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Posts tagged ‘new zealand’

What Kind of Tourist You Are?

Luxury Whare Kea Lodge in Wanaka New Zealand

As we wrote in the past there are many types of tourists. We see them every time we travel; some are party animals, others are low key with a book-in-hand, soaking in the sun’s rays. Whatever type of tourist you should remember one thing:

All tourists are created equal

If you are not sure which genre of tourist you are; this article may shed lit on how to label yourself, and which destinations may be suited for you.

Action Tourist

Paragliders meetup in the air

When you picture yourself traveling to distant lands, do you see yourself jumping off a cliff into an ocean pool of crystal clear water? Or how about jumping off of an old Soviet plane with a parachute sewn by the pilot’s Baba. If so, you may just be the “Action Tourist”. Action Tourists love their adrenalin rush and have trouble understanding those under-the-radar travelers. To keep them satisfied; all that is needed, are a rope of some kind and the latest machinery for propulsion in that region. Recommended destinations for these Evel Knievels include: Mexico, Hawaii, Thailand, Spain and New Zealand.

Kodak Tourist

Do find yourself posting every vacation picture you ever had on Facebook? Have you ever traveled without a camera. Then you just might be our “Kodak Tourist”. Whether traveling for a day or a month, your camera flash card seems to be extensive enough to make a feature Disney film. But, don’t fret! There are many people like you, and they all seem to find their way back on Facebook, posting pictures that nobody even cares to look at. Recommended pictures…I mean…destinations include: Peru, Australia, Thailand, Saudia Arabia, China, France, Italy and Indonesia

Party Tourist

Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign

Traveling? What is traveling, I just want to party!

Doesn’t matter where you are, or who you’re with; your taste is simple –

Take me to the closest brewery, please!

The Party Tourist enjoys loud music, nightclubs and of course booze. These fun seekers are most compatible with our Action Tourist, because after a few drinks, they seem bold enough to follow suit. Party destinations include: Ibiza, Cracow, Rome, Bangkok, Beirut, Las Vegas, and Tokyo.

Historical Tourist

Ah, yes! History is not dead, because you strive to keep it alive. Of all our tourists, the Historical Tourist is our more scholarly candidate.

Historical landmarks all around the worldYou revel in telling your companions your knowledge of the local history. God gave you an encyclopedic mind, and boy do you use it! When you envision yourself traveling; you see yourself with a whip and satchel, Jones-ing around Asia with a map written in Sanskrit, trying to find the last relic of the Aryans. But remember this is far from the truth, most likely you’ll be just daydreaming somewhere in a museum. If you are this tourist type; I need not tell you where you should go, but for the sake of humour: Italy, Vatican City, France, China, India, Israel, Mexico, Egypt, Russia, Turkey, and Greece.

Note: Side effects of excessive traveling include culture shock, hangovers, illusions of grandeur, loss of travel insurance, monetary depletion, and addictions to air travel.

John is a travel writer who spends most of his time hopping from one country to another, hope you enjoyed his article!

Which Type Of Traveler Are You?

You probably don’t know it, but the type of tourist you are has a huge influence on the type of travel you indulge yourself in. Don’t worry, however, for there is some science behind it. You won’t merely be lumped into a category where you’re a ‘lazy tourist’ or the equivalent of a ‘Little Englander,’ dependent on where it is you are from.

Landmarks from around the world. Choose yours!

What can the type of tourist you are have an impact on?

  • Where you choose to go on holiday
  • The type of accommodation you choose to stay in
  • What you do when you go on holiday
  • The people you travel with
  • How you eat and behave when you’re in a destination

Influencing Your Tourism Habits

At the same time, a range of factors can influence the type of tourist you want to or are able to be. These might include

  • Your incomeNothing can stop you from being who you're on vacation
  • Your personal circumstances in terms of relationship and family status
  • Where you live
  • Your personal hobbies and interests
  • Your holiday budget

While these can all be an influence, nothing can prevent you from being the tourist you want to be.

Does it Matter?

While what a person does concerning their holiday might seem to be irrelevant, the modern, connected world in which we live means that it is of more importance than ever before. It only takes one tweet or Google+ update to show the world what you’re doing, and tour operators are using this activity like never before, as well as encouraging travellers to do the same.

