Land of the Long White Cloud
The motherland. Need I say more – no, but I will.
They say home is where the heart is. And that is true, to a certain extent. The more I travel, the more I feel like my concept of home grows – everywhere I go, I unintentionally (but willingly) leave a little piece of my heart behind. The people I meet, the memories I form – I like to think that I will always be connected to wherever I have just discovered. However, one of my favourite things about travelling is that it makes you appreciate how incredible New Zealand really is. Without a doubt, it would easily be one of the most objectively beautiful places on Earth. The more I travel, the more I see – and the more passionate I become about my homeland. Sure, in the generical sense, home for me will probably always be the Hawkes Bay. But, emotional connections to different people and places have served to expand my concept of home. One thing will always stay true though; no matter where in the world I end up, I know that I couldn’t be more proud to be a Kiwi girl.
I am pretty lucky, I realise that. I grew up in the Hawkes Bay (commonly associated with good weather, great food, and fantastic wine), studied in the depths of the South (Otago University), spent most of my childhood holidays at Ohope Beach (or with my Mum’s family in Mount Maunganui) and have recently moved to the world’s cutest little capital, Wellington. This has provided an expansive platform for me to inadvertently experience a huge variety of what our fabulous country has to offer.
Links to New Zealand posts that I have published:
- Waiheke Island
- Matamata: Hobbiton (aka Middle Earth)
- Mount Maunganui
- Ohope (video)
- Ohope Beach
- Ohakune (video)
- New Plymouth
- Hawke’s Bay
- Biking the Bridge Pa wineries
- Wellington: Bikin’ the Bays
- Wellington: Newtown
- Wellington Walks
From snow to sea, and mountains to lakes, New Zealand undeniably has some of the most beautiful and diverse scenery in the world. Overseas people often ask questions in awe, about the isolated little country at the bottom of the world, which is NOT connected to Australia, and which I am lucky enough to call home.
- Capital: Wellington (fondly known as the world’s cutest little capital, and it is the world’s southernmost capital)
- Population: 4.5 million
- Currency: New Zealand Dollar ($)
- Language: English. Other official languages include te reo Maori and sign language
- Northland: some of our country’s most beautiful and untouched beaches (don’t be surprised if you encounter dolphins)
- Rotorua: Maori cultural shows, mud pools, geysers
- Wellington: coffee and culture
- Queenstown/Wanaka: snow, adrenaline, scenery and nightlife.
- Te Anau: gateway to some of New Zealand’s greatest hikes
- Napier: HOME, wineries and of course, art deco
- West Coast: Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers; get in before it’s too late
- Stewart Island: nature, walking and Bluff oysters
- Did you know?
- Its people are colloquially known as “Kiwis”
- It is famous for its champion rugby team, the “All Blacks”, and their cultural dance “the haka”
- There are 9 sheep for every person
- Dunedin is home to the world’s steepest street
- Lord of the Rings was filmed here
- It was the first country in the world to give women the right to vote in 1893
- Useful tips:
- Security and customs is one of the strictest in the world
- Drive on the left hand side of the road
- Tipping is not common practice
- Eating out can be expensive, but you can cut costs on transport (except for flying – a lack of domestic competition means internal flights can be costly). Embrace the concept of BYOs – double-check the restaurant offers it first, but lots of restaurants let you Bring Your Own bottle of wine to dinner