Travelling Around New Zealand (Part 2)

3rd, 4th & 5th Month (End September – Mid December)

So the end of September brought some good news for me. I finally got a job! It was quite hard for me to find work since I wanted to stay in Rotorua but luck was just not with me. Or maybe the change in location was just meant to be since I absolutely loved the area my work was in – even more than Rotorua!

My work was supposed to start around the 3rd week of October so that meant I had 3 weeks of empty itinerary. I decided to head up to the top of the North Island for warmer weather before making my way to the South Island for work.

I spent 2 weeks in Paihia in the Bay of Islands, exploring many places like Cape Reinga, the 90 mile beach, and even renting a car to head out on a road trip. It was also a four hour bus ride from Auckland to Paihia and it was not a pleasant ride for me. The many curves in the road and mountainous roads meant that I was slightly bus sick when I reached Paihia. Since I had to head back to Auckland to take my flight to the South Island, I decided to break up the journey and stay a week at Whangarei, which was just 2 hours bus ride away from Paihia. My time in the sunny, humid weather of Paihia soon came to an end.

Cape Reinga

View of Cape Reinga from the lighthouse, the most northern point of New Zealand’s North Island

Whangarei was a total opposite of Paihia. Paihia was much smaller than I expected that coming into Whangarei felt like a rude awakening. Where Paihia was more of a small beach town feel, Whangarei was a full on city area with big supermarkets, many shops and plenty of affordable food options. It was quite refreshing to finally have options to choose from to buy essentials.

tutukaka, new zealand

Hiking up to the lighthouse on an island in Tutukaka that is accessible only during low tide. This was a tough and steep hike up through a muddy and forested area. The 360 degree view of the coastline was worth it though!

I spent my time in Whangarei resting actually since it was raining quite regularly. I did road trips to the eastern coast, doing hikes around Matapouri, Tutukaka or just walking around the forested area to the waterfalls. It was such a beautiful area all around and my hostel was really cozy with just 14 beds. It meant that everyone got to know one another since it was a really small space.


View of the coast from one of the hikes around Matapouri. Don’t be deceived by the clear waters and sunny weather though, it was freezing cold! I only managed a quick dip before I had to get out…haha

The three weeks spent just travelling around was really fun and allowed me time to relax rather than just stress over my dwindling funds. Eventually, it was time to head on to Auckland for my first visit to the South Island to Nelson!

Nelson….is just…beautiful. Like perhaps it could be that I stayed here the longest but I honestly felt that it was a town perfect for my tastes. The town is surrounded by mountains yet it is big enough to have a few more options for dining, shopping and recreation. There was a beach close by and plenty of nature activities to occupy everyone. When I feel like stretching my legs after work, I can just walk up a short hike nearby. I loved it there but 2 months flew by very fast and it was soon time to head on more adventures.

Nelson, New Zealand

Partial view of Nelson, the sea & the spit from one of the hiking trails above the town. Oh, this trail had a herd of sheep on them too!! They were great fun to watch!

By this time, I only had less than 2 months left to my visa so I decided to just travel through the remaining time that I have left here. Sounds like a good time right? Wrong. It was my most difficult time travelling and my most exhausting time that I got to my breaking point.

I’ll explain more in the last part instead.


View of Nelson, the sea and the long spit (if you can make out the demarcation line across the sea) from another hiking trail up a taller mountain.

P/S: If you’ve managed to read every word till the end here, congrats! Sorry for the long, rambling posts lately, I just need to ramble a little to get back into writing. I’ll post more photos as well for those who prefer looking at them. πŸ˜‰

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