When I started off with WorldVentures in August 2014, one of my big “why” or motivation to build this travel business was to create enough passive income for my family. If I could do that, my family could sustain ourselves financially in NZ when we migrate there in November 2015. Also, I would like to spend quality and quantity time with my family, expecially to see my boys grow up, to be there for them.
I have heard that finding a job in NZ is a very difficult thing for a migrant. Often it can take a long time to get a job. Even if I would get a job, the income would not be comparable to that I was getting in Singapore. I guess such a challenge happens everywhere for migrants, especially when one is new to the country. I choose not to blame anyone or any system or any government but to accept this fact and find a way out.
I was praying and WorldVentures came along. The Bible says “Ask and it shall be given to you”. By the grace and goodness of God, 15 months after joining WorldVentures, we were financially freed. Thank you WorldVentures! This story was about our first landing in NZ back in May 2015.
Taking farewell pictures @ Changi airport Singapore before we jet off to Auckland. I love the “Merlion pose”! LOL!!
Landed in NZ!
We were finally here, after 15 hours of travel from Singapore to Auckland. Thank God for the safe journey. Welcome to the Middle Earth Kingdom!
This was our first time to NZ. We applied for our NZ resident visa before we even stepped into this country. So upon getting our resident visa in August 2014, we had to make our first landing here within the next 12 months. This trip was just a short 5 days in Auckland. The main purpose of the trip was to look for a school for my boys and to find a suitable place to stay when we come back again in November 2015.
Got our rental car. Off for some sightseeing!
This place is just a 2 minute drive from Auckland international airport. Butterfly Creek features an amazing indoor display of dinosaurs, fossils, skeletons and allows for fantastic dinosaur photo opportunities for the whole family. We explored Dinosaur Kingdom and learnt about these prehistoric creatures as we walk through the exhibits. There are over 40 dinosaurs in total, some are animatronic which mean they move and roar. We were so amazed!
My boys had so much fun in this mini Jurassic Park here. Guess what, there was hardly anyone around at this time. Sure felt weird!!
Flying creatures. They looked so real!!
Imagine them roaring!!!
This one has a pretty long neck!!
There is a small farm inside the park. We had to take a look!
Joshua loves animals. This little one caught his eye.
The season was changing and the country was entering into winter. The day was getting shorter and by 530pm, it would be pretty dark. We had to make use of daylight to drive to our next place of accommodation. Over there, we would stay for the next 2 days.
Driving in NZ is never boring. I love autumn. Look at the leaves changing their colours. Beautiful, isn’t it?
This comfortable place would be home for the next 2 days.
Munching dinner at a Mediterranean restaurant near our lodge. The food were pure awesome. The weather was freezing out but our bellies were warm.
Wonderful way to end the day.
Out to see Auckland City
We decided to take a ferry out to Auckland city. We drove to this place called Half Moon Bay, parked our car there and hopped onto the ferry.
Every time I see a yacht or a boat, I think of Mark Twain’s quote and I remind myself why I am still alive and doing what i am doing.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
I don’t want to live a life of disappointment. I would rather take some risks and have failed, than to play it safe and die with regrets. That’s me and I believe that i am not alone in this idea. What about you?
Nearing our destination. We could see the famous Auckland Sky Tower. Some interesting facts of the tower from wiki.
The Sky Tower is an observation and telecommunications tower located on the corner of Victoria and Federal Streets in the Auckland CBD, Auckland City, New Zealand. It is 328 metres (1,076 ft) tall, as measured from ground level to the top of the mast, making it the tallest man-made structure in the Southern Hemisphere. It has become an iconic landmark in Auckland’s skyline due to its height and unique design.
Our boat docking in. I love the majesty of this colonial building in the backdrop.
NZ was once under the British colony. Many ancient colonial styled buildings can still be seen here.
I love boys. They are unpredictable.
One moment they were standing as still as the soldier behind…
…the other moment they were flying off!!!
Don’t mess with my iron-boy!
