Located on the Southwestern shore of Waitemata Harbour lies Herne Bay. The streets are lined with marine villas with their own jetties and boat houses. The main stretch of Jervois Street is home to cafes, second hand bookshops, wine bars and restaurants. It’s a five minute walk to hipster suburb Ponsonby, a stones throw away from the beach, and a casual 30-minute stroll into work. Bliss.
We had our offer accepted on apartment 6 at 71 Sarsfield Street last week and moved in on Friday. It was our number one choice out of all the weird and wonderful places we had viewed – mainly for that beautiful view of the water and your own personal beach – we were beyond ecstatic when we found out we had got it, the rental market here is crazy and there is lots of competition when you’re trying to find a place.
Our first week in the house has been ups and downs. The apartment, like most in Auckland, was not furnished so we’re living in a big empty space until we get our first pay cheques. We have invested in only the essentials – a fridge, some second hand chairs and a large jar of peanut butter. The rest can wait.
Our view is currently tainted by scaffolding as the builders are fixing the roof and building us a balcony. It means our rent is cheaper until all the works have been done though so I can’t complain. The apartment is beautiful, it was once a huge beach house that has now been transformed into six spacious apartments. It has an amazing smell which I struggle to describe – a cross between the smell of wood you get when you go into a historical home, crossed with freshly painted, DIY’ed restoration.
The clouds are particularly awesome here. In a massively geeky way I’m keen to get a cloud formation book so I can identify the different types. The sunsets look like giant oil paintings outside our window.
We discovered the best fish and chip shop IN THE WORLD at the top of our road, Fishsmith, which sells stupidly cheap squid and lots of other fresh fish for half the price of UK fish and chips.
I’m guessing our boxes of worldly possessions are currently somewhere between the South Atlantic and Indian Ocean, and should (hopefully) arrive mid-April. For now we continue to semi live out of suitcases with makeshift furniture we have picked up second hand or off the street. Anything that was broken (fridge, cooker, washing machine, you name it) has been fixed by Matt’ll Fix It For You, the resident handyman.
We’ve been exploring further afield and found some incredible stretches of beaches and nature outside of the city. Bethells Beach in the Waitekere Ranges was dreamy. Apart from some surfers and a couple of people horse riding, we had the entire beach to ourselves.
This is the first beach we explored outside of Auckland since we landed. It felt good to sink our toes into the sand, paddling in the shallows of the water, getting back to mother nature watching the choppy waves crashing down on the beach.
We visited the Coromandel Peninsula this week, which was a breathtaking drive through Jurassic Park like forest to beautiful expanses of coastline.
I got stung by a bee on the way in the car! And had another climbing on me at the beach when I was trying to video Bronka surfing. Apart from sharks there isn’t much that will hurt you in NZ but they do have a lot of itchy bugs. I’m counting my mozzie bites on both hands.
We spent the day at Hot Water Beach, so named because at certain tides you can dig into the sand to find hot water and create a hot tub out of sand.
Next week its back to business. Matt starts work Monday and I have some interviews coming up for roles with immediate starts. The Easter Weekend is in a few weeks and we’re planning a trip North to do some snorkelling on Goat Island.