Au pair ; The only difference with the “Au pair” family in New Zealand is that I am able to have 1 week paid off every 3 months. It is still the best way to come in a new country & find a place to stay & being pay straight away to take care of children & have quite still lots of free time during the day. Of course, be careful with which contract you go for. Ask around & if nobody can help you – On the website “Aupairworld” ; you will have answers for all your questions. For example, in New Zealand – 3 children, 6 hours 30 mins per day for 5 days a week ; 200 NZD per week. Extra hours paid 15,25 NZD. This is the deal I have got here. It is best to have your Working Holiday Visa to be an Au pair.
Working Holiday Visa ; The Visa is different for the different country & you should look at it approximately 2 to 3 months before your plan to live. Look all the details ; when I say that, that look evident but I will tell you a little story.
Go online to apply for you “Working Holiday Visa” – if you are British, you will be able to have one for 1 year or 2. BUT the details to give to them are different. The price is 208 NZD for 1 or 2 years, but for the 2 years Visa, you will receive an email asking you to provide ; A police certificate, a general medical and x-ray certificate ; This cost a lot of money.
When I sent them that I would like to cancel this application & do for the 12 month Visa, I received this information ; “You have the option to withdraw your application & reapply for a 12-month working holiday visa & the visa fee will not be refunded”. So after many emails, they didn’t give me a refund for it so I paid 208 NZD twice.
Be careful in your choices & read everything before accept it.
CBD ; The center of the town is busy, crowded & noisy like all cities center. It is very expensive to live in the center of Auckland, difficult to find a job. I give you all the good news straight away ! On the website “Trademe“, you will find approximately all the things you need to find. Something really cool to do if you think staying around for a while ; is to register in a “library” for free & get lots of books from the different libraries in & around Auckland.
The “Sky Tower” of course if you like to be high & walking on a light permeable window & spend 29 NZD.
The thing to see & do ; The light path cycle way is locate next to “Union Street”. Start from “Queen Street” to “Quay Street”. But the only part with the lights are next to “Nelson Street” too. A lot of photographers comes tothis place to take some good shots. It is a cool place to go to walk, cycle or being a star for a photographer.
From the Wharf, you can find different destination with the ferries to ; “Waiheke Island”, “Rangitoto Island”, “Tiri Tiri Island“, …
The district in Auckland that I really like, but I am not the only one, is “Ponsonby”. It is higher than the level of the center & is more quiet & peaceful. But of course, it got a price to live in this area & it is quite expensive. However, you still can do some day trip & night out in there.
You can find also some mountains like “Mount Albert”, “Mount Eden”.. Accessible by car to the summit & if it is a sunny day ; enjoy a relax time there. The views are stunning, 360 degree of Auckland & the Ocean.
Festival ; “Pasifika Festival” was one of the most amazing event in Auckland when I was there. It is for 2 days in the weekend at the end of March at the “Western Springs Park”. It is free to go & discover plenty of Islands represented by singers & dancers with the authentic customs from their tribes. A beautiful colorful event to join.
The park is also a very nice place to visit & walk along.
AcroYoga & Yoga ; When you just get to a new place, it is good to go for some event. “Meetup” is a good one to meet new people quickly by going to an event organised. The first event I went to, was a AcroYoga lesson at “Castor Bay” in the Northshore. It is a physical & mental activity & really funny.
I went to 2 different yoga class ; one was in “Takapuna” ; “Golden Yogi” – a very nice studio to practice. You will find a deal for 25 NZD one week trial. The mat is 2 NZD if you need to rent it. The other one is in “Mairangi Bay”, still in Northshore ; “Yoga Sanctuary” – a really nice studio & team working in there. The deal in here is 25 NZD for 10 days trial & the mat & all accessories are free to use. It is a very nice & peaceful place. Easy to park just next to it.
West Coast ; Some day trip are possible around “Auckland” & don’t need to drive for a very long time. The “West Coast” leave an opportunity of a complete different scenery. A lot of “Bays” & narrow bendy roads are welcome – “Piha Beach” & “Karekare Beach” are 1 hour & something from “Auckland”. There give a beautiful scenery of yellow sand, hills brackground & grass with a massive rock allowable to walk to the summit for “Karekare Beach”.
Some surfers catch waves, people walk along the beach, play on the sand, take photos… It is a very friendly & family day trip to go to. “Piha Beach” is also a massive beach with hills all around. A very nice place to see & enjoy.
Tawharanui Regional Park ; East coast this time, North of “Auckland”, this Regional Park named “Tawharanui” is a reserve free to go to & enjoying a day trip. 2 hours from “Auckland”, give a wonderful calm & relaxing mood. Narrow & bendy roads after the motorway to get to the peninsula. From the gate, you can drive all the way down to the car park, final spot, to go to the beach. A huge forest & sandy beach with surfers, picnic, walking track, … It is a very peaceful place to come for a day trip during the weekend.
I went there to have some quiet & calm moment, so the beach is beautiful, the forest walk too but I drove back close to the gate to finally park in the grass & lie down in front of a lake & green hills.
On the other side of the park entrance, you can also find some space to park & enjoy the ocean view. It is a beautiful place & so wild.
It is a fantastic park not very far from “Auckland” if you like to be close to the nature & animals. New Zealand in general preserved very well the nature & the wild life.