We did a few hours of walkabouts in the city. Time passed quickly and it was time to head back home. The return trip was awesome. I felt entertained by the most beautiful sunset in the world. I am grateful to God to be alive! His creations are awesome!
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. – Psalms 19:1
Such a Beautiful Place
Coming from a small island called Singapore (which i am very proud of), I have little chance to experience a big land, vastness and pure natural beauty. I have a Singaporean friend in New Zealand who called this place “God’s Zone”. I think he’s 200% right about it.
This photo was taken by my eight year old son. Like a perfect wedding photo 🙂
Isaac loves shells and stones. I believe he had a great outing today to the beach.
The people here loves life and they are unhurried.
There’s a rhythm and grace to life here. I love it.
That’s all for today. Tomorrow we would be visiting the Auckland War Museum and Mount Eden.
Auckland War Musuem
The Auckland War Memorial Museum is one of New Zealand’s most important museums and war memorials. Its collections concentrate on New Zealand history (and especially the history of the Auckland Region), natural history, as well as military history.
The museum is also one of the most iconic Auckland buildings, constructed in the neo-classicist style, and sitting on a grassed plinth (the remains of a dormant volcano) in the Auckland Domain, a large public park close to the Auckland CBD.
Hands-on doing Pacific’s art and craft
and learning how to play Pacific’s musical instruments.
Explore . Discover . Learn
There are a lot of learning activities for little ones here. I love the peekaboo discovery boxes.
Joshua, what do you see?
Sir Edmund Hillary
I discovered a section of the museum which archived the exploits of this great Kiwi. I am always fascinated by Everest and even more by the men who would attempt it. Today, it’s a treat and privilege for me to study this man’s life and legacy.
Sir Edmund Percival Hillary (20 July 1919 – 11 January 2008) was a New Zealand mountaineer, explorer and philanthropist. On 29 May 1953, Hillary and Nepalese Sherpa mountaineer Tenzing Norgay became the first climbers to reach the summit of Mount Everest. They were part of the ninth British expedition to Everest, led by John Hunt. Hillary was named by Time as one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.
Hillary became interested in mountaineering while in secondary school, making his first major climb in 1939, reaching the summit of Mount Ollivier. He served in the Royal New Zealand Air Force as a navigator during World War II. Prior to the 1953 Everest expedition, Hillary had been part of the British reconnaissance expedition to the mountain in 1951, as well as an unsuccessful attempt to climb Cho Oyu in 1952. As part of the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition he reached the South Pole overland in 1958. He subsequently reached the North Pole, making him the first person to reach both poles and summit Everest.
People do not decide to become extraordinary. They decide to accomplish extraordinary things.
Nobody climbs mountains for scientific reasons. Science is used to raise money for the expeditions, but you really climb for the hell of it.
You don’t have to be a fantastic hero to do certain things — to compete. You can be just an ordinary chap, sufficiently motivated to reach challenging goals.
In 2015, a film “Everest” was released. The film Everest is a 2015 British-American biographical disaster survival drama film directed by Balthasar Kormákur. It is adapted from Beck Weathers’ memoir Left for Dead: My Journey Home from Everest (2000).
When I saw this movie, I was shocked to learn of the dangers and risks climbers took to conquer this impossible mountain. Perhaps they were not conquering the mountain but they were conquering their own fears. Edmund Hillary would put it this way:
It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.
Off to Mount Eden
Mt Eden (Maungawhau) is one of the most prominent volcanic cones remaining in the Auckland region. Erupted from three overlapping scoria cones, it formed a huge scoria mound with a central crater from the last eruption. Lava flowed out from the base of the mound, and in some places the lava is more than 60 metres thick.
Yeah! We have reached the top of the mountain!
We found a very nice spot to take a family photo.
If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants. – Isaac Newton
After Mount Eden, we checked in to a hotel near the airport for the night. Very early next morning, we would be on our long way back home to Singapore.
Our first landing in NZ had been an eye-opener for us.
We have fallen in love with this beautiful land.