35 things to Love About New Zealand

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.

Wellington New Zealand NZ
Wellington… on a good day!

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.

Queenstown Skiing NZ
The gang on our 2012 Ski Trip (Cardrona or Coronet Peak?, Queenstown NZ)
Kepler Track NZ
Between Luxmore Hut and Iris Burn Hut, Kepler Track NZ

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.

New Zealand Forest Track Tiki Trail Queenstown
Track conditions vary on the Tiki Trail from natural and man made stairs, uneven track and firetrail
Chairs sawn from fallen trees
I was thankful to catch my breath on these lovely chairs half-way up the Tiki Trail

35 Things I Love about New Zealand

  1. Kiwis are friendly folk, not dissimilar to Hobbits, who welcome travelers (and asylum seeking refugees) with open arms.
  2. 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.
  3. They have nice air
  4. They make nice beer

    Beer Taps Reflection Speights Queenstown NZ
    4. Nice Beer! (Spot the blogger in the beer taps at Speights Ale House)
  5. They have nice mountains
  6. 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

    Luxmore Hut Kepler Track NZ
    Sunrise at Luxmore Hut, Kepler Track, Te Anau. One of NZ’s “Great Walks“.
  7. They play a nice game of rugby and watching Daniel Carter play makes it easier for me to watch.
  8. All Blacks are always the new black
  9. Bluff Oysters
  10. Whitebait Fritters

    Amisfield Winery Queenstown
    11. Whitebait & 24. Central Otago Chardonnay! Amazing food and wine experience at Amisfield Winery, Queenstown with my dear friend KM.
  11. Pineapple Lumps
  12. Chocolate Fish
  13. Hot Chocolate in a latte bowl
  14. … with a chocolate fish
  15. 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.

    Children learning a traditional Maori dance
    Children perform a traditional Maori dance, Hokianga Harbour, Northland NZ
  16. Women’s fashion sizes that are for real women
  17. Boots with skirts… all year round
  18. Amazing fashion designers – I love Claire Bloom and Robyn Mathieson
  19. A vibrant artists culture, especially in Wellington
  20. They have nice sheep…

    Sheep Farmer NZ
    A classic NZ scene – a farmer and his sheep!
  21. …That becomes nice merino outdoors clothes
  22. It’s the home of Macpac… a home of nice merino outdoors clothes!
  23. Central Otago Pinot Noir
  24. Central Otago Chardonnay
  25. Gannets… en masse

    Gannet Birds New Zealand NZ
    Curious Gannet from Cape Kidnappers (Pic: Caro Ryan)
  26. If we’re anywhere else in the world, Kiwis and Aussies can actually understand each other… when no-one else can
  27. It feels as though everyone is living the River Cottage dream
  28. Doctor Ropata isn’t in Guatemala anymore
  29. Peter Jackson
  30. Dave Dobbyn (Yes Australia, he’s so much more than Slice of Heaven)
  31. A Finn, any Finn… there’s a few of them.
  32. Kimbra
  33. NZ is the least corrupt nation in the world (tied with Denmark), according to the Corruptions Perception Index.*
  34. About one third of the country is protected national park.*
  35. 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.*

*Source: http://www.buzzfeed.com/jemimaskelley/things-you-did-not-know-about-new-zealand

 Q:  What are the things you love about New Zealand?

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