STW Roundup: Month 7

A new monthly series

I’ve decided to start a monthly series to update on what James and I have been doing. I should have started sooner so unfortunately we’ll be starting on month number seven (counted from when we started our travels back in February 2015). This is mainly for our own personal records, as well as for my friends’ and family’s benefit, but also so that my blog doesn’t become too bogged down with ‘how to…’/ ‘5 reasons to…’ type posts.

So, August. We’ve been in Auckland for three and a half months!


This month we FINALLY bought AT Hop cards, which are transport cards you can top up and use on buses, trains and ferries around Auckland. They offer 20% off standard fares and only cost $5. Similar to Oyster cards, I’m not sure why we didn’t get them sooner as we’ve made our money back on them after a couple of trips!

AT Hop: Getting around in Auckland, New Zealand
AT Hop card: a great way to save money in Auckland


This month has been my first full month of No ‘Poo – not using shampoo. I promise it’s really not as gross as it sounds!

One of my work colleagues (also a traveller) recommended I read Lucy Aitken Read’s book, Happy Hair: The Definitive Guide To Giving Up Shampoo. I also 100% recommend you read it! Lucy basically explores the idea that shampoo is a complete fad; it temporarily cleans your hair when in fact the chemicals in commercial shampoo actually strip your hair of all its natural oils, meaning you come to rely on using it every couple of days. As someone who has had to use shampoo pretty much everyday of my life, I was intrigued.

My alternative shampoo and conditioner

I started cutting back on how often I washed my hair with commercial shampoo – from every day to every three/four days. A couple of weeks later I took the plunge and went No ‘Poo – I’m now washing my hair with baking soda and apple cider vinegar every 6 days to once a week, with a couple of water washes and dry-shampoo days in between. I’m going to write a full blog post about No Poo after a few more months, when I’ve figured out the best thing for my hair.

Day-6-of-not-washing-my-hair selfie. I guess the Snapchat filter might help a little! (My username is abbigail-rose if you’d like to follow our adventures there).


We have booked our onward flight to the South Island, leaving Auckland at the start of October. We’re staying in a room I found on AirBnb – it’ll be our first trip using AirBnb so I’m excited to see how it goes. We’re planning on finding and buying a car pretty quickly – if anyone has any tips on where to buy a reliable, used car in Christchurch then let me know! We’re hoping to travel around the South Island until at least Christmas, but we’ll see how it goes finance-wise.

Tip: You can get £26 off your first AirBnb booking by clicking here! You are welcome.

Food and drink:

I would like to write a post on the best places to eat for vegetarians in Auckland but James and I don’t often go out for food as we’re saving! Our favourite restaurant so far has got to be Mexico. There aren’t loads of options for veggies but they change the menu with the seasons so you have an excuse to keep going back! The food is delicious and very reasonably priced – plus, if you sign up to their newsletter online, you get a free taco. We are definitely going back again soon; they do a tequila tasting board which looks incredible from their Instagram!

Quesadillas at Mexico

We’ve been out for drinks a few times in the CBD and Ponsonby, which is a pretty hip / indie area of the city. Drinking in bars is very expensive in New Zealand so we don’t make a habit of this (and also because I’m such a lightweight, I’m drunk after once glass of wine). Worth a visit are:

  • Spitting Feathers – 16 Wyndham Street, CBD: Bottle of Heineken or Budweiser $4, glass of house red wine $6
  • Long Room – 114 Ponsonby Road: Jägerbomb $12, Long Island Ice Tea $25, bottle of Heineken $11, Glass of house red wine $9.
  • The Chapel – 147 Ponsonby Road: Glass of house red wine: $9, Lager between $8-$10.
Carrots spotted at La Cigale

We get our fruit and vegetables from La Cigale French Market every weekend – they’re cheaper and we’d prefer to know our money is going to local companies than to supermarket giants. As well as fresh produce, you can buy delicious pastries and dishes from around the world: French crèpes, Spanish paella, Turkish gözlemes… and there are loads of veggie options! It’s the perfect place to people dog watch – we love it.

So many pastries!

Trips out on the weekends

Kerekere beach

This month we did the Fairy Falls walk, a fairly easy hike in the midst of the Waitakere – nice and muddy. We also went to Kerekere beach and were stunned by the eerie, mystical mood of the setting. It’s where a lot of NZ TV shows are filmed – we saw some actors on set in sci-fi costumes though I’m not sure what they were filming!

Last weekend we took a day-trip up to Whangarei, a small town around 2 hours north of Auckland. We saw the beautiful waterfalls, hiked back along the Hatea river and visited Clapham’s Clock museum. A lovely day out – until it rained!

Whangarei falls

It’s been a pretty good month for us – how has your August been? What have you been up to?

Thanks for reading,

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