To just get things started and also for my own record purposes, I thought to summarise my travel footsteps for the 6 months I spent in New Zealand. I’m sad that I didn’t manage to get to all the places that I wanted to visit but I’m happy I managed to travel quite extensively through both islands. If anyone wants to know more about any of the places listed here, just let me know. 🙂
1st & 2nd Month (August-September)
Officially arrived on the North Island during winter – only I was surprised at how fast the weather changed in Auckland. I was dressed in summer clothes one day and pretty much got caught off guard by the wet and cold weather the next day (I had yet to buy my winter jacket then).
Decided to stay in Auckland for the first week to get some administrative items settled for the work holiday visa and then decided to head on a long bus trip (4hours!) to Whitianga on the northeastern coast of the north island. Auckland was too expensive to stay for long with no work around.
Being on the coast, you can imagine how wet and cold it can get during winter. There were more rainy days than sunny days in that one week I was there so I decided to escape to somewhere further inland for some warmth (hopefully!).
So I ended up in Rotorua, commonly known by visitors as the place that smelled like rotten eggs. Rotorua is a town located further inland and is known for the geothermal activity – hence the rotten egg smell. The smell of sulphur permeates a lot of areas, depending on your location but I kind of got used to it after a while. It is also known for the strong presence of Maori culture. The geothermal activity available readily around this area had a lot of different uses, thus, it was no surprise there was a lot of Maori settlers in this area.
I’ve got to confess that this was also one of the reasons I enjoyed winter time. What other perfect way to enjoy the cold weather outside than to be immersed in hot water at the same time? Did I mention the hostel I stayed at had their own natural mineral hot spa pool? 😉 I loved staying here so much that I ended up staying for the next 5 weeks till almost the end of September. Walking around the lake, the different trails in the beautiful Redwood forest, the trails with the boiling mudpools just steps away from the footpath are some of my favourite memories of the place – especially as these were all free!
Shall I continue with my travel footsteps for the next few months? I didn’t travel much during this first few months mainly due to the weather. I’m not a big fan of the cold winter so I was more than happy to wait it out in one place rather than to keep moving around. I made a lot of friends during my time here in Rotorua, explored the area quite extensively and was happy to stay longer. Alas – my savings were getting depleted at an alarming rate and I could still find no work so I made the sad decision to head on to Auckland for a few days to try my luck with the jobs there.
But oh! Can you guess what happened instead of me staying on in Auckland??!! Find out in the next post soon! 😉