Our First Month Living in New Zealand
Our First month living in New Zealand was spent in Auckland exploring the city and surrounding areas. We loved the city life and think this was the best place to spend our first month living abroad. We were really quite surprised by how developed the city was. I guess in some ways we all kind of expected to get off the plane and see the rolling hills and mountains of New Zealand but instead we were greeted by a hip city life. Full of tall buildings, billboards, shopping, streets, and businesses. Okay, I have to be completely honest here. At first we were a little disappointed I mean seriously…where are the hobbits!? We came here with hopes of seeing and experiencing something totally different. However, now that we have been here for a while and thought about all the things we have done in the past month I really do think Auckland was a great first stop for our family on this journey.
The main reason for is because it made the adjustment easier in that it was so similar to the cities in the United States and what my family was used to. We didn’t just go from living in a city to living in the bush. It really gave us a chance to adjust to living in a different country, being so far away from our family and friends, and time to just figure out this new life of ours. We utilized public transportation and walked a lot during our time in Auckland. I swear I lost at least 5 lbs in our time there just from walking because you better believe I was eating all the foods! Check out our top picks for places to eat here.
The public transportation is really great and if we had planned to just stay or live in Auckland I think that is probably the best way to get around the city. Not only do you get exercise by walking places you also get to truly experience the place you are in and discover things you probably wouldn’t have if you were driving. We were so impressed with the public transportation in Auckland that we wrote a separate blog post all about the transportation options here.
Here are a few of the most exciting things we did while in Auckland;
- Explored 2 museums – Auckland Art Gallery & Auckland War Memorial Museum
- Hiked up the highest volcano in Auckland – Mt. Eden
- Rode a Ferry – To Devonport
- Saw and hiked up to the greatest fortress in the country – One Tree Hill
- Hiked through the bush to find our first NZ waterfall – Karekare Waterfall
- Saw our first black sand beach – Karekare Beach
- Visited a farm – Kiwi Valley Farm
- Celebrated a birthday – Gabriela turned 6!!
- Bought a car – at the Ellerslie Car Fair
- Checked out the Malls – New Lynn Mall, SkyWorld, Sylvia Park, and Britomart
- Explored the CBD (Central Business District), saw Skytower, and Britomart
- Touched the sea in Mission Bay
- Saw our first lighthouse – Manukau heads Lighthouse
We are in the process of writing about all the adventures above and hope to those completed for you all soon so you can read in depth details about all the above adventures. We also made a top 20 list of things to do in Auckland here.
Living here is definitely different then living in Norman, Oklahoma but it is also the same in a lot of ways. We are still a normal family and we still do normal everyday things like go grocery shopping, get haircuts, cook meals at home to save money, go to the movies, do laundry, and play board games. We are seeing new things everyday and learning about the world and ourselves in the process. Over the next 8 months we will continue to explore the island of New Zealand. Traveling from one place to another one month at at time in order to truly experience the area. How will it change our family? What will we learn about traveling, our locations, and ourselves? Stay tuned to find out.