New Zealand travel diary: part 2

Posted in New Zealand, Travel
on August 9, 2018
Mount Eden, Auckland, New Zealand, Volcano

I have to admit, I’ve been awful at noting down what we’ve been up to. So, writing these posts is actually quite difficult. I’m going ahead because I think it’ll be cool to look back on a little travel diary to go with some of my photos. Plus, I know some of you are thinking about heading over to NZ, so I’m hoping these diary posts will be useful to you.

Picking up where my last New Zealand travel diary left off, I haven’t been much further than the places mentioned in that post. We’ve kind of settled in Auckland, because….dun dun dun…we’ve both got jobs here.

Sky Tower, Auckland. New Zealand travel diary. Brit abroad records what it's really like living in New Zealand on a #workingholiday.

Working in New Zealand

If anyone would like any specific advice or questions answered about working here, just get in touch and I’d be more than happy to chat. But, for now, I’ll keep it general because I know not everyone reading is a prospective working holiday-er.


My OH, who I’m travelling with, managed to get a job super quickly and easily. We’d only been in the country travelling for about a month when we decided we should look into getting some temp work. Read: we ran out of money about 12 times quicker than we thought we would and I had panics.

So, yah, he got himself a sweet little job in Auckland, totally landed on his feet, loved it, so we stayed. It was not so easy for me. That’s a bit of an understatement but let’s keep it light, we won’t go into my mild employment-related ‘episode’ just now. All I’ll say is that I was reluctant to even come travelling in the first place because I didn’t want to just work in a random job I didn’t like because that’s what I’d just come from (read about that ordeal here). So, yep, I really should have been putting all my energy into working on my business and freelancing and networking but, when you start to worry about where you’re gonna sleep next week, any job will do, right?

Uh, so, yeah, I have a job I don’t particularly enjoy. And, unfortunately, I’m sort of in the position where I dread going to work again. I did say I was gonna keep this light, didn’t I? Good news is, I only work part time and I spend the rest of the time fiercely tapping away, determined to launch online soon.

Even better news is that I get to make my ‘day off’ office any café or library in Auckland. I just feel like brunch makes me more productive. Or, I sit on my sofa and alternate working with snacks and shavasana. Can’t complain.

Chancery Street, Auckland. New Zealand travel diary. Brit abroad records what it's really like living in New Zealand on a #workingholiday.


What I’ve done

I haven’t done much to-ing and fro-ing but what have I done?

Well, I saw STOMP at The Civic in Auckland, which was a pretty cool thing to see. Also, I don’t get theatre/arts stuff where I come from, so it was nice to get involved in that kind of scene while I have the chance.

One of my favourite things we’ve done is climb Mount Eden. After Rangitoto, we just had a thing for volcanoes I guess and Auckland has like 50 of ‘em. The views from Mount Eden have to be seen, though. I recommend making the trek with a little picnic early evening so you can watch the sunset over the skyline. Bliss.

We also had dinner at the revolving restaurant in the Sky Tower. My summary is that the food was insanely good, I over-dressed, the revolving bit doesn’t make you sick but it does make you rethink the opportunity to dive off the thing which some people inexplicably do for fun.

On that note, actually, I’ve done lots of socialising since my last diary post. Despite my extreme introversion, I’ve actually said yes to lots of things and enjoyed at least half of them. Ha. But seriously, I’ve met some really cool people who feel like ‘my’ people, ya know? And that gives me warm fuzzies.

Sky Tower, Auckland. New Zealand travel diary. Brit abroad records what it's really like living in New Zealand on a #workingholiday.360 revolving restaurant, Sky Tower, Auckland. New Zealand travel diary. Brit abroad records what it's really like living in New Zealand on a #workingholiday.

In other news, I’ve done normal things like shopping centres and wander around for afternoon walks. My favourite place to walk is Auckland Domain and the Winter Gardens and, nearby, there’s Domain & Ayr café to which I was introduced via a giant pancake/Yorkshire pudding (explanation on Instagram).


My boyfriend convinced me to start running so that we could spend time together while improving fitness FOR FREE. Sounded amazing but the first time we went out, I remembered I can’t stand running and it makes me feel like I’m having a panic attack so I cried and joined the gym.


I’ve completely lost any small alcohol tolerance I may have had back home, due to lack of drinking. I have been known to become extremely happy from two glasses of wine in recent weeks. On that note, I’ve ditched the old faithful rose for sauvignon blanc. Because, Malborough wine. I feel very grown up slash that I’m turning into my mam, which is no bad thing, she’s amazing. In fact, I am very much interested in being at home on the couch with mother, sharing a bottle, watching some kind of CSI/NCIS thing.

