South America, Australia and Oceania · 80 Days · 67 Moments · May 2017

New Zealand - Aotearoa - 2017


5 August 2017

Paekakariki escarpment track to Pukerua

30 July 2017

Mount Kaukau

24 July 2017

Lunch KK Malaysia. Dinner Chinese takeaway and miso soup.

23 July 2017

In the morning we bought fruits and vegetables at the Harbourside Market. We ate a chilean hot dog and roasted chicken with potatoes. Then beetle played with his drone in McAlister park. At night we ate bread with jalapeno hummus.

22 July 2017

We took the bus back to Steve's place. We wandered around the city for a while. We went to StorageOne to fetch the drone. At night we had some beers at Mac's Brewery.

21 July 2017

Lunch Good taste Thai. Library. Immigration visa extension. Pasta at home.

20 July 2017

Lunch Zambrero. Passport photo. Library. Cheese and wine at home.

19 July 2017

Lunch at Little Penang. Afternoon at the Library. Happy hour at the rogue and Vagabond.

18 July 2017

We had lunch at the capital market. Beetle ate a squid noodle and I ate at the Thai restaurant. After the library we went to the space observatory. We saw a movie at the planetarium called Bella Gaia. We also saw Saturn and Omega Centauri through the telescope. Because it was late we couldn't find find anything to eat in town so we went back to Kilbirnie only to find out that after 11pm you can't buy alcohol anywhere in New Zealand, except in pubs. We were going to eat cheese and have some wine, but ate muesli and bread instead.

17 July 2017

Beetle went to the Kilbirnie library in the morning. Then we went to the city. We ate at Little Penang. Beetle went to the library and I went to two translation offices. We stayed the rest of the day in the library and ate at Burger liquor before heading home.

16 July 2017

We took a bus and walked for more than 3 hours. The walk was well worth it. We went to Red Rocks and encountered a bunch of seals. Very cute animals. At night we went to The Botanist again.

15 July 2017

Today we went for a walk at the beach. We walked from Lyall Bay to Island Bay. Beautiful scenery. We called an Uber car and went to the city centre. We ate burgers with chips at Ekim and sadly everything tasted the same. To compensate we had an Oreo milkshake at Mama Brown. We took a rest in the afternoon.

14 July 2017

We packed our bags to go to the next Airbnb house in Kilbirnie. We ate at Dumpling'd. Around 5 pm we took an Uber ride to Sara's place. We had dinner at The Botanist, a charming little restaurant near the house. One of the craft beers was floral, very different from everything we've ever tasted. We ordered artichoke bruschettas. They were delicious.

13 July 2017

Another rainy day. Shitty weather.

12 July 2017

Rainy day. Nothing interesting to report.

11 July 2017

Today we had lunch at the capital market food court again. I went to the Weta Cave Shop and to StorageOne to pick up some clothes. I met Beetle at the library. We were sitting next to a brazilian guy called Andre. He gave some tips on government jobs, English course at NZLC and told us he loved Taupo. At night we went to Fidel's and had mozzarella stuffed Jalapenos and chili nachos.

10 July 2017

Today we woke up with another quake of 4.1 magnitude. We had lunch at the capital market again: cashew chicken with rice and veggies and a tofu salad. For dessert we had cookies at Mrs. Higgins. We ate cheese and yellow tomatoes for dinner at home.

9 July 2017

What a lazy couple. We woke up at 10 am, something we hadn't done in five years. I went to the Harbourside Market where I bought gold kiwifruit, feijoas, bananas, purple carrot and yellow tomatoes. We had burgers at Mama Brown and a brownie milkshake.

8 July 2017

Beetle went to the library and I went walking. On the harbour there were lots of people and I found an ice skating rink. I might give it a go during the week. I went to the old saint Paul's cathedral to check out the Saturday farmer's market but by the time I got there the market had already ended. I took some pictures of the Parliament and other historic buildings and then had lunch at the food court. We ordered a chicken from an Armenian place. It was awful. At night we baked bread with mozzarella and drank wine while watching the most boring movie. We had the apartment all to ourselves. The hosts were dog sitting somewhere else.

