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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Whangarei, New Zealand

May 16, 2009 - May in Whangarei

Since we’ve been pretty bad about updating the journal regularly recently and since we’re both working full time now, it’s time to explain a few things about our life here… My First Week of Work I spent the week training with the girl I’m replacing. It’s fun working at a college with lots of interesting people around. The work is interesting too. Mike and I drive together and park in between our works and each walk about 5 minutes to our offices. I think I’m going to enjoy this job. I do enjoy morning tea (time). One thing our jobs have in...

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May 10, 2009 - Week 44 – Week ending 10 May 2009 – North Island, New Zealand

We are awake early on Monday and after breakfast we get the van hooked up and we are on the road just after 10am. Before we left the van park I loaded up with feijoa’s from the tree right beside the van. They seem to ripen within a few days so I will have a good supply. We are headed for Clarks Beach which is about 50km south of Auckland, on the Manukau Harbour and surrounded by a golf course. We arrive at the Clarks Beach Holiday Park around lunch time and check in and get our van set up. We are paying $30/night which is Ok as it is right...

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May 4, 2009 - The Visit from the Kid

Mike’s youngest brother Daniel AKA “D” came to town last Sunday. He brought with him good weather (it stopped raining the day he got here after two straight weeks of showers) and good luck. I had a second job interview on Wednesday and found out today that I officially GOT THE JOB! I’m writing to you as the new online communications manager at NorthTec, the leading tertiary education provider in Northland (in other words a community college). I will be managing the content of their website and doing some marketing. To put it mildly, I am...

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Apr 2, 2009 - Didymo

Say hello to our new cat Didymo! Well, actually her name is still up for discussion. When we picked her up her tag said Smoochy Fellenbaum. Becca wants to keep it that way. Didymo is an invasive algae otherwise known as rock snot. We picked her out on Saturday and she won her hearts with her affectionate nature and healthy curiosity, not to mention her front claws and (hopefully) hunting ability. Lots of people here have outdoor cats to keep the rodents away. For the first 10 days we’re keeping her in a spare bedroom to get her used to the...

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Mar 27, 2009 - Our Fruit Trees

Mike made a post on the hospital message board last week that he was looking for furniture. A co-worker (from Texas!) mentioned he had an extra futon. Well, we went over to pick up the futon and the sucker was BIG, way too big for our station wagon. Anyhow, we met his really lovely Kiwi wife and their brand new 3 day old puppies. We thought we'd just come back to pick up the futon when we could get our hands on a truck but they insisted on bringing it over in their trailer. They followed us home and as the boys were unloaded the furniture...

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Mar 25, 2009 - Riverside

After 10 days staying at Pataua South and enduring a more than 30 minute drive on windy roads to town/work (each way) in exchange for the most amazing ocean view, we got the keys to 76 Mackesy Road, Riverside and moved in – all 4 duffel bags! We’ve spent this first week and a half in our new home scoping out garage sales, newspaper and online bargains and local auctions. It’s not too poorly furnished so far. We have a bed, desk, dining room table and chairs, a couple of dressers and the basic kitchen and bathroom necessities. Most...

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Mar 8, 2009 - Pataua Bay

It rained in Russell. The Bay of Islands, which is what you go to see when you go to Russell, is a beautiful spot filled with yachts, fishing boats, sailboats, beaches, historic buildings and pretty little islands everywhere. We didn’t get to see much of it because it rained almost the entire time we were there. This was not your average drizzle. Gusts of wind were up to 150km per hour and the downpour lasted the better part of 48 straight hours! We read and enjoyed being the only guests in our two room hostel. The hostel owner, Ron, came...

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Mar 1, 2009 - The House Hunt

The morning after celebrating Mike reentering the workforce, we woke up with one mission: to find a place to live. We drove all over town, visited rental agencies, scanned web sites and the newspaper and generally made ourselves as car sick as possible looking for a place. Three days later we had some good options with the weekend to focus and think things over. We’ve taken a three bedroom house right near town that makes up for being totally stuck in the 70s by having a million dollar view of the city, harbor, mountains and forest. The key...

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Feb 25, 2009 - Whangarei

When we set out to move to New Zealand and get residency, the plan was to find jobs and move to a fun town. Well, we did it! Mike interviewed for a job in the IT department of the Northland District Health Board and was offered the position the same day. The job will be working with end users to support their existing applications, clinical and non-clinical, and implementation of new ones (special thanks to Mike’s references! - Lauren, McGinn and Walt). The funny thing is this is the first place we came to outside of Auckland so we feel...

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Aug 3, 2008 - Pataua to Whangarei North Island 13 to 14 July 2008

Jeff After the incessant rain of yesterday which began 1 hour into our 3 ½ hour walk, we awoke to a beautiful day. The camp site is near by to the Pataua River Mouth on the left, which is a safe swimming bay with a small outlet to the sea, and a bay at the sea end of the Taiharuru River Mouth on the right. This one is more wild and suited to fishing and surfing. Between the two rivers is a hill which was once a Maori fortress, topped by a climbable rocky outcrop. This is a great place to bring children in good weather. I fancied trying the...

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Apr 3, 2008 - Whangarei

Wednesday - visited local shops - villages here look like the town out of Crocodile Dundee outback villages - really strange. Moved on - stopped at Waipu. This was originally settled by the Scottish, and has a good community spirit. Again everyone friendly and helpfull. On to Whangarei - pronounced Fan - gee - ri by Kiwis, and we are now officially "poms", but here it's not meant as an insult - only because w'ere british. This place is a lot bigger - more like Southampton. Weather warm and humid - rain spells are short and sharp, but they...

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May 10, 2007 - Auckland to the Bay of Islands - heading North on the East Coast

Our trip began quite late on Thursday night and getting stuck in the rush hour traffic of Auckland city didn't help our quick getaway. Our first night was spent about two hours North at a place called Snells Beach, there wasn't much to see or do there but it was the first taster of being in the van. The following day we meandered through the windy hilly roads of the East coast Northland towards Goat Island which is the country's first marine reserve. The island hasn't been occupied with goats for 120 years and you're unable to set foot on...

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