5 Reasons Why Berliners Will Love New Zealand

by Sara · 04.11.2013 · Escapism · 3 comments

Many people are cur­rently con­sid­er­ing their options in face of the com­ing winter: should I stay or should I go? After my third winter in Ber­lin, I was so trau­mat­ized that I left for 8 whole month, always trav­el­ing with the sun. Those lucky ones who can just return to their warm coun­tries because they were only here for the sum­mer any­way… you’re par­ty­po­op­ers. The real fun comes when you’ve endured the whole year! 

But I can’t blame any­one for at least try­ing to escape every once in a while. That’s why our “Escap­ism” cat­egory has been tak­ing off lately. I only returned from my ten day trip to New Zea­l­and. It took me a while to recover from all the impres­sions, but at some point, I real­ized that Ber­liners are going to love this coun­try for what it is and that I’d be stu­pid not to men­tion it again. It’s a per­fect escape, espe­cially right now, as the south­ern hemi­sphere is cel­eb­rat­ing the begin­ning of sum­mer while we’re pre­par­ing for frozen toes. New Zea­l­and, here we come? Check out why Ber­liners will love this country.

1. The Kiwi Eco Aware Atti­tude Is Totally In Check With The Ber­lin Bio Craze

Wherever I went in New Zea­l­and, everything — and I abso­lutely, pos­it­ively mean everything — food was either organic, local, glu­ten free or all three of them. Whatever your diet may be, you’ll def­in­itely not have a prob­lem get­ting along on this island– and you’ll totally stay healthy. And not in that pre­ten­tious Pren­zlauer Berg sort of way, it’s just nor­mal to Kiwis to live and eat on fresh pro­duce, amaz­ing fish and organic meat. Liv­ing on an island is prob­ably a reason for that, it wouldn’t be eco­nom­ic­ally feas­ible to import every little thing. After a while I came to real­ize that it’s not just the food: pretty much every­one has an intrinsic eco­lo­gic­ally aware atti­tude that seems to be miss­ing in Ger­many (or maybe it’s Europe in gen­eral). I guess being raised on a skate– or surf­board, among amaz­ing nature, makes you find interest in your sur­round­ings, espe­cially mar­ine life. I met plenty of young people who were so into in their coun­try and land­scape, and it wasn’t nerdy at all. In fact, it was damn cool. I tried to think of one per­son back in Ber­lin who’d know any­thing about the envir­on­ment they live in — no dice. Judging by the count of Bio Com­panys here, this is exactly what people should be look­ing for more. And to know that you’ve vis­ited a coun­try and almost exclus­ively sup­por­ted a good move­ment — that should count for some­thing, right? (Nev­er­mind the flight, though).

Made in New Zealand

2. Wel­ling­ton — Like A Trop­ical Berlin

I’ve pos­ted about Wel­ling­ton before. It’s any­thing you’d want in a city as a tour­ist. It unfolds right before your eyes, with plenty of afford­able res­taur­ants, bars and cafés flank­ing the cute streets. There’s noth­ing wrong about Wel­ling­ton, which reminds me of everything that’s good about Lis­boa, Cape Town, Lon­don and Ber­lin without being a pom­pous met­ro­pole or too expens­ive to live in. Whether your’re into high cul­ture or into street graf­fiti, you’ll be a happy cat here. Food­ies are going to explode with euphoria. If you’re into sports, you can down­hill bike, and if you’re into party­ing, don’t worry — you’ll not be disappointed. 

After down­hill bik­ing from Makara Peak. Fail.

Wel­ling­ton: view from harbor

Sun­rise

3. Totally Awe­some Cof­fee Everywhere

I’ve not had one bad cof­fee in New Zea­l­and. Although Wel­ling­ton seems to be the cap­itol of cof­fee (so many cof­feeshops, so many experts on cof­fee, so many roast­ing houses, so many local blends), the whole coun­try has a thing for our favor­ite hot bever­age. Even on a Kayak tour to a remote beach without any elec­tri­city avail­able, your tour guide will be happy to serve you a cof­fee fresh from the stove. None of that instant BS that you’ll get served else­where! Since Ber­liners have a thing for cof­fee, I’d say this is a unique selling point. “WE HAVE ALL BEEN BARISTAS AT SOME POINT IN OUR LIVES” should be the new mar­ket­ing motto of New Zea­l­and. Why, yes, I’d love to have the best cof­fee I’ve ever had on the pret­ti­est beach I’ve ever been to. Beats going to Katies for the 3rd time this week while it’s rainy and cold and with a wait­ing time of approx­im­ately six hours (BUT KATIES I LOVE YOU AND I WOULD WAIT FOREVER FOR YOUR COFFEE). I even had an amaz­ing cup of cap­pu­cino at a rest stop on the high­way. Can you ima­gine that in Ger­many? ON THE HIGHWAY? If you’ve never had some of that: don’t. It’s lethal and it should count as human rights abuse.

Hay­den, our Kayak Tour­guide, pre­par­ing fresh brewed espresso

4. The Coro­man­del: As Authen­tic As It Gets

The Coro­man­del isn’t “off the beaten track” per se, but the Pen­in­sula on the North­ern Island seems calmer and basic com­pared to the rest of the coun­try. It has everything a Ber­lin heart can wish for. I know you guys. You all want authen­ti­city and untouched nature, so here you go, the Coro­man­del is per­fect. Whether it’s a typ­ical beach vaca­tion that you’re look­ing for or a hike through lush forests, end­less pos­sib­il­it­ies await. Two things espe­cially sold me: the Pur­angi Winery and the Waihi Beach Lodge. I almost passed the Pur­angi Winery, but I saw the “pizza” sign and since I was starved I stopped the car and looked into it. It was almost empty, but the owner of the place took great care of me, hav­ing me check out pretty much every bever­age avail­able in his shop and intro­du­cing me to Fei­joa, a fruit I instantly fell in love with. The pizza — there are only two kinds of pizza, either a Mager­ita or one with too many top­pings to recount here — was as deli­cious as it gets. The Pur­angi Winery is a sure shot high­light of any New Zea­l­and trip. You’d be lucky to end up here in such an amaz­ing atmo­sphere, and if you’re a free­dom camper you can stay a night for free on the park­ing space (not an offer you’ll find often!).

Won­der­ful host!

Fei­joa

Fol­low­ing my stop at Pur­angi was my slee­p­over at Greg & Alis Waihi Beach Lodge. This couple is prac­tic­ally made of sugar, that’s how sweet they are. Sure, Waihi Beach is super nice. But that’s not what would make me want to go back. Stay­ing with Greg & Ali was like stay­ing with fam­ily you didn’t know you have — and that’s a golden feel­ing when you’re exhausted from traveling. 

Sun­rise at Waihi Beach

5. Nature & Wildlife

Nature is kind of a given when dis­cuss­ing the perks of hol­i­days in New Zea­l­and, but it’s worth men­tion­ing again and again. There’s no way to suf­fi­ciently describe the rich­ness of the envir­on­ment on this won­der­ful island, and it’s incred­ible how much effort people are put­ting into keep­ing it that way. Every other hour passing through on the high­way (which is more like a Land­straße in Ger­many unless you’re in urban areas) the scenery will com­pletely flip and change. From being in Switzer­land to the Carib­bean, New Zealand’s got it all. Addi­tion­ally, tour­ism is not some­thing that just makes money. Most of the tour oper­at­ors are thought­ful about what they do and where they take their guests, about explain­ing with pride and care all the details of the coun­try and the Maori back­ground. Even if you’re not inter­ested in hik­ing the Kiwi Alps or diving into the ocean, you’ll most likely learn some­thing about nature and the his­tory of the wild­life in New Zea­l­and any­way– about the pests, about how those stu­pid Europeans pretty much killed everything nat­ive and how the envir­on­mental threats are being fought off today. And this is not textbook-studying in the­ory. You’ll learn all this while watch­ing dol­phins play­ing and seals tan­ning. I wish we had dol­phins in Landwehrkanal. Dol­phins make everything better.

Hahei Beach

Cathed­ral Cove

Fog on Makara Peak, Wellington

Smal­lest Air NZ plane from Hoi­ki­tika to Christchurch

So you’re an urban explorer? How about old indus­trial buildings?

Amaz­ing store­fronts for­eign to the Ger­man eye

Punakaiki Pan­cake Rocks

2 comments
  1. Hey Sara, thanks for the kind words and glad to see you enjoyed our back­yard. From The Coro­man­del #goodforyoursoul

  2. Hi Sara. Next time you come to NZ I hope you can get on down to Cent­ral Otago and Fiord­land and see the best scenery in NZ!!

What others had to say about it

  1. […] trip out of the city could brighten my mood. It doesn’t always have to be the Carib­bean or New Zea­l­and, though. So where to go around Ber­lin with only a day or two to spare? Hertz asked me about my […]

Write a comment