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Thread: Time to fill you in

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    Dawn's Avatar
    Dawn is offline All Knowing Deity
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    Default Time to fill you in

    Well, well, well! Here we are and it's looking like we're going to be putting some roots down in Hamilton at least for the time being. This country is crazy, every corner turned brings a new perspective. It's been quite a trip.

    Before leaving the UK we booked one way tickets to NZ and on tickets to Australia. When we came to book in we were told that if we were going to AUstralia we had to have visas to enter and they wouldnt let us fly without them, either that or we had to purchase return flights to the UK. Being under pressure with just 30 minutes to board and after AirNZ told us the simplest solution was to buy the return tickets we just did costing us an extra ?2500.

    We only left enough money in the bank account to cover some things we had pending and this extra cost took a significant chunk of that so we knew we'd have financial stuff to sort out practically as soon as we arrived. Not good.

    Then when we arrived in Auckland I got branded a smuggler for having an undeclared apple in my bag and fined $200. Watch this guys because I didn't know I had anything in my bag but none of the customs officers was accepting my explanation. Poppy, who is 5, must have dropped it in there when we left LA and not told me but the guards who were extremely serious and more than little way up their own arses, said I was lucky that it wasn't going on my record as they took these kinds of offences very seriously indeed!! Well Jesus thank God I didn't try to smuggle in a banana or God forbid a melon, they may not have been so lenient with me, I could have been put against a wall and shot!

    So, not the warmest welcome to NZ soil but my own fault I guess. There were loads of signs asking you to deposit 'offending' items in specially provided bins but as I wasn't aware I had any they didn't trigger any responses in me. I can tell you where I would have liked to put my offending apple though.

    Anyways picked up the dogs and they were absolutely fine, very pleased to see us but none the worse for their long trip. We loaded them up into our friends truck and away we went to pick up the campervan. Now then, do not attempt to live in a campervan non stop with three kids for longer than a fortnight. You could well end up with at least one less child. An attractive proposition I know but one that could raise a few eye-brows.

    We left the dogs with six newfy friends to play with in Tuakau and set off on our wirlwind tour. After spending a few days with Taf and WG close to Hamilton we headed off over the mountains to Tauranga, well Mt Maunganui to be exact, it is a beautiful place but not one we'd like to settle in. From there we went up into Rotorua (absolutely loads to do) and then on to Taupo (stunningly scenic) and then across to Napier in the Hawkes Bay. Now, we really liked it here, admittedly it was the nicest, sunniest day we had had and I mean about 20 degrees and strappy top weather so that could have had something to do with it, but the whole place just seemed to have a really nice feel to it. It was relaxed and laid back but really buzzy with a nice arty feel, if we were winemakers (alas and alack sadly not) we would have seriously considered this place. We reluctantly left Napier for Hastings which we didn't like at all and then took the bullet between our teeth and drove the long road to Wellington. I have to say I was disappointed. That stretch of our journey was probably the least impressive. I was looking forward to seeing the |Wairarapa because it had been an area we had thought of settling but we quickly changed our minds. It's funny how that happens. Back in the UK looking through all the different regions, areas and towns we thought we'd or less decided on where we wanted to be, we had definite no no's and definite maybe's but when we got here that all changed. We loved Wellington, it's more like a large town than a capital city the only thing that put us off was that the houses didn?t have as much land with them as we would have liked. We would have needed to head quite a way up the coast for that and then the communities became small and scattered. So it was back up the west coast via the seaside towns that are all wildly stunning and back to Taf and WG in Hamilton. What have they done to deserve that I here you ask, now try to be nice!

    I have loads of other stuff to tell you but that?ll do for now. Suffice to say we have internet access now so I can at least make a few posts, trying to get online whilst travelling is nigh on impossible.!!
    Passionate about the unfathomableness opportunities of kiwi-a-gogo-land

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    MotherBear's Avatar
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    Oh Dawn, I'm so sad that you had a bad start before and upon arrival in NZ, but it's good to hear your other news at last. You could really have done without all that trauma at such an emotional and stressful time. I feel quite out of breath reading your post as you seem to have been tearing around the countryside, making your mind up about places.

    So, Hamilton, eh? Hope you can at least manage to find jobs there and settle while you get a feel for the country. I had a feeling in my water that you'd head back to Ham. Must say I'm rather partial to the place myself, which is just as well.

    Looking forward to hearing how you get on. This will definitely be a 'one to watch'.

    Good luck to all of you as you try to put down some roots. Perhaps Taffy and WG can provide some potting compost?
    Mother Bear

    Try to bloom wherever you are planted.

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    KiwiHopeful's Avatar
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    It's soooo good to hear what's going on, Dawn. I've been on pins and needles waiting for news ... and the bottle of pinot noir is quite chilled by now. Too bad you won't be coming down the Chch to enjoy it. Well, all the more for me.

