New Zealand – In Review

It would not surprise me if I saw a unicorn.  Seriously not surprise me one bit if while I was in New Zealand, driving the roads, enjoying the incredible vistas, if a unicorn walked across the street farting gold dust while being ridden by a hobbit.

I would simply smile and acknowledge that yes, the beauty of this country may be the kind of beauty that does indeed illicit fantasy.

I know while I was there, I felt a bit closer to heaven than I had in the long time.

The stunning variety and natural beauty alone make New Zealand an amazing place to visit.  The variety which can be experienced in less than an hours drive in a single direction is second to none.  From almost any city or town you can chose to be deep in the Mountains, Jungle, Ocean or vast valleys of farm land surrounded by the largest variety and the greenest greens you have ever seen.  And perhaps, maybe a unicorn dancing amoung the sheep.

The people also make New Zealand special.  Kindness does seem to abound.  Perhaps its because many realize the importance of respect.  It seemed from my perspective and short time in the country to really study the people – it seemed a nation of people who respected one another regardless of perceived and actual persuasions.  For example, a discussion between a republican and democrat in New Zealand would end with the idea that while I may not agree with you, I respect you as a fellow human.  In the USA, there are going to be plenty of examples the next few months of how these conversations end.  Usually not with all that much respect – just frustration that we didn’t win the conversation and change minds to see it our way…

Regardless of the American sensibility to discussions and respect, the people were genuinely wonderful in New Zealand.

Our only surprise was that some things did cost a bit more than we expected.  We certainly did not expect New Zealand to be cheap but we were a bit surprised by the cost of some items, food in particular.  The good thing is that the quality made up for the cost.

Great people, unintelligible natural beauty, great drives, fantastic wines, “adventure” activity options and incredible scenery…hard to beat a trip to a location such as this.  I’ve been very lucky to have visited many countries around the world and New Zealand is a place I could go every year the rest of my life and not be disappointed.

A default question asked of most travelers is a favorite list – favorite place or country.  It is always hard to answer but I can answer a favorite from New Zealand with no hesitation – The Doubtful Sound.  After this, everything else was just wonderful.  The Doubtful Sound being better than a wonder filled experience held every day for 18 days straight…yes.

Travel Tips

Go.  Just go and enjoy. Go and eat.  Go to drink.  Go for sport.  Go for the vistas.  Go and meditate. Go and do whatever you want but just go. Budget a bit more than you might think but go.

When you go – go slow.  Rent a car or a camper van and go slow and enjoy every stop, every walk and every person you meet.

Go to New Zealand

Favorites – In addition to the Doubtful Sound –

Hard to beat Queenstown, Wanaka, the Otago Wine Region, Greymouth/Westport on the coast and Blenhime.  These were some favorite areas as we headed north on the west coast.  Driving the west coast on route 6 from fiordjland to Picton was a top drive in the world.

The Glaciers are nice.  Worth a stop and are good for tours if you want to spend some cash to walk on them or climb into a cravass. They are not as “grand” as the Perito Moreno Glacier in Patagonia, for example, but they are Glaciers and glaciers are pretty cool.

Blenhime and Kaikoura are good.  Not great but a good one night stop when on the east coast.

Only place not really a favorite –

Nelson was not a favorite place of ours.  Perhaps it was the rain even though I want to say that is not the case.  Perhaps it was just that we had been in small places and Nelson had street lights.  Not sure what it was but while the food we had there was great and the wines fantastic on our tasting day, it didn’t have a great feel.

Check out some other posts for more ideas.

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One Response to “New Zealand – In Review”

  1. Mom
    September 30, 2012 at 8:08 am #

    Yet another wonderful post! Thank you GC for sharing your thoughts and this wonderful adventure! I want to go! Love mom

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