Been home sweet home for 4 days. 4-hot-winter-days. I’m not complaining. I’m reminiscing about winter in Queenstown, New Zealand. New Zealand has a wonderful frosty winter to rug up for and still be able to explore the outdoors with many activities on their doorsteps.
As an avid traveller and a pure Aussie born and raise girl of Brisbane, Queensland. I’m pondering the reasons I feel so home sick, even though I’m back home on the Gold Coast. Maybe it’s the not wearing two-three layers of clothing, mittens and scarfs, or the fresh air with the smell of pine trees. Maybe. Just maybe. It’s a lot about life is just better in New Zealand.
Ten Things the Kiwi’s do better than Aussie’s:
- They sell themselves:- Lets face it Australia has failed advertising our beautiful beaches, stunning cities in Sydney and Melbourne, even our coral reef with a “Best Job in the World” campaign. New Zealand has sold itself since 1999 with one slogan “100 per cent Pure New Zealand“. Air New Zealand in-flight videos featuring the All Blacks and The Hobbit have gone viral on YouTube. Christchurch was in crumbles with the 2011 earthquake, the city now boost a ReBuild Tour to show the cities highlights and progression of rebuilding a valuable city of New Zealand. It’s impressive how far Christchurch has come in 4 years.
- When they boast “Homemade” they mean it:- Sure, the wine is excellent, the craft beer tastes better, the Ciders…. *drools*, and coffee is the national religion after rugby. It’s at morning and afternoon tea they truly excel. There is no place for mass-produced hydrogenated muffins and fridge-odoured caramel slices that fill our cafes. Using the century-old Edmonds baking bible, they make scones, cookies, muffins, pastries and slices from scratch. Even Chocolate from Cadbury’s Dunedin, it just simply tastes better. I haven’t even mentioned the Fergbaker pies. One hyphenated word “mouth-watering”.
- Women play sport:- Sure women play sport in Australia, you’d never know it from watching television here. In New Zealand netball is not only broadcast live, its stars also appear in the glossies, interviews on the morning new programs regarding their sporting skills… not a recent breakup or dodgy Sext sent.
- They LOVE Extreme Sports:- AJ Hackett had the imagination to tie an elastic rope to their feet and jump off a bridge, they developed extreme flying foxes, extreme mountain bike terrains, and a sort of jet boating experiance leaving your stomach in your mouth. Of cause it’s not a trip to New Zealand without hitting the slopes or hiking the amazing mountain trails.
- Their coins make sense:- The $2 is larger than the $1 and they’ve done away with 5 cent coins.
- Race relations matter:- Grievances are redressed through the Treaty of Waitangi, Maori culture is upheld in schools where the national anthem is sung in both languages, and to have “mana” (honour and respect) is to have it all.
- They’re Thrill-seekers:- Whereas you can’t visit a beach or a pool in Australia without a sign warning you against every possible activity short of breathing, New Zealand views any body of water as the means to adrenalin. With a ‘You probably won’t bang your head‘ mentality.
- They don’t see gay marriage as a threat: – So they legalised it.
- Tours are run at exceptionally high standards:- I had about 8 tour guides/bus drivers over the two weeks visiting Queenstown, Mt Cook, Dunedin and Christchurch. Each and every single one was friendly, inviting, happy to answers all the questions I could think of, with well research and learnt knowledge of the regions visited. They are Storytellers on the long drives between towns and attractions. You find yourself constantly engaging with them.
- Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit:- I’m a MASSIVE Lord of the Rings Fangirl, no visitor is in any doubt the films were shot here, the guides point out mountains and landscapes giving a brief description of the scene it stared in. They have no profit to gain except how proud they are the films were done in these locations. No visitor is in any doubt of the splendour offered by New Zealand’s ever changing landscape.
Maybe I’ll never have enough words to make you move there — the price of fruit, vegetables, milk and petrol are exorbitant. But – I’ll go back for another adventure, or even to retire in my 60’s. Right now Benny and I are True Blue Aussie’s enjoying a warmer than expected winter in Australia.