In other grown up news, I did a thing that made me ridiculously nervous and I rented a car. On my own. And I drove. On my own. In a foreign country. On my own. And it was an automatic. And the indicators and wipers are the wrong way around. Hilarity ensued but I did it, man.

Mount Eden, Auckland. New Zealand travel diary. Brit abroad records what it's really like living in New Zealand on a #workingholiday.


In my feelings

Because we’ve been working a lot and it is SO MUCH winter over here (literally everything is backwards), we decided to change strategy and just try to save up some dollar (can say that un-ironically because the currency is actual dollars).

No, it’s not what I thought travelling would be, either. I thought we’d be galavanting off to a different beach every other day, meeting ah-maaazing people who would just totally change my life forever and living my most Instagrammable life so far.

The truth is, that is not the case. I don’t think it’s the case for most people. I don’t actually know how people make their lives look so interesting because I’m convinced it can’t be possible unless you’re an actual millionaire and don’t have to decide between awkward AirBnb encounters and eating $5 specials from Pizza Hut for the third night this week.

So, yes, the main thing I’ve learned is that travelling is difficult and expensive and not in the slightest how it looks on Instagram. Hence why I post like once a month right now and my stories are hardly anything to do with travelling. Doesn’t that make ya wanna follow me?

But anyway! We’re both gaining stable income which is lovely, and we’re saving up so that when summer comes again we can be like BYE and just trot off all over the parish again. I’m so determined to make this an enriching experience, mainly because I’m stubborn and I don’t wanna return home and be like “that was pointless” but also because life’s short and all that.

Viaduct Harbour, Auckland. New Zealand travel diary. Brit abroad records what it's really like living in New Zealand on a #workingholiday.

A few posts back, I said I was going to be a bit chattier here and just go with the flow. I think that’s been achieved in this post! As I type this in a sweet little café, there are a couple of flies making their way into my half-drunk flat white and a bird hopping around my feet. It’s not as Snow White as it may sound. So, I’ll wrap it up.


Hope you’ve enjoyed my little diary entry! Definitely let me know if you’re doing any southern hemisphere travelling or, if you’ve already been around Aussie/NZ, let me know what I should do!


New Zealand travel diary part 2. Brit abroad shares what it's really like doing the #workingholiday thing.

Auckland budget travel guide. Where to stay, eat, shop and what to do on a budget in Auckland, New Zealand
New Zealand Travel Diary part 3. Geothermal park Wai-O-Tapu


  • Beatrice

    Okay I love the honesty in this post! I wish you the best of luck in launching your online business so that you have more freedom. But I’m also glad to see that you’ve been having some great experiences in New Zealand nevertheless! It looks so beautiful there, I didn’t expect it to look so “big city” 🙂 Oh, and congrats on driving that rental, hehe! I would be terrified of driving in a new country.

    Beatrice | The Bliss Bean

    August 12, 2018 at 16:40 Reply
    • North

      Thank you for reading and commenting Beatrice! It’s definitely an up and down situation in NZ, as it is at home! I didn’t expect there to be big cities either, I thought it would be all green and tbh it mostly is, I just live in the biggest city here! I’m just trying to make the most of it and do the odd brave thing….like driving haha! xx

      August 13, 2018 at 07:12 Reply
  • Merkitty

    I’m sorry that you’re in a job that you hate.. that sounds awful. I hope you are able to find something that suits you more soon.. or your online stuff launches and takes off.
    The revolving restaurant looks so cool! I love the photos you got of it.
    I’m sorry that travelling isn’t quite what you imagined.. I think as a general rule of thumb now when I look at instagram, I see half of it as completely fake. A lot of those travel photos are heavily photoshopped.. some of them aren’t even actually there! That’s the kind of photoshop skills I aspire to have! When I go through instagram and I start feeling down about how great other peoples lives are.. how gorgeous everyone else looks.. and then I remind myself, that they’re just showing the good bits and even that isn’t always completely the truth.
    I think people prefer to see the realness of life and it makes you seem more human and approachable when you’re not pretending it’s all amazing, so kudos to you for keeping it real. ♥

    August 13, 2018 at 14:18 Reply
    • North

      Thank you so much for your comment m’love! Really made me smile 🙂
      I see people’s Instagrams and travel photos and I just think…that’s great if that’s what they’re actually up to all the time, good for them. It’s certainly not my experience, though. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had some amazing times, and I’ve tried to capture that in photos if I remember but sometimes it is just like ‘real life’ going to work, watching Netflix and being a bit boring! x

      August 14, 2018 at 02:22 Reply

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