As you are in the uk, contact trail finders.
They specialize in travel to nz and Australia. They are extremely reliable and will assist you.
We are flying with Air New Zealand, which we found to be very competitive. They code share with Singapore who offer a really good deal if you wanted to stopover in Singapore for a night. Also we are flying into Christchurch, (from Singapore) and out of Auckland.
I have decided to fly air China after recommendation. Stopover in Beijing for 13 hours but you get a free transit hotel. Ticket cost £479...
korean also do a free hotel deal.
They do indeed hemikiwi, as we will be enjoying on our way home in 3 weeks, but I suspect that they won’t match £479, which, assuming it’s return is a remarkable price. Air China may not be the best but they have a new fleet and the price would be very persuasive.
It looks an absolute bargain compared to the poster who has just paid £2.000 with Etihad, although Insuspect that’s partly to do with a relatively late booking and especially if it’s over Easter.
Good luck and I am sure whatever it is like, you can always remember how little you paid.
A little resurrection of this post to get some experienced traveller advice. We fly Etihad with two shortish stop overs one in Abu Dabi and one in Melbourne. My expectation is that our UK cards (Barclay / RBS) will work OK and we don't need local cash in UAE or Aus. If cash is reqd we can use UK£. Is that correct?
How long is a shortish stop? I have stayed a little over 24 hours in Abu Dhabi at Premier Inn Hotel which is in the airport complex. I used my credit card for hotel and meals in the hotel. I bought a coffee outside the hotel and went by hotel shuttle to the Mosque where I bought lunch and got a taxi back so used Dirhams. If you just stayed at the hotel, you could just use your credit card, I doubt they would accept British pounds. I am quite sure you will not be able to use UK pounds in Melbourne but you may be able to just use your credit card if you are not there for long.