It sounds extreme, but the type of tourist you are can have an impact on economies, future travel trends, and the way in which people living in a popular resort view those from a particular country or geographic area. Thinking back to earlier, the term ‘Little Englander’ did not originate from an accident one day!

We also have to consider the ways in which resorts set up and market themselves. Places don’t just throw open their doors and wait for people to arrive. Everything they do is designed to attract a specific type of traveller, and they know exactly what to do in order to fulfil the travel needs and requirements of holidaymakers in every group.

Finding Yourself

Which type of tourist are you? We explored 15 different descriptions that were identified in a 1992 study, what they mean, and where the best places on Earth are to indulge in this manner of travel.

Be warned: You might not like the group you fit into, although it might motivate you to rethink your own holiday attitudes and behaviours, or give you an idea for a great holiday in the near future.

hat type of tourist are you

Sun Worshipper

A couple on a beachWe expect that most people will be able to relate to this type of tourism. After all, despite sweeping changes in the industry and the attitudes of travellers, large numbers of people still decide to take a holiday in a particular destination because the sun will be shining most of the time.

The sun worshipper follows a very particular pattern of behaviour during a holiday; they are the people that you see relaxing around the pool from dawn until dusk, and on the days they do move it is only down to the beach where they follow a similar pattern of inactivity.

Places to Visit: The beauty of being this type of tourist is that you can almost look at a world map and point to any country that has the climate you’re looking for. Depending on where you are in the world, it might not be necessary to spend a lot of money if all you’re seeking from a trip is the sun.

Consider Mexico, the northern coast of Brazil, and places around the Mediterranean, including politically stable nations in North Africa.

Action Seeker

Action seekers on the beach dancingThis probably isn’t going to be the description you expect to find under this banner. No, an action seeker is not someone who loves an adventure holiday or heads off looking for extreme sports, although we will get to that later.

An action seeker is the tourist who heads to a resort and becomes an all-out reveller, looking for the parties that are taking place around a locality, the best nightclubs, and organized events such as bar crawls and booze cruises. Throw in a very liberal attitude towards sex and drugs and you won’t be far away from the perfect fit when it comes to this description.

Places to Visit: We’re not about to feel like we’re naming and shaming any resort or country, and the last thing we would want is to upset a national embassy or tourist board and have ourselves blacklisted for life.

If you fit into this category yourself, you know the type of places we’re talking about. If, for some reason, you’re planning to be an action seeker, then a quick Google search will likely show you the best places to go.


Admittedly, this sounds like we’re starting to get a little deep, thus moving perhaps from one extreme to the other. However, being an anthropologist doesn’t mean you have to have an impressive degree or any other qualification.

Rather, a tourist anthropologist is a person who takes themselves off to various locations around the world and immerses themselves in their destination. This tourist is probably the most likely to reject anything that is on offer from their homeland, and try out local cuisine, pastimes, and spend time within the community getting to know the people, and maybe even getting involved with farm work, fishing, or other traditional roles. An anthropologist is also likely to stay in a guest house or bed and breakfast facility, rather than an ‘all mod cons’ hotel or apartment complex.

J'irais dormir chez vous / I am going to stay at your place

Photo credit: Antoine de Maximy

Places to Visit: Three locations around the world really stand out for us in this respect. The Greek Islands is the first. Clearly, you need to avoid the islands that are known for sun and action seekers – no, we’re not naming them – and head to the smaller locations that are perhaps not even well known for tourism.

East Africa would be our second option, with community programs often operating in countries such as Tanzania and Kenya, where you can actually go and live in a village undergoing development and have some input yourself. Finally, consider the Patagonia region of South America. This area is very remote, but home to some great communities as well as simply stunning landscape.


Archaeologist landmarks to visitDo we mean there is a type of tourist casually travelling the world, seeking fields and other open spaces so that they can try to dig up dinosaur fossils and discover hidden villages? Unfortunately, it doesn’t get that exciting, but you wouldn’t be a million miles away from the correct answer.

This is one of the simplest definitions to understand. It relates to people who love to visit museums and historic sites, and will choose a destination specifically with that in mind.

