Where the sky kiss the earth

Green, green, green, green all around. That’s the color which truly describes New Zealand. To make the picture full you just need to add a few ships and there it is, beautiful scenery on every corner. This photo I captured while we were walking to the top of the Lower Huia Dam. It is really nice short walk and obviously a perfect place to catch the moment cut in half.

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Sun, surf, sea… Here are the best beaches in the Auckland area!

Our first month in New Zealand is already behind us! I can’t believe how fast the time goes by. This whole month we spent in the Auckland area and there are still a lot places to see so we will extend our stay here for a few more weeks. As we have spent a week on the east coast and now we are housesitting (more about housesitting I’ll write in my next post) on the west side we had the chance to enjoy on a few of the most beautiful beaches in New Zealand. We are already thinking about the summer and how great it will be. There are so many new things that we want to discover and this beaches seems like a perfect places to do that. One thing you have to have on your mind: car is a must here because there are spots which you can’t reach without it so think about buying one, cars here are pretty cheap and you can sell it very easy before you head back home.

So, here are those magnificent sandy places!

Bethells Beach

Bethells Beach (Te Henga), black sand beach on the west coast, is a place for riding the huge waves! Beside that you can enjoy walking over the sand dunes which accumulated over the last 4,500 years. It is a very windy place and can be really cold so take a wind jacket. I have to say that this is my favorite beach for now!

Piha Beach

Piha is one of the most popular beaches in this area and it is located only 45 minutes from Auckland. Here you can take a surfing lessons or choose one of the trails through the woods and just walk around the bush.

Karekare Beach

This beach is part of the Waitakare Ranges Regional Park. It is situated between Piha and Whatipu Beach and it is a great place for picnic and for swim but have in mind that you can swim only between the flags. While you are there take a ten minute walk to the Karekare Falls, it’s really beautiful!

Milford Beach and Takapuna Beach

This are long, very peaceful, not windy sandy beaches on the east coast. There is a great walk from Milford to Takapuna all the way along the beach and over the lava rocks. This places are not spectacular like beaches on the west coast but are definitely worth of visit and if it’s a hot summer day it can be a great place to take a swim in the clear blue sea.

Milford

Orewa Beach

Only 20 minutes north of Auckland you can enjoy on the beautiful 3 km long Orewa Beach. If you are for kitesurfing, kayaking, windsurfing or surfing this is the place for you. Also, only few minutes’ drive from here you can visit Waiwera Thermal Resort and jump in the geothermal hot pools.

Next week we are going on a road trip toward the south of the north island. On the way down we are going to stop in Tauranga, Rotorua, Taupo and lot of other places all the way to Wellington. If you have been here, give us a few good suggestions what we shouldn’t miss 🙂

All about the trip you will be able to read here!

Happy travels!

Lot of luggage for a one year trip? NO!

So, you got it! You have a Working Holiday Visa for New Zealand in your pocket and now it is time to buy a plane ticket and to pack your bags. Where to start? Of course first you need to decide when you want to depart. Visit those popular web sites (Skyscanner, Momondo, Kayak, eDreams) to find the best flight deals, choose the date and you are one step closer to your adventure! Have one thing in mind, maybe you will need a transit visa for your stopovers during your flight. It depends from which country you are, in my case I needed it for Australia although it was just a technical stopover!

You know that the seasons in New Zealand are in most cases a bit invert compared to other countries? Have that in mind but in the other hand you will be here for at least one year so you will have the chance to meet all of the New Zealand seasons. You are probably wondering what to pack for a one year trip? It mostly depends on what kind of traveler you are but important thing is no to exaggerate because you will travel around a lot and with less luggage it will be much easier… It is better to take a backpack then a suitcase, be careful and don’t exceed the permitted weight.

First and the most important are documents

Put all the documents at one place. It’s good to have file folder with all the important papers like plane tickets, travel insurance certificate, visa, birth certificate and all the photocopies. It’s good to have it with you. When you will be entering New Zealand they may ask you to show the bank statement which confirms that you have enough money on your bank account (usually it is 4200 NZD), so don’t forget to take that too. If you are not coming here with a job offer you will need international driver license to get IRD number. And of course you will need it because you will definitely have to go on a road trip, so don’t forget to take it with you!

Clothes/footwear

You will be in New Zealand for a whole year so you need clothes for all the seasons. Don’t take everything from your closet take only your favorite clothes. Also, think about special occasions like job interviews, parties and going out outfits. Swimwear and of course warm fleece and wind jacket are on the list too.

When it is about footwear take comfortable walking shoes, dress shoes and boots.

Toiletries/cosmetics

Most of your toiletries you will buy when you get to the destination but it’s good to have a small starter kit just to have it with you when you arrive. If you have to take some medicines take also the prescriptions because sometimes you have to show on the border that it is yours. Also, the flight to New Zealand is a long one so toothbrush and toothpaste are a good idea if it’s not something that your airline will give you.

Electronic devices

For sure you will take your camera, you have to capture all the great moments.

To stay in contact with your family and friends you have to have electronic device. Take your laptop with you. You will need it for skyping, to storage bunch of photos and of course it will help you to find a job. Other than that maybe you can use it to write few sentences about your trip. Maybe you can even start a travel blog!

Think about taking an unlocked mobile phone – it will definitely save you some money and in the other hand you will need New Zealand mobile number to give it to the employers when you will be applying for the jobs. And you will give your new number to all the great people that you will meet on the way!

One more important thing is power converter/adapter. In New Zealand you will need one so your plug fits into a New Zealand socket.

What about cabin bag?

When it is about the cabin beg check which items are not allowed on the plane. Things that you need to have handy are: plane tickets, passport, copy of your visa, credit card and of course a bit of cash. Put your file folder in your cabin bag and you will be sure that you have everything with you.

You are ready!!

That’s it, you are ready for a trip! Packing really don’t have to be the worst thing just make it as simply as you can. Don’t take too much luggage because in the end you will realize that you don’t need it. Take only the important stuff and leave a lot of space for a wonderful memories!

Karekare Falls