After weeks of planning and anticipation, we have finally made it to New Zealand! The first week has been both amazing as well as rough (especially a killing jetlag), but everything is starting to fall into place. There were both ups and downs, but all in all we are very happy and grateful to be here!
Getting started in New Zealand
Every start can be tricky. Especially when you have to figure everything out with a jetlag. That’s why we were very happy we planned our trip with the Belgian organization Jobstop and its New Zealand partner IEP New Zealand. On our second day in Auckland we were invited to an orientation day by IEP where they explained how to get a job, how to get around the country, how to fill out applications for important documents… Everything that can be overwhelming when you have to figure it out on your own. All in all we are so happy we can rely on IEP and ask questions whenever necessary.
However, it does not matter how prepared or well-planned you are, stuff can always go wrong. For example: we should have gotten our New Zealand bank card on Wednesday, but this will probably be somewhere next week. This means we will have to keep on paying international transaction fees, which is money down the drain. But that is just the way life goes sometimes. Also, we were informed on the orientation that internet in New Zealand is apparently not of the greatest quality. So hopefully we will be connected regularly so we can keep on sharing our adventure with all of you!
Discovering Auckland Region
Of course we did get some free time to explore the area! Our highlight this week has been Waiheke Island, without a second of a doubt! Getting out of the busy business center of Auckland to such an idyllic island was simply amazing. It was also right up our alley: we LOVE food and we LOVE wine as well as gorgeous beaches and guess what, Waiheke has them all.
We also took the ferry to Devonport, a lovely harbourside suburb of Auckland. The vibe is very relaxed and the shops are cute and interesting. You get a lovely skyline view of Auckland as a bonus! It is only a 12 minute ferry ride away, which is a joy in itself, so it is definitely worth a visit. When you decide to go there, make sure you take the time to reach the top of Mount Victoria for a lovely 360° view.
We also had a lot of fun wandering around Auckland as well. The parks are absolutely amazing! We were especially impressed by Mount Eden and the Auckland Domain with its gorgeous Wintergarden. We walked down the Lovers Lane and it felt as if we were all alone in nature even though we were in a very busy part of the biggest city of the country!
Our plans for the upcoming weeks
We have bought a Stray NZ buspass on an amazing deal (almost half the price thanks to IEP!) and are using this as our main transportation of getting around the island. On Monday we have booked our trip from Auckland to Paihia, which is north of Auckland. We are very much looking forward to getting out of the busy city and experience the Bay of Islands. As far as jobs go, we are currently looking into farming jobs and we will probably be able to start somewhere next week.
This has been our first week so far and we are looking forward to get out of Auckland on Monday and start exploring New Zealand even more!
See you soon!