Places to Visit: Many places across the world have a rich history, so it really depends on your own interests and on what you are looking for. If historic ruins are what motivate you to get on an aeroplane, then Rome and Athens are two great cities to target.

For lovers of monuments and temples, the South East of Asia and countries such as Cambodia and Vietnam are excellent locations, while for those seeking outdoor history and heritage, the Aboriginal areas of Australia are must visit.

Mass Tourist

Mass-tourism-on-a-beachIf you feel that your holidays are stuck in a rut, then the chances are that you find yourself firmly in the ‘mass tourist’ category. This person perhaps closely relates to the sun worshipper or action seeker, but is more likely to be someone who travels with their families and younger children.

The mass tourist books their holidays at the travel agency, picking out the best picture from the collection of ‘Summer Sun’ brochures on the shelf, and indulging themselves in tour operator excursions and the buying of souvenirs – some might say tacky ones – during their trip.

Places to Visit: We were tempted to label this one places to avoid, but if you’re a person who enjoys a traditional ‘tourist holiday,’ there are many great locations around the world to head, depending on your current location and budget.

Thrill Seeker

Thrill seeker surfing Costa RicaWe promised you we would get onto looking at extreme sports, and now we have the real definition of what many would term an action seeker. This type of holiday goes far beyond mere action, and can range from a 100 miles an hour adrenaline rush down a mountain to discovering some of the most unique and exciting wildlife anywhere in the world.

Thrill seekers are more likely to book an adventure holiday, following adrenaline-fuelled pursuits such as skydiving and abseiling, but you can also group those who look for a diverse mixture of travel activities into this category. These travellers choose holidays specifically because of the adventure element; this is not your tourist who arrives in a country, sees something exciting, and decides “I’d love to try that.”

Places to Visit: This depends completely on what your interests are and what you’re looking to do on holiday. However, countries such as Australia and New Zealand offer a diverse range of options, and the varying terrain found across these nations means that you can do almost anything, from wakeboarding and swimming with sharks in the water to skiing and snowboarding down towering peaks.

That said, those countries can be expensive to get to, so if you’re on a tighter budget, you will have options elsewhere; almost every country has something to offer a thrill-seeker.


Explorer backpacker on vacationMore than just enjoying discovering new locations, an Explorer embraces the challenge that can often come with travelling to such locations. Someone who loves backpacking holidays, for example, would be the perfect candidate for this category.

Explorers follow a range of holiday plans; they might have a pre-determined route or an itinerary, or they could ensure that they have enough money and an idea of hostels and places to stay, and then improvise as they go along.

Places to Visit: South East Asia is the modern day explorer and backpackers’ paradise. As well as having a hot climate and some stunning places to see and visit, getting around the region is extremely cheap, making it a potential holiday opportunity for everyone.

A little to the south, Australia is also a great place for exploring, and with emerging tourist trends there such as relocation campervans available to hire, getting around doesn’t have to cost a fortune there, either.


Paris Jetsetter's padIf there is a type of tourist that is more aspirational than the others, then you would have to argue that it is this one. However, it can have the most barriers in terms of inclusion, as you often need a considerable level of finance behind you to be a jet set traveller.

Many people would consider a jet set traveller to be someone who bounces from place to place quickly, and while there is perhaps an element of truth to that, our definition focusses more on those who love to travel to and stay in the most luxurious resorts around the world, dining in high class restaurants, and partying in exclusive bars. They may also actively seek out the company of celebrities or others who have a similar budget or lifestyle.

Places to Visit: Think about the most exclusive places in the world, such as St. Tropez and Monte Carlo, and you’re onto the right line of thinking for a jet set traveller. However, there are notable locations around the world with a high concentration of luxury places to eat, drink, and stay. Our choices would be Sydney, Singapore, Tokyo, Paris, and New York City.


Travel choicesWhat are you looking for from your holiday? If you’re a seeker, then your purpose goes way beyond your holiday, and extends to life in general. Yes, we’re starting to get deep again, but many people take a holiday in order to ‘find themselves’ or challenge what they already know about the world.

You might not have been a seeker when you first made a trip, but experiences as an anthropologist or an explorer could have turned you into one. To truly find yourself and qualify the way you feel about life in general, it is usually best to travel to diverse destinations where you can find contrasts of rich and poor, and where these different levels of culture clash.

