go up and have a look at the views over Queenstown. Quite amazing! We then went back down the mountain and to the Kawarau bridge where the first ever A J Hackett Bungy started. Unfortunately it was closed for the day and there were no more jumpers taking the plunge (not that I was thinking jumping). We took in the views and then left for home.
Day 11 Queenstown We had a decision to make - 1. Forget Coronets Peak for now and go straight to the Jet. 2. Go get some petrol. Luckily we chose option number two because even if we made it to the Jet, we were not going anywhere after that. Getting to the petrol station was not an easy trip either. With a 13km trip to get there and only 18km left on the gauge, things were going to be tight. With some cautious driving and rolling down hills, we managed to get there with about 4km worth of fuel left in the tank. (What a ride!!!) After filling up we now only had enough time to get to the Jet for my check in time. We arrived with a few minutes to spare and I was put on an earlier ride which I didn't mind.
Day 11 - Queenstown Upon entering we almost turned away thinking it was private property. There were workers there whose job it was to make it earthquake safe who told us to walk around and have a look through the jail. Small today, it was a little bigger during its early days and was used to house anyone who committed crimes on the goldfields. Even though I tried, I could not leave Kristy locked away in the cells. We left there after speaking to the workers who gave us advice on where to go for a view of Queenstown from above. They suggested taking the back roads back and to go via Coronets Peak. It was 1:30 by the time we had some lunch and got to our car. I had a 3:00 booking (2:30 check in) for the Shotover Jet so there was plenty time (so we thought). As we started making our way to Coronets Peak, the petrol light started to beep - low fuel. I looked down and it told me I had about 25 kilometers of fuel left. This started to go down as we neared the turn off to the Peak.
Day 11 - Queenstown The night before resulted in a short stroll (3km along the lake edges) into town to work up an appetite for dinner. We ended up at the local pub serving up good meals for a reasonable price. A short stroll back home and it was time to end the day. The next morning and we awoke to a bright, sunny day so wanting to make the most out of it. What an adventurous day it was. After breakfast we made our way to Arrowtown for a walk through the old gold mining town. We arrived at the town was buzzing, so much in fact that it was difficult to find a parking spot. A short stroll into the Chinese miners village and then through the Main Street, even stumbling across the public library. We admired many of the houses and how they kept their frontages so well maintained. We then happened to come across a sign to the Old Gaol.

2 October 2017

Day 10 - The Road to Queenstown We got up the next morning feeling as though we had seen everything we needed to at Franz Josef and considering the clouds were sitting quite low with no view of the mountain peaks we decided to begin our journey further south to Queenstown - a 5 hour journey. The drive was quite a scenic one and we made a few stops along the way. The first of these was The Blue Pools. Here, as the name suggests, the water is quite blue in colour. A short walk (25min round trip) and over a suspension bridge and you were down at the waters edge. There were a number of people down there, but only two kids brave enough to venture into the cold water. Back on the road and we stopped in at Wanaka for a short stroll and an ice-cream. You could stay here for quite some time as it had a very nice feel to it, however our destination was Queenstown and it was waiting for us. We hopped in the car and arrived at our accommodation (oaks club resort) around 5:30pm.