7 July 2017

Last day in Maymorn. We took the train at 4:30 pm. We met the hosts very quickly and went to the supermarket. After that we went to The Rogue and Vagabond bar where we had some amazing beers and enjoyed live music.

6 July 2017

We went to Upper Hutt because we needed to buy groceries. Before lunch we saw an exhibition about the universe. We ate at Burger Fuel. After that we went to the supermarket and headed back to Maymorn. At night we had wraps and microwave apples with mascarpone.

5 July 2017

Today I took Kayla for a walk. On the way we came across a girl riding a horse while walking two dogs. How cool is that?! I cooked spaghetti with tomato, balsamic vinegar and mascarpone. We stayed home the rest of the day. Nat had a friend over for dinner. Just hope he is not staying cause that would mean sharing the bathroom.

4 July 2017

We walked for about two hours and a half on the Rimutaka cycle trail track. We ate garlic and oil pasta with basil. Later, we went to the library and the supermarket. At night we had bruschetta and wine.

3 July 2017

Beetle finished the project for Solnet around 1 pm. We decided to walk all the way to Upper Hutt since the next train would only leave at 4:30 pm. It was a nice walk that lasted more than an hour. We ate at KFC, wandered around a little, went to the supermarket and took the train back to Maymorn station. We had wine and Gouda cheese. We watched an episode of Sytycd and a movie called Okja.

2 July 2017

Since there's only one train going to the city centre and one coming back, we decide to stay home. It was a beautiful, sunny day. Beetle worked on the project most of the time. I cooked pasta with mushrooms and coconut milk, seasoned with tumeric, soy sauce, cumin seeds, pepper and garlic. While Joshua drove to the airport to pick up Natalie, we ate spinach wraps and played with Kayla.

1 July 2017

We woke up early to make sure we didn't miss the train to Wellington. We stayed at the library. At lunchtime we enjoyed a chocolate crepe. Today the Lions play against the All Blacks and the city is buzzing. We took the bus that was replacing the train but when we got to Upper Hutt station we found out that the driver wouldn't stop in Maymorn. He called somebody and sometime later another bus picked us up and dropped us in the street just in front of the house! We got lucky. If there weren't another bus we would have to walk for more than an hour in the dark, in the rain and carrying groceries. We ate wraps, drank some wine and hit the hay.

30 June 2017

Warren offered us ride to Upper Hutt and even though I kept refusing he insisted and in the end we were glad to have accepted the lift. It was a 40 minutes drive. The house is in a rural area. We saw lots of animals on the way such as cows, horses, sheep and geese. Joshua was there to greet us and we met his beautiful puppy, Kayla. We walked for about half an hour to the bus stop and went to Upper Hutt city centre. It's very charming. We ate at Pitta Pit and then stayed at the local library. After that we went to the supermarket and took the train back to the house where we cooked dinner. I made spinach garlic oil fetucine with broccoli. We sipped some wine and played with Kayla, who loves to bite people's ankles and chew slippers.

29 June 2017

I stayed home all day. Beetle was assigned a project by Solnet to be finished by Monday. At night we ate pizza Hutt and drank some wine with Warren.

28 June 2017

I met with Beetle around 2 pm and we had lunch at Little Penang. We ate a peanut butter brownie at Sweet Release Cakes and Treats and went to JB Hi Fi where Beetle bought a headphone. We spent the rest of the day at the library. We managed to find a lovely Airbnb house in Upper Hutt and to our surprise the host Natalie Sisson is a rather famous young entrepreneur. She wrote a book named The Suitcase Entrepreneurs, she is a Ted Talk speaker and her story is somewhat similar to ours. I'm very glad to have found not only a great place to stay in Wellington but also someone to look up to. We were so excited that we went to Golding's Free Dive to have a couple of beers.

27 June 2017

Today we ate a chicken salad at Kilim and had a milkshake at the Sweet Bakery. We stayed in the library until night. We bought cheese, tomatoes and bread sticks and ate at home with some wine while watching the game. The Hurricanes played against the Lions and the match ended in draw (empate).