Places to Visit: With that last sentence in mind, the three obvious locations someone who knows they’re a seeker should consider are Brazil, South Africa, and India. Peaceful places where you will find time to relax and reflect, such as Nepal or Tibet, are also be worth considering.

All of these will offer you great variety in terms of the things you see and the people you meet. Cities such as Rio de Janeiro, Johannesburg, and Mumbai, are all well-known – or notorious – for being places where you can experience wild riches in one location, and encounter extreme poverty just a matter of metres away.

Independent Tourist

We really don’t understand the stigma attached to doing things independently. Some people believe that ‘going solo’ is weird; we just think it is a great way to do your own thing and meet new people without having to worry about what anyone else wants to do. Independent tourism is ‘me time’ at its best.

This person does their own thing, and they will usually spend some time travelling popular resorts and destinations.

Places to Visit: Anywhere you want to go is really the answer here, although we would recommend you check travel advice and guidance for people travelling alone in certain areas, such as the Middle East and India, for example.

High End Tourist

Eagles nest sacred space villa new zealandWe won’t dwell on this point too much, as there are several similarities with the jetsetter. The big difference is that the high-end tourist is less ‘in your face’ about where they go, and enjoy the time spent in the destination for what it is.

This tourist is also more likely to be with their family, and looking for an altogether more rounded experience.

Places to Visit: The same as the jetsetter, but visiting hotels and restaurants that are classy and high-end without having an exclusive or elite label.


Bella Vista Lodge Costa RicaIs this a type of tourism or is it a way of life? The reality is that it can easily describe both, however it is how one becomes a drifter that is perhaps most intriguing, because we can almost guarantee you won’t set out to be one.

How do you become a drifter? Generally, a drifter is an explorer or seeker, who finds themselves immersed in life wherever they have travelled to, and tends to stay there for an extended period, while occasionally moving from place to place. Drifters can make their money from short-term jobs such as bar work or helping out on a farm.

Places to Visit: As we said, it is unlikely you will set out to become a drifter, but you are most likely to do so in the popular explorer and backpacker locations we mentioned earlier, specifically South East Asia, owing to the relaxed way of life and considering how cheap it can be to get by.


Mountain retreat. Escape from it all!You can perhaps be an escapist while fitting into many of the tourist categories we have already explored. We often say that a holiday is out opportunity to ‘escape from it all.’ An escapist embraces this fully, heading to remote destinations where they can relax in a peaceful surround, be it a quiet village, a beach hut, or somewhere in the countryside.

Places to Visit: This one comes down to your own personal choice. If we started listing places now, everyone would head there and it would defeat the purpose of wanting to escape!

Sports Tourist

Sport traveler on a golf courseIf you are someone who heads off on holiday to go cycling, meet other groups from around the world to play football, or head off with friends to play golf, then you are an all-out sports tourist.

Places to Visit: Anywhere with a reputation for great golf courses is worth visiting. The Caribbean is filled with beautiful resorts, as is Portugal and the south of Australia – Adelaide and Melbourne, in particular, are golf hot spots Down Under.

Educational Tourist

The academics amongst us will often take an educational holiday. This type of tourism often follows a person who has previously been an anthropologist or archaeologist, and can be used to describe a person either looking to learn a language, understand a culture, or discover why a particular place is the way it is.

Places to Visit: Anywhere you have an interest in and want to learn about!

Your Next Steps

Now that you know the type of tourist you are, or the type you would like to become, it is the perfect time to think about where you want to go on your next holiday.

Use our suggestions of places to visit, or perhaps think of your own based on the category you want to fall into, and explore the possibilities available. If you’re a different type of tourist from the one you thought you’d be, and feel you’re missing out on certain opportunities, then fear not, for you have time to put that right.

This article was contributed by Rob who is a keen traveler having a lot of fun and still trying to work out which type of tourist he is. This year, he plans to become an explorer, traveling across Australia and New Zealand with hired relocation campervans to take in the beauty and majesty of those two countries.


