New Zealand

New Zealand has been my home for 12 months from July 2016 to July 2017. I lived on a farm outside of Timaru which is located on the east coast of the South Island, approximately two hours south of Christchurch. I worked as an Au Pair for a family of 6, taking care of 4 children. It’s been a spectacular year that has shaped me in so many ways I could have never imagined. New Zealand is without a doubt a beautiful country in every way. The scenery is unbelievable, almost surreal. You’ll find your classic golden beaches with turquoise water but at the same time there are glaciers, with their ice cold peaks towering thousands of meters above you and the foot of the mountain being covered in evergreen rain forest. Everyone who has ever been here left the country totally stoked. Every attempt to describe New Zealand’s beauty, no matter how picturesque, fails to do it justice. Go to New Zealand, let it work its magic and you’ll come back a changed (wo)man.

Just a kiwi thing

  • JANDALS (álias flip flops or, as the Aussies prefer, thongs)
  • pies, pies, pies
  • “Sweet as” (=awesome, cool)
  • walking barefoot all year around. A habit I have adopted myself. Goodness, I sure am going to miss driving a car in bare feet 😦
  • They do not seem to be affected by cold temperatures at all. Even when it’s close to the freezing point you’ll find kiwis walking down the road wearing shorts and a t-shirt. Even kids. Mine are not an exception.
  • drinking coffee. They have a lot of cafes.
  • Cadbury
  • roadkill. Unfortunately, I myself took a few lives as well. It’s a burden I have to live with 😦
  • sheep and cows

To put on your bucket list:

South Island Top 10 (not in order)

Since I lived on the South Island I got the chance to extensively travel pretty much every corner of it. I’ve seen about everything that is called a “New Zealand Must Do” and did a few things off the beaten track. Having seen both islands, I agree with the majority by stating that the South Island is definitely the prettier one of both. It is way less populated than up north which ultimately means that it’s all about nature and the great outdoors down here. There are a lot of beautiful places, but those are the ones I considered best and you should definitely pay them a visit if you ever travel to New Zealand:

  • Kaikoura
  • Queenstown
  • Golden Bay
  • Franz Joseph Glacier
  • Mt Cook
  • The Catlins
  • Lake Wanaka & Wanaka township
  • Fiordland National Park
  • Abel Tasman National Park
  • Lake Pukaki

North Island Top 10 (not in order)

Unfortunately, I only had two weeks to travel the North which is definitely not enough to get a good idea of the North Island. Due to time pressure we skipped the East including Gisborne and East cape and the western part, including the Taranaki area and Whanganui national park. Of what I’ve seen, the North Island definitely stuns everyone with its volcanic activity and everything that follows, such as natural hot pools, geysers and cities like Wellington and Auckland that are erected on volcanoes.  Again, we only had very little time to do as many #NewZealandMustDos as possible. So, out of the small selection of things I have been able to see, those are the ones you definitely shouldn’t miss out on:

  • Wellington
  • Hobbiton
  • Tauranga/Mt Maunganui
  • Tongariro National Park
  • Cape Reinga & Northland
  • Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
  • Auckland
  • Waitomo Caves
  • Taupo
  • Napier

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