I am helping make a house bigger, extending the living area of a home that would be pretty sweet to live in. The house sits atop a hill and it is like a crater surrounded by slightly higher hills, all covered in native bush. It is close enough to Matakana too, an area of beaches and wineries. 
I park in the main township each morning and buy coffee from the Black Dog Cafe at the end of the street where the shops become houses. Last Saturday the street filled with Aucklanders who travel north for the carefully manicured “Farmer’s Market”. A market where you can exchange half your child’s school fees for a jar of pickles.
Matakana is about an hour and a half from Auckland, it is too much to drive up everyday so I had a search online and found the address to a place only a short drive from the main centre.
I drove down the long driveway littered with potholes and at the end it opened into a large flat section with a two storey house in the middle. Behind the house there was a compound made up of ‘portacoms’ – steel boxes used for temporary offices – and inside were bunk beds, all unlocked and with nobody around.

I just let myself in basically. I have stayed in this ramshackle dwelling for 3 nights. I saw the owner once, I owed him for one night and gave him the $20, he seemed slightly surprised that I was giving him money and didn’t even know I had stayed there. I told him I planned to stay a few more nights and he said “yeah, whatever”. haha
After a couple of nights of slumming in the bunk beds I had a look in the room next door and found the presidential suite above. A questionable bedspread illuminated by lights that makes me feel like I am being interrogated. It is warm, there is no reception and I am also reading the Diary of Anne Frank, the perfect book to put my accommodation issues in perspective.
If you know anything about New Zealand you will know that it is a country with beauty that can cause goosebumps – people light up when you tell them you are from New Zealand. People also seem to dim a little when you say you are from Auckland. The other night after working I drove down the hill, parked and then rolled my head back like a weirdo and stared up into the sky. It is incredible how many more stars you can see when the view is no longer drowned within the lights of the city. It is healthy to get out of Auckland. 

While lately I have been eager to make plans to get the heck out of here, I am waking up each morning, driving into the town and up a hill that over-looks Matakana, not bad at all. 

I’ll probably spend a couple more weeks up here after I get back back from Christchurch next week. I am visiting the South Island for the first time to take part in a medical study, but that will be my next post 🙂


I'm a Carpenter from New Zealand. I completed a Carpentry apprenticeship and decided to build something on every continent. I started this blog so I could share the journey with people!

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