Lord of the Rings - Middle Earth

Middle Earth of Lord of the Rings, made in New Zealand

An unexpected briefing

An elegant elf explains the safety instructions to passengers on a plane. Among those helping to get her message across we recognize Gollum, Gandalf, dwarves and other fantastical characters directly from Tolkien’s universe… Welcome to Air New Zealand!

Indeed, on the occasion of the international release of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: an unexpected journey, the airline company has been broadcasting a 5-minute parody of the movie before each flight, in which these characters explain, with charm and wit, the safety instructions for the flight.

Yes, Air New Zealand, led by the country’s National Organization of Tourism, is taking part in the huge promotional campaign for the film. As the movies have been riding a wave of success all over the world, New Zealand – where the films are located – has decided to take advantage, ready to embrace the fans of Peter Jackson’s franchise.

Peter Jackson, a Kiwi by birth, effectively used the lush green lands as the set for three-episode saga Lord of the Rings. He felt it was perfect to match the landscapes and topography of the magical universe described in Tolkien’s books.

Hobbiton tours

“We want to show to the potential tourists that the magic of Middle-Earth is actually really here,” says Kevin Bowler, CEO of Tourism New Zealand. The national tourism marketing body conducted extensive offshore research into how to best capitalize on the latest films starring the New Zealand landscape as Middle Earth.

Since the first episode of Lords of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring was released eleven years ago, the country immediately understood that Jackson’s movies could be a major boost to tourism, one of the principle industries on the island. What could be a better tourist attraction for New Zealand than hosting the on-site locations for one of the most successful on-screen trilogies ever produced?

New Zealand has also supported the production of the trilogy with financial backing, in exchange for using some characters and scenes in order to promote its national image across the world.

Many tour-operating companies have started to incorporate the film into their businesses. From Wellington or Auckland, Hobbiton Tours, Red Carpet Tours and many others -recreate the fantasy to enable fans to discover the magic places where the episodes of the saga were shot. Tour groups venture to the forests of Lorien and Fangorn, Helm’s Deep, the Mountain of the Mordor where the famous ring was forged…

Emerald blue lakes, round and green mountains, waterfalls breaking along high walls of black granite…

About one million of tourists come each year to Lake Wakatipu to enjoy the fairy settings featured by Peter Jackson (see picture).

Lake Wakatipu is located in New Zealand. Tourism has increased since the Lord of the Rings

New Zealand’s Lake Wakatipu featured in Lord of the Rings

“In 2004 our surveys showed 6% of international arrivals to New Zealand mentioned the Lord of the Rings trilogy of films as part of the reason they had come to the country,” Mr Bowler said. Tourism New Zealand also managed to narrow down the percentage of international die-hard Lord of the Rings fans who came here specifically because of the films in 2004, which was 1% of overall arrivals. A few years later, the same survey showed that a whopping 57% of tourists are familiar with the world of Tolkien and Peter Jackson.

Using fiction to draw tourists

Another legendary hero has also been noticed by the tourism industry: Harry Potter. Warner Bros Entertainment has contributed to this franchise. In the UK, a Harry Potter tour takes the fans around the British countryside, following the tracks of the young wizard’s adventures. Last February, Warner Bros opened to the public their studios in Leavesden, a suburb of London, where the movies were shot. Many families gather around the mythic places of J.K. Rowling’s magic imaginary world. They play quidditch, try to concoct a magic potion, walk in Diagon Alley, and so on.

In Tunisia, you can meet some Star Wars aficionados near Matmata, in the desert, where the shooting of episodes 1 & 2 took place. Here again, tour-operators transport you to the world of your heroes.

Do you have any other stories of films, books, or or pop-culture icons bringing traffic to a destination? Share your stories below.

PART II: Coming to America

As I told you in my previous post, my partner in crime, Jesse, and I had a serious case of ‘itchy feet’ and spent the last 6 months contemplating a move overseas.

