In honour of Waitangi Day, New Zealand’s National Day, on February 6th I thought I would share 6 reasons why I am proud to be a Kiwi.
1. New Zealand is stunning!
Lets face it New Zealand is bloody gorgeous. Seaside towns neighbouring a colourful patchwork of plains leading up to snow capped mountains, and that’s just on the South Island! New Zealand is known throughout the world has having an abundance of natural beauty and even some of it’s cities can hold their own – Wellington anyone? Whenever I see New Zealand featured in films or TV shows (think Lord of the Rings), I get a real buzz knowing that is my country being showcased and feel excited that other people are seeing what my country has to offer.
2. There’s loads of stuff to do
Want to surf in the morning and climb a mountain in the afternoon, no problem. New Zealand has so many activities that I couldn’t possibly list them all here. No matter what you want to do, New Zealand has it. Want adrenalin based adventure? Then Queenstown is your place. Want to experience some of the best wine in the world? There are not many regions in the country that don’t produce wine. Want some cosmopolitan city life? Give Auckland’s Viaduct area a try. Or maybe you just want to relax and leave the stress of life behind, then Hanmer Springs is the place for you. There is so much to do in New Zealand that you need to take your time to fit everything in. People often ask me how long they should spend in New Zealand and I usually respond that at least two weeks on each island will give you just a taste of what the country has to offer. I haven’t even mentioned the whole Lord of the Rings/Hobbit tourism attractions – Amanda from A Dangerous Business has a great blog about New Zealand as Middle-Earth
3. Kiwi Ingenuity
Did you ever think that one day you would strap a rubberband to your ankles and jump off a bridge? Well AJ Hackett thought it seemed like a good idea back in 1988, and thus was born bungy jumping. Another NZ adventure invention is the Zorb, created by two Rotorua brothers and now done around the world. Lets not forget the famous No 8 wire.
4. Doesn’t have to take long to get places
You are never more than about 120 km from the sea in New Zealand which means you can easily experience different parts of country on the same day. Driving from Christchurch in the east to Westport in the west takes about 5 hours and takes you through dramatically different landscapes from the Canterbury Plains into the heights of the Southern Alps and then the forests of the West Coast.The only downside is that being at the bottom of the world, it takes a while (and a lot of money) to get anywhere else in the world. But why would you want to go anywhere else when the whole of New Zealand is your backyard.
5. Amazing road trips
There are some pretty amazing road trips to be had in New Zealand. A few of my favourites are the drive from Christchurch to Blenheim via Kaikoura, driving anywhere in the Coromandel and the West Coast of the South Island from Westport down to Wanaka. Wonderful scenery, the roads are pretty good to travel on and the people in small town New Zealand are just lovely.
6. There’s no place like home
That moment, when I’m on the plane and we cross over the Southern Alps into Canterbury I can feel it. I am home.