New Zealand wasn’t really my first trip out of Canada, but it was my most memorable and something that I will continue to talk about and cherish for as long as I’m here. Back in 2010 I was in a rut. I felt like I had so much more to offer and that there was so much more I should be doing with my life, but instead I was in a job that i hated and in a town that I loved, but wasn’t really giving me all that much. I needed a change and I needed to be stimulated, lol, visually. So, with nothing really to lose I decided Fuck it I’m going to New Zealand. I’ve always wanted to go, my aunt had been there many, many, many years ago and had always talked about it, hobbits lived there, and there were no poisonous animals… no skunks… no bears.. no snakes.. no predators… Just green rolling hills, mountains, sheep. possums, wizards, Gandolph, Frodo, Hercules and Xena. So with our knowledge of LOTR in hand and some little tidbits from my aunt who had been there 20 years ago my brother and myself packed our bags and headed to NZ for a year on a Working Holiday Visa.
We went under a program called SWAP http://www.swap.ca/out_eng/index.aspx and they were extremely helpful when we first got there. We landed in Auckland and SWAP headquarters was right near our hostel (Auckland Central Backpackers) so we were able to use the internet, jobsearch, and meet the many helpful workers to help us get on the right track. They had a vast knowledge of NZ and helped us figure out where we wanted to go. Information is key and wastes a lot less time.
We were first time Hostelers and I gotta say not as scary as the movies make them out to be… We only met like two or three ax murderers… lol kidding, but hostels were a great, cheap way to meet new people and get helpful and useful information about things to do around the city, hot spots to go, cheap and great food places, and information on jobs. Below is a pic of my first ever time in a hostel, not to shabby!
So with our information gathered from people we talked with, both at the hostel and swap we quickly realized we needed to get out of the city, and head elsewhere. Sure Auckland was great, however, with 1/3 of New Zealands population living there it was very congested and very busy, we wanted the hills and amazing landscapes. We stayed long enough to get a picture of the Sky Tower then we headed out!
Hmmm…. where did we go??? What amazing adventures did we get up to??? Did we see Gandalph? Stay tuned!