Today we were due to move on to Mt Ruapehu to try our luck with some Southern Hemisphere skiing. First Ngaire called Scotty at Harvey World Travel in Rotorua, to see if he could make any headway with our dud Ansett tickets.  We either needed to exchange them for Quantas tickets, or find some alternative route across Oz … and any alternative route was likely to be expensive!

While waiting for Scotty to call back, we visited the Kathmandu store in town to kit ourselves out with some warmer clothing – especially necessary for Brigid, who had had to return her new motorcycle jacket! For lunch we shared chip butties and tea with Ngaire and Cameron, but hearing nothing from Scotty, we eventually decided to visit him in his office.

At first the prognosis was good.  Quantas would apparently honour the Ansett tickets providing we booked by the end of October.  Great!  But Scotty wanted to check one aspect of the booking direct with Quantas.  They were not answering their phones, and his ‘liaison’ at the airline was off for the afternoon.  When he did eventually get through, there was bad news.  Quantas would honour the tickets.  But … we had to COMPLETE our travel by the end of October!  This would give us no time at all to explore Sydney, and no time for diving on the Great Barrier Reef off Cairns. 

Perhaps we should fly directly from Melbourne to Perth … In the end we left Scotty our e-mail address, and went back to Clyde Street to say goodbye to Cameron and Ngaire.

 From Rotorua, we drove south to Mt. Ruapehu.  Rather than spend a cold night in a ski resort in the van, we checked into a small hotel in Ohakune.