Sunday, January 27, 2013

Diary of a Holiday Maker in New Zealand

This post detailed where I've been and what I've done throughout my working holiday trip. This is Part 1 just in North Island. Altogether 84 days. 

Week 1 (13-18 Nov)
I arrived in Auckland from Melbourne. The first person I met is my CS host Julie-Anne, another M'sian. I stayed at her place for 2 nights.
Visited the famous Queen Street, Domain. 

Wed- Attended the weekly CS gathering at Bungalow 8 at Custom East Street. The gathering was massive for such a small city. Close to 200 people attended and the whole place was filled to the brim with Csers. I met a guy Jason and eventually he became my host. 

Visited Mission Bay, One Three Hill, Helliers Bay, etc

Sunday - went to Tapapakanga National Park with CSers.

Week 2 (19-25 Nov)
Hiked Rangitoto
Met Prana while staying at Jason, together we embarked on a mini road-trip. We went to Coromandel, camped at the camp-site by the beach, hiked Pinnacles (the most physically demanding I've undertaken in NZ, even Tangoriro Alpine Crossing can't compare). Not forgetting spending some time at the Hot Water Beach ;). Then we went to Raglan the famous surfing town, Mata-Mata as Prana wanted to go to Hobbit Town, Rotorua and Taupo. We tried water rafting and zorbing in Rotorua.

Week 3 (26 Nov - 2 Dec)
Mon - Arrived in Napier. At night Went to the town centre to explore. Not a big place at all.
Tues - Moved to Andy's Backpacker. The manager there is super good looking. Watched Breaking Dawn 2 in local cinema. Made some friends with lots of Germans staying there. We hang out out, drink and played drinking games.
Climbed the lookout point there.

Week 4 (3-9 Dec)
Mon - Apple thinning in Hasting. 
Tues - Moved to home-stay.
Fri - Met with a CS (Nandy).
Sun - hang out with a German and French guys at the park. Discussed whether the end of the world will happened as predicted.

Week 5 (10-16 Dec)
Mon - Apple thinning work resumed
Fri - Met Nandy again, went to Blue Water Hotel for a drink and Thristy Whale and next door.
Sat - Off day. Went to Cape Kidnapper

Week 6 (17-23 Dec)
Mon - Last day of apple thinning job. 
Tues - Went to Havelock North on Tues. 
Wed - Went to Taupo (Huka falls and the hot spring nearby) and then Tangariro National Park. Thurs - Completed the Tangariro Crossing!! 
Fri - Went back to Napier, stopped at Taupo again.  Started my accommodation exchange at Blue Water Lodge. 

Week 7 (24-30 Dec)
Had dinner with my apple thinning colleagues at Thirsty Whale, stopped by at Shed 2. We expected countdown at mid-night to welcome Christmas but nothing happened.
Christmas at Blue Water Lodge with the residents there.
Sat - Took a bus to Wellington, stayed at the hostel. At night I met up with Erika at Cuba Street. She eventually hosted me for almost 10 days.
Sun - Went to Island Bay.

Week 8 (31 Dec - 6 Jan 2013)
Lived in Wellington the whole week. Hangout at Cuba Street, Tepapa Museum, Courtney Place, Embassy Theater all the time.
Mon - Went to Mount Victoria Look-out. Celebrated New Year eve in Wellington. Firework was cancelled because it was too windy. 
Tues - Met up with a CS along with Erika.
Wed - CS weekly gathering
Thurs - Did data entry work in an office in Lampton Quay
Fri- Spent 2 a few hours with data entry work. Jumped to the ocean from Taranaki Wraft. Went to a strip club called Mermaids and watched topless gals pole danced. What a day!
Sat - Went to Mount Victoria again
Sun -  took the cable car to Botanical Garden

Week 9 (7-13 Jan)
Tues - Palmerston North
Wed - New Plymouth -went to the park for the light festival
Thurs - Hitch-hiking to Straton??, Dawson Fall.
Fri - moved to Auckland
Sat - window shopping in Queen Street, hang out at the beach
Sun -  went to Art Museum, moved to Warkworth, waiting to start mandarin thinning work. met a bunch of cool kiwis who were attending some course in Warworth.

Week 10 (14-20 Jan)
Wed - Mandarin thinning job started. Working while hang over wasn't a good idea.
Sun - Went to Wellfords with Nandy who happened to be in Auckland for the weekend. Had awesome pork-roast.

Week 11 (21-27 Jan)
Mandarin thinning job resumed. Boredom resumed.
Sat/Sun - Went on a road trip to Cape Reinga, Paihia, Whangarei with my co-workers cum hostel mates. I tried hangi when I was Paihia and hang out with my co-workers' ex supervisor and families drinking and playing pool.

Week 12 (28 Jan - 3 Feb)
Mon - It was a public holiday
Tues - resumed mandarin thinning work
Wed - moved to Auckland, attended the CS weekly meeting
Thurs- Moved to another host CS Joanne. Just watched Hong Kong drama all the time.
Fri- Camping and party at Muriwai beach.
Sat - moved to CS Lin's house. 
Sun -  Walked around waterfront alone on my last night in New Zealand :(

Week 13 (4 Feb-5 Feb)
Tues - lunch at a M'sian restaurant before taking my flight leaving New Zealand.

One thing I regretted doing was taking this mandarin job because it's a contract position and I'm slow at it. I should've put more effort to find jobs in other factory/orchards or even waitressing job. I didn't do as much travelling and sight-seeing as I wish. 
To be revised,...

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