New Zealand

New Zealand Travel Blog

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Kaiwharawhara, Wellington, NZ

For one year I lived in New Zealand.

or better said, 11 months in New Zealand, and 5 weeks in Australia. I first had planned to spend about 4 months in NZ, but I kept extending my time.. for 8 months I lived in Wellington. To do my research there (a sociological research on the migration of Irish people to NZ), to have a part time job (in Gordon's, an outdoor equipment store), to play water polo (with Maranui), and just to live.

Wellington is a great city to live. sometimes a bit small compared to European cities, but on the other hand especially in summer time it has a lot to offer in terms of music and cultural stuff. After a few months I moved to Lyall bay to live next to the sea. And oh, that's such a great place to live.

.. you can live next to the ocean, a 20 minutes bike ride away from the centre of Wellington. I'd say it's perfect! Lyall bay is a real little surfing community (with way to many people in the water), which makes it a really cosy place. We lived right on the water, and people just stop by on their way to work/ surf.

Of course Wellington is well known for the movie scene, with Peter Jackson living there, and there are lots of film festivals etc. Especially in summer time, there are many music festivals as well like the One Love Regga festival (tip!), the Open X Air (music and BMX stuff), Levin Organic food festivals and many others. Oh and don't forget the Cuba Street Carnival. I absolutely recommend the NZ music scene, which has both Pacific and Western influences. some great bands are The Black Seeds, Fat Freddy's Drop, D-Dub, Kora, Fly my Pretties, Catch a Fire, etc.

Next to all this, NZ is of course well known for it's nature. Just drive an hour and a half out of Wellington, and you are in the middle of nowhere. with almost no people around! I mainly have seen this part by making surf trips along the coast, which I thought was a nice way to see it. Places like the Wairarapa with Paliser bay, Castle Point, but also the Mahia Peninsula (Westcoast, below Gisborne) is a nice deserted little peninsula to go to. On the South Island I also saw Christchurch and Akaroa. Akaroa is a very cute little town, located on the .... Peninsula. Beautiful!

Of course if you go to NZ, make sure you have a car. I don't know about the bus trips, but with a car you are way more flexible to go to the deserted places, instead of being packed with all the tourists on one spot.

if you enjoy surfing, visit Raglan, Taranaki, Paliser bay, Gisborne. Especially places like Taranaki or Raglan are nice places to live if you just to go surf and enjoy the simple life. Next to the coastline, NZ has some great forests which you shouldn't miss. We drove from Taranaki to Gisborne through a forest, and you feel like in the jungle! i't takes forever, but it's really beautiful.

next to all the surfing, I've also done some snowboarding on Mount Ruapehu (north island). hmm, lots of fun. supposed to be better on the south island. very vulnerable for wind, rain, very depending on the weather!

well i'd say. got to NZ. stay there for longer. explore the country, and be nice to the people.



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Kaiwharawhara, Wellington, NZ
Kaiwharawhara, Wellington, NZ
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