New Zealand -The Time When I Settled Down During My World Travel

My Absence

I haven’t blog for the last 2 months in New Zealand and I know that. But in one of my latest blog posts, I mentioned that I don’t want to lose my passion for blogging just because I push myself to do it.

Hobbiton, NZ

I don’t know even where to start.
Let’s start first mentioning that I have met my friend Amanda in Taiwan
1 1/2 years ago in Taichung. I stayed in touch with her ever since, and she most recently went to New Zealand in March. As impulsive as I am, I bought a ticket after Taiwan and Bali and came to visit her. Not only did I buy a flight ticket, but I also applied for a Working Holiday Visa and wanted to work there.

The first 3 weeks I settled down in New Zealand, I opened up a bank account at Kiwi Bank and was Woofing close to Auckland.
I enjoyed my first time Woofing at this lady’s place who had several hectares of land.
It was hard physical work, but I enjoyed it. I planted a tree and the coolest thing out of it: I learned how to treat her diseased native New Zealand Kauri trees with a phosphate solution.

How to set up a Bank account in New Zealand and to get your IRD Number

  1. You need a proof of address from your stay (hostel or in my case the Woofing address). What else do you need? Your passport, an international driver’s license (not required unless you want to drive and your license is not in English), your ID, your country’s tax ID, and a copy of your holiday visa.
  2. You bring all the documents to a bank (the best is ANZ, BNZ or Kiwi Bank) and open your bank account. In order to get your IRD number, you need to prove that your bank account is active by withdrawing and depositing money into your account.
  3. After that you can go to the post office, fill out the IRD form (or you can even do it online). Make sure to tick that you want to get your IRD number via mail.
    Usually within 10 working days they will send you the IRD number.

The Trio Team

Friends Paintings

While we did woofing for 3 weeks, we organized everything we needed.
During this time we bought a car on Trademe (sort of an eBay for NZ).
We had the chance to cook a lot at our Woofing place which we enjoyed a lot.
After 3 weeks, our friend Dillon joined us for another 9 weeks.

Dillon is a friend of Amanda, I never met him before but somehow it worked out for us to stay and to travel together.

Tauranga, Bay of Plenty

It was in Tauranga, infamous for being the sunniest place in New Zealand, where I settled down until I left 2 months later.

Mount, Tauranga
Mount Manganui

We did Couchsurfing at a Christian community house and decided at the end to stay there for a while after all of us found a job.

So Dillon, Amanda and I were working during the daytime at a warehouse. It was quite fun at the beginning, but I was really drained when I left 2 months later. Why? I will tell you more soon. At night I was working at a Restaurant as a waitress (the first time ever for me). Usually I worked 60-70 hours per week.

Bay of Plenty turned out to be an incredibly beautiful place. Mountains to hike, and right next to the ocean with a beautiful beach. The location was a dream! Many people who are retired in New Zealand usually settle down in Tauranga.
I can understand why.

Taupo and Rotorua

On my days off, I would explore the surroundings.
I want to say here a big thank you to Zealandiers Tour.
Jan organized my trips, and guys I really can recommend you to do the tours with them. She is such a lovely lady and has been in this business for more than 20 years.

Hobbiton, NZ
Landscape where Hobbiton was set up
Hobbiton, NZ
Would you want to live there?
Shire, Hobbiton
The Shire

I visited Hobbiton in Taupo with her. Do I have to explain more? Whoever is a LOTR fan needs to visit Hobbiton, which is the filming location for the Shire. I loved it, I took more than 100 pictures on this day. The details will amazed you in every way.

Hobbiton, NZ
Would you like to live at Hobbiton?

Rotorua just got chosen lately by Lonely Planets as the top 10 adventurous places to visit in the world. If you are interested in zip lining or geothermal pools, you need to go to Rotorua. There, I visited a Maori village and got to learn about their lifestyle and a little bit about the history of New Zealand (more or less a complicated one).
My highlight was the cultural dance in this village. It is a great relaxing place for a getaway weekend with your partner, too.

Maori Village, Rotorua
Traditional dance at the Maori Village in Rotorua

Geysers, Rotorua

A mere 25 minute drive away from Tauranga are the McLarens Falls where you can see glow worms at night.

Mc Larens Falls
McLarens Falls

Bay of Plenty won’t disappoint you, especially in the summertime.

Tour New Zealand
I forgot the name of this small town where they built some buildings like giant animals or flowers.


My Routine Life

I started to have this 9-5 life routine. Oh I forgot to mention that my friends Dillon and Amanda left after 3 weeks in Tauranga to travel the South Island together.

Tauranga, NZ
Sunrise in Tauranga while I was jogging
New Zealand, Tauranga
Morning run routine

Basically most of my days looked like this:
Wake up at 8 am, catch the bus at 8.30 to start at 9 am my work in the warehouse. I finished at 5 pm and would go to my next work in the restaurant at 5.30 pm. And I usually worked there until 9 or 10 pm. On Fridays and Saturdays I went out with my friends and colleagues from the restaurant to the pubs in town. I was lucky to live in Tauranga CBD, which was pretty convenient. Not only that, I lived in a huge flat, had my own room and paid only 150 NZD, including food and everything else. Guys, this is pretty good, believe me!

Critical Turning Point

I enjoyed my two jobs for the first one and a half months. But the last 3 weeks it turned into a nightmare for me.

I disliked it so much to work in a hunting warehouse. I didn’t really realize it early enough that I was working for a hunting clothing company.
Some people there were arrogant and I worked against my ethics. I don’t like and don’t support hunting. But let’s be honest now, I am also such a hypercritical person.

Why?? Because I stayed there just because of the money and to win a bet with my dad. Yes, I only stayed there to see fortnightly the money appear in my bank account. I let money corrupt me instead of quitting earlier. As ambitious as I am, I didn’t want to quit my job, then my dad would have won the bet.

At the end I was unhappy with myself and with my situation. I lost the joy I usually have when I am traveling around. Accumulated lots of money, but at the cost of losing my joy for life. And I couldn’t motivate myself and I let my surroundings corrupt my feelings and thoughts. You know it’s like a boat in the sea. As long as the boat doesn’t have a hole, it won’t sink, even though it’s surrounded by the vast sea. But I let myself down and let the surroundings of this warehouse pull me down.

Every morning of the last 2 weeks of work there I wished myself not to wake up and just to sleep in.

Another Critical Point

Also I started to feel miserable working at the restaurant. I found out later that my boss would charge people the wrong wine. He always gave people the cheaper wine than the actual one they ordered. Seriously, I don’t hate a lot of things. But everything added up at the end, and I just hated to work there. There was more going on which was illegal, but I want to stop at this point.

Now I can understand, why in our modern society you can easily get depressed. I did 2 jobs for 2 months and out of this time 2-3 weeks I started to feel completely lost and beaten down. I worked for money, I didn’t work for my moral code or out of joy at the end. And when I got to this point, I should have quit but I didn’t.

You might say I was strong to keep continuing. But you know what? It’s braver and more difficult to be true to yourself. Stronger in this case would have been my choice of quitting instead of continuing. I should have turned my back and not let money corrupt me. But I didn’t. I was a coward. That’s it. I worked against my happiness.

Now I am here in Tonga in a coffee shop and writing this blog post, feeling so relieved to leave this all behind. It was a good life lesson for me. But that would be the last time for me working in jobs that bring me down and rob me of my joy for life.

Do whatever you want, but I promise you money is not worth it. Or at least not for jobs you hate. Now I am back to my traveler’s life and it took time to find my happiness again.


Feelings And Thoughts About New Zealand

I feel kind of sorry that this blog post is not a huge help for someone who travels to New Zealand, but it was important for me to share with you my not-so-blessed experiences during my travels too. New Zealand is a beautiful country with an amazing landscape. No wonder amazing movies like Lord of the Rings were set up in New Zealand. Many strange and spiritual things were happening during my time there, but I don’t want to explain it in this post. Anyway, it’s a beautiful country with very friendly people. But at the end I didn’t make many friends with many Kiwis. Somehow most of my relationships with many Kiwis stayed superficial.

Mount Manganui , Tauranga
Mount Manganui

I know how many people are in love with New Zealand but I am not. I love the landscape and I would travel back to New Zealand, but for now I am happy to have left. You know at the end everything is subjective but I didn’t want to pretend that everything was perfect. I had a good time, and I appreciated all the friends I made but maybe I have changed and based on my working experiences it wasn’t great overall. Therefore, perhaps see you next time, Kiwi land!

2 thoughts on “New Zealand -The Time When I Settled Down During My World Travel”

  1. I had such an amazing trip to New Zealand. Thankfully I did not have to work the two weeks while there and I was only in one spot for no more than three days. I must admit, I may have romanticized the country because of its natural beauty and low population density: two of my favorite things in a country. I completely understand that these experiences were yours; however, it’s very telling that in your brief exposure you had some issues with the general integrity, which is revealing.

    1. Dear Tracy,
      I‘m so delighted to read that you had such a beautiful time in New Zealand like so many people I have met and who told me about their travel experiences in New Zealand. I still want to come back to New Zealand one day, but next time only to travel not to work anymore. I am happy you left this comment on this blogpost. Lots of love, H.

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