The North Island is actually quite different to the South. I used to come to New Zealand with my Dad – both my parents were born in Wellington, as were my maternal grandparents. I did the whole North Island tour thing with Dad (as well as the South Island). He hired a car and we visited relatives in Dannevirke, went to Rotorua, Lake Taupo and so on. Each time we hopped across the ditch from Sydney, my mother refused to come with us.
Once she left Wellington, she vowed never to return saying it’s a small, boring, windy city. I never understood her dislike for NZ’s capital city. I think it’s the quirkiest city and the coffee you get in cafes is sensational. What’s a bit of wind? Heck, we have gale force winds in Canterbury where I currently live in the South Island.
We decided awhile ago that the South Island isn’t for us long term. Sure, it’s majestic and has less people (a bonus since I dislike over-populated areas) but the Nor’westers are a major issue for us. We’ve lost around 20 large eucalyptus trees since we bought the property nearly five years ago. Previous owners grew these water-suckers for firewood but never trimmed or chopped them down.
Where we live is also probably a little too isolated, although we are close enough to Christchurch to go there for a big day out. Christchurch was, of course, basically flattened by the 2011 earthquake so we feel we’d rather be nearer Auckland or Wellington. El Hubs also wants a warmer climate and parts of the North Island get pretty hot in Summer.
We have chosen the area we wish to live and I’ll tell you that it’s the Wellington rather than Auckland area. I’m happy about this because I have an emotional attachment to Welly since my Dad was born in Island Bay and my mother in Lyall Bay. Now that we’ve made the decision, we will choose the time to move. Could be within a year or maybe a bit longer. I’m looking forward to being able to spend the day shopping in Welly or just walking along the promenade around the harbour.
Zeph, Zsa Zsa and the horses will come with us and we think we’ll probably take Splash and her baby too. That reminds me, I don’t think I’ve posted a photo of Splash with her baby (who is now 9 months old and no baby). I’ll get a photo soon.
What I’m really looking forward to is downsizing. I carted a lot of stuff with me when we moved from Oz. I thought to myself: I might need this; I might need that. But there’s a lot of stuff I haven’t used since we arrived, so I’m going to radically prune things when we move. Get rid of some furniture, books, clothes and so on.
For personal items, if I haven’t used it within the last year, it’s going. For furniture, we’ll take minimal stuff because we’ll be building a house up North rather than buying one. Since El Hubs is an architect, it’s the opportunity to finally design the proverbial dream home. The problem with architects though is that nothing is ever perfect hahahaha!
Soft rolling hills are a common sight in the North Island, plus lush vegetation.
It’s New Zealand so of course – sheep!!
The beaches are hauntingly beautiful. It’s not the golden sand I’m used to of Sydney’s beaches. But you often see soft, sandy stretches of grey or black sand, complete with driftwood.