Back in the land of the long white cloud


[tab title=”The Details” icon=”icon-entypo-info”]Date: 29 November 2010 to 10 December 2010
Where I’ve Been: Auckland, New Zealand
Where I’ve Stayed: Bond Street Lodge, Auckland[/tab]


Collage of travel photos

I am back in one of my favourite countries! And whilst when I first came to New Zealand I wasn’t overly impressed with Auckland it has really grown on me since I’ve been back here.

My return to New Zealand was not without problems as my flight was delayed three hours which meant I arrived at about 2.10am rather then 11pm! I got to my accommodation around 3.30am eventually.

Bond Street Lodge

I am staying in a place called Bond Street Lodge, which is in the Kingsland suburb of Auckland. It is a large building over three floors with about 20 rooms on each floor. Each floor also four large, clean shared bathrooms, a really nice kitchen area, a lounge area with Sky TV and a balcony.

To walk into the centre of Auckland is around 30 minutes and it is right next to Eden Park, the main sports stadium in Auckland. I just have my own room, with bed, desk, wardrobe, fridge/freezer and TV, but that is all I need. All in all it is pretty nice.

Job, tax, bank account, phone, tax refund – lots to sort out

Anyway my first few days here have been spent doing lots of admin! I’ve phoned round numerous recruitment agencies but the chances of getting work look slim due to my situation. I am only in Auckland until early February and then after 17 months of not seeing him, my dad will arrive!

Then we are all doing a minimum road trip to the South Island where we are going to our friend Pete’s wedding. I can’t wait to see my dad, but as I am only looking for work for two months I’ve been told it will be unlikely I will get anything.

I’ve set up a New Zealand bank account, tax number and sim card. I’ve also got my immigration formed signed (as I am here on a working holiday visa, although I don’t intend to stay the full year).

One of my main aims has been to try and sort out my tax refund from my time working in Australia – as I was paying normal tax, when I should have been paying at a lower rate. It took a lot of work filling in forms and getting payslips scanned in, but it has been worth it as I have since found out my estimated tax refund is $4,200 Australian dollars!

To keep the grey matter ticking over I have also joined the local library!

Steve and Vicky on Rangitoto Island
With Vicky on Rangitoto Island

Rangitoto Island

I’ve made friends with an irish couple Roy and Cait who are also staying at Bond Street Lodge and had a couple of nights out with them, as well as meeting my friend Andy who I was on the Kiwi Experience with with a couple of days.

I’ve also taken a trip to Rangitoto Island with my friend Vicky who I met in Gili Trawangan just over a year ago as she is back in Auckland. Rangitoto is a volcanic island just off of the coast of Auckland that was formed by a series of eruptions starting around 6,000 years ago.

We wandered around the island which is quite stunning. You can walk to the summit of the volcano where you can peer down into the crater which is fascinating and equally great are the views back across Auckland – you can see across the city. The ferry journey takes about 30 minutes and it is well worth a visit.

The summit of Mount Eden
Auckland at dusk from Mount Eden

The summit of Mount Eden

I’ve also walked to the summit of Mount Eden, which is only about a ten minute walk from Bond Street Lodge. Mount Eden is another dormant volcano and rises almost 200 metres above sea level – making it the highest natural point in Auckland.

The views from the top of Rangitoto were amazing, but from the top of Mount Eden they are even better. Whilst the climb to the top of Ranitoto is a slow steady incline, the climb to the top of Mount Eden is much shorter and much steeper, but very much worth it.

So whilst I might not have a job, I have certainly been keeping myself busy and fit!!

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