New Zealand by the Month: April 2016

I’m recapping every month I spend in New Zealand while here on my working holiday. I’ll be rounding out my thoughts thus far, what I’ve done, and (most importantly) my monthly budget. Check my March 2016 recap and then come back here for April!

What Happened:

In the last days of March, I arrived at Hot Water Beach on the Coromandel of the North Island. I’ve spent the last month working 6 days a week at a campground here (or Holiday Park as they call it) as a housekeeper. I live on the campground as well, in my own little cabin. I don’t have a car and there is no public transportation of any sort around here. Hot Water Beach is a pretty remote place, so I can’t even walk to a shop for groceries or anything of the sort.

So with most days spent working and no way to get around, I haven’t done much in the way of exploring this past month. I have been able to spend some time in Hahei on my days off, where I’ve done some walks–most notable was the walk to Cathedral Cove, but you’ll see more about that soon. Basically, my life has been really quiet and simple recently. I am saving up a lot of money, though, which is the point of me being here, so all is well.

Looking Forward:

I will continue to work here on Hot Water Beach for the month of May, so my life will more or less be the same as it has been. There won’t be any traveling or much exploring, but I will keep saving money for future travels. I’m going on a roadtrip with my friend in June, so I will definitely be doing some planning over the next month. Blog-wise, you can expect more posts from my time thus far in New Zealand, as well as more posts from past travels back in the U.S.

Monthly Budget:

Rent: $120 NZD / $82 USD

Food: $410 NZD / $281 USD

Toiletries: $87 NZD / $59 USD

Wifi: $60 NZD / $41 USD

Misc: $64 NZD / $44 USD

Total Spent: $741 NZD / $508 USD

Looking at my budget tells me a few things: first off, food is expensive. Every time I head to the grocery store I realize that more and more. Back in the U.S., I would never spend more than $200 a month on groceries (and that’s splurging). Here, even after converting back to U.S. currency, I’m spending quite a bit more. To be fair, I don’t limit myself on groceries and it’s just about the only thing I do spend money on.

The other thing I realize more and more is how the conversion rate is going to screw me over when I return to the U.S. (wah). That’s why I like to keep track of everything in both NZD and USD, that way I’m not totally surprised (and disappointed) at the end of my time in New Zealand at how much money I have. But overall, I didn’t spend much and I put some money away for my roadtrip next month!

April Blog Posts:

The First 24 Hours in New Zealand

Thoughts on Auckland

Auckland Art Gallery

A Quick Guide to Devonport

A Day on Waiheke Island

Paihia & the Bay of Islands

New Zealand by the Month April

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By Courtney Minor

Wandering around and writing about it.

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