New Zealand


With 19, I decided to travel to New Zealand by myself.  At this time I didn't know much about New Zealand and I didn't know that this trip will change my life.

I decided to work as an Au-pair for a family of four in Twizel. Twizel is a tiny village on the South Island. There live 1100 inhabitants and twice as many sheep. 

I never thought, that I would like this village so much.

It was not only the place that inspired me so much. It was the way how the people there lived life.

New Zealanders, called Kiwis, are the most open-minded and warm-hearted people I have ever met.

But the start in the Kiwi life was not as easy as I thought. On the one hand I hardly understood the New Zealand English and on the other hand driving on the left side was also a big challenge for me. And yes I was a ghost driver a few times.  My luck was that there was hardly any oncoming traffic.

First Roadtrip

After a few weeks I already had my first "vacation week". I decided to travel the South Island. I did not want to do the roadtrip alone so I looked for a travel companion via the online Backpacker Newzealand site.

A few days later I was already on the road towards Te Anau with a young funny Dutchman.

We spent the first nights in an alpaca hostel, where we also made some new friends. The reason for the visit to Te Anau was the famous Milford Sound. The boat trip was very touristy and that not without reason.

Milford Sound is incredible beautiful, or bette said mystical, as if you were on another planet.


Our journey continued to the south of the South Island. Lonely beaches, wide green pastures and untouched nature awaited us. I walked the beaches, screamed with joy and could not believe my luck. The beauty of nature in New Zealand simply can not be put into words.

But unfortunately my kitschy beautiful New Zealand dream burst after only two months.

My AuPair father gave me notice without warning so I was without a job and with little money. Afterwards it was the best thing that could have happened to me.


But I was lucky, after a few days I found a family that wanted to hire me as an Au-pair. 

They lived in Twizel on a large farm, with many sheep, cows, dogs and horses. From the terrace you could even see Mount Cook. But not only the place was fantastic, but also the family. My AuPair parents were incredibly friendly and the kids were really cute cheeky farm kids.


This was the REAL New Zealand dream!


My time on this farm changed me.

I finally felt free, happy and had the feeling that I could achieve everything I wanted in my life.


Two months later, it was time to say goodbye. New adventures were waiting for me.

But saying goodbye to this wonderful family and especially to Twizel was not easy for me.  I was so incredibly grateful for this wonderful and also instructive time.

The family planned a Christmas party on the farm. But everything turned out differently...

The night before, on December 24, I was out with friends. We crossed the farm area, which belonged to two of the guys, with the off-road vehicle. It was already dark, the starry sky was incredibly brilliant that day.


We had a small stream to cross, but it was no problem for the car.

But all of a sudden we stopped, the electronics turned off and I didn't know what had happened.

When I saw the water rising by my legs, I realized everything. Out of shock, I tried to open the car door, but the flow of water was too strong...

We landed in the middle of a river.


Our luck was that the friend behind me opened the window just before to get some fresh air. I don't want to know what would have happened if she hadn't done that.


From that point on, I couldn't remember the next few minutes. The boys pulled me out of the small car window. And then it was time to swim... When I arrived at the shore, it took less than two minutes and the car was no longer visible.

Now we stood there, soaking wet and in shock in the middle of the night on a huge farm area. Our cell phones and even my passport with visa were now in the river. But luckily we finally got help after a few hours...

After a low comes a high

The accident made me realize how quickly life can be over and that nothing in this world can be taken for granted. I thought a lot about life during this time. My host family, my family at home and my friends supported me a lot during this difficult time.

After I recovered, it was time for Nina and me to say goodbye to Twizel and all the wonderful people who lived here.

I met Nina at the beginning of my time in New Zealand, she also lived in Twizel and worked as an Au-pair. Already after our first meeting we decided to celebrate our birthday together in Queesntown. Since that weekend we were inseparable. We decided to explore New Zealand together after our Au-pair time.

Dreamed and done. We finally started our hitchhiking, wwoofing and couchsurfing adventure.

Nina and I were the travel dream team. A mere acquaintance turned into a life-long friendship.

We hitchhiked to Queenstown, a small town 200km south of Twizel. Queenstown is THE place for adventure. The first week we enjoyed life. Since the hostels were very expensive we decided to work for accommodation and food, so called Wwoofing. After a short time we found a job in Queenstown. But since we were totally unhappy there after two weeks, we decided to quit and continue traveling.


Bye Queenstown

Of course we made a stop in Queenstown. The hikes around this place are gorgeous and there are countless activities. Whether you want to eat a famous Ferg burger or ride the Skyline Gondola to the top of Bob's Peak for a beautiful 220-degree view of Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding mountain ranges.


We loved Queenstown, but after an exciting Queenstown month, we had to head towards Christchurch. Nina and I got a visit from my brother, a friend and Nina's cousin. To make the time together unforgettable, we organized a camper with a roof tent in Christchurch. The camper got the name "Rita".

The big reunion

When I saw my brother at the airport, the tears just rolled down. It was an incredible feeling to finally see my brother after five months again and to be able to hold him in my arms.


After our coudles, we startetd packing "Rita" and headed towards Kaikoura. Auf den Weg dorthin fühlten wir uns wie im Jurassic Park. Wir alle kamen aus dem Staunen nicht mehr raus. Nach zweieinhalb Stunden Fahrt kamen wir in Kaikoura an wo wir uns gleich mit den dort beliebten Fish and Chips den Magen füllten. Gesättigt und glücklich fuhren wir zu unserem ersten Campingplatz und ich muss ehrlich sagen, dies war mit Abstand der schönste Campingplatz auf dieser Reise!



One camper, five travelers and many adventures

I have to say that three weeks for both islands are much too little. It is better to choose only one island for this period.

We made our way from Kaikoura to Twizel, where we introduced our family and friends to our host families. It was so nice to see everyone getting along so well. But the most beautiful thing was how they start loving Twizel in such a short period of time.

After our final farewell to Twizel, we continued our journey to the west coast. Of course, we made a stop in Queenstown. Strengthened with a Ferg burger, we plunged into the famous nightlife there. We partied until the early morning hours and when we came back to "Rita" we had a little shock. On the windshield was a ticket for unauthorized camping of 250 NZD. Ouch that hurt! The 250 NZD were not planned in our travel budget....

But we didn't let that spoil our good mood, because for us it was now time to see the beautiful west coast.


The Westcoast is a wild region of rivers, rainforests and glaciers. We visited Punakaiki, the Pancake Rocks, Hokitika and the Fox River. 

After the first one and a half weeks we were now ready for sun, beach and sea. For this Abel Tasman was perfect! Beautiful golden sandy beaches with clear water. We could have relaxed there for a few weeks without any problems.


To add a bit of action to our trip, we decided to do a kayak tour in the Abel Tasman National Park. With our small round of four kayaks we spent wonderful hours in the national park. From the distance we even spotted seals! We made a short stop in a beautiful bay where we could cool off in the sea.

And yes kayaking is exhausting! Especially in the sea with waves. We let the day end at the campsite with home-cooked dinner and a few card games. The next morning we took the ferry to the North Island.

Arrived in Wellington we decided to have lunch at a fish restaurant right next to the sea. Wellington is a very special city, artists and good-humored people were everywhere on the streets. The beach was right next to the city and from our campsite we could see the whole city. Normally I am not really a city fan, but Wellington convinced me!

Things you must see in Wellington:

Wellington Cable Car

Mount Victoria Lookout

Cuba Street

Te Papa Museum 

Harbour Side Market

Weta Cave

From Wellington we drove on to Tongariro. Where we hiked the famous Tongariro Crossing trail with 19.4km. We had to climb over a thousand meters of altitude, but we were rewarded with an incredible view.

We had two hotspots left for our trip! And that was Hobbiton (which my brother was looking forward to the most) and a Maori Village visit in Rotorua. Quite touristy, but well we were tourists too.


Rotorua is known for its hot springs, geysers, bubbling mud holes and rich Maori culture. There are several Maori villages which you can visit. 

The most famous war dance of the Maori is called "Haka". With this dance they put their enemies to flight. The dance can be quite scary. My brother and I tried to imitate the tongue sticking out scare maneuver. We didn't look that scary, though.

After boiling an egg in the mud in Rotorua and practicing our Haka dancing skills we were ready for Hobbiton, the charming village from Lord of the Rings.

Hobbiton was built in 1999 on a private sheep farm. After eight months of construction, 39 cottages were completed. The proud entrance fee is 84 NZD for an adult. But it is worth it! And not to forget, you get a beer in the famous "Green Dragon" at the end.

The visit to the Hobbiton is definitely worth it!

Our trip ended in Auckland. I must honestly say that traveling with five people was not easy at all. The space was tight, the needs were different and so got into fights sometimes. But the beauty of New Zealand made up for all the little difficulties and made our trip unforgettable!

Time for Aussie

In Auckland we all said goodbye to each other. Our family flew back home and Nina continued to travel New Zealand, but this time by herself. 

What did I do? I decided to explore Waiheke Island for a few days. However, since my wallet was already a bit strained, I decided to do couchsurfing. I ended up staying with an incredibly nice family. There was always good food, inspiring conversations around the campfire and relaxing hours by the sea. It was exactly what I needed after the camping trip! 


After four days of rest, it was time for me to say goodbye to New Zealand. Now Australia was waiting for me! And in Australia also my best friend, whom I had not seen for six months!

New Zealand stole my heart

Countless tears flowed as I said goodbye - but I knew I will come back someday...

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