Housesitting Mini-break – Te Puna and Mount Maunganui, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand

Setbacks and Surprises

Sometimes things don’t go as planned, we learnt this all too well last year. Living this lifestyle, you have to be flexible and go with whatever is thrown at you. My one nightmare while house sitting in the homeowners arriving home early and unexpected.

You’re probably thinking why would that be so bad? But for us, we take this very seriously and we have a process that we like to stick too. So, homeowners turning up early just takes away the nice smooth changeover period that we like to provide to anyone we house sit for.

Also, we always get asked if it is “weird” staying in other people’s homes and for the most part the answer is no…. The only time it feels weird is after a house sit ends, as you no longer feel like a guest; you know where the coffee mugs are, what their pet’s routines are, what food is in the fridge etc. So, you have to transition from feeling like it is your home back to guest status and sometimes that feels strange.

But anyway back to the point of this blog we were on our second house sit in New Zealand the poor homeowners were flooded at their campsite, which meant their holiday was cut short and they arrived home 3 days early from their holiday.

Yep so my nightmare happened but fortunately, this family were just lovely.

We felt completely at home with them and they reminded us very much of my eldest sister’s family, their kids were great, they were a lovely couple and their dog (aka Murphy Brown) was the most chilled dog around. So their unexpected arrival home was no issue whatsoever. The family would have happily had us in their home until we were due to leave but we thought we would take the opportunity to take an impromptu mini-break.

AirBnB to the rescue

So after some stalking on AirBnB and some car rental sites, we had a 5-day break in the “Bay of Plenty” area. We really had no idea where we were going but we landed some jackpots. First stop, Hot Water Beach over the Coromandel Peninsula. You automatically think “Hot Water” yeah right, I bet it is slightly warm….WRONG! Wow, this water is hot enough to boil in, crazy the different natural occurrences in NZ.

Burnt feet, this guy wears sock all the time so his feet are normally stark white, they seem to have more of a pink tinge! Lesson learnt, when they say hot it actually means HOT!

Rather than taking the quickest path towards our AirBnB, we decided to head down the coastal way, definitely longer but worth the views. We arrived at our first stop in Katikati. I am still yet to pronounce this correctly, stand out as a tourist much? Not to be mean to this little town but when we booked in the Bay of Plenty area I guess we were expecting a waterfront somewhere in the town but nope. Just a boat ramp with water sure but nowhere for romantic long walks on the beach (HAHA not really but coffee on the water would be nice).

We had “pub grub” for dinner listened to some music and then got out of there as it did not feel as though it was the safest town.

Plus there was a plumbing disaster at this Airbnb and I am not ready to talk about this, most embarrassing moment thus far this year.

Moving right along, we then drive to Te Puna.

Te Puna

We weren’t able to check into our place until after 3 pm… so what to do? Oh hello a sign for a Cidery



Raspberry, only a seasonal option only.

The Cider Factorie, check it out, lovely spot.




Favourite by far was their raspberry cider (YUM!) but the view was definitely worth it too. By the way, while in NZ they like to include this fruit (feijoa) in almost all beers/food/vodka etc and this may be ok if you are expecting the flavour but it is quite a shock to the system and we have been caught a few times.

Kiwi’s must be proud of it and can tell we are obviously not local and suggest it every time. We have learnt our lesson, say NO to feijoa. We can only describe it as the dark red starburst, not that it tastes exactly like that but it is very unique and that is the closest thing we can think of. So unless you like that flavour say no to feijoa.

View from our bed at Te Puna AirBnB @minden_meadows


After this, we check into our new place for the next 4 days…… WOW! This Airbnb is amazing, and for less than $50 NZD per night WINNING! Seriously check this place out if you are ever in the area, the view is stunning and the host, Karen is just amazing, so friendly and knowledgeable.







Mount Maunganui

Our next stop was to Mount Maunganui and quirky beachy town that almost reminds me of Byron Bay in Australia. Lovely beaches and stunning marina, we captured so many beautiful pictures here. We spent a few days exploring the area walking everywhere and it is just gorgeous!


We then claimed the Mount. Just before this, there was a short, fast burst of rain just enough to make it super humid!! So the climb was HOT and muggy but it was so worth it…. What a view, WOW, here are some of the pics although they barely do it justice. We finished this day off with some fish and chips overlooking the marina to this awesome sunset!

Life is good!

Next stop… Rotorua

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