Travel to: New Caledonia

Bourail, New Cledonia

Hey guys!

It’s been a while but here I am back from the trip around New Caledonia. It was perfect! When deciding where to go during Xmas holidays this small Pacific country popped up and there we were standing on those beautiful sandy beaches, strolling around small villages and amazing islands for two weeks.

New Caledonia is still not crazy popular tourist destination and that’s a huge plus. It wasn’t hard to find unique, silent places with beautiful views of the lagoon.

When to go, where to go, how to travel around and what not to miss while in Nouvelle Caledonie you will read here in my next posts.

Happy travels!

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From the Queenstown’s top

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Just a quick reminder why you should visit Queenstown! Look at this view from the top set high above lake Wakatipu… Amazing!

 

My view of the fancy Melbourne

dsc05466Few weeks ago I went to Melbourne to catch up with my friend from Croatia who was traveling around Australia. I haven’t been there before so I was really excited about this trip. It was so good to have the opportunity to visit Melbourne just for a few days. It took me 4 hours to get there from New Zealand, how great is that, to have Australia wthin a stone throw distance?

Melbourne reminded me of Auckland, but, much bigger Auckland. In this city live three times more people than in the biggest city in New Zealand. Melbourne has almost the same population as the whole New Zealand and you can see that on the streets. So many people in the rush, public transport is crowded, traffic jams …

dsc05569Weather in Melbourne was almost the same like in New Zealand, a bit warmer of course, but still very changeable. One day was over 30 degrees (this is the temperature that we don’t even have here) and then on the next day 9 degrees, rain and wind. In the end, you don’t know what to wear. At all times you need to have the clothes for all weather conditions.

dsc05563I would say that Melbourne is really cool, fancy, sophisticated city. Not really the kind of the cities that I enjoy. I’m not saying I didn’t like it, just it didn’t really leave an unforgettable impression on me. Maybe I expected too much because so many people is in love with this city, and in the end, I didn’t feel that warm atmosphere which I need when I’m traveling. It’s somehow soulless and that’s the biggest flaw…

If I exclude the atmosphere Melbourne is beautiful. Skyscrapers in the city centre are so massive and I’m generally impressed with those tall giants whenever I see them. Yarra River is the icon of Melbourne and along the bank it is easy to find perfect spot for the picnic and BBQ. Narrow laneways are hiding bars, restaurants, fashion boutiques and street art…

Lets go for a walk…

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The view from St Kilda beach

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Have you been in Melbourne? How did you like it?

A bit different New Zealand

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Time to go further South. As you know we didn’t really have the strict plan for this road trip and that’s what made it even more exciting. We were going day after day and just making stops wherever we wanted. That’s why these two cities somewhere in the middle of the South Island were big surprise for us.

After we left Christchurch the road took us straight to Timaru, city in the South Canterbury Region. Timaru was built of volcanic rock on the hills created from the lava flows from the Mt Horrible volcano which erupted thousands of years ago. Buildings in the Victorian style definitely give this city a special vibe and a lot of small cafes in the main street are just a perfect spot to enjoy the atmosphere… It was late afternoon when we got there so there’s wasn’t a lot people on the street, it looked a bit deserted but still charming.

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Before we started this road trip my decision was to drive only during the day because I didn’t want to miss anything on our way. So after Timaru we entered the Otago Region and decided to stay for the night in the next town called Oamaru. We didn’t know anything about this place and that’s why it was a huge surprise. Oamru is a different New Zealand. In the last year and a half we’ve been all around the country and this town is definitely special. While we were walking along the streets named by the rivers in England for a moment it felt like we were somewhere over there, somewhere in Europe.

Public buildings here are made of the local limestone known as Omaru stone. Most of them were built from 1865 – 1885. That carved stone in Neo Classical style looks really beautiful and unique. It was so nice to see how everyone here embraced the Victorian theme so all the galleries, arts and crafts shops and cafes are decorated in that style.

