Off the route - Hastings - Napier. Te Mata mountain range.
As we had very indefinite plans after visiting New Plymouth, we just drove down the coast towards Hamilton.
After our trip to Australia we didn’t have much money left. So let’s be honest – we were close to being broke and find a job was a must not just a choice.
We stopped in Palmerston North just to find library and wifi, so we could find some adds in local websites and hoped that there will be jobs available.
The thing is – winter is a slow season for orchards and vineyards. Most of them start to prep plants for active season around October, so we knew finding a job are not going to be easy.
Hopeful we find phone numbers and emails for some orchards and working hostels, that in most cases help you find job. I recommend calling as it is much faster to find out what is the situations. Most of the places I called said that they don’t have any positions available or we should call on Monday (as it was Friday already). Most of the jobs were located in Hastings or Napier, so we decided to spend our weekend there just to continue looking for job on Monday. It was off our planned route, but at least we had a chance to find a job.
We spend two days in free campsite close to Napier by the coast that was very lovely and suitable for not self-contained vehicle. I recommend the place, but there were only 8 parking spaces for overnighters, so better come at least at 4 pm. As it is the only free campground in the area for non self-contains it fills quickly. But if you are a self-contain – do not park here. There is a free campground for you just a little closer to town – also by the coast.
Napier is very cozy town. I am glad we decided to visit it, although our original plan was to skip it and go to Wellington and then just take a ferry to South Island. (That didn’t happen either, but that’s another story… so stay tuned!)
Hastings and Napier seems to be very close, but somehow they are not even similar. Hastings is more focused on factories, pack houses and orchards. Kind of a industrial town, but still nice. The city center is pretty cute and there are restaurants, bars, hotels and shops.
Napier is art-deco style, very relaxed and gave me some vacation city vibes. They used the coast to the max – planting trees, flowers, and making biking and walking paths. It is lovely just to take a walk there and have a coffee in nearby cafes.
Monday came – and guess what. None of the places we called could find a job for us. Except one hostel who said there is job in a butchery. But somehow working night shifts and washing blood 12 hours straight did not feel appealing to us. So we had to get going.
Before we left, we decided to take a little hike. Te Mata seemed like a decent place to go and we were surprised how nice was the area. The highest peak of the Mountain Range is only 399 m high, so it wasn’t a steep climb, but the views were stunning.
We also were lucky with the weather. We enjoyed the sun and sat on top for a while.
We spent approximately 2-3 hours hiking the blue route of the trail.
The minute we got back to the car the rain started.
So with that we left the Hastings-Napier area. Unsuccessful at finding job, but satisfied with time, well spent.