Hi everyone, we have finally arrived in Wellington after a fairly gruelling trip. Four flights in 36 hours with four kids and 18 cases was like managing a military manoevre! By the time we got here we were all completely shell shocked, I don't even remember anything the nice lady from the accommodation rental agency said to us - apart from the fact that she originally came from Bolton. One day on and we are still very tired but we have managed to sort out bank accounts and mobile phones - not much but all we could do before our brains stopped working! My top tip to anyone planning their journey is to book as far ahead as you dare and check in online as early as possible. We couldn't book flights until the last minute which made it very expensive, we were also advised to check in at the airport to have a chance of getting extra legroom seats (Matt is 6'6") but despite arriving about 4 hours before the flight we still ended up with the worst seats - next to the toilets and no leg room at all. Despite the horrible journey, waking up to Wellington was everything I hoped it would be and more. We have rented a serviced apartment in the centre of the city for a week and it is lovely. Tomorrow we will be looking for a car big enough to get us and all our luggage over to Nelson!

High points so far have been; Wellington, what a lovely city; youngest daughter getting a great haircut with no appointment and for half the price it would have been in the UK! ; being offered an interview for a job I didn't expect to get; the ease of getting internal flights from Auckland and last but not least the friendship and support of the forum members on ENZ, especially dbonnet who has been brilliant, thank you so much!

Low points: the flight from Dubai to Brisbane - just awful and best forgotten! the reaction of some family members to our leaving and, worst of all, our 18 year old daughters surprise announcement that she has no intention of staying in New Zealand and will be leaving as soon as she possibly can. I just feel devastated at the moment but also so tired and emotional that I can't really get my head round it, or make any sensible decisions about what to do. All suggestions welcome!

Fiona