So our weird and wonderful journey through the remote outback and down the East Coast of Australia came to an end. Over a month on from where we finished our trip, it all now feels like a bit of a distant memory. From our end point in Sydney, we travelled to Melbourne for a few days before onwards we went yet again to the next episode of our international adventures.
Working Holiday number two was about to begin, with Aotearoa, the land of the long white cloud beckoning. In simpler, more globally recognisable terms, we were heading to New Zealand, starting in Auckland were we would get back on the working bandwagon again and hopefully start to replenish the slightly withered bank account. We had heard mixed reviews of Auckland as a place to live, with many people telling us to “get out of there as quick as possible” and “it’s boring, just and oversized city”, but fuck them, I’ll make up my own mind thank you very much. I had a job offer in Auckland starting at the beginning of July and it would be ridiculous to turn down an offer of employment because of someone else’s opinion.
The job: Same deal as before, sticking to what I know and organising other people’s travels. Back working for Peterpans Adventure Travel, there was really no rest for the wicked as I was straight into it the day after arriving. During the first week Soph and I had the joy of staying in a hostel in Auckland city centre. Widely known for being home to some of the worst hostels in New Zealand, our Auckland residence did not buck the trend on this front. It sucked, even though we did have a private room for 6 out of 7 nights. I’m not sure if I just hate sharing a kitchen with mollycoddled teenagers – I hate sharing a kitchen at the best of times, even with friends and family! – or maybe I’m just done with any form of hostel living.
As it turned out, our final night in a hostel before moving into our new apartment coincided with the final All Blacks vs. British & Irish Lions test match, which meant that there was no room at the inn for a private room at our “homely” hostel. We transferred into a dorm room with 8 beds, taking up a bunk bed each. The joy’s of hostel living were about to commence.
Upon moving into the room at 2:30pm, we turned on the light to find a guy still sleeping on a top bunk, who proceeded to moan, groan and roll to and fro until we turned the light back off. Come the fuck on you dick, It’s 2:30pm, get up. Following the rugby match, we hit the hay at a reasonable hour and were then awoken multiple times throughout the night as people stumbled through the door and attempted to find their beds in the dark. Once the beds had been found, at least two of the people in the room started the world’s loudest snoring contest. Whoever was replicating the pneumatic drill was clearly the winner, but he was definitely getting no praise from me!
There is only so many times that you can wake someone up by banging your hand on the closest wall without pissing everyone else off and having to keep yourself painfully alert to try and scupper the first ripple of a snore. Enough was enough at around 2:30am, so we vacated the snore box and had to find a cosy corner in the hallway with a beanbag for comfort. I fucking hate hostels!
Onwards and upwards (only upwards, nothing can be as low as being forced out your room/bed to sleep in a hallway on a beanbag!), and we are now 6 weeks into our time in Auckland and things are going well. The city is actually nicer than most people cared to let on – there must be a reason why it has been voted in the top 10 cities in the world to live in – it can’t be that bad really!
Here’s an assortment of photos from my first month in New Zealand, written explanations to follow soon…