I’m going to start this post by ‘fessing up to the fact that I love New Zealand. I’ve often found myself saying that if I didn’t live in Australia, I’d want to live in Wellington (at least on a good day)… with a bach in Picton.
I’ve been lucky enough to travel to New Zealand quite a few times for work, weddings, skiing, hiking (what Kiwis call “Tramping“, which sounds more like something your grandma wouldn’t approve of) and a family holiday as a kid. But there’s something that keeps drawing me back, time and time again and it’s something that I can’t put my finger on, but will try to in my list below.
Last year I had a lightning fast 3 day visit to Queenstown, which just cemented in my mind some of the things I love most about NZ. With a couple of hours to myself, I went for a dash up the Tiki Trail, beside the gondola, to stretch the legs and take in some amazing views.
As the weather was changing, I didn’t make it all the way to Ben Lomond, but had a great time doing something that many tourists don’t have the time to do as they speed through Queenstown on their way to something else.
35 Things I Love about New Zealand
- Kiwis are friendly folk, not dissimilar to Hobbits, who welcome travelers (and asylum seeking refugees) with open arms.
- Kiwis can take the mickey out of Aussies (and our accents) just as well as we can theirs, but secretly we have a deep love, respect and affection for each other.
- They have nice air
- They make nice beer
- They have nice mountains
- They have a sensational ability to combine outdoor activities and experiences in public spaces and national parks, with an impressive Great Walks and commercial operator system
- They play a nice game of rugby and watching Daniel Carter play makes it easier for me to watch.
- All Blacks are always the new black
- Bluff Oysters
- Whitebait Fritters
- Pineapple Lumps
- Chocolate Fish
- Hot Chocolate in a latte bowl
- … with a chocolate fish
- They started off with a treaty between the white settlers and the traditional owners. Although there are some ongoing issues around interpretation, it is still a world away from Australia’s relationship with our Aboriginals and our lack of treaty.
- Women’s fashion sizes that are for real women
- Boots with skirts… all year round
- Amazing fashion designers – I love Claire Bloom and Robyn Mathieson
- A vibrant artists culture, especially in Wellington
- They have nice sheep…
- …That becomes nice merino outdoors clothes
- It’s the home of Macpac… a home of nice merino outdoors clothes!
- Central Otago Pinot Noir
- Central Otago Chardonnay
- Gannets… en masse
- If we’re anywhere else in the world, Kiwis and Aussies can actually understand each other… when no-one else can
- It feels as though everyone is living the River Cottage dream
- Doctor Ropata isn’t in Guatemala anymore
- Peter Jackson
- Dave Dobbyn (Yes Australia, he’s so much more than Slice of Heaven)
- A Finn, any Finn… there’s a few of them.
- NZ is the least corrupt nation in the world (tied with Denmark), according to the Corruptions Perception Index.*
- About one third of the country is protected national park.*
- They may not have any snakes, but they do have a giant carnivorous snail (watch the video to at least 20 second mark!!) living in the South Island.*
Q: What are the things you love about New Zealand?