New Zealand like any great love is easy to fall for and difficult to get over. Her natural beauty can rarely be competed with and no matter how many times you’ve had her, you always want her more.
After living in New Zealand for 2 years I have seen almost everything the country had to offer and never once did it disappoint. Even now, I still find myself reminiscing about the wonderful things I done there, from sailing through Milford Sound to hiking The Tongariro Crossing.
Readers of my blog will know how much I adore this country and here is 10 reasons why you will fall in love with her too.
1. Her natural beauty is breathtaking.
New Zealand is without a doubt the most jaw-droppingly beautiful country I have ever visited. From it’s rugged coastlines to it’s snow capped mountains. Although everyone has heard about how remarkable Cathedral Cove is, or how blue Lake Tekapo is. New Zealand is full of hidden gems, from little known white sand beaches to secret coves and dazzling hiking trails. Although I do believe Queenstown is one of the most beautiful places on earth, there is something quite magical about stumbling up on somewhere without the tourists or the crowds, and feeling like it belongs only you, even if it’s only for a moment or two.
Photo by Kaitlin Shanklin @kaitsshank
2. She is diverse.
How many other countries in the world are home to glaciers, volcanoes, geizers, geothermal pools, white sand beaches, caves illuminated by glow worms, waterfalls, mountains and much more? I remember someone telling me that if I liked New Zealand I would love Canada as it’s a more extreme version of NZ, “New Zealand on steroids” was how they put it. And whilst i don't doubt Canada’s beauty (i’ve never been but I've seen the photos), I am still quite sure New Zealand can hold it’s own. The reason being, Canada is HUGE. Although the country may offer everything New Zealand can, it can’t do it within the same proximity. In what other country can you hike a glacier and visit a beach in the same day? In NZ, you don't need to drive to the other side of the country to experience the different activities or landscapes on offer and you are only a short drive from any city to a deserted beach or hiking trail. Living in New Zealand enables you to combine a whole ray of activities and experiences that you would usually have to travel extensively to encounter.
3. She'll never bore you.
New Zealand really is home to every activity you can imagine. Here you can try everything from snow boarding to surfing, hiking to white water rafting. It is the home of extreme sports, afterall, this is where the bungee jump was invented so visiting NZ is sure to give any adrenaline junkie the rush they are looking for. However, it’s not just the extreme sports on offer, there is also fishing, sailing, scuba diving and even luging. There are activities here that I had never even heard of prior to my arrival nor have seen anywhere else in the world. Due to NZ having such a diverse landscape, it means there are hundreds of different ways to explore and discover it, whether it's on foot, by mountain bike or swinging through a valley on the world's highest swing.
Photo by Lisa Owen @_thelittleadventurer
4. And her home-grown produce is incredible.
One of the things I loved most about living in New Zealand was the great produce so readily available and it teaches you to eat seasonally. Coming from Europe, with constant imports from different countries you don't need to think about the availability of certain items, you simply go to the supermarket and it's there. This "luxury" is not available in NZ but it teaches you that, if you eat seasonally, not only is it cheaper but the produce tastes so much better. Lots of towns and cities have a weekly farmers market which is great for buying locally sourced goods and Kiwi’s take a lot of pride in where there food comes from. I spent most Sunday’s in Wellington at the farmers market by the waterfront and I delighted in browsing through the endless stalls never being short of amazed of the variety and quality of things on offer.
5. Plus she knows how to cook it.
I adore the cafe culture in New Zealand and the standard of food is incredible, I have had some of the best meals of my life in this little corner of the world. From classical NZ to the array of Asian and European eateries, you will never be stuck for choice. Considering New Zealand is quite a small country, it’s jam packed with a variety of different eateries and cuisines from all around the globe. (And, of course, it is home to the Ferg burger!)
6. And she is home to some of the most beautiful places I've ever visited.
Milford Sound. Wanaka. Abel Tasman. Bay of Islands but to name a few.
7. If that wasn't enough, she won't try and kill you either.
Considering Australia isn’t too far from New Zealand and comes with all sorts of lethal and terrifying creatures, I am delighted to confirm NZ is completely void of all such creatures. No poisonous snakes. No black widow spiders. No great white sharks (well.. occasionally one gets lost and ends up in NZ waters but it is a rare occurrence!) I can quite confidently say you can camp throughout New Zealand without fear of any fatal bites.
8. And her stars are something special.
New Zealand has been voted one of the best places in the world for star gazing. I hadn't seen a shooting star until I moved to New Zealand and then they became a rather regular occurrence. On a clear night you can see the milky way and if you are really lucky you can also see the Southern Lights.
Photo by Kaitlin Shanklin @kaitsshank
9. Did I mention the wildlife she has is pretty damn cool?
New Zealand is an incredible destination for wildlife, not only is it home to the endangered kiwi but here you can also whale watch, swim with wild dolphins and hang out with some sunbathing seals. If your lucky you can even see the worlds smallest penguin!
10. And a combination of all her qualities make her a pretty epic place to live.
New Zealand regularly tops varies polls identifying it as "The Best Country in the World" or similar. And whilst no country is perfect, New Zealand is about as close as you can get to it these days. As one of the least corrupt countries on the planet coupled with a high standard of living, it's no wonder more people than ever are using the Working Holiday Scheme to experience life here. Whether you are visiting, immigrating or a Kiwi born and bread, New Zealand offers something for everyone and you can't help but fall completely and utterly in love with her.