North Island Road Trip

That one sunset in the Shire

June 25, 2016

june25

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Napier

May 14, 2016

Alright – This dates back to mid December 2015 – Brittany had just left bck to Canada for Christmas and Emma met up with me in Wellington. The origional plan was to set up base in Wellingon and find a job and apartment, etc. However, upon arriving in Wellington it seemed to be quite expensive to get on your feet there and in the short time we had before the NYE music festival.. Therefore, one morning over coffee, we decided to leave Wellington that day and go to Napier and find some farm work. So just like that we went to the car and left Wellington, not before doing some much needed laudnry, of course.

We took two days to get from Wellington to Napier. One the night between we were camping and it was really windy outside. I was sitting in the car on the phone to Andy and Emma was in the tent alone. Then, suddenly a huge gust of wind came and it nearly blew over the tent. It inverted the poles and the tend was completely flapping in the wind. All I could see was Emma’s two hands extended towards my direction and the tent getting blown against her. It was quite a funny sight to say the least! That night was a noisy night in the tent as the tent flapped consistently throughout in the wind. It was quite wet as well and just not the best night by any means. That comes with camping for nearly four months straight though. Some nights just suck to be in a tent. Especially when its a shitty Warehouse brand tent too! Don’t get me wrong, most nights were great and I enjoyed and prefered to sleep in the tent. I had my blow up mattress (after a month I purchased one for $20 and it was the best decision I made all trip).

When we arrived in Napier it was quite late and we couldn’t find a hostel bc they were all closed. Therefore, we drove 45 minutes north to this free camp site. When we woke up, we were surrounded by neraly a hundred sheep as they were migrating from one place to the other with the help of a farmer and his dogs.

That day we went to Napier and found one hostel to stay at. We had stopped at another hostel called “Kiwi Keiths” whch was full. The guy behind the counter turned out to be our best help in terms of landing employment while in the North Island. He owns a working hostel there and most people live there long term and work on surrounding farms. Keith, the owner, finds the jobs for you himself. Upon arriving, he didn’t have any room for us and said he typcally finds jobs only for current tennants at his hostel. He took our name and number and called back an hour later saying he had work for both Emma and I on an apple farm!
What a legend! He also moved some people around and so we could move into the hostel the following day.

We ended up staying in our tents for the couple weeks we were in Napier the first time (we ended up coming back a month or so later when we needed work but more on that later). It was $80/week and it had free wifi, laundry, cable TV, hot tub, bike rentals and most imporatanly, it was right on the ocean! I could hear the ocean from my tent as I went to sleep each night. I had my tent set up really nice too! It has a shag blanket as the carpet, my blow up mattress with extra padding and blankets, I had all my bag unpacked and my clothes in nice piles, I had a designated place for my lap top. It was set up! My own personal little space which is nice when living at a hostel. This way, I didn’t have to share a room with anyone. 🙂

The apple farm was a bust. We worked there for three days and the manager was dicking us around with details of payment, etc. He was obciously taking advantage of us and the fellow workers whose second language was English didn’t know what he was communicating to us. I could see so I ended up having a go at him and we called him out and all 8 of us quit! Keith, like the legend he is, told us not to go back and found us all jobs starting the following day.

Next Emma and I worked on a Kiwi orchard. It is a HUGE orchard and I really enjoyed this job. The pros were that it was outside, not too difficult work (well, gurdling was hard, thinning was easy), good convo w the other travellers. The con was that it was a hour drive each morning to work and the guy who drove drove really wrecklessly and it was dodgy as. We ended up surviving but sometimes I thought that it wasn’t worth it by the close calls we encountered. The guy was nuts.

We spent Christmas at the hostel. It was one such a great Christmas. Emma and I started the day by sunbathing at Ocean Beach and drinking some beers. The entire hostel made a huge communial pot luck where each person cooked a dish from their home country! It was so good – one of the best meals of 2015!! Emma and I ended up getting too buzzed to cook plus the kitchen was jammed packed and it was apparent that there was way too much food already as there is… sooo we didnt cook anything! It’s a shame but thats what beer and sun will do to you.

