Back in November 2016, me and my newly wedded wife traveled to New Zealand for a month in search of cleaner living. We found plenty of that! I also got to experience New Zealand all over again as a photographer which reminded me just how lucky Kiwi's are living in the most beautiful country in the world.
We spent most of our time in Auckland catching up with friends and looking for opportunities to do business, as the focus of our trip was to see how feasible it is to move back to New Zealand. We also managed to squeeze in a week down in the South Island, would be silly not to right?
Unfortunately we didn't get to travel around the North Island at all, but we did cover a lot of ground in Auckland. I managed to take my wife to all the places I grew up around as well as plenty of places I never visited.
Down South, we flew down direct to Queenstown first then headed to Milford Sound and then up to Lake Tekapo. It was definitely too short to take in the scenery but I'm very glad we got to see all the best highlights of the South.
One of the more memorable parts of our trip was spending a night on Waiheke Island. I had actually never been there during my time there. It now has over 40 vineyards with most of them having cellar doors or restaurants. The two meals we had over there were mind blowing, we had dinner at the Oyster Inn in the town center of the island. For the second day lunch we went to a beautiful new place called the Tantalus winery. If you have the chance to visit, make it at least two nights if you love food and wine. I had always thought of New Zealand wine as being predominantly Sauvignon Blanc but I was pleasantly surprised by the level of reds that were being produced on the Island.
One of the many benefits of living in Auckland is that you are only really 30 minutes away from the country side. The wild west coast with the savage weather and pristine hiking trails is only 40 minutes away from the CBD, the wineries and farms up north is also less than an hour drive, out east if you drive for 45 mins you are at Clevedon Coast for fresh oysters. There is literally beautiful destinations in every direction.
The landscapes in the South Island is simply mesmerizing, I am reasonably well traveled and there are only a few places that can compare. The photos don't justify the beauty, I highly recommend that as a bucket list destination. The distances between each location in the South are spread out, most days we drove for around 3-5 hours. We were extra slow because I would keep pulling over to take photos all the way haha.
All in all, we had a great time going back to my home country, meeting up with old friends and having time to take plenty of photos. As nice as it was, we decided that the time is not ripe for living in New Zealand. The opportunities there are limited and the population is minuscule making entrepreneuring difficult. I definitely would love to live back in New Zealand in the future with the family and kids, but until then... Back to the hustle!
Enjoy the photos and feel free to ask any questions about the trip :)