4. Find a cosy place to stay

When you’re thinking about your ‘year’, please don’t see it as moving to another place as you would move within your home country. It’s just a year. You don’t need all your furniture or other stuff, do you? Believe us when we say, all important stuff will fit in a large suitcase.

An extended holiday

Think about the upcoming year and it will feel like very long period of time, but think about the past year and it will feel like ‘a couple of weeks’. We realized that it makes things so much easier if you perceive your adventure year as an extended holiday. The truth is, you don’t need more stuff for 12 months than you would need for a 4 weeks holiday. No need to buy any furniture either. It would just add a lot of hassle to get rid of it in a very short time towards the end of your stay. In New Zealand you can’t just sell all your belongings on the last day. Selling is always a long term process as there are fewer people who would potentially be interested in buying. Unless you want to sell stuff very cheap (or give it away for free). Try to keep things simple, and relax. 🙂


Enjoying the shallow waves at Ruby Bay, between Motueka and Nelson

How to find a fully furnished house

When we looked for accomodation, we started out checking the rental house market. Most people in NZ own their own house. Renting is typically something to fill gaps, but not to live permanently there. And unfortunately, rental houses are usually without furniture, see the offerings on Trademe (New Zealand’s Ebay). So we needed a different approach.

Nelson/Tasman is a tourist region so we looked at holiday homes for rent. Yes. That idea paid off!

There are several online portals to book a holiday house, or a so called ‘bach’, as those little summer-vacation houses are called in New Zealand:

Fully furnished waldorf castle from the school's dollmaking group

Fully furnished Waldorf castle from the school’s doll-making group

Expensive rent? It depends

Don’t be distracted by the high rates per night that those online portals display. Holiday houses are usually fully booked only from mid December to mid February. That’s when they easily get $350 per night. But not so during the off-season periods. Ask the landlords politely if they would be interested in renting out their house for a whole year and you may be surprised how low the prices can go. An old non-insulated house should be available for around $250 a week, a reasonable high-standard home may cost $400-$500 a week. Electrical power and Internet is sometimes included, but not always.

Some hosts may tell you that they are happy to rent out their home for a whole year except for the 2 months peak season when they can make much more cash via short term tenants/guests. When we checked our options, we wanted safety and dropped all those offerings, but in the end we extensively traveled around on the South Island for 7 weeks in the summer holidays and our rented house kept empty for that whole period. So we could have taken any of those “whole year, except summer” offerings and probably could have saved quite a bit of money.

Most houses in Motueka have at least one citrus tree in the backyard

Most houses in Motueka have at least one citrus tree in the backyard

Our tip:

Try to arrange your accommodation via the Internet to avoid stress and hassle at arrival. Your hosts may ask for 2-weeks rent to be paid in advance. Make sure you include some sort of exit clause in your agreement just in case the pictures were misleading and the house is not meeting your quality expectations.

Next: 5. Book the shortest flight you can find


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