The flight over went pretty well, all things told. The long haul, from Los Angeles to Auckland, was on a Boeing 777, a relatively new plane. Because of this, it maintains a higher cabin pressure, relieving some of the symptoms of "post-plane" fatigue. I felt pretty good, and was able to sleep quite a bit.
After doing that I came home to plot how my long weekend would go. Tramping in Arthur's Pass is not possible at this time - surprisingly, the tramp called "Avalanche pass" is too high of an avalanche danger at the moment :(. Another time, for sure; it sounds like a great day hike.