Well the blogging has been going downhill a bit since we arrived in NZ as well…the wifi situation hasn’t improved since I was here 4 years ago…there’s no free wifi access I’ve found yet apart from the odd coffee shop that gives you a code when you buy stuff.
Anyway, we spent a while over a week in Auckland looking for jobs etc although I was a bit slower that Ciara. We spent a bit of time inbetween heading to the office of the visa organisation I went through and cruising around trying to see some of the city. We then found a nice hostel with a private room in the Parnell area. The room even had a small balcony (albeit with no view) and a nice mix of long term residents with enough people passing through to make it lively. It was close to the sea as well so I even made it out for a run at one point.
Although we always thought we’d rather get out of Auckland asap, we quickly grew to like it as it’s a very open city with minimal high rises outside the immediate centre, plenty boat trips across the bay and to the islands, and lots to do around the city once you get transport. In some ways in NZ it’s always easy to have home in your mind as there’s always constant reminders in place names, people’s name and more :
We did a small boat trip to Devonport which is a plush suburb and got some great views of the city, explored the suburbs, and a couple of the Asian supermarkets (which are great as there’s a relatively large Asian population here), and getting some Irn Bru. We also hired a car for a one way hire over 5 days to Wellington so we used that to go to the beach one day and have a small hunt for vans. After a bit of being mucked about Ciara eventually got an interview in Wellington so we decided to head south – at least that was one decision out of our hands as we had been in a bit of a state of flux deciding where to look to ‘settle’.
We had both felt it a tad weird to be landed in Auckland, our bank accounts opened, our tax numbers applied for, and hitting reality after some superb travelling – it all seemed to come about too quickly. We we were left with some of the same things to think about as back home, and our cash was being eaten up by hostels and the relatively expensive cost of living. NZ is a weird mix of things – some things about it are great (e.g. the food is superb) but some things aren’t so good (e.g. availability of some books, selection of stuff), and some things can be over twice the price of the UK (like some outdoors kit, although some is the same).
We did however love most of the mid-winter weather in Auckland as it seemed we landed at a good time. Despite the regular heavy downpour there were a few days where we were walking around in t-shirts as it was so warm.