Let me ask you a question: what is the most beautiful country in the world?
Obviously everyone’s answer is going to be slightly different, but New Zealand consistently ranks in the top 3 all over the internet and this is where we went Swapping!
Karen and I got a really sweet Swapping gig in a stunning piece of the country called the Matakana coast in the north east coast of the north island.
We stayed in an amazing huge house right at the foot of a mountain covered with native forest that had a popular hiking trail to the summit. We were minutes away from some of the north islands most desirable beaches, national parks, farmers markets and wineries.
Best of all was the complete lack of any visible neighbors and traffic noise. We would wake up every morning to native bird song, then go for a hike up into the forest or a jog on the quiet and scenic roads huffing on fresh New Zealand air.
Matakana is only 1 hour drive from Auckland, New Zealand’s biggest city so we were actually really close to all the action if we wanted to get amongst it.
In return for free food and accommodation we created a Facebook page and set up Facebook ads for our Swap-Hosts, and taught them how to deal with the ongoing management of the page. It was actually really fun as our Swap-Hosts, a really nice local couple were so laid back and keen for us having a good time while we were there. They even had a spare car for us to drive around in.
The work itself was really fun, especially with a sunny outdoor private office with an amazing view of a mountain!
The high points of this Swapping adventure were:
- Going out to Tawharanui regional park; one of Auckland’s most beautiful national parks with newly released endangered native birds like the Takahe and the Saddleback making a comeback in this pristine and predator-safe environment. There was also a white sand surf beach here and some stunning little bays to swim and picnic at. We found out that this is now one of Auckland’s trendy summer destinations!
- Going for swims and hikes at local beaches and walking tracks a perfect activity for the sunny kiwi summer. There are some seriously cool outdoor activities around here.
- Drinking some amazing Matakana coast wine and craft beer; this region is famous for it’s wines and you could buy most of them on discount at the local liquor store. Our favourite was the Ti Point white Merlot, for less than NZ$16 (about 8 USD) per bottle yum!
- Buying fresh produce at the Matakana farmers market having a full kitchen at our disposal was great, so we made some awesome dishes using in-season local vegetables, fruit and seafood. New Zealand definitely has turned into a total foodie destination and we made the most of it!
So in return for working on Facebook for a few hours a day, which our Swap-Hosts were very grateful for as they are not what you would call “social media savvy” we got to experience one of the trendiest and most beautiful parts of New Zealand and live like a local for part of the kiwi summer!
If Swapping at a destination like this, and traveling the world virtually for free sounds like something you’d like to try, Click Here get our free guide that teaches you exactly how we do it.
Tags: Cheap travel, Free accommodation, New Zealand, Swapping, travel