It’s the smell!

Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland just smells good.

Being people who grew up in cities, we got used to the smells that are a normal part of urban life: car exhaust, cleaning chemicals, in San Francisco the smell of cable car brakes is fairly common. Millions upon millions of people living closely together are going to generate smells. Most of them are not overly pleasant.

Auckland hasn’t yet hit that people to landmass ratio and there is an abundance of vegetation throughout the city. So as we walked around it was not unusual to stop suddenly, look at each other while sniffing the air and say, “wow, that smells amazing!”

Like we said, it was early spring when we arrived and while it was way too cold for Tiffany to think anything it its right mind would grow, apparently no one had told the Kiwi plants that.

Despite the cold, not only does everything grow in New Zealand, everything grows ridiculously well. From giant lily pads to avalanches of tulips, Auckland is a city of plants as much as people.

With plants come the animals that eat said plants. You may or may not have heard of the sheep of New Zealand. Since we hadn’t, here’s the deal: there are about 4 million New Zealanders. There are about 16 million New Zealand sheep. Yes, that’s 4 sheep for every woman, child and man (yes, there are jokes, we leave that to your imagination). Sheep are everywhere and even the urban “metropolis” of Auckland has it’s representative delegation stashed in some…unusual… places.

It is an efficient use of land at least…

And perhaps you’re wondering why. Why is it, despite the cold, do plants grow so veraciously? Why do flowers bloom like it’s going out of style and vegetation expand at almost an exponential rate even inside a modern city?

Ever hear how volcanic soil is real good to grow things in due to the nutrients and minerals from the lava that comes erupting up from beneath the earth’s crust?

New Zealand in general and Auckland in particular has no lack of volcanic soil.


Then there was this time we found out we were living inside a volcano. For more on that click on Experiments in Tourism


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!

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6 Responses to It’s the smell!

  1. Sounds like you are having the time of your lives; great pictures and a fun blog to read. Happy New Year!

  2. I’m really enjoying your blog! What a treat! You’re absolutely right about smells, not to mention how much of a memory-maker they can be!

    • Tiffany says:

      I know! It’s amazing how a scent can bring back a memory. I’m glad you’re enjoying our blog! We’re having a great time researching for it :)

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