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Ash Cloud Over New Zealand

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After many months of planning and looking forward to our 3 and a half week trip to the South Island of New Zealand, it is starting to look like we might have to cancel due to the ash cloud from the volcano. We are booked on Qantas who hasn't been flying to/from New Zealand for the last 5 days.

Until today it looked like most other airlines were flying so we figured we could at least do the London->Sydney portion of our trip and then purchase tickets for Sydney->New Zealand hop on another airline when we arrived if we had to. However, now we've read that other airlines have had to cancel flights as well and that the ash cloud could hang around for a while.

Does anyone in Australia or New Zealand have any better predictions from the meteorologists? We don't want to cancel the entire trip, but we also don't want to get all the way to Sydney to find out that we can't make it to New Zealand. We are supposed to fly out on Saturday and are really not sure what to do. If we cancel the entire trip Qantas says on their website they'll refund the cost and I think we could cancel out of our accommodations and tours. If we fly to Sydney and then get stuck then obviously we would not get a refund. We can't do this trip at any other time of the year so postponing is not an option.

We are so frustrated!

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