“Not sure, we are just going to buy a van and drive around until we find someplace we like (says us)”
“Yep, we plan on doing a circumnavigation of the North Island and check out everything we have seen in pictures and guidebooks to see if we want to live there”
And that is exactly what we did. We hit the West Coast to check out Raglan, New Plymouth (and surf highway), Waitomo, and all the little towns in between, and learned the locals say “West is Best”. We then continued on to Wellington (love the city but did not like the nickname Windy Welly), Napier, Gisborne, and finally back to Mount Maunganui. While we don’t doubt the West Coast would be a great place to live, Tauranga and Mount Maunganui is the winner and the place we will be calling home for the next year.
We love the East Coast beaches, the clear water, and the sunny days. With Tauranga being the fastest growing city in New Zealand, we were able to find jobs within two weeks of looking especially with the upcoming summer season. It is also only 45 minutes away from some great fishing lakes and rivers, 2 hours from the extreme sport paradise Taupo, and has some great surrounding surf towns such as Whangamata and Whakatane. The only bummer is the East Coast is a bit wave starved at the moment as cyclone season does not hit until November which brings most of the waves to the area. But the good news is it’s only a 2 1/2 hour drive from Raglan so we have already made a day trip and plan on making a couple more on our time off. We also plan on doing a East Cape road trip at some point as well.
We are so stoked to have found a cool little house by the beach and have been settling in to the Mount scene. If you are ever in the Tauranga area, be sure to check out the Mount and all it has to offer!