1 October 2017

Day 9 Franz Josef Glacier, Fox Glacier & Lake Matheson (continued) Off to Lake Matheson for what was going to be a short 1.5km walk(round trip) to Reflection Island. From here you would get a reflective view on the lake of Mount Cook. A bit of wind caused a few ripples on the lake disturbing the reflection but it was a nice view anyway. The Walk turned into a full lap of the lake 4.4km and a 1hr 10min trip. As tiring as the day had been, it was still worth the walk. Stopping off at the View of Views and the Jetty Lookout was worth the effort. The scenery and serenity of the place was amazing. Another day over, it was time to head home and out for dinner. The pub across the road were showing the NRL Grand Final so managed to watch the first half before tiredness got the better of us both.
Day 9 Franz Josef Glacier, Fox Glacier & Lake Matheson (continued) It was amazing to read the facts about the glacier and realize how the warming of the planet has caused the glacier to recede so much since it was first discovered in 1865. To see it in its entirety would have been truly amazing, however it was still a sight to see. We eventually made our way back down to the car and back to our hotel room. A quick bite to eat and we decided to make our way to Fox Glacier. This was a much shorter walk to the viewing area but the last 400m or so was quite steep. This trail also seemed as though it would be a lot more treacherous during the wet season as there were places that warned of rock slides along the way. Needless to say, the glacier was another great sight to see, set amongst the mountains,although the amount of dirt in the surrounding areas gave the impression of being quite a dirty glacier. Back to the car and it was time to head to Lake Matheson.
Day 9 Franz Josef Glacier, Fox Glacier & Lake Matheson We awoke to a beautiful sunny morning and a view from our room showing the snowy peaks outside. We went for a nice breakfast across the road and began planning our day ahead. We spoke to the tour information about possible tours but in the end we opted for the self-guided walks up to the glaciers. We packed our things and gout ourselves ready and drove to the bottom of the first glacier, Franz Josef. This was going to be a 1 1/2 hour return trip but we were up for the challenge. Along the way we passed by many stunning views of the mountainsides, the flowing icy cold rivers flowing directly from the glacier above and the rainforest trails surrounding the areas. There were many people about this track but that did not seem to disturb the serenity. We stopped at many different points along the way to take some happy snaps of the glacier and the beautiful scenery before we reached the final viewing platform of the terminal face.

30 September 2017

Day 8 Monteith's Brewery We arrived at the brewery at 5:30pm. We were lucky enough to get there in time for the 6pm tour of the brewery. They took us into the back where they explained the process of brewing beers and how much they brew on a weekly basis. To our surprise we found out that's the Monteith's ciders that we get in Australia are not brewed at this Brewery but at the various DB breweries around NZ. The only beers brewed here are the craft beers. At this point in time they brew once every two weeks, 7000 litres of brew per batch, 14000 bottles. Their beers could take anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months before they are bottled. At the conclusion of the tour we had the chance to sample a few of the fine beers and ciders on offer and then it was time to continue our journey south. Unfortunately our drive along the Great Coast Road was later at night so we missed out on the beautiful scenery that this road is meant to offer. Another trip sometime maybe???
Day 8 Journey to the South Island It was time to say goodbye to Wellington and the North Island as we were headed towards our next stop, Franz Josef Glacier. Our departure time aboard the Interislander ferry was 8:40am, therefore we needed to be at the Passenger terminal by 7:30am for boarding. We found a nice spot on board and prepared ourselves for the 3 1/2 hour voyage ahead. It was all smooth sailing and the weather got better as we closed in on Picton, our destination, at around midday. We were quickly off and on our way south. The voyage ahead was going to be a long one so we decided that we would make a pit stop at the Monteith's Brewery. However, this was still a long drive ahead - 5 hours. A couple of stops along the way and we arrived.

29 September 2017

Day 7 Wellington (continued) I then managed to catch up with an old mate (Ben)from school for a quick drink. He has lived here for the past 12 years with his wife and now 4 kids. We caught up on old times and managed to fit quite a lot of Conversation in in such a short time. Unfortunately he had to go to work so we could not stay any longer. From here Kristy and I walked back to our apartment - an hour long and back up the hills (many of them and quite steep too) A bite to eat, shower and Bed time is calling. Quite a big day and plenty of walking as the pictures will tell you.
Day 7 Wellington (continued) We continued walking into the main city to the Te Papa Museum. Here we explored some of the natural sciences, learnt a few interesting facts about the earthquakes (even the earthquake house) and the inner earths crust and more. We then walked through the Maori exhibition learning a little about their history and how they came to be - even found out a little more about the Waitangi treaty and its impact. After a hour or so if exploring we walked up to the Cabke Car and rode it up to Kelburn. The cable car itself is a 5 minute ride and travels 120m high up the mountain side. It's fist ride was in 1902 and over the years has developed into what it is today. New technology and stricter safety standards brought about these changes. From here we took in the views of the city, took a walk back into the city through the botanical gardens (35 minutes walk)

