Web work in New Zealand

Since living in New Zealand for the guts of 7 months I have managed to get a little bit of web development work here and there. Back in Queenstown I did some freelance work for local web development company, Kelpdesign. They took me on for a few weeks and I managed to get a few site’s done for them. Nice bunch of people and I’ll never forget William’s two dogs lounging around the office in front of the gas heater.

The first bit of work was a simple WordPress website for a local tradesman. They were looking for something quick and it was basically a free theme, some plugins and some content put together.

www.queenstownconcretegrinding.com
www.queenstownconcretegrinding.com

The second website on the other hand was a custom design by Kelpdesign and it was for a local construction project management company. I had to convert it to xHTML and CSS and set it up as a WordPress template. This was the first time I have created a template for WordPress and it really opened me up to what WordPress could do. I have created so many templates for Joomla in the past and developing one for another CMS was pretty interesting. This WordPress template had everything from custom fields and separate layouts that could be assigned to specific pages and categories. As well as clever bits of PHP and nice usage of WordPress’s API.

www.triplestar.net.nz
www.triplestar.net.nz

Queenstown to Glenorchy

Yesterday, my friends and I went for a lovely drive from Queenstown to Glenorchy as we were spending a day off the slopes. The drive took about an hour and it brings you through some amazing lakeside views of Lake Wakatipu. With a camera in hand I was very snap happy taking photos from the car window as we headed north.

We had a nice little picnic in Glenorchy by the lake and then proceeded further north to a place called Paradise, where there were lots of sheep and back country roads. Also,  some of the Lord of the Rings and X-Men Origins: Wolverine was filmed up there. We had to turn back when we the road got a bit more suited for 4×4 vehicles as we didn’t want to do any damage to our van.

On the way back we stopped off at Bob’s Cove, a really nice secluded bay. We had a bit of a walk around there and climbed up to a look out point. By this time the sun was going down so we had to head back to the car before it was completely dark.

We hopped back in the car and headed home.

Check out some of the photos I took

The Boots Situation

Well still no luck getting my boots back from the guys at Small Planet in Queenstown. As I have said in a previous post, I dropped them in as they were a little worse for wear and they said they would bring them to a local boot repair shop somewhere in town. But it turns out that the bloke who works in the repair shop has gone to hospital and since he’s the only guy who works there the whole place has been shut down until further notice.  Not good for the relationship between me and snowboarding.

One of my housemates, remembered that there was a pair of boots hanging around somewhere in the house. She fished them out for me and they fit perfectly and they are a really nice pair of Burton boots, all I needed were some new laces. The guys in Small Planet hooked me up with a free pair of laces because I know them almost at a first name basis now as I’ve been in so many times asking about my boots! So at the end of the day, I now have boots and I can head up the mountain again! Plus my ribs are a lot better!

My Ribs and My Boots

On Saturday I spent most of my day up at Coronet Peak snowboarding. It was a bit cloudy now and again but the snow was great. I also noticed a slight pain early on on the day on my left ribs but I didn’t really do anything about it, I just ignored it and ploughed on! Me and my girlfriend Trish hung around for night ski too, so it was an extra long day! On the last few runs it was very sore to bend down and do up my bindings and by the time I was on the bus back to Queenstown I was in bits! Had to get some bandages from the pharmacy too, which really helped hold them together with a slight bit of pressure! I have been told that there is really nothing you can do except to take it easy when your ribs are sore. So I decided to do a MacGyver on it and take care of them myself and if the pain didn’t go away, then I’d see a doctor!

Now that a few days have past they are much better, still a little bit of pain but no where in comparison to Saturday evening! So I have decided to give it a rest for a good few days and sort out some other stuff!

My snowboarding boots have gotten a little worse for wear so I brought them back to Small Planet (the shop where i bought them in) and they were happy to send them to the repair shop free of charge. Two of the laces are almost broken and another fully broke, I just tied a knot to join it back together last week! Also the velcro strap on one of the snapped! Anyhoo, look forward to getting them back so I can head up to The Remarkables again, my last session up there was last Friday and it was brilliant!

A Very Belated Hello from Queenstown, NZ

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Hey Everyone! Its been ages since I have updated the blog! Have just been having a great time down here in Queenstown! The weather is very chilly as we’re just getting into the winter season!

A Quick rundown of what I’ve been up to the past 3 or 4 weeks:

  • Became housemates with Seb and Sophie
  • Joined a covers band of which I am the bass player! Seb is the drummer
  • Shopped around for a great deal on a snowboard, boots and bindings
  • Became a member of local pub Surreal, member get cheap pints
  • Had many a late night in said pub above
  • Attempted to buy a car with Trish on several occasions
  • Made my first pasta bake – chorizo and veg 🙂
  • Found a new love in hot whiskey
  • Saw Star Trek and Terminator Salvation in the Cinema
  • Went to a fancy dress house party…. I dressed up as a nerd, Trish was a robber and Seb and Sophie were two halves of a sandwich!
  • Not even attempted to look for a job
  • Snowboarded!

We’re living in a house of 7, well 8 if you include Dorge our cat 🙂 We live about a 10 minute walk away from the centre of town which is cool! Queenstown is a lovely town surrounded by the most amazing landscape. All I have to do is look out my window and I can see the lake and surrounding mountains!

Here’s some photos!

First Hello from New Zealand!

For the past 5 days myself and Trish have been in New Zealand! We arrived in Auckland, which is New Zealand’s largest city at the north of the northern island. We stayed there in the city for 3 nights and explored around. There really wasn’t much to see there apart from the usual city stuff. It didn’t actually feel like we were in NZ yet, it was just too built up.

auckland1

We had a look at a few car markets just to get in idea on what we could get. We were originally thinking of getting a van and exploring New Zealand but its actually coming into their winter season. It would have been way too cold, so we’ll wait till spring for that. Then we were thinking of just getting a little car so we could drive down New Zealand towards Queenstown, the place we are going to live for 4 or 5 months. But we only had a few hours to decide on what car to get.

Finally we decided to just get a flight to Christchurch then a bus to Queenstown and get settled into the house with my friends Seb and Sophie. They have a spare room there for us thats available to rent. We didn’t want to make a rushed decision into what car to get so we are simply going to just get one down there as Seb says there are a lot of cars going.

Right now we are in Christchurch on the southern island of NZ. When we were approaching on the airplane we were coming across the mountains that had a nice little coating of snow on them… Got us pretty excited! It’s a really nice place and from just walking around its oozes with far more character and friendliness than Auckland. The little city is nucleated around the Cathedral Square. Real nice place.

christchurchcathedral

Tomorrow we are getting the bus to Queenstown, so it should be nice and scenic. By now, we are both looking forward to not going from hostel to hostel and it should be a lot cheaper to stay in the same place. But most importantly I can’t wait to go snowboarding for a whole season! In a few weeks I’ll be buying all the gear and I already have my season pass! And hopefully by the time Ali and Wig arrive in August I’ll be better than Ali. Haha!

Also, Seb has the internet in the house apparently so I will do a big photo upload session from all the places I haven’t shown y’all yet!