New Zealand by the Month: July 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 , April , May , & June recaps and then come back here for July!

What Happened:

I spent the first 2 weeks of June exploring a tiny portion of the South Island, including Nelson, Abel Tasman National Park, and the Buller Region of the West Coast. I did a lot of hiking in those 2 weeks, which felt incredible. I hadn’t done much hiking yet in New Zealand, so it was nice to get back outside and move.

I then spent 2 1/2 weeks in Picton, the little town where the ferries come in from the North Island. I was hostel-sitting/cat-sitting while the owners were away, so I had a free place to stay in exchange for some work. I spent most of that time working on the blog, a lot of it behind-the-scenes. I was lucky to have had beautiful weather in Picton most of the time I was there; even so, I didn’t do all of the walks I had hoped I would.

And to end the month of July, I made way back to Hot Water Beach! I didn’t think I’d end up back here so soon–I figured if I did come back at all, it would be in the height of summer, not the tail-end of winter. But I’m here. I needed a job and they welcomed be back with open arms, while other places in New Zealand still aren’t hiring just yet.

Looking Forward:

I’m not sure how long I’ll be working at HWB this time around. I believe my visa technically only allows me to work for the same employer for a total of 6 months, which leaves me 4 more months. I’m not totally sure if I want to stay that long, but I am looking to focus the next few months on saving up money. I just know that I’m happy to have a paying job, a place to live, and time to work on the blog and other projects–and time to plan my next adventure!

Monthly Budget:

Accommodation: $431 NZD / $310 USD

Transportation: $281 NZD / $202 USD

Food: $317 NZD / $228 USD

Activities: $128 NZD / $92 USD

Toiletries: $27 NZD / $19 USD

Books: $45 NZD / $32 USD

Mobile Plan: $20 NZD / $14 USD

Total Spent: $1,249 NZD / $900 USD

Well, I spent almost half as much in July as I did in June, so that’s a good start. While $12oo NZD still sounds like a lot to me, it’s actually pretty good for a full month–although half was spent traveling and half was spent sitting in one place without many expenses. Which brings me to my ultimate recommendation for traveling in New Zealand: use work exchange/woofing to your advantage. There are so many opportunities in NZ and it’s just about the only way to travel here on a budget.

Now I get to settle in for a few months and save up more money, so I’m feeling quite relieved.

July Blog Posts:

Wai-O-Tapu: New Zealand’s Thermal Wonderland: A photo diary from my (foggy) day at Wai-O-Tapu, just outside of Rotorua. This place is filled with incredible geological and thermal features.

Rotorua’s Government Gardens: A place of interest in Rotorua–a free park with beautiful gardens, art, and museums.

Staying at Haka Lodge Taupo: A review of my time at Haka Lodge, a “flashpackers” hostel in Taupo.

Napier: The Art Deco City: An essay and photo diary about the art deco architecture of Napier.

MTG Hawke’s Bay: A place of interest in Napier. The Museum/Theatere/Gallery has great exhibits on art and the Hawke’s Bay earthquake of 1931.

New Zealand by the Month July 2016

Pin image to save & share!


By Courtney Minor

Wandering around and writing about it.

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: