Saturday 27th October onwards
I am writing this from our apartment in Auckland, with a view of the city and of the wharf in the distance. Our 5 week ‘holiday’, which begun our New Zealand adventure is now officially over. I do say this with a heavy heart and obviously we all wish our holidays could last forever. Yet I know how incredibly lucky we have been to have had such wonderful experiences. It is true though that the holiday took a huge amount of planning and organisation and it was such a success mostly because we organised and planned it all so well. The places we stayed and visited, and experiences we had were incredible. I will be working on a highlights posting for the blog over the next week, as I reflect and look back on our time here in New Zealand.
‘Reality’ though is here for us now. We want to enjoy our time we spend in NZ as much as possible and make having such great experiences as sustainable as possible. To do this the key (as with most things in life) is having money! So we know our next step needs to be to make money. There are also a number of other things that we need to think about and do over the next few weeks to make sure our start to our lives in NZ is a successful one. I have included a list below in case anyone is doing/thinking of doing anything similar or is just interested:
Work/Jobs: Our prime goal when planning our time in NZ was that my husband, John (who works as a software development contractor back home in the UK) would try and get a contract here. The most likely places for this are either Auckland or Wellington. So we have started the search (www.seek.co.nz is a really great website for all jobs over here) and he will start applying for these soon. Regarding my work situation I currently am working on some self-employed projects and will wait to look for anything else until I know where John’s work will base us.
Accommodation: We are currently staying for the week in an apartment at the Celestion Waldorf Apartment Hotel and got a very reasonable weekly night. We are here until Nov 3rd and will then plan our next accommodation once we have a better idea where we might need to be. We will either need short term more apartment type accommodation, or will start to look for something longer term (depending on where we end up).
Phone/Internet: We sorted our phones out in Auckland today, due to some very helpful people from Telecom. We had already unlocked our iPhones back in the UK, so purchased a NZ sim card and (after connecting it to iTunes in the Telecom store first) were able to use our sims right away. We also have a great deal on the sim (a prepaid or pay-as-you go option) rather than a contract, which is $19 for 60 mins of calls, 5000 texts and 500mb of data – paid each month but without a minimum term contract. We will also have to adjust to having new phone numbers! Internet is definitely more expensive over here and free wifi is not as widespread as back home. Things are a bit better in Auckland though with there being free wifi at certain places in the city, and we have a good deal with our apartment for a week’s usage. We have also purchased a Telecom 0800 calling card (Talk4Less) with a cheap rate per minute to allow us to call the UK (and speak to our families) cheaply.
Tax registration: We need to register to pay tax here in NZ to enable us to get jobs and work. To do this we need to complete IRD forms, and take these with ID and a few other bits to a post office – which we plan to do on Monday.
Bank/Money: We have already opened a NZ Westpac bank account whilst in the UK, but now we are here we can go in and after giving all the info/ID we will be able to officially activate the account and obtain debit cards etc.
Travel: The Britomart (main transport) centre here in Auckland has a very helpful information desk. We spent some time there today getting a few maps for buses and trains to enable us to visit a few places we had planned to.
Food: Our goal with food is to try and save money and live quite cheaply. There is an excellent 24 hour Countdown supermarket a 5 minute walk from our apartment, so hope to use this a lot. Obviously we will also have the odd meal out now and again!
Thanks if you have read this far – I know this post isn’t as glamourous as my previous holiday postings, but I thought it might prove useful for anyone in a similar situation.