I'm back party peeps. Been an interesting period, that's for sure!!! Did the study thing, happy with a diploma, don't need a degree. Finally teaching first aid again, which is great. Doing some further study, though by distance ed. Here's the kicker though; I just accepted a guiding job based out of Jaffa Land. Yep, that's right; Kreig is migrating North! So there's a WHOLE lot of learning I have to do about NI tracks! I've been accepted for a 3-month dive internship in the Orkney Islands (north of Scotland) next year, so will rip over to Europe for 4 months (a month of adventuring; ok, a week of that kicking back on Crete), but will still - probably - be based in the North when I get back. This new gig is with two fledgling tour companies, a brilliant opportunity to get in on the ground with ambitious owners who are looking to expand into the Pacific Islands and SE Asia. I could be guiding globally after not-too-long. The cherry on top? St John, who I teach for now, are in need of a casual first aid trainer based in Auckland. Winner winner, chicken dinner! Big year: great new job, interesting new location, turn 40 next month, and am able to submit my NZ citizenship application 10th December (appointment already booked). ;) And, I should get to meet a bunch more of you. :) What are some classic tracks to start with in the greater Dorkland area?
closed ! pinnacles, closed tilll easter a lot of the waitakere tracks closed or under Rahui, but technically you can visit them, i think the hillary trail is still all open for its full length. knowing the responsible person you are you will at least disinfect your feet at the cleaning stations unlike 80% of people who don't. the kaimais is a work in progress with long overgrown tracks being cleared. http://www.sporty.co.nz/kaimaicommunity/Kaimai-Tracks/Kaimai-Tracks various tracks around the coromandel, some are mud baths, its not that well connected up... central north island is where its really at, Urewera's has the best podocarp forest by far, on par with westland. day trip or overnighter to pihanga, a lot of minor tracks are clay and get greasy in winter. they can be bad enough to put me off when they are. a lot of coastline is navigable some of it you have to be below half tide to be safe, some though is just boggy soft sand / quick sand in places esp around the mangroves. some is just cliff face even at low tide. watch out for the rocks there's a lot of greasy algae on the rocks esp outside of summer, learn to recognise it and stay off it. in summer its dry and hard, but with rain it quickly goes back to being grease... but its an easy way to escape the big smoke without having to travel far. great barrier island, its not cheap to get there for such a short trip, around $100 each way. one advantage if you can afford it is you can get to the rest of the country quickly because auckland airport services so many other centers. queenstown is still only an hour and a half away, because you can take a jet. theres direct flights to nelson and blenheim as well as most of the serviced north island towns. learn to watch grabaseat and you can get good deals, for the similar price of car fuel on a weekend trip you can get to a lot of other places in the country. i do all my multi day walking in the south island or occasionally the southern north island. if you're going to drive out of auckland, pick your time very carefully, rush hour on a friday is always bad to apalling, long weekends are always apalling, sunday afternoons getting back to auckland in summer can be pretty bad. the thought of bad traffic up here is enough to put me off driving. depending on where you're based you might be able to live outside of auckland if you dont have to commute in normal rush hours. auckland drivers are apalling, get used to it. public transport can be hit and miss depending where you live, get used to it... if you're going to use public transport a lot, do your homework about whats available where in the areas you're looking at living. i chose to live an apartment centrally close to work, its a compromise that I decided to put up with, for me the benefits outweigh the con's. if you've never lived in an apartment before, it may not be for you. you have to choose carefully, a lot of them have paper thin walls and if you dont like neighbours noise, it may not go well. pay attention to where the cycle ways are and see if they will benefit you and think about living near one of those if you have to live in the city. having said that some cycleways are next to busy roads one runs next to a motorway, not my thing.
Bloody hell Wayno, you're a freakin' ray of sunshine, aren't ya! :D
Actually that WAS wayno being upbeat. :-) And I'd agree with pretty much all he said. Kaimanawa-Kaweka's are my pick, followed closely by Te Urewera ... which is unique and way more challenging that many people think. The best aspect of Auckland from a trampers pov, is that every few weeks you're desperate to get the hell out and go bush. Great motivator.
Wayno has nailed it well. In this day and age why anybody would want to migrate to the Super Shitty is beyond me. Everybody tends to vacate the place at weekends, that's why it's so hard to drive into or out of. No matter where you go expect your travel route to be disrupted by road works. Don't expect anything to run on time. Looking to rent somewhere at a fair price, good luck, and you better be fast on your feet to find something. If I didn't have our business and we didn't still have grandchildren still at school (we help with those so their parents can work) Auckland would be my choice to live only if there was nowhere else on the planet earth. If you like swimming you could be hard pressed at times to find a beach that is pollution free.
if you have enough money, life is fine here, if you don't its not. dont rely on the news or current affairs to give you an idea of what it can be like here. much harder for people with kids. i'm only here because my partners work is here and she couldnt get the job she has outside of auckland and won't live anywhere colder. otherwise it would be my last choice of places to live in NZ.
An appartment would be like being back on a sub
unless i'm mistaken, I dont think they extort you for money on subs..
Two great comments! :D "An apartment would be like being back on a sub". "Unless I'm mistaken I don't think they extort you for money on subs...." You're both right. They give you more money for living in shitty conditions. ;) Actually, I'm not worried about rent at all. Because I have absolutely ZERO intention of renting! I'm buying a camper. Traffic is crap? No problemo. I'm already home. Park up and read a book or watch a movie and then cruise on when everyone has finished pulling their hair out. ;) Also, I'm not going to BE in Auckland much. As a tour guide, I'll be spending most of my time OUT of the city. And days off? Yeah, not hanging around Little Beijing then either. No children, no partner, no pets. No expenses except food and fuel. And FINALLY a decent income! So despite never wanting to live in Dorkland, this is gonna be epic!!!
Be interested to hear how you make out on that Kreig. Best have a budget for fines, parking wardens operate 24 hours a day seven days a week. No streets are sacred as far as parking wardens are concerned.
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