We’d looked at the short jump across the Tasman to Australia, and the very different jump across the world to Qatar or Abu Dhabi. Jesse’s lifelong dream had been to live in New York. As he was busy pursuing a career in the post-production area of the film and television industry, he was desperate to give life a try in America. To be honest, I was as well. While I had traveled all over the world in the past, we had sat in New Zealand and watched American TV shows and movies showing a similar but completely different way of life. The high school experience, the college experience, living in New York or LA or Alabama (a state which for some reason I am somewhat obsessed with and would like to go and visit….) – all of it was so foreign and so far away. Experiences many New Zealanders couldn’t begin to understand. “Is that what American high school is really like?” “Do cheerleaders actually walk around in their uniforms all day?” “Are there actually jocks?” “Are burgers and pizza slices actually that big in America?” “Do they actually have liquid cheese and eggs in cartons?”

Keep in mind, although the two countries are reasonably similar, there are a huge number of differences. We don’t really have cheerleaders, certainly not in schools but we do have one or two clubs around the country. We don’t play baseball as a main sport (we play Rugby and Cricket … therefore I am desperately looking forward to going to a baseball game). Our food is dramatically different. We don’t have the super size portions that America does. Our ‘large’ coke and fries is often the same size as America’s ‘small’. We don’t have liquid cheese or orange cheese for that matter! Our cheese is ridiculously fresh as we have a strong dairy industry. It’s a pale yellow color and is soft and delicious. We don’t have as much processed food either – we do have some, of course, but nothing like there is here. And most people cook their dinner at home each night, partly because there aren’t as many options to eat out every night, but also because it’s cheaper and healthier. In general, New Zealand is reasonably healthy. We eat healthy, have a large range of organic and free range foods – in fact it’s almost predominantly organic and free range, and we generally have an active lifestyle. I only realize this now, and I totally understand how so many people manage to put on weight when they arrive in the USA. I did… and needed to join a gym ASAP!

America has everything you could possibly want and imagine, it’s easy to go a little crazy when you first arrive!

New Zealanders typically go and live in the UK when they’re ready to move overseas. While some will visit America on their travels, there haven’t been many who have moved to the USA. This wasn’t because they didn’t want to, it’s because getting a visa to legally live and work in the USA is incredibly difficult.

I sat for hours trying to figure out a way to get us to the USA. There didn’t seem a way around it. We had only graduated from graduate school (post-grad studies in New Zealand) within the last twelve months. This meant we certainly weren’t the best in our fields and able to show why the USA ‘needed’ us. We had no American relatives or ways of obtaining a green card. During my endless search I remembered a friend of mine had recently made the move to New York. After a brief conversation with her, and another friend who had studied in Boston for a few years I discovered a secret. It was a well-kept secret, that’s for sure, and I’m about to blow it into the open!

In the last few years, Australia and New Zealand have been participating in a trial program with the United States which gives university graduates the opportunity to work and experience life in America. You have to meet a certain criteria in terms of the type of study you had pursued and the type of university you had studied at and you had to either be a current student or graduated within the last twelve months.

While I had graduated from my honors program in August of 2011, Jesse had graduated from his post graduate diploma in December 2010. This meant we had to enter the States by December 2011. To say this caused a mild panic would be an understatement. I didn’t know if it could be done. It was the middle of September 2011 and we weren’t prepared in the slightest! We knew this opportunity would not come around again and if we were going to do this we had to just hold our breath and leap.

So we did! We sold everything we owned, worked as hard as we could and became social recluses in order to save every dollar! Everyone who heard of our plans to move to America was shocked – people don’t just pack up and move to New York – well actually, we do. A lot of my friends have since told me how proud they are of us being brave enough to go on this adventure. I guess if we had time to stop and think about what we were getting into it would have been a different story.

Before we knew it, we were on the plane, waving goodbye to our friends, families and lives and literally flying into the unknown

Enjoying the in-flight entertainment on one leg of our 18 hour flight
Admiring the Californian Coastline
After 27 hours of traveling, New York City was a welcome sight!

I’ll talk about settling in the massive concrete jungle called New York City in my next post. In the meantime, have you guys ever moved across the world? Or maybe plan do so in the near future. Where would you like to go?

PART I: Adventures of a Kiwi in the Big Apple

Have you ever heard of a Kiwi? I’m not talking about the fruit….Or the bird for that matter. I’m talking about the people.  A Kiwi is another word for a person who comes from New Zealand. Anyone who classifies themselves as a New Zealander is called a Kiwi.