28 September 2017

Days 6 & 7 Wellington We arrived in Wellington at about 7:15pm to our lovely Air B'n'B hosted by Linda. Her place was atop a mountain with magnificent views of Wellington Harbour from the large windows. She showed us around her lovely place and gave us quite a few tips on getting around, what to see and where to eat. After dumping our things we drove back into the city, had a long walk around then settled in for a nice Simple Thai dinner before heading back home. The next morning we awoke and had breakfast (cereal, crumpets and coffee all supplied by our host). We then decided to head back in to the city. It this time we walked. Down the mountain and through some of the little suburban streets, you could see what would attract people to living here. It's cozy lifestyle and old style cottages were lovely. What I can't understand is how people can live with the blistering wind that cuts right through to the bone.
Day 6 Taupo to Wellington We began our morning with another short stroll along the lake before we made our way to Huka Falls. These are only 15 minutes out of Taupo. When you arrive you can hear the ferociousness of the water as it ounces down into the lake below. Fact: the water rushes over the 9m drop at 200,000 litres per second - enough to fill 5 Olympic sized swimming pool every minute. Amazing and Powerful. It was then time to start our 5 hour journey to Wellington. We hopped in the car and began the drive. Again, a fairly easy drive with some magnificent scenery along the way including more of Lake Taupo, green rolling hills and the snowy peaks of Mount Ruapehu. Fact:(courtesy of our trip to the Te Papa museum in Wellington) - Lake Taupo was formed after the volcano that it sits on erupted 26,500 years ago. The rest of the drive was pretty easy going with a few pit stops along the way.
Day 5 Taupo Our arrival into Taupo was about 6pm. We checked into our Quest Serviced Apartments then went out for an evening stroll along the Lake. Not far into the walk I spotted a hole in one contest whereby you hit off the platform out to a pontoon about 102m out. The prize for hitting a hole in one was $10000 so quite enticing. $15 for 18 shots I was certain I could at least hit the pontoon once. Every time you did you would get an extra ball. It took me 16 shots before I actually hit the platform. Needless to say I did not hit the hole in one and a lot more practice needed. A short walk around the town and a bite to eat before we made our way back to the apartment for an earlyish night.

27 September 2017

Day 5 Rotorua Our morning started off with a breakfast at the hotel followed by us venturing into town to work out what we could go for the day. We decided that we would go to the Whakarewarewa - The Living Maori Village. Here we learnt a very brief history of the Maori culture and customs as we were shown around the village. The geysers and mud baths that the village is built around are their main source of cooking and bathing. It's amazing how hot these geysers actually get that they use the water to cook in or steam from the geysers to steam their food. We sample a piece of corn that was cooked in one of the pools. Delicious!!! After our guided tour we watched a short cultural show made up of singing, dancing and the traditional haka by people from the village. We then drove back into town where I tested out the Polynesian Spas. All heated naturally by the geysers and filled with minerals that are meant to be good for you. Quite a relaxing way to spend the afternoon. On to Taupo

26 September 2017

Day 4 Hobbiton to Rotorua After bidding farewell to Hobbiton the drive to Rotorua was an easy one although the rain did start to fall as we approached which made for a miserable afternoon. We checked into our hotel (Rydges), went out to grab a bite to eat at the Lone Star restaurant, then back to our hotel for a quiet night in.
Day 4 Hobbiton (continued) The sets were constructed and to the finest of details (hobbit holes of varying sizes, artificial trees with individual leaves bring wired on to fit the setting, yoghurt being splattered on houses and trees so it would soon develop into mound and a whole list of other fine details) After the LOTR movies were filmed the sets were taken down and life resumed as normal for the Alexanders farm. It was not until Sir Peter Jackson returned some years later wanting to film The Hobbit trilogy that they thought of the idea to retain the sets where they were built and make a business out of running guided tours through Hobbiton. The tour guide showed us around the many different hobbit holes giving us very interesting facts about the filming of the movies and how the sets were used. Some for as little as 3 seconds of screen time. The tour concluded with a nice mug of Ale at the Green Dragon Inn. A fine way to end a great tour.
Day 4 Auckland to Hobbiton (LOTR Movie Set) It was time to say goodbye to Auckland and to Lisa and Paul who were kind enough to drop us in to Auckland city so we could pick up our hire car. Thank you so much for that. Made life a lot easier for us. Our drive to Hobbiton was a fairly easy one and for me an excitable one being a big fan of the movies. Arriving at the ticketing point it was great to see that the fascination for the set and the movies has not died down. $79 a ticket seemed a little steep but it was worth it in the end. A short bus ride through the farm gates (the Alexanders who have made this movie set their own business). A brief history: Sir Peter Jackson and his crew flew over the farmland and thought it would be a good spot to film the movies. Despite having 12 other locations in mind, after going back and forth to the location with design and production teams, a contract was offered to the Alexanders which they gladly accepted and the LOTR trilogy began.

