Seeing the world, one country at the time

New Zealand in a Nutshell

Bungee jumping, fjords, sheep and Lord of the Rings triology. A far away destination in a remote corner of the world, New Zealand was a much anticipated, but little known destination. Having spent 6 weeks in Australia, we didn't think there was a more outdoorsy nation out there. We were wrong. New Zealanders might not be as big on doing Sunday Barbies as the Aussies, but they are hikers, kayakers and campers Supreme.
New Zealand, as we bitterly discovered, is also, despite of being one of the most Southernly countries in the world, surprisingly cold in June. In hindsight, it might not have been the best idea in the world to travel in a campervan with no insulation or heating when it was cold enough to cover the car from bumper to bumper in ice overnight, including a thick layer - on the inside of the car Brrrrr. The biting cold wasn't without its benefits though - as a necessity, we hunted down some very cosy hostels where Lars kept the woodfire stoves going just about 24/7. Despite of the weather, we still ventured out to sea to observe Sperm Whales and we were rewarded with several sightings. It had been on my list for years and it finally came to fruition. The fjords (or fiords as the Kiwis call them) proved to be every bit as breathtaking as they were rumored to be, though Lars maintained that they were simply copy cats of the Norwegian fjords. Well, copy cats or not, the NZ fjords did host several families of Dolphins and secured the trip on the fjords a place on the have-to-list. NZ also offered insight into the NZ "equivalent" of the Australian Aborigines - the Maori - once a