I better mention, before I go any further, that I am a Kiwi. A proud Kiwi! I even wear a ring on my finger which is made from a New Zealand 5c coin from the year I was born. It’s a symbol of my home, of where I’ve come from. I have a mixture of French and Welsh heritage somewhere in my bloodlines but I, like my parents, was born and raised in New Zealand. New Zealand is, and always will be home, but for the last two months I’ve been creating a new home in the city that never sleeps – New York City.

Over the next week I will be posting a series of posts about my adventures in the Big Apple, I will write about things that I saw, people I’ve met and places I’ve traveled. Follow along, if you like, I’d love to have you along for the ride.

So, where was I? Ah yes, whoever said that Kiwi’s couldn’t fly was clearly wrong!

New Zealand is a beautiful country. The pictures you’ve seen, and the things you’ve heard about the stunning scenery? It’s all true. We have sprawling green fields, snowcapped mountains, lush green forests, beautiful lakes and incredible beaches. It’s only now that I’ve left that I realize just how stunning New Zealand really is. We also have a lot of sheep, I’m not going to deny, there are more sheep than people. The population of New Zealand sits roughly at 4 million. That’s less than the population of New York City in an entire country! But we’re a staunch and loyal bunch. We love our country, we love our rugby and we love our summers!

These shots were taken in New Zealand’s Bay of Islands, in the Far North. A beautiful spot with some incredible scenery.

As New Zealand is so small, it’s not hard to head to another part of the country for the weekend. It only takes 80 minutes to fly from Auckland (near the top of the North Island) to Christchurch (middle of the South Island). During the summer I have always tried to get away from the cities for weekends to the beaches or prime walking spots, such as Rangitoto Island, an old volcano in the middle of Auckland Harbor, or Piha to walk the lush forest areas. During the winter I love escaping to the lake areas where there are great ski fields like Queenstown and Taupo or  Hanmer Springs or Rotorua with it’s thermal hot springs. As you can see, i’m a loyal member of the New Zealand fan club. I haven’t always been, in fact I couldn’t wait to get out and see the world. But it’s like that old saying – you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. Now that i’m gone, I see exactly what I had, and as much as i’m loving New York and America, I really do miss my homeland. 

My dog enjoying the water on a nature walk (above) the views over the Hauraki Golf from the top of Rangitoto Island

I used to think New Zealand winters got very cold. Turns out I was wrong. New York winters are cold! The lowest temperature the most southern parts of New Zealand gets in the winter is 14°F (-10°C), and that doesn’t happen all that often, but could be as warm as 59°F (15°C) in the winter. Don’t get me wrong, this is still cold and if you’re in the south you’re going to need thermals! But I’ve never had to wear layers before. Currently i’m wearing about five layers on the top. In New Zealand I rarely wore more than a long sleeved-tee and a jumper in the winter months! Needless to say I didn’t own the appropriate clothes for the New York winter! In the warmer months (November – March) the average temperature ranges from 68-86°F (20-30°C). Just the right temperature – not too hot but not too cold either. The New Zealand winters are typically spent making the most of the numerous ski fields while the summers are spent at the beach and having regular BBQ’s.

The beautiful Ocean Beach on Whangarei Heads and the view from Waiheke Island looking out towards the Coromandel Peninsular 

Generally, most Kiwi’s love summer. I am no exception. It’s my favorite time of the year. I spend a lot of time outside, climbing the hills, going to the beach, walking through forests and visiting waterfalls. Therefore it was an incredibly hard decision to leave my beloved summer behind and make the move to New York, just as the Northern Hemisphere entered winter! Keeping in mind I had just had a long and cold (what I used to believe was cold) winter, and I wasn’t super keen on repeating it, but the adventures to be had overseas were too hard to ignore, especially as I had a serious case of ‘itchy feet’

This is me enjoying one of New Zealand’s amazing beaches and Whangarei Falls in Whangarei

“Itchy feet” is a term commonly used in New Zealand for people wanting to travel/explore the world, and this is what eventually got me, along with my partner in crime, Jesse, to America. I will tell you all about it in my next post.

Have you guys ever heard the term Kiwi? A lot of people I’ve come across think I’m talking about the fruit (which we actually call kiwifruit). Have you visited New Zealand, or plan to in the near future?

Read more at PART II

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