25 September 2017

Day 3 Waiheke Island Our first stop where we got off was at Onetangi beach where we had lunch at The Boat Shed Cafe. A lovely surf and turf for me and a fish burger for Kristy. As soon as we got up from our table our table was swooped on by the lingering seagulls. A funny sight to see. A small walk to the beach and then it was time to catch the bus to our next location. Stonyridge vineyard was our next stop but we did not indulge in any wines here. We had a quick look around and then went for a nice walk back to our next pick up point. From here we took the bus to Cable Bay. A nice glass of red and a deconstructed pavlova was s nice way to end the afternoon. A short stroll to the wharf and we were back on the ferry to Auckland. We had dinner in Auckland's viaduct precinct - nothing to rave about here. An overpriced meal with disappointing atmosphere. A shame as I am sure there are other beautiful places for dinner there. We returned to Lisa's studio where we stayed the night.
Day 3 Auckland Another relaxing morning saw us leave the house around midday. After a quick trip down to the beach to let Michelle & Jeremy's kids have a run around it was time to say goodbye. Michelle & Jeremy (+Alfie & Frankie) back home and Courtney back to Melbourne. A great weekend and sad we had to leave each other so soon. I am sure we will see you all again soon. Lisa kindly dropped Kristy and I off at the Wharf we caught a ferry over to Waiheke (Cascading Waters) Island. A short 35 minute trip and we had arrived. We purchased tickets for the hop on/off bus and our day trip started. We found out a few interesting facts about the island - 97% of houses are serviced by water tanks, the other 3% by underground wells. Cheapest house is around $800K, most expensive $36 million. No landfill on the island so all rubbish is collected and sent back to Auckland via barge. All power comes from Auckland via underground cables under the ocean. (At least I found these interesting facts).

24 September 2017

Day 2 Auckland The morning(well afternoon) was a pretty slow start. After a late night everyone in the house started rising about midday. After getting ready Kristy, Courts and myself hopped in the car and drove to Takapuna for breakfast/lunch at The Leaf & Loaf cafe. We then took a small drive to Devonport and up to the top of Mount Victoria to take in the views of Auckland city. A beautiful view it was. Ratitongo Island to one side, the Harbour Bridge in the middle and Auckland city centre on the other side. Taking the ferry across to the city centre, we walked through the streets up to the Sky Tower and took the glass paneled left up to the 50th floor viewing deck. It took the best of 5 minutes (and watching a 5 y.o. do it) to stand on top of the glass flooring (198m above the ground). Going up the viewing deck we saw more views of the city before heading back on the ferry to Devonport. A quiet night in and Thai for dinner was the perfect way to end the day.

23 September 2017

Day 1 Auckland We were met at the airport by Michelle and Jeremy and from there we made our way to the house we were staying at for the weekend (a couple of stops on the way to pick up a few supplies) It wasn't long before everyone else arrived and the first beer was cracked open - the night had begun. We made our way to the Poenamo Hotel for Lisa and Paul's 40th birthday celebrations. Food, drinks, speeches, drinks, food, drinks and then finally dancing the night away. A great night had by all and I met quite a few new people. There were going to be a few sore heads in the morning.
Day 1 Sydney to Auckland After a 3:40am wake up to get to the airport for our 7am flight, both Kristy and I had settled into our seats for the 3 hour flight to Auckland. A smooth flight and on time we arrived at the baggage carousel. After picking up Kristy's bag we waited patiently for my bag to come round. I started getting a little concerned after 10 minutes when a bag similar to mine had passed us 3 times with no owner stepping forward to claim it. My concerns rang true when I went to bag services and they told me that my bag had arrived but was nowhere to be found. luckily for us the bag that was still on the carousel had a contact name and number on it. It turned out that this other passenger had picked up my bag thinking it was there's. They had checked into a hotel only 10 minutes away (luckily), therefore we had to wait until they brought it back. So, after arriving at 12:20pm we finally managed to pass through customs at about 2:00pm.