I arrived in Auckland on 6 November 2017, taking my first Qantas and Emirates flight to Melbourne then Auckland respectively, and to add on, it was my first time to both airports too. Everything felt surreal even till now while I’m writing this, my 3rd day since arrival.

Travelling has always been an enjoyable thing to me, with everything planned out nicely beforehand, flights, accommodation, a brief itinerary to follow in each area, and even the budget set out nicely, with enough money changed for the entire trip. This trip so far, has been anything but the above. I had only my flights known, my accommodation settled for the first week, enough money to last me for about a month while I find a job, itinerary unplanned and yup, I’m already here in Auckland. W-O-W.

My reflections

I definitely tried to prepare myself for this before I arrived. I applied for jobs while being still in Singapore, searched for accommodations, read up on itineraries, and gathered loads of information from blogs, travel sites, government sites and all. Nonetheless, with the uncertainty of having no confirmed job, I could not confirm my long-term accommodation, the amount of money to bring and my itinerary for the rest of the weeks.

It did not help that I was a super conservative and careful person, so I did not want to travel on my own savings at the start as much as I could. This was because it could mean having no more money by the time I got myself a job and this could spell trouble. Hence, I spent the past 3 days getting up my local bank account, phone number and IRD number, after which I can then finally step up my game of applying for more jobs and waiting for some calls back to me with some good news.

And amidst this uncertainty, there I am also reminding myself to enjoy the process and what comes my way, so here’s what I did around Auckland/Tauranga during my first week here:

7 NovemberCity Centre Tour

I was here mainly to complete the administrative tasks of starting a life here:

  • Opening my bank account
  • Getting a SIM card
  • Applying for my IRD number

And of course, also to make the best use out of my spare time here exploring a new city!

8 NovemberOne Tree Hill

I went for a simple hike up One Tree Hill and saw the first of the many sheep I’ll see during my time here. I also made some new friends from Japan, China and Germany who were also there for their working holiday!

9 November – Auckland Domain, Wintergarden and War Memorial Museum

This was another relaxed day for me as I had a picnic at the Auckland Domain. It was Auckland’s oldest park, and at 75 hectares one of the largest in the city. It felt really peaceful to be engulfed in the beauty of the flowers as a start to my holiday.

10 November – Karangahake Gorge

A random chat online linked me up with many like-minded Singaporean travellers then in NZ. We did a simple hike in this historic mining place, going through tunnels and seeing glow worms(at least that’s what we thought it was).

11 NovemberWynard Quarter and Silo Park

So I headed to this place thinking that the Silo Park Summer activities had already started, but oh, I forgot that Summer hasn’t even started! Oh well, anyway, I had some Korean food for dinner and was chased out just when I finished the last mouthful because the restaurant closes at 8.30pm. This was something I needed to get used to when places in Singapore don’t really close till at least 10pm.

12 NovemberAvondale Sunday Market

This place was a lively morning market with many locals and tourists doing their grocery shopping at wholesale prices. I met up with this other Chinese friend from the US who was also on a working holiday to explore the market together!

And that’s how I spent my first week in Auckland!!

You might also enjoy: