Two South African rugby fans scoured the Wellington suburb of Eastbourne for their hotel, only to find it was half a world away in the British seaside town of the same name, a report said Tuesday.
Michael and Sunette Adendorff travelled to the New Zealand capital to watch the Springboks play Wales in the Rugby World Cup believing they has secured accommodation at the Majestic Hotel, the Dominion Post reported.
But instead of enjoying the “splendid” beach views advertised on Majestic’s website, they found themselves wandering Wellington’s streets unable to locate the hotel on their GPS navigator, the newspaper said.
The penny finally dropped when the pair asked for directions at a local shop and pharmacist Linda Burke explained the hotel was actually some 19,000 kilometres (11,800 miles) away on the British south coast.
Burke said Michael Adendorff, who made the online booking, told her he had thought it was strange when the hotel charged him in pounds sterling not New Zealand dollars.
Rather than see the pair without a roof over their heads Burke took them into her own home for two nights, taking them to a pub to watch the tournament opening ceremony on Friday before the Springboks’s match Saturday.
While the Adendorffs lost about NZ$360 ($295) on the booking mix-up, Michael said the hospitality they received more than made up for it, even though they had to endure some good-natured ribbing from locals.
“The welcome and the way we were treated was much better than if we have booked into a hotel,” he told the newspaper.
“(Burke) took in two strangers and it all worked out well.”
The pair, who are following South Africa around New Zealand during the tournament, will be back in Wellington for next Saturday’s Springboks-Fiji match and said they had ensured their hotel was in the right country this time.