While I was home in Louisiana for the holidays, so many people asked me what I missed about New Zealand and what things I'll take back to the states with me when I return one day. It's difficult to come up with an answer because I can't say that I've been captivated by a particular food, custom or material item here in New Zealand...
My two-week tour of New Zealand in April was full of checking off visits to National Parks and scenic highlights. We did glacier hiking, kayaking Abel Tasman, Hot Water Beaches in the Coromandel, and Maori celebrations to name a few. But what surprised me the most were the magical little towns and experiences in between.
Māori culture is so engrained in Kiwi life. It’s in the names of the cities, in the every day phrases, the sporting events, churches, and schools. Almost every natural landmark has a Māori legend behind it.
One does not simply walk into Mordor – she hikes, hobbles, trips, slips, gets back up and continues forward. In the end, it’s all worth it.
Somehow what was supposed to be a long relaxing holiday weekend in Lake Taupo turned into 7 hours of hiking nearly 18km across an active volcano. But I have no regrets!
The day my parents arrived in New Zealand was the first time I’d seen sun in weeks. We’d had an unusual series of ongoing storms that had left me feeling a little anxious about what their New Zealand experience would be. Let’s just say I’d been building up with blue water and sunny weather for months.
Last month’s road trip around New Zealand with my parents really was proof that New Zealand’s got it all. One day we were hiking a glacier and the next we were climbing through an enchanting bush walk and kayaking the crystal clear waters of Abel Tasman National Park.
There are few times in my life that I get so excited and smile intensely for so long, that my face starts to hurt. My dad calls it my “dolphin face” (see exhibit A), because he’d never seen me so excited, as the time I swam with dolphins. Riding in a helicopter over Fox Glacier was another one of those times.
Wellington, Wellywood, The Capital of Cool, call it what you will… New Zealand’s capital certainly lives up to its reputation. Last week Joe and I ventured to the bottom of the North Island (and the world’s most southern capital) for a taste of the city life. I’ve never considered myself much of a metropolitan lady, but I must admit it was surprisingly refreshing and energizing to take a break from the quieter life of Napier.