    Sorry about your bad start at the airport. That really stinks, especially since it was one lousy apple! Maybe Taffy can figure out a way to take up a collection. I'll gladly throw in $20 and another bottle of pinot ... or a nice cab-merlot if you prefer.
    EOI Submitted: July 20, 2006
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    Hi Dawn! Wow, what experiences you've had so far! I am making notes...no apples...that was a bummer! Interesting to hear about the Australian visa, wouldn't have thought of that myself either... now at least, Shellbda and I can prepare for that. Sorry, we didn't get to meet you while we were there on our whirlwind trip, apparently we just missed you in Hamilton. We didn't manage to catch-up with Taffy or WG either! Hmmm...do you think they were scared? Just kidding! I have to admit, I did like Hamilton as well, for the very short time we were there, so if we don't end up in Palmerston North, we might be living there too! Watch out! Good Luck with the rest and hope you succeed with everything.

    Cheers J.

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    Oh what a group we'd make if Shell & BG ended up in Hamilton too

    Seriously, it's great having Dawn & Co staying with us, we've had a right few laughs already - don't even ask about Uncle Albert

    So, we're off tomorrow to help them find a rental property (gotta get rid of 'em somehow ). Methinks there will be some good times to come in and around Hamilton with us lot to terrorise the neighbourhood

    Now, where's those apples.....

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    hi Dawn ...

    love hearing about your adventuers so far ... am feeling very envious that you are in NZ already ;-)

    Just a quickie about your campervan ... did you hire or buy? Only asking as Jon and I are planning to get one when we eventually get our visa.

    Not sure that we can hire, as we'll have our dog with us, and are unable to find anyone whom hires them and allow dogs :-(

    all the best, and I look forward to reading the next chapter,

    Lou
    EOI Submitted 8th July 2007, 140 points no job offer.
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    Dawn,

    wow what a start to your trip you had, not an ideal introduction to your great adventure, but at least you have something to look back on!! We thought about hiring a campervan for our initial wanderings, but decided against in when we realised we would be very much cooped up with our little monsters for a couple of weeks in mid-winter!! Sounds like you did a very similar North Island road trip to us, its just wonderful to see the huge contrasts in the landscape isnt it? I miss the extremes of scenery, but I appreciate the English countryside a lot more too now.

    I hope that you manage to get some R&R now you have "settled" in one place for a while - Taffy and WG are fab aren't they? Only met them briefly when they came over for a cup of tea, but they both seemed so friendly and down-to-earth. Good luck with the house-hunting, and hope that any job-hunting that you and Gary do works out well for you all too.

    OK right I promise I shan't mention I'm just about to make an apple crumble.......you are going to hate that fruit by the end of this thread!! Think Poppy needs to know that an apple a day might keep the doctor away but it sure doesn't keep NZ Customs staff away!!!

    Best wishes to you all

    Maggie and family xx

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maggiemoo View Post
    OK right I promise I shan't mention I'm just about to make an apple crumble.......you are going to hate that fruit by the end of this thread!!
    Mmmmmmm. APPLE crumble. My stomach's rumbling now. Pity we can't get cooking APPLES here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Welshgirl
    Methinks there will be some good times to come in and around Hamilton with us lot to terrorise the neighbourhood
    Oi! Remember those of us who will be following on behind you (hopefully). Don't go alienating the locals before we get there.

    Wanna be in my gang, my gang, my gang.
    Mother Bear

    Try to bloom wherever you are planted.

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    Glenda's Avatar
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    Hi Dawn,

    What a palarver at the airports! We forgot the darn Australian visas too, but they were OK about it when I said I would apply for one when we got to NZ. Had to empty a backpack too because a dog picked up a 'suspicious' smell - they checked the lining and everything but never found anything; felt like a criminal. Still, guess that is life and there are plenty of people who do smuggle things through.

    It is not easy moving to a new country and getting to grips with totally new situations. There is certainly plenty to learn. Do so hope you quickly settle in Hamilton and find that job and home.
    Glenda
    In NZ since June 2005
    Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness - Chinese proverb

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    Dawn's Avatar
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    Glenda, it was one of the sniffer dogs that got me! I reckon Taffy had sent them my photo off of the forum and they had stuck my face on to a stuffed doll and beat the dog with it daily so it would bear a grudge and single me out as soon as I arrived. I fact, I know this is true coz WG told me. honest!!

    Now let me tell you Taffy and Welshgirl are the most fabbiest, wonderfullest, kindliest, filled with generousnous peeps in the whole wide diddly world. They have told us we can stay as long as we want at their house, eat all their food, use all their amenities and everyfing, in fact they are sleeping in the campervan on the drive under the dangly wangly firry tree and we are sleeping in their beds! That's how kindliness they are!! Astoundingly so
    Passionate about the unfathomableness opportunities of kiwi-a-gogo-land

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