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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Little heaven called Ambury Park

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Spring is finally here! Days are longer, temperatures are higher, grass is greener and people are somehow happier. I really love this time of the year here in New Zealand especially because the camping season is just around the corner and I can’t wait to find another perfect spot for my tent.

While we are waiting for those long weekends we decided to spend Sunday in one of the Aucklands regional parks. Ambury Park is just half hour drive from our house and I don’t know how I didn’t discover it sooner! Part of this park is a working farm where everyone is welcome and everyone can wander around and mingle with the animals, part is a heaven for the birdwatchers because here is identified more than 86 species of birds, part is a huge picnic area where we enjoyed our first days of spring and part is the camping area where my tent will also find its place, just down there near the sea.

This day made me so happy. And who wouldn’t be happy here, in this little heaven called Ambury…

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Orewa: Steps on the mirror

One of my favorite places, half hour drive from downtown Auckland, is the small town on the east coast and its beautiful, long, sandy beach Orewa. While we were living near this place coming here, for a nice, relaxing walk, was a part of every day. Back then we were housesitting so we spent a lot of time here with the dog that we took care of. You can imagine how much did he enjoy running freely from the one side to another. During one of those walks I captured this photo. It was just a few minutes before the rain. Look at this sand, it was like walkig over the glass mirror

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….