26 June 2017

Beetle went to the library but had to come back to the house because an interview was scheduled for 4 pm. We ate at the food court in Johnsonville shopping centre. I visited the botanic garden and met Beetle afterwards. We spent some time at the library and ate at McDonald's before caching the train.

25 June 2017

Today we went to the Harbourside market in Wellington. The weather was not as good as the forecast predicted and still the place was crowded. We ate a pulled pork sandwich and a beef burger. For dessert we had brazilian churros. We took the train to Johnsonville and had a whole wagon all to ourselves. We bought two bottles of wine: one Merlot and one Pinot noir. Unfortunately, we found out later that night that Ann only likes white wine. Warren roasted a chicken with potatoes, carrots, kumara, parsnip and peas with corn.

24 June 2017

Today is raining again. We went to the local shopping mall and ate at the Turkish fast food restaurant. We had iskenders. Lots of food! Then walked around a little. It's such a nice neighborhood. At night we bought a bottle of wine and ate a margherita pizza at Domino's. We watched So you think you can dance and a horror movie which was horrible.

23 June 2017

Beetle went to the wellington city library early. I met him at lunchtime. We ate at a self service restaurant called TJ Katsu. I stayed at the library while Beetle had an interview. He had another interview later on but the guy he was meeting with was feeling sick so they will reschedule the interview for next week. At night we enjoyed craft beer at The rogue and the vagabond with curly fries.

22 June 2017

We didn't want to stay a minute longer at Cherie's. We packed our bags and took the bus to the storage place. We left our bags and went to the library. We ate dumplings and headed back to the library to find another Airbnb house. We found a place in Johnsonville. We picked up our bags and got on a very crowded bus. Even though we stayed homeless for a day, it was worth it. Ann and Warren's house is awesome. The bed is divine and the shower is better than the one we had in SBC.

21 June 2017

Time to move again. Beetle brought kebabs for lunch and then we packed our bags. We rented a storage unit where we left two bags. On our way to Cherie's the bus was packed and the traffic was jammed. Aaron, Cherie's husband, let us in. We met Tank, their beautiful dog. Also they have 3 cats. Can't say it's a nice place. Worst than the house was the local pub. So we only had one beer, went to the supermarket and ate at McDonalds.

20 June 2017

We had lunch at the Chinese restaurant we had bought dumplings from the other day. Beetle went back to the library and I went walking in the Percy scenic reserve. Then I looked around Kmart and countdown supermarket. I met Beetle at The Butcher and Brewer where we had some snacks and beer while we watched the game. Lions versus Chiefs.

19 June 2017

Nothing much. Had lunch at some Mexican restaurant and Pizza Hut for lunch.

18 June 2017

Today we spent some time at the beach. Later we went to Petone to grab lunch but almost every restaurant was either closed or closing. We managed to get some dumplings from a Chinese takeaway and ate them on the street. We looked around some shops then took the bus back to Eastbourne. At night we had nachos at home with wine and cheese. Super fancy.

17 June 2017

Today we rented bikes and rode the beautiful coast until the lighthouse. What a view! After that we had lunch at Kilim, a Turkish restaurant. Everything was delicious! Then we tried to taste the chocolate cake made famous by Scarlett Johansson at Zany Zeus but they were sold out. We had another cake instead and a coffee. We went back to the house because Suzanne and Glen invited us for a drink. They're both very nice. After that we went to the local pub called The Still Room and had a couple of beers while we watched the Lions game against The Maori All Blacks. Great atmosphere.

16 June 2017

Stayed home all day. Felt sick again. Had gohan for lunch and egg McMuffin and hash browns for dinner. Beetle worked from the library.

15 June 2017

Beetle had to get some work done so he went to the library. We had lunch at the Queensgate shopping centre: roasted pork with potatoes, kumara, carrots, corn and pod (vagem). We went back to the library where we stayed almost until closing time. I started feeling sick. Could it be the gravy just like the one they served​ on the flight?

14 June 2017

We've decided to stay another week in Wellington but we had to go to another Airbnb house because Taruna's place was already booked. We went to Eastbourne, a suburb in Lower Hutt City, about an hour drive from Wellington. There's not much to do around here but the beach is nearby. We had pizza for lunch then took the ferry to Central Wellington. The sea was very rough. We stayed upstairs the whole time despite the water splashes. It was so much fun! We wandered around the city, had dinner at Subway, bought some groceries and took the bus back to Eastbourne.

