Today I want to talk about New Zealand.
I went there once on a family holiday just after I finished high school. I think it was the one holiday that I didn’t keep a blog or journal. I did however, take a lot of photos. I made a very conscious effort to photograph everything we did and everywhere we went. It was a place that words can really do no justice for. You have to see it to believe it.
I initially was skeptical. a driving holiday with two teenage children and their parents, in my eyes was a recipe for disaster. And don’t get me wrong, there were some disaster moments. Like when I accidentally deleted all the photos of Milford Sound off Dad’s camera. And when we got mum into a wetsuit to go black water rafting. In general though, some of my best memories are from that holiday.
In the dead centre of New Zealand.
New Zealand is one of the worlds adventure capitals. Bungee jumping, glacier climbing, black water rafting, paragliding and cruising fjords are a few that I did. New Zealand is more than just adventure though. It is absolutely stunning landscape. I always just assumed that it would be much like Australia but I was so far off! It was very unique. The culture was similar, and the Maori culture reminded me a little of Australian Indigenous culture, in the sense that connection to land and kinship are such a key part of their life.
Somewhere in the Franz Josef glacier
The highlights for me, were Queenstown and the Franz Josef glacier. Queenstown just for it’s fun vibes, incredible cable car and adventures activities. The glacier, was just a once in a lifetime opportunity to see something rare and spectacular up close. I never thought I would be climbing a frozen river, and perhaps in years to come, it won’t even be an option. I will be forever grateful for having that experience when I did.
Paragliding over Queenstown
I should also give mention to the North island. Black water rafting through the Waitomo caves was beautiful, and the Bay of Plenty was also a highlight up there.
At the top of Mt Maunganui with Dad, looking back over the Bay of Plenty on the North Island
It was quite amazing how different the two islands were. The North island actually was a lot more like Australia as I know it. The South island was more wintery and scenically spectacular. Both had their charms and I would love to go back in the future to see some of the things that we couldn’t fit into our last trip over there. In particular, I hear that the snow gets pumping in winter, and I wouldn’t mind a snowboard atop their mountains.
This is only the tip of what New Zealand has to offer, but I wanted to write about it, and tell you all that you should go there one day. It might not be the most popular tourist destination in the world, but I think that is also part of it’s appeal. Little old New Zealand, and it’s little old hidden treasures.
More sheep than humans. True story.