A Travellerspoint blog

Auckland, New Zealand

Finding a home

We've moved from country to country a lot over the last 10 months, but I found the arrival into New Zealand from Indonesia the strangest. It felt like a VERY long way from home (which it is), but weirdly it also felt like home. There were pavements, rain showers, cool breezes and cars stopped for us at zebra crossings. Where had the pollution, crazy scooter drivers and humidity gone?!

We had 6 days to buy a van in Auckland before my Mum and Dad arrived for their two week holiday. We'd told them "No problem, we'll buy a van and chauffer you around New Zealand in that"...it turned out to be a little more stressful than anticipated. Lots of vans were for sale, but unfortunately for us most of them had been converted into full sleepers and had no passenger seats in the back of them anymore. Jason spent hours scouring the internet, local hostels and public notice boards to try and find a van. We also went into rental places to see about hiring a car or van for 2 weeks while my parents were visiting, but "no", they were all fully booked for the Easter holiday. Now for anyone who knows Jason, he is usually very laid back and stress free... so to witness signs of worry and apprehension was very uneasy to see! I was actually the one staying calm for once. We were sat in an internet cafe researching vans, when two Israeli boys came in to put up a 'for sale' poster on the notice board...you guessed it...it was for the perfect van!

We viewed the van and both knew that it was the right one for us. Unfortunately there was a small hurdle to overcome before we could purchase it. There was a chip in the windscreen that needed replacing in 2 days time, but that was fine because the Israeli boys were going to get that sorted through their insurance. The main issue was that the garage doing the windscreen didn't have time to do the WOF assessment (WOF is a sort of MOT that all cars have to have every 6 months in NZ). We didn't feel it was a good idea to buy the van unless we knew the WOF had been done. I gather the Israeli boys had a very stressful day ringing around Auckland garages to find somebody to do the WOF ASAP; we'd told them that we needed the car the next day because of my parents arrival and the fact that it was the Easter Weekend and no post offices were open to do the vehicle registration conversion. Time was running out!

We signed all the paperwork for the car, a Toyota Lucina 'luxury' 1996, and Jason named him Graham.

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Apart from van research, viewing vans and buying a van, we didn't do a lot else in Auckland. We were staying in a really nice hostel in a suburb called Ponsonby, just in a dorm room because that was all we could afford. The price difference between New Zealand and Asia was stark... we were no longer arguing over pence but more £££. There were some really nice shops, restaurants and bars. The main street reminded me of my university days on Ecclesall Road in Sheffield. We walked around Auckland centre and along the harbour front. I wasn't much of a fan of the main shopping centre but the posh part around the wharf was lovely (although everything was out of our budget).

By the time we'd sorted the van we had three nights free before Mum and Dad arrived... what to do?!

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Posted by bloorsontour 00:28 Archived in New Zealand

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Thank goodness you found Graham!! Xxx

by mutsi

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