Auckland, New Zealand
A plane flight brought us from Tonga to Auckland where we planned to spend a week or two with friends before returning to the US for a little while.
Right up front we want to make something clear about New Zealand. It’s not like we’ve ever claimed to be completely objective in reporting to you our findings during our wanderings of the world. Though we do our best to see things from different angles and explore the cultures that produce different ways of thought from our own we also understand that we are outsiders looking in and we may not grasp everything we see in all its minutia. We are human after all. Overall though we do our best to at least give you multiple points of view. This was very difficult for us to accomplish in New Zealand for one key reason:
New Zealand is about the most awesome country we’ve ever visited in our entire lives.
Seriously, you should come here. We hadn’t originally planned to visit this place at all, it’s just how our flights home worked out. Then we got here and fell in love with the place. It’s just…great. Really, really great.
The people are ridiculously kind. All New Zealanders refer to themselves as a people as “Kiwis” (like we refer to ourselves as “Americans” for example.) They named themselves after a flightless bird that is unique to their islands and looks like a large fuzzy rugby ball. It’s cute, it’s fluffy and the Kiwi people seem to have inherited the good nature of their namesake.
It should be noted that there are no documented cases of the birds bearing arms…they are way too nice for that.
New Zealanders are very nice people. Good natured, easy to get along with, friendly – we made some good friends in New Zealand and it took very little effort on our part to do so. Want a good example? We applied and received one year work/holiday visas for New Zealand and Australia. Australia, like most countries, charges a few hundred dollars per person to even apply. For New Zealand? FREE. Really, isn’t that just so nice of them? This is something we found ourselves often saying during our travels here.
It’s stunning countryside. We’ll get into this later and seriously, from the towns to the wilderness this place is just jaw-droopingly pretty.
The food is amazing, the wine exquisite and the beer…look like we said we’ll get there. It is not possible to cram the goodness that is Kiwi-land into a single blog post…even a single overview blog post. Suffice to say it’s a good thing the scenery lends itself to hiking cuz you could get fat quick.
It’s reasonably priced! It’s not Mexico cheap but it isn’t Tahiti expensive either. Also the NZ dollar was about US $0.80 so that really helped too.
There’s only one thing that kept us from immediately applying for dual citizenship. You see we arrived in Auckland during August, which was just the very end of their winter. Southern hemisphere reverses its seasons and that’s not the only thing that’s flipped. In the Northern Hemisphere, South = Warm. Not exactly the same down here.
Looking for another awesome country a little closer to home? Check out our parting thoughts on Mexico by clicking on “To Cross the Pacific“
About the authors
Greg and Tiffany are traveling around the world on sailing yachts and keep a video blog of their (mis)adventures. If sailing to Tahiti on a 44 ft sailboat, getting pooped on by seagulls, opening coconuts with dull machetes, sailing past tornadoes and ukulele Christmas carols are for you, then check them out at www.CoastGuardCouple.com!