One of the best parts about working in New Zealand, we’ve learned, is just how easy it is to experience so much of the country when you’re not working.
New Zealand has a fairly small land area so most places are within easy long-weekend distance. There aren’t very many people here, so traffic is rarely an issue and those beachfront campsites (or a good hotel room) are almost always available. Without a massive highway system like the ones I’m used to in the U.S., we travel on small (and generally well-maintained) roads through gorgeous scenery and towns where I’m tempted to stop for coffee and cake.
With his job at the hospital, Matt works just one weekend per month and gets six weeks of vacation each year (which I think is standard for doctors in New Zealand) and extra days off if he happens to be scheduled on a holiday. At least once a month, he gets a three- or four-day weekend. This all adds up to plenty of time for some good excursions.
A few of our favourites:
You know, I could go on and on about fun travels in NZ: We had a great time exploring the Kauri Coast north of Auckland, loved the bubbling geothermal sights of Rotorura, can’t wait to go back to Wanaka, and were in awe of Aoraki Mt. Cook. My friends visiting from Chicago loved taking the Interislander ferry to the South Island and spending a few days in Marlborough.
You can check out the links from Hospital Staff Solution’s great regional listings or browse around NewZealand.com for inspiration. I love browsing Book a Bach to see cottages or little vacation apartments for rent and like to check out Grab a Seat for cheap airfare within New Zealand.
Up next: Exploring the South Pacific!
Tara Kennon is an American writer living and working in New Zealand’s beautiful Coromandel peninsula. While she interviews macadamia farmers and attempts to learn proper British spelling, her partner Matt is learning the ins and outs of New Zealand’s healthcare system as an emergency physician in a regional rural hospital. This series shares an on-the-ground perspective of their journey from Chicago to this gorgeous little corner of the Southern Hemisphere.