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New Zealand Living

Updated on August 19, 2014

First Week of Living in New Zealand

My family made it to New Zealand on August 4th.​ It is 18 hours ahead from Colorado in time - a long ways from the US. It was a huge amount of culture shock arriving to Winter and people driving very crazy fast on the wrong side of the road!!! I have found it to be quite fun driving though. I just have to learn to look up to the left in the rearview mirror most often. We are set up in a really nice contemporary condo/apartment with 3 bedrooms until our furniture arrives....in 9 more weeks on a ship container.

In the 1st week, we accomplished getting our cell phones switched over, grocery shopped and learned a bit of food names (hamburger is called Minced Meat here and they don't chill eggs in the store as they are super fresh eggs with orange egg yolks), found the kids' schools, found where we will rent our permanent home by the school, and bought 2 cars (I learned to drive on the other side of the road with all of the test driving!). We bought a VW Passat for my husband and a Mitsubishi Outlander in pretty blue for me - hopefully they will be fuel efficient with $8.30/gallon gas prices! They should be a lot better than the 2 huge SUVs we had in Colorado!

Our family traveled South and West the first weekend to see some of this gorgeous country and a wee bit of their wildlife and SHEEP and Dairy cows- hundreds and hundreds!! The first stop was Lake Tekapo (famous pilgrim church built here) and then Lake Pukaki (you'll see this one filmed in the 1st Hobbit movie), and then back East to the coastline to Oamaru where we watched little Blue Penquins swim in from the sea at 6:10 p.m. They waddled up to their nests in groups of 20. Soooo cute!! They are only 30 cm tall and they make the cutest clucking noises. They only have one partner for life - gotta respect that! Both mom and dad sit on their eggs and take turns swimming at sea. Very equal marriage! HA HA!

We learned Monday, Aug. 11th from the bank teller that we slept through an Earthquake (3.1 scale) on Saturday night at 11 p.m. (August 9th). We temporarily live in a condo by a train tracks, so possibly we mistook a train for an actual earthquake...or just slept through it?

We are adjusting easier each day with the extremely kind Kiwi people that we're meeting each day. The lady who stopped by to get our lease papers in order for the house we're going to rent said that people here are going to love our accents from the USA!! Accents? Us? The locals have quite beautiful accents here - and sometimes a bit hard to understand - but I'm sure we'll get along fine!! More soon!


Photos from the First Weekend New Zealand Trip!

These are the cute Blue Penguins - only 30 cm tall.  They cluck so loud with their little chicks!!
These are the cute Blue Penguins - only 30 cm tall. They cluck so loud with their little chicks!! | Source
Beautiful stone church at Lake Tekapo.  This was built by first European settlers in New Zealand.
Beautiful stone church at Lake Tekapo. This was built by first European settlers in New Zealand. | Source
My son and I at Lake Pukaki.  Gorgeous!
My son and I at Lake Pukaki. Gorgeous! | Source
Gorgeous Lake!  I see why it was the lake setting in The Hobbit!
Gorgeous Lake! I see why it was the lake setting in The Hobbit! | Source
Skipping rocks at this Lake are awesome - all the perfect flat kinds!
Skipping rocks at this Lake are awesome - all the perfect flat kinds! | Source
Beautiful Lake and even a small boat to watch float about!
Beautiful Lake and even a small boat to watch float about! | Source

First Weekend New Zealand Travel on Map

A
Christchurch, New Zealand:
Christchurch, New Zealand

get directions

City where Amy lives in New Zealand

B
Lake Tekapo, New Zealand:
Lake Tekapo 7999, New Zealand

get directions

First Stop on Roadtrip. Church of the Good Shepherd was built on the lake front by the first pioneers in the area in the late 1800s.

C
Lake Pukaki, New Zealand:
Lake Pukaki, Canterbury 7999, New Zealand

get directions

Peter Jackson chose this as the setting for ‘Lake-town’ in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.Gorgeous turquoise lake with Mt. Cook in background.

D
Oamaru, New Zealand:
Oamaru, New Zealand

get directions

This was our last stop at 6:15 p.m,. to watch the Blue Penguins swim in to shore and waddle up to their babies in nests the Conservation built.

© 2014 Amy Holyfield

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