One more thing need to be mentiond about this amazing town. Except the awesome architecture that will take you back in time the reason why every year more than 75 000 tourists are coming here is a colony of the little blue penguins. These cute creatures live in the harbour, so when you will be passing by, stop to say hallo.

One more time I have proved to myself that traveling without the strict plan is the best way of traveling. It always brings unexpected moments, right? This time we accidentally met a bit different New Zealand, how great is that?

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Across the Cook Strait

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Decision to move on the south of the south came out of nowhere. Was it a good decision? I’m sure it was! I really liked Auckland but in the past few weeks we were thinking about moving to the less crowded place, with no traffic jams and with a little bit less rain so getting the job on the other side of the country came as a good push to leave Auckland sooner. During the past year we travelled almost all around the North Island so moving to the south was an obvious step and here we are, in Invercargill. Our new address is in one of the southernmost cities in the world.

It is great to be able to move quickly, believe me, not having a lot of luggage is perfect! Everything fitted in our car and we were ready for the ten days trip and more than 1600 kilometres which led us all the way to the south – New Plymouth, Levin, Whanganui, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Ashburton, Timaru, Oamaru, Invercargill!

Our first stop was New Plymouth. We were there already but, because of the weather, we weren’t able to see Mount Taranaki so we went there again. And what happened? The weather was the same. Rain didn’t stop for a second and the fog was so thick. It gave us the reason to come back again, maybe third time will be the lucky one and we will have the chance to visit Egmont National Park during the nice sunny day. My friends were there last weekend and they sent me the photo of the mountain, so beautiful, right?

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Mt Taranaki

Two hours later we arrived in Whanganui, home of Whanganui River, the longest navigable waterway in New Zealand. This river runs all the way from Mt Tongariro to the sea…

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Wonderful scenery was following us while we were driving along the Kapiti Coast. Beaches with no end were on our way all the time…

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Next stop, Wellington. Still my favourite city here in New Zealand. I don’t really know why I like this city so much. It is a nice place to be but there’s a lot nice places around here so that’s probably not the reason. You know how in some places you just feel right? That’s how I feel when I’m in Wellington.

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Wellington Cable Car

Early morning was the time to get on the ferry to Picton. I was so excited about this three hours long ride across the Cook Strait. Not only because I like sailing and being on the sea but because I’ll will finally reach the South Island and I will finally see on my own is there a truth in the stories about how different this place is if you compare it with the North of the country.

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This was just the beginning!

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It’s been more than a year since we arrived on the other side of the magnificent globe! Now I can say that working holiday in New Zealand was the dream that came true. Even though we came to this island without any strict plans somehow I knew we will love it here. A bit more than a year after we landed, on the land of the long white cloud, we manage to extend our stay for three more years. Can you believe that!? There’s so much more to do and now with no rush I can plan our next travel steps…

Really good first year is behind us and no one knows what will be in the near future. But, that’s what makes life even more exciting, isn’t it? Seems that decision to quit the job back home, to pack the bags and to come here was just the beginning of the one in a life time adventure which will last hmmm….who knows for how long! If someone told me two years ago that I will live in New Zealand I would probably say “yeah right”. But here I’m, enjoying every second with the great people in this beautiful country.

Here are the travel highlights from the first 365 days. Time is flying so fast, feels like we arrived a few days ago…

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First morning looked like this….

In New Zealand we dicovered house sitting and our first few months here definitely belong to our best furry friends!

There’s no place in Auckland City that we didn’t explore…

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Our steps now can be found on the beaches all around North Island.

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Sun woke us up so many times in the past year…

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Enjoying summer in December is really wierd but it is also very easy to get used to it!

 

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Wandering through the bush….

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…around the islands….

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…and across so many bridges…

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…with the great people by our side…

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…made our first year in New Zealand unforgettable!!

I can’t even describe you how excited I’m about what is yet to come….