After spending a couple weeks in Napier, we saved up a chunk of cash and with that and Christmas money were able to head onward to Rhythem and Vines Festival over NYE. It was a three day festival which ended up being lame in hindsight. There was a no alcohol rule at the camp site and they enforced it like crazy and patrolled the campsites and checked all bags before going to the tent site area every time. Felt way to strict and also it was tons of Drum and Bass and Dubstep – which are my least two favorite generes. Bring on the house and sometimes trance and I am happy – However, there was very little of that at all at the festival – Angus and Julia Stone were there and they played a great set – I saw them warm up randomly that same morning as I went to get some food. They were warming up and I caught a nice little 45 minute practive and secret set! Sticky Fingers were good there too as well as some random house DJs. I had a great time while there dont get me wrong! But I wouldn’t probably return either haha

After the festival we headed to Rotorua where Brittany reuinted with me and we began to travel as three. More on that later though!

 

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Napier main road!

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Skate Park on the main strip

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Main road in Napier – I love these little houses!

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Mini Golf park in Napier!

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These painted bikes are all around Napier!

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This is a new pier in Napier!

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Little stadium here in Napier.

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Love this little candid photo!

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I love the Art Deco style here and the font that is all over Napier!

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Art Deco style!

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Photos after a devastating earthquake in Napier.

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I love this park here in Napier.. These palms are so tall!

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Quaint is the word I use to describe Napier!

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The “CBD”

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Close.. but Andy’s last name is “Millar!”

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Napier CBD 🙂

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Christmas in Summer here in NZ!

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Christmas Vibes!

Wellington Recap

May 12, 2016

This seems like ages ago – This album is when I first arrived on the North Island back in December 2015. I had been on the road from Queenstown for about three weeks with Brittany Bandido and she left the second day and I was suddenly by myself for the first time on the road in NZ. Wellington initially was overwhelming. Having lived in the South Island for six months, it’s ovewhelming coming to a “city” like Wellingotn bc all the “cities” are so small in the South. Approx 1 million people live in the entire South Island. When I first got to Wellington, it was overwhelming as it was “masive,” Brit left and then it rained for three days straight. The wind was unlike anything I have felt in a while. It’s known as an extremely windy city and it proved to be true. The first three days or so after Brit left and it was raining were probably the worst days out of my entire trip. This city was foreign and appeared to be huge, the rain was terrible and I had to move the car every 2 hours so it wouldn’t get a ticket. I didn’t like Wellington at first but after day three the clouds parted. It turns out the town isn’t big at all – it’s rather quite small really and most of it is accessible by foot. The city has an artsy vibe, kinda hipster, but not really. haha. There are great cafes and coffee spots, street art, night clubs and a great waterfront. I then made a mate, Marcus, who became one of my best mates I made on the road outside Queenstown. Right after I made a new good friend, Emma arrived in Wellington. Emma and I were mates from Queenstown (and is one of Andys mates from home) and she went on to travel for a couple months with me in the North Island. So Brittany left, Emma came, and in a month or so Brit would come back and us three would travel around – more on that later – here are some pics of Wellington – It went from a city I found large and chaotic to a small town with great vibrant and colorful culture. It is a really cool town and I really wish I was able to have spent some considerate time there – However, Emma and I were needing to make money fast, so we went up to Napier for the first time and began working on farms – more on that later!

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Windy Welly

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Windy Welly

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My Mate Marcus

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BLUE!

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Little local knowledge helped me find this gem. Thanks, Marcus!

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Love how the houses sit on the hillside. The roads are so windy and full of hills!

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The sign of all signs.. sums up Wellington quite well!

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My mate Marcus

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Fishing at sunset 🙂

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This is the boat we took from Picton in the South Island up to Wellington in the North!

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Wellington CBD

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Wellington CBD – The gay club “Ivy” is here on the right. Was lots of fun on the weekend but dead during the week!

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Wellington CBD

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Old buildings in Wellington CBD

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Liked this place in the CBD

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Wires and such

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I love this photo but not too sure why!

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This is a historic bar on Courtenay Place. There is a deaf guy who stands outside on the weekends and dances like crazy all night long.

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Wellington CBD

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Because its getting near Christmas time!

Back in the South Island!

March 4, 2016

Back in the South Island! The North was incredible and diverse. There’s so much to see and so much to do, it was fun to explore. From the vineyards & sunburns of Napier and Gisborne, to the deserted beaches of the Coromandel, to the rolling hills of Matamata, to the thermal hot pools and sulfur smells of Rotorua, to the bungee jumps and crystal clear rivers of Taupo, to the nightlife and city vibe..

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