13 June 2017

Today went to the city early in the morning because Beetle had a meeting with an agent at Beyond Recruitment. While he was there I wandered around the centre and ended up at the City Gallery. Pretty boring place for someone who doesn't appreciate art. After that we went to Mount Victoria Lookout. The tracks were very steep. We were tired of walking so we took a bus and had lunch at Floriditas. Terrible choice since it was very pricey and fancy. Next we went to our appointment with the immigration adviser. We were happy to hear that Beetle was actually doing fine because he was getting some phone calls while other people sometimes got nothing in several months. However, it doesn't look like it's going to be easy to get a work visa. The country has been tightening the immigration rules and if Beetle gets a job offer he will probably need to wait for the new policy to come into force. Bummer. Before going back home, we had fries and nuggets at McDonalds. We used the self-order system.

12 June 2017

Today we had lunch at a Malaysian restaurant. I ordered noodles and it was very spicy as everything here in NZ. After that we scheduled an appointment with an immigration adviser for tomorrow. Dinner at home.

11 June 2017

After breakfast we walked all the way up to Makara Peak. We decided to try feijoada at a bar called Bebemos and regret the moment we saw the dishes coming. The farofa was some kind of raw wheat flour and the biro biro rice had none of the ingredients to be called that. The feijoada had lots of spices we would never add like rosemary and tasted like lemon. Awful.

10 June 2017

It rained all day. I made lunch at home. Just cooked some rice with baked beans and fried eggs. At night we got no luck. To begin with, it started raining again when we were walking to the bus stop and we ordered beef quesadillas at a Mexican restaurant and they were terrible. After that we couldn't find a decent dessert and ended up buying a chimney chocolate cake. It was ok. We wrapped the night having a drink at Golding's. With their beer you can't go wrong.

9 June 2017

Today we had lunch at Burger liquor and after that we went to Te Papa, an interactive museum of New Zealand. I was very impressed with the Gallipoli war exhibition. We also went to the Wellington Night Market and the Golding's Free Dive Bar.

8 June 2017

We had lunch at Little Penang, a Malaysian restaurant. They put curry in pretty much every dish. After that we walked around the city harbour. We bought some groceries ate the supermarket and cooked dinner at home. I miss my kitchen knife and the cheese grater.

7 June 2017

Last day in Christchurch. We packed our bags and went to the New Brighton Pier where we spotted some surfers on the beach despite the cold weather. We ate curry rice at Tony's Tepan Japanese Restaurant then we headed to the airport. From the plane we could see that Wellington has most of its houses on the hills. The city is very cheerful and the Airbnb studio has a great view. Very simple but cozy place.

6 June 2017

We went to The Halswell Quarry Park and walked some tracks. The park is gigantic and lots of dogs were walking freely. At night we went to a bar called The Twisted Hop. We had the best burger ever and we sipped our beers by the fireplace. It was great.

5 June 2017

Today NZ cerebrates the Queen's birthday so almost everything is closed. We had no choice but to go the mall. At night we went to Dux Central, a craft beer bar. The nachos were delicious and the beer was phenomenal.

4 June 2017

It rained all day today. We went to the mall, to the supermarket and at night we made dinner at home.

3 June 2017

We had to check out from Ailsa's Airbnb but we got lucky because we found a cool house in Central Christchurch and since the host will be away for the Queen's birthday holiday, we will have the entire house for ourselves until Monday. The host left the key under the mat. Yeah, people can do that here. We weren't enjoying Christchurch that much but that changed the moment we rented a car. We got to see the city from the top of the mountain and also we went to the beach and the park. We walked for hours! The Bottle Lake Forest Park is huge! There are endless walking as well as montain bike tracks. Even horse trails! Nearby the house there is an awesome craft beer bar called The Volstead Trading Company. Everything was great.

30 May 2017

Everything in Christchurch is so far way! We walked to the city centre and had lunch at some truck food because there are no restaurants near the studio. We watched a movie at home and had miso soup before we went to bed.

29 May 2017

We had lunch at Nandos where they serve chicken spiced with Peri Peri pepper. At night we made pasta with pesto.

28 May 2017

The flight went well. The studio we booked at Airbnb is great except for the shower. We didn't sleep so well. A few nightmares but that's okay. We woke up and went to the Farmer's Market where we bought some apples and pears. The surroundings are very beautiful. Christchurch is less crowded than Auckland and things such as restaurants and shops are farther. We walked all the way to the city centre. We visited the Re:Start Mall built with containers and walked around the botanic garden. We grabbed a souvlaki at the Greek food truck and went back home. We were very tired from all the walking and also very cold. At night we had to go to the supermarket cause we were out of bread and milk for breakfast. The streets were empty. Looked like a ghost town.

27 May 2017

Last day in Auckland. We went to Takapuna, had lunch at Mexican restaurant and walked on the beach. We a had a huge ice cream at Ben & Jerry's for dessert. Our flight to Christchurch departs at 19:50 pm. Fingers crossed cause Jetstar has been named the worst airline in the world.

26 May 2017

Had lunch at The Don and at night we went to The Beer Spot. So many different beers that had a hard time choosing. Great place.

25 May 2017

Today we bought ourselves a Wonderboom portable speaker. We had lunch at a Chinese restaurant and at night we bought a bottle of wine and some cheese sticks.

24 May 2017

Lunch: kebab Dinner: craft beer at Birkenhead Brewery Company

23 May 2017

Today we had breakfast for lunch at Denny's: ommelete, hash brown and sausages. At night Josh and Rebecca cooked us dinner. We had beef cassarole with pasta and vegetables. Very kind people.

22 May 2017

Today Ian had to work so nothing really happened till midday. He spent the morning sending his resume to some companies and he's gotten a few replies already. We went to The Don Sake Bar for lunch. Looks like we're going to be eating a lot of Japanese food in new Zeland! At night we went to an Italian restaurant called Venice and ate a margherita pizza. Very thin crust and topping. Miss brazilian pizza already.

21 May 2017

We woke up before 5 a.m. so we went to the beach to see the sunrise. We walked all the way to Takapuna Beach and we loved every minute of it. People here don't mind the cold. They jog and walk their dogs early in the morning on the beach. To me they're the luckiest dogs on the planet cause they seemed so happy! We took a bus to the city centre and grabbed a coffee at Starbucks. After that we hopped on another bus to One Tree Hill where we came across sheeps and cows freely wandering around the park! We headed back to the centre to eat at Better Burger and went home to get some rest. At night, we went to an Asian restaurant named Madame Woo located in Takapuna. We had a spiced chicken salad that was very tasty. Loved the atmosphere.

20 May 2017

We started the day exploring the surroundings of Milford, a suburb located on Auckland's North Shore. The beach is within a 15 minute walk. The park nearby was really impressive with lots is green areas. Since it started to rain we had lunch at Little King cafe. The place is quirky and charming and the burger was awesome. At night we went to Takapuna Beach where we had a couple of beers with nachos at Mac's Brew Bar on Hurstmere Road. Everything was delicious!

19 May 2017

We were still jet lagged but we took a bus downtown. Auckland centre is very busy. We got our driver licences translated and​ that cost us NZ$ 120.00. For lunch we had donburi: fresh salad and vegetables, tofu and chicken on top of white rice. We stopped at the supermarket to buy some groceries for breakfast and we loved the fact that they had self-checkout machines! That means never waiting in line again! We were so tired that we couldn't find strength to go out for dinner. We had some ginger biscuits and smoothies and went back to sleep.

18 May 2017

17 May 2017

The day has finally come! Our long-hoped for trip to New Zealand begins today. The whole family came to the airport to say goodbye. We had lunch together at Rascal and it was absolutely delicious! We kissed and hugged our loved ones and boarded the plane to Auckland. Twenty long hours to get there but we know it will worth the wait! Everything went well during the flight. I felt sick but lucky for me I found a Japanese place at the airport that sold me some white rice (gohan) in a milkshake cup! Best medicine of all! We requested an Uber driver and we got some rest at Josh's house, our Airbnb host.