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 (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.
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.
31 Things I Love about New Zealand
- Kiwis are friendly folk, not dissimilar to Hobbits, who welcome travellers (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.
- You can drink nice beer after a nice day, hiking a nice mountain.
- 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.
- The All Blacks are always the new black.
- Bluff oysters.
- Whitebait fritters.
- Pineapple lumps.
- Chocolate fish.
- Hot chocolate in a latte bowl
- …with 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 sizing is for real women.
- Boots with skirts… all year round.
- A vibrant artists culture – especially in Wellington.
- They have nice sheep
- … that becomes nice merino clothing.
- 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 TV show dream
- Doctor Ropata isn’t in Guatemala anymore
- Dave Dobbyn (Yes Australia, he’s so much more than Slice of Heaven)
- A Finn. Any of them, there’s a few.
- According to the 2013 Corruption Perception Index, they’re equal least corrupt nation with Denmark.
- About one third of New Zealand is a protected National Park.
- They may not have any snakes, but they do have a giant carnivorous land snail in the South Island.