I Haven’t Seen Anything In New Zealand!

Piha: We did take a day trip to the Western beaches in Auckland!
Piha: We did take a day trip to the Western beaches in Auckland!

Remember around 3 weeks ago I mentioned at the start of my video that I was in Auckland, and since then you have heard absolutely NOTHING about my time here? Blogger of the year, I know. Well there are a few reasons why I haven’t uploaded a tonne of footage or wrote anything about my crazy adventure in the land of Wizards and sheep. Firstly, I am yet to go on a crazy adventure which is worth filming. Let me explain…

When Scott and I first decided to get a working holiday visa in New Zealand we wanted to do it a little differently to our time in Australia. Don’t get me wrong, I want to go out and do crazy, wild and unpredictable activities, but we thought of using Auckland as a base.

Since I took my YouTube career and travel writing full time, I became suddenly overwhelmed with the process of working from home. Getting the discipline and motivation to sit down 8 hours a day and work. It has taken about a month or so for me to get into the habit of sticking to a schedule. Emailing, filming, editing, writing, fitting in a glass of wine here and there…

Unfortunately, Scott isn’t as lucky as I am, he had to get work, which he did in record time. When we first arrived we stayed with a kiwi couple on Airbnb. They were amazing and we initially booked 7 nights, thinking, “Surely that will be enough time to get a little house share, get a car to go travelling around the island in and get a job.” 

Oh, how wrong we were. We ended up staying 10.

The scenery was stunning yet I just didn’t feel settled

We were pulling this highly complex mathematical equation from our experiences in Australia. Where there are numerous jobs, thousands of house shares, millions of people and a whole lot of space to play with. Australia is geared up nicely for backpackers who want to live and work around the country. New Zealand; not so much.

We spent day after day after day scrolling through Trade Me (A site similar to GumTree but with less scams) trying to find a double room just outside of the city which would take a couple. 90% of listings came with this: NO COUPLES ALLOWED.


Hey! What’s wrong with us? So we kept looking. We viewed a couple of places. The first being the back room in a family home. The listing mentioned nothing about children. When we walked up their drive I saw the owner through the window with a small child in his arms. No chance!

Even though I had made my mind up there and then, we had a look anyway. After stepping over two small children, we made our way to the bedroom. I don’t feel I could sum it up well here but I’ll try. It looked as though a drug addict “lived” in the room 20 years ago, had a fight with someone, pulled the curtains down and left them hanging from the rail, smeared god knows what on the windows and trod first across the carpet on a daily basis. The couple all decide to tell us that as they are Muslim, they will allow no pork in the house. Wait… No bacon? I knew I couldn’t live a life without bacon, so we thanked them for their time and left.

The cold wintery air couldn't spoil the views we were offered
The cold wintery air couldn’t spoil the views we were offered

The second house was shared with another young professional couple, one from Wales and the other; Ireland. The house was clean, small, but not too small and I could see us getting along, even though they were a little closed off towards us. They said they would let us know.

Up until this point, we had spent nearly every day inside. We couldn’t afford to keep this airbnb thing up so we really needed a house share. We needed to just save a little money up to keep the bank balance happy after our time in Australia.

The following day, I anxiously waited to hear back from the second couple. Then, Scott turns his laptop screen towards me presenting what seemed to be the home of dreams. What, are you just taunting me with what we can never afford? Turned out, it was bang on budget and once we arrived for a viewing that afternoon, we were the first ones to inquire! OK, so he may have used images which were 15 years old when the house was first built and it was… a tad rundown. But it was huge, luscious tree’s surrounding this enormous three floored house. Our bedroom came with a walk in wardrobe which has been plucked from my dreams.

RAINBOW IN MT EDEN new zealand
The surrounds to our new place graced us with a glorious rainbow

Only problem was the current resident who was soon to be evicted; wasn’t going to go easily. We would have to wait 5 days to find out if we had it. The next day came a message from the second couple offering us the room. We had to decide. Did we give up a sure thing and hold out for the house we really wanted. It was hard, but I am so glad we did it. We now have a base. After a couple of weeks of making it our own, I have somewhere to work during the day.

I have never felt so unsettled than I have for the past 3 weeks. But now, it’s time to start going on some adventures. We shall stay and see the North island for a while, with a bucket list as long as my arm. I can’t wait to take you on some adventures! I feel like Aly again.

What should I see/do in the North Island? Any cool day trips or weekend excursions I should have on my list? Please let me know guys, your suggestions are always awesome!

This post does include affiliate links to products or companies which I have personally used and would highly recommend! If you click on an ad, at no extra cost to you, I make a small commission from the sale. All of which goes straight back into my travels and my YouTube channel to bring you even more PsychoTraveller goodness!

Hi! Name’s Aly! Originally from Birmingham, England, I have been discovering the world for over 3 years straight. I am a psychology graduate with a love for Pho and red wine. Whether I throw myself into a novel or from 14,000ft up out of a plane, I look at adventure big and small and say “Let’s do this!”
  • Claudia Edhouse

    You should

  • Claudia

    Come to Taupo! Great views, fun adventures and only a hours drive to the snow!!! Great place with heaps of backpackers and tourists 🙂 – quite small but everyone’s super friendly. sky diving, bungy jumping, walks, tramps, free wifi- what else could you want 🙂

    • Aly

      Thanks love! Thinking of going next weekend, but we shall see. It’s high on the list 🙂

  • Heather

    Definitely go to Taupo and do the hike to Huka falls…extremely gorgeous the entire way up. (Free)

    The Hobbit Houses in Hamilton ($75) MUUUSTTT

    The Maori Culture Experience in Rotorua ($80) MUUUUUUUUUUUUSSSSSTTTT (they give you a ride there and then drop you off from where your staying… and it includes a huge all you can eat feast at the end!)

    Definitely do the glow worm caves in Waitomo… I did one if Their bigger packages which cost me around $220 but totally WORTH IT!

  • Heather

    TAUPE was the love of my life on the North Island… Ohhhhhhhh! $ and don’t forget to do the Tongariro Crossing (about $75) it was the most toughest, gorgeous, dangerous, beautiful, brutal thing I’ve ever done in my life!!!

    • Aly

      Thanks for all the recommendations Heather! That will keep me busy for a while! 🙂

  • Mia

    go to piha beach just 1 hour out of auckland, i was there last weekend it was a bit gloomy but if you are around in the spring/summer definatly take a visit

    • Aly

      It’s beautiful, we went there for a few hours during our second week here (some photos above snapped at Piha.) It was a bit cold and windy but a great day out regardless 🙂

  • Mal

    Fly out to North Island start of September so will have to keep an eye on your blogs to see where to go. Am a backpacking virgin on young working visa so all advice and tips I can pick up will be greatly appreciated

    • Aly

      Woo! How exciting! I’m sure you will love it, I am! I’ll do my best to keep spreading the knowledge! 🙂