2 weeks in NZ already and a lot has been happening!
We came here with two goals:
1. To spend more time with our NZ family & friends.
2. To explore NZ as fully as we've explored Australia.
In order to achieve both these goals we've decided to spend a year based in Nathan's home town. This way we can spend plenty of time with the family, fully immerse ourselves in the community, and (hopefully) save enough money for the rest of our adventures without eating into our Aussie savings.
So with all of that in mind the last fornight has been a bit of a whirlwind - we've bought a second car (the Pajero has cleared customs but still has to clear compliance and be registered), both got jobs (Nathan actually got three jobs, and had to turn the others down! And mine doesn't start for a few weeks), and moved into a rental (easier than expected considering we have no rental or employment history!) which we've now filled with new to us 'stuff' as cheaply as possible (lots of second hand bargains with a bit of Kmart flat pack thrown in!). Plus Ryan is enrolled in the local school & will start this week which he is super excited about.
Here's what we've learned:
- Suddenly working a 45 hour week as a Carpenter after three years off may actually kill you.
- Kiwi wages aren't great. We'll both be earning roughly $7-9/hr less than we would for equivalent jobs in Melbourne. And significantly less than we have been getting working agency/casual/sub-contracting. And no, that doesn't seem to equate to a lower cost of living, in fact most things seem to cost more here. There's a reason we find so many Kiwis in Aussie!
- And rents are high. We're paying more for a teeny little 3 bedroom in an average sized town on a sub divided block than our own large 4 bedroom on the outskirts of Melbourne is rented out for.
- Don't bother expecting a car to ship or arrive on a certain date, and certainly don't rely on it! Perhaps we'll get it this week? Who knows 🤷♀️
- Kiwis may actually be even more laid back than Aussies.
- Shoes are optional. Even at school 😁👍
- If it hits the high 20's all Kiwis are legally obliged to start saying "gees it's hot" or "how about this heat" every half an hour or so. It's forecast to reach 30 next week, so they may all start dropping dead.
We've also scored a sweet as old tent dug up from the basement at Nathan's parents house, so I forsee lots of weekend camping adventures in the North Island coming our way very soon!
So watch this space for more updates as we settle into 'real life' for the first time in a long time...