New Zealand⎜WHV, one year really far away

 Sunset in front of Rangitoto Island in New Zealand

One year overseas

It all started last summer, when we were working in hospitality for the high season in Carnac (Brittany), that we had a revelation: "What if we were going to New Zealand?". I have to say, after spending a year in Australia, we have like who would say the swing! And we are lucky, as French people, to be able to get a one-year visa rather easily (called WHV = Working Holiday Visa) allowing us to travel and / or work on the chosen territory.

And there we were, one click later, visa was ours ! We waited impatiently for the end of the season to fly to the Maoris country.

Well, New Zealand is far from France. Really really far ! Almost two days traveling with two stops. But that does not make us afraid any more !

 Ready for New Zealand with Emirates
 Boarding at Charles De Gaulle Airport in France

When we arrived in Auckland on September 27th, we stayed in a hostel for a week, the time to set all those administrative procedures up. Meanwhile, we also found a job and a house to share with three amazing Aucklanders (not JAFA lol).

Everything happened really fast ! Living in a hostel is quite fun, looking for a job and an accommodation is not that complicated (just notice that you can get a lot of scams, but it's like everything, you have to be wary) but steps to make your setup down are just very loooooong ! But as we're really nice, here is our article "Administrative procedure : what to do when you first arrive in New Zealand?" that would help you :)

So we worked for six months as waiters in two different cafes from the same group, one in Auckland and the other in Waihi Beach. To be a waiter is not that easy in New Zealand and coffee is a real culture. Then the cafes have to provide a perfect service. We are asked to be really professional and attentive to the customer. In the group where we were, we even had a training on the processes to be followed, the brand’s story and the values hat we had to embody and share with customers. The most crazy ? We had to know regulars customer’s names and orders, with about 1000 customers a day !
After six months of service (perfect let's say it, haha!), we met again the adventure way !

We love having a kind of double life, 50% as locals and 50 % as backpackers.

 Waiter and waitress for weddings
 Hard backpackers life living in a van in front of the ocean

So we went to Bali.

What ? What about New Zealand ? Haha patience little birds ! We wanted to enjoy the sun, beach and friends before anything else ! Indeed, the summer was already over in New Zealand in March :(.
I don’t reveal all of our tips, tricks, feelings about Bali right now, an article will be published in the next few weeks :).

Back in Maori land last April, we thought it was time to discover the country we had been living in for half a year. We started with the South Island.


So what do you think about New Zealand ?

That’s the question you've been asking a lot  ! So here we go, this is our vision :).

 First flight with the drone in Auckland

New Zealand is a wonderful country. Surf and ocean lovers, we really appreciated to be at less than two hours driving from anywhere, doesn’t matter where you live.

Actually, New Zealand is tight enough to allow you traveling from west to the east coast very quickly.

When we arrived in New Zealand, everything seemed easy. Lifestyle, people, administration, job seeking, social life… We used to manage ourselves overseas and in English thanks to our trip in Australia the year before. But New Zealanders are really adorable, helpful and above all full of common sense ! Which makes everything much easier !

Unlike you may think, the life in New Zealand is not that more expensive than France. Prices are a little bit higher, but wages are also, so no worries. Talking about salary, it’s important to point that New Zealanders are paid weekly. HOW FANTASTIC IS THIS IDEA ! Why not doing that in France ? And as we also have to pay the rent every week, it simplifies how to manage money ! In New Zealand, our purchasing power was 1.5 to 2 higher than in France.

 Aerial photography with the drone of the South Island west coast
 Orokawa Bay, hidden secret beach in Waihi Beach in the North Island
 Sunrise at Cathedral Cove in the North Island of New Zealand
 Aerial shot of Auckland with the drone
 River at Mount Cook in New Zealand

In terms of nature and environment, you’ve got plenty of choice ! Very green (because it rains often, lets be honest !), the territory is rolling, huge and seems never ended.

The South Island is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Large spaces (most without human living), crystal blue lakes, mountains as far as you can see and ... sheeps (also as far as you can see, lol) !

New Zealand has ten times more sheeps than men, more than 40 millions to be exact.

The North Island is denser in population and has many big cities like Auckland and Wellington. Landscapes are very wild and offer a breathtaking range of colors. The coasts are very different from each other with black sand to the west and white sand to the east.

New Zealand's landscapes, known for the most part thanks to Lord of the Rings, are a real playground for us travelers !

 Hidden secret beach in Coromandel New Zealand
 Orokawa Bay, hidden secret idyllic beach

You will understand, we love this island. But what really impressed us the most was Kiwis, people of New Zealand. We could write lines and lines about them because New Zealanders are just amazing. Very relaxed, they have this behave to enjoy life, and every single day of the year. Smiling, friendly and jovial, we have the feeling to be close to someone we meet in the street and we’ve never seen before. Very listening and always present when it comes to help, you can trust this small community with a big heart with eyes closed. 

All of these elements create a well balanced living environment in New Zealand. Small unemployment, maximum security, significant purchasing power and a very present nature. Well, it feels good to be here !

And for you, WHV or holidays, when is New Zealand ?
We hope you like this article and that it makes you want to discover the country !

By the way, do you know what is the capital of New Zealand ?

Do not hesitate to react and ask us your questions in comments :)

Cheers little birds, Claire & Arthur