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5 Reasons To Love New Zealand

published on 2013-11-04 by Sara
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1. Eco Awareness

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 cool.

Made in New Zealand

2. Wellington

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 you’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.

4. The Coromandel

The Coromandel isn’t “off the beaten track” per se, but the Peninsula on the Northern Island seems calmer and rather basic compared to the rest of the country.

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!).

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.

5. Nature

Nature deserves it’s own bullet point. 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. 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

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