32 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 (cough, “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

31 Things I Love about New Zealand

  1. Kiwis are friendly folk, not dissimilar to Hobbits, who welcome travellers (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.
  5. They have nice mountains.
  6. You can drink nice beer after a nice day, hiking a nice mountain.
  7. 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.
  8. They play a nice game of rugby and watching Daniel Carter play, makes it easier for me to watch.
  9. The All Blacks are always the new black.
  10. Bluff oysters.
  11. Whitebait fritters.
  12. Pineapple lumps.
  13. Chocolate fish.
  14. Hot chocolate in a latte bowl
  15. …with chocolate fish.
  16. 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.
  17. Women’s fashion sizing is for real women.
  18. Boots with skirts… all year round.
  19. A vibrant artists culture – especially in Wellington.
  20. They have nice sheep
  21. … that becomes nice merino clothing.
  22. Central Otago Pinot Noir
  23. Central Otago Chardonnay
  24. Gannets en masse
  25. If we’re anywhere else in the world, Kiwis and Aussies can actually understand each other when no-one else can.
  26. It feels as though everyone is living the River Cottage TV show dream
  27. Doctor Ropata isn’t in Guatemala anymore
  28. Dave Dobbyn (Yes Australia, he’s so much more than Slice of Heaven)
  29. A Finn. Any of them, there’s a few.
  30. According to the 2013 Corruption Perception Index, they’re equal least corrupt nation with Denmark.
  31. About one third of New Zealand is a protected National Park.
  32. They may not have any snakes, but they do have a giant carnivorous land snail in the South Island.
Beer Taps Reflection Speights Queenstown NZ
4. Nice Beer! (Spot the blogger in the beer taps at Speights Ale House)
Luxmore Hut Kepler Track NZ
Sunrise at Luxmore Hut, Kepler Track, Te Anau. One of NZ’s “Great Walks“.
Amisfield Winery Queenstown
#11. Whitebait & #23. Central Otago Chardonnay! Amazing food and wine experience at Amisfield Winery, Queenstown with my dear friend KM.
Children learning a traditional Maori dance
Children perform a traditional Maori dance, Hokianga Harbour, Northland NZ
Sheep Farmer NZ
A classic NZ scene – a farmer and his sheep!
Gannet Birds New Zealand NZ
Curious Gannet from Cape Kidnappers (Pic: Caro Ryan)

Writer, producer and content creator by trade, search and rescue volunteer by passion, Caro Ryan started LotsaFreshAir.com to inspire, teach and encourage people to get into hiking and the outdoors safely.

It’s all about connecting people to wild places in meaningful ways, so they can look after themselves, their mates and these precious places we visit.

She teaches wilderness navigation, authored the book, ‘How to Navigate’ and hosts, ‘Rescued - an Outdoor Podcast for Hikers and Adventurers.

In the bottom of her pack you'll find coffee grounds, instant noodles past their used by date and an insatiable curiosity.

Bushwalking & Hiking Tips from an Unexpected Outdoors Chick

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