The first week of our New Zealand adventure!

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

On our way to Devonport

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

Waiheke was an absolute dream!

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.

The Wintergarden

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!

65 thoughts on “The first week of our New Zealand adventure!

    1. On Monday we are going to Paihia. We are going to do the big cities like Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown of course but are stopping in smaller ones as well. Our itinerary isn’t totally set yet, but we are going around the entire country in the next six months. If you have some suggestions, they’re more than welcome! 😄

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      1. Oh dear, where to start? Wellington is amazing. Grill Meats Beer is super tasty and not overly pricey: …In Christchurch definitely give the HAPA a wander (it’s basically a shipping container mall that was created when the Arts Centre of Christchurch was damaged during the earthquake): …if you have a sweet tooth, head over to Balls and Bangles in Queenstown: …oh, and don’t forget to eat hokey pokey ice cream at every single spot in NZ that makes that tasty flavor of ice cream: If you need more tips, let me know. Happy to help out. New Zealand is one of our favorite places in the world. 🙂 Haven’t made it to Paihia yet, but we might need your tips for our next trip to NZ.

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  1. Oh you make me miss New Zealand! I remember my first week there was so chaotic as I was trying to settle all the administrative issues on my own. It was crazy stressful! Haha…I loved Devonport when I was in Auckland too. If you are heading to Paihia, make sure to check out Russell – I loved to just wander around there and sit by the beach sometimes. I spotted some wild dolphins there one time but that was during summer…hehe. Take road trips out too if you can to explore and Cape Reinga tour is a must do! hehe, hope you enjoy yourself in NZ…:)

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  2. Hope you get out to Urupakaka Island. It was standing on the top of the hill there and looking out over the Bay of Islands that was the moment I knew that my holiday to New Zealand was going to be a move to New Zealand. The islands are a special place.

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      1. We loved Cape Reigna and the nearby sand dunes. Cathedral Cove was beautiful, and the geothermal features in Rotorua were very interesting. is a good resource for discounted activities. We’re in Hawke’s Bay now and there’s loads of vineyards; so far it’s much sunnier than other parts of the North Island 😊


  3. I used to live in Wellington, NZ had to move to Melbourne because of work opportunities and closer to family…. otherwise I would have stayed! BTW NZ internet is better than Australia…. so don’t know what they were saying about internet is not good 😂 have fun!

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      1. For lookout: Go to Mt. Victoria or Brooklyn on Hawkins Hill (where there is also a turbine) or ride the cable car to the botanical garden. Visit the “beehive” parliament and te papa museum (it’s located in the wharf which is a beauty on its own. For cafes my faves are Spruce Goose (beach front with lots of dog and surfers and you can watch the planes taking off and about to land)… then maranui cafe… and do (drive) round the bays 👍 this are just all within the city 🙂

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    1. That is so lovely to hear! Congratulations on the marriage 😊 New Zealand certainly is a lovely place for a honeymoon. And we always look out for cool couple activities so hopefully we will be able to make you discover loads of interesting new places! 😊


  4. Pingback: Let’s experience the local life! – ABOUT SOMETHING AROUND

      1. Gosh I could go on and on about things to do in Wellington. There are hundreds of interesting nature walks in Wellington – doing at least one is a must. The walk around the harbour is popular but there are many others, most with stunning views. Otari-Wilton Reserve is great. Also Zeelandia. Eat at the Botanist (Lyall Bay) if vegan and at any of the cafes/restaurants on Cuba Street. 🙂

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