New Zealand Newbies

Hi, it has been a very busy few weeks but we are excited to bring you this blog so you get some of the story so far and if you discover it because you are thinking of moving to New Zealand hopefully it may help.

This is Rick writing this. You need to know so you understand these are my feelings and not necessarily the same as Katey’s. We will put our heads together and bring our first impressions as a joint effort soon I’m sure.

We left the UK on May 4th from Manchester Airport’s Terminal 1 and caught a direct flight to Las Vegas. Katey’s brother and his family live in Summerlin in the suburbs of Vegas. We love visiting there. Our flight to New Zealand was 17th May.

The visit meant we were close to the West Coast of the States and we could fly to New Zealand from Los Angeles which we had a 2 week break between long flights. I recommend this! Trying to entertain a 3 and a half year old for 11-12 hours in a confined and uncomfortable space is no fun. Double that for a direct flight to NZ and I would think that would be quite miserable. It was certainly easier this time to fly to the States than last time when she was 2 as now she is happy to sit with headphones on and watch the kids programs on the flight, but even that grows tired. We bought her a wooden tea party set which passed some of the hours, and we also bought an inflatable cushion which is designed to wedge between Kitty’s seat and the seat in front making her seat a bed. This is well worth the price of around £20 as it helped her comfort and sleep and play. It packs down small too for your hand luggage – photo below. Click here to see it on Amazon.

The flight from LAX to Auckland was due to take off at 2130 so we hoped Kitty would find sleep easily. After a 40 minute delay the plane took off and Kitty slept for around 10 hours. We landed in Aukland at about 0530, we crossed the international date line so we lost the 18th May. Then we had a tight connection to make the 1 hour 20 min flight to Christchurch Airport on the South Island.

For a week or so prior to the flight to New Zealand I was filled with trepidation. Saying goodbye to family was so hard. We were flying to New Zealand, you can’t really fly much further from the UK without starting to come back on yourself. And when you land there isn’t an option to decide ‘nope’ and jump on the next flight back to the UK, we don’t have that kind of bank! I quit my job, Katey has a job in NZ and people relying on her, and no secure job to return to in the UK. Kitty now has us and only us as her direct family, are we being selfish doing this? What if we can’t stand being away from family? Or is it healthy and adventurous to do this? The thoughts and misgivings swirled…

On the positive side I feel we have grabbed life by the scruff of the neck and taken a big risk, we are alive and we want to feel alive. The hours we worked in the UK were long, and caused tension, missed bedtimes and ruined meals. And I can only imagine that would have been worse if I didn’t have the luxury of being mostly home based for my work.

My positive thoughts finally defeated the negative ones as we landed in New Zealand and the cool morning aired my brain out. We were still tense as we rushed almost 1km across the airport with 100kg of suitcases to make the connection. Once we on that flight Kitty and me witnessed the sunrise over the South Island I knew we had done the bravest thing I have ever been a part of, and that felt amazing.

Our first impressions of New Zealand have been nothing but positive. Yes the avocados are damn expensive (£3.50 each equivalent) but the man we dealt with at the bank to finalise our accounts tipped us off about where to get them cheap. Not only that, he hand wrote us a list of places to get certain foods from which we like, and restaurants and cafe’s he recommends, and Facebook groups to join to help us meet people. He has since emailed to make sure we have settled in. And the estate agent we dealt with when we were looking for a rental saw us at the bus stop and turned his car round in order to give us a lift into town, he had already secured our business, but that’s just the New Zealand way seemingly.

It has been all go since landing, we had a limited time to find a house, then buy the furniture for that house we can’t really live without – fridge, washer, beds. We have a car (van) now which we called Tina (thanks for the suggestion Liz and Poppy). We have been to the beach as much as possible and today went to the largest play area in the Southern Hemisphere which is a short drive away. Kitty has been wonderful despite being dragged to dull furniture shops, banks, and car garages, and round houses and supermarkets. Hopefully as more and more of our lives here fall into place the adventures will really begin. We have some exciting road trips planned for next week which we will tell you about in future blogs.


We have a house in Sumner with a tree house. Sumner is a wonderfully relaxed surf town, the house is a minute from the beach and an hour and a half from the ski slopes.

So for now here are a few pics of the beach, the beginnings of our adventure!

Back soon!


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One Comment on “New Zealand Newbies

  1. Oh Rick xxxxxx I can’t begin to tell you how much we’re missing you, but it’s so good to see that you are settling down well. The photos are beautiful. I’m delighted you took mine and Poppy’s idea to name the van Tina and I’m very happy you have a place for cheap(er) avocados! Love you and we love seeing all of your photos and hearing all of your news xxxxx


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