There’s a lot of chat right now about how great it is to live in NZ. I’m unsure whether this is being promoted as extensively outside the country or whether it’s just one little article that has gone viral in NZ because we love to see our name in lights.
We have small country syndrome. If a star of an American/British TV show happens to make an offhand comment about New Zealand then you can be sure it’ll be cut into the teaser trailer. We may appear to be chilled (and as a result somewhat unpatriotic) but deep down we are proud as bloody punch of our wee place we call home.
So why then am I having troubles carving out an itinerary for my London crew who are legging it over here for the wedding next year?? Well confession time, I haven’t actually seen a huge chunk of NZ… and by huge chunk I mean the South Island. Hey, I said huge didn’t I?
Ok so I’ve been to Nelson for a weekend, fleetingly to central Otago for a wedding and to Christchurch loads because it’s where the blonde kiwi (and his entire flock) hail from, but never really seen a lot more. This absolutely blows foreigners minds who always want to chat about Queenstown with me when they find out I’m a Kiwi. Soz about it, never been.
I remember coming back to work in London after a weekend in Norway where I’d seen the most incredible landscape on a fjord cruise. I was proudly showing off my travel pics to workmates when one of them called me out saying didn’t I already have all of that kind of beauty right on my doorstep back home in NZ? Ummm yeah? I guess so... To be honest, I’d say most tourists would have seen more of the country than me.
This was always the case over in the Northern Hemisphere too - typically I had seen more of Europe than most of my pommy workmates. It's a tad ridiculous that I would have no problem rattling off a list of things to do in Budapest, Stockholm and Dublin but couldn't tell you where Hobbiton is on a map.
The proximity thing is weird. It’s like the closer something is, the less urgency or desire there is to see it. I grew up in Hawke's Bay down the road from a massive gannet colony and it’s one of the big ‘must do’s’ in the region. Yep you guessed it, never been. Pretty sure that ain't gonna happen until kids come along and we run out of places to take them when we visit the folks. There are plenty of other attractions in the bay (i.e. vineyards/cafes/cheeseries - yes a cheesery is a thing, a beautiful beautiful thing) that I am already excited to eat and drink my way through when the UK contingent are here.
Thankfully I have no issues when it comes to recommending New Zealand delicacies that the visitors need to try. A mince and cheese pie session will be followed by fush and chups on the beach and ofcourse for dessert the options are plentiful (the only thing that would make this pic better is a Choc-bar but I ate it before I could get a photo op in).
I guess people come to New Zealand for more than just the junk food though aye? I'm going to take this as an excuse to be a bit of a tourist in this oh so prosperous country of ours. The blonde kiwi and I have actually already got a head start and finally visited Rangitoto island a few weeks back. It's a mere 20 minute ferry from the city but we'd never set foot out there. Not sure why we bothered to be honest, pretty crap views...
We've also spent a bit of time reaquainting ourselves with Lake Taupo where my family have a cabin. Another hideous place...
It's going to be tough but someone has to do it and I think the blonde kiwi and I are up to the challenge. So here's to three months of playing tourist in the land of the long white cloud. Yep, it's only three months now until the big day....not that I'm freaking out at all. Not, at, all. So organised right now...yup *stares at growing list of things to sort and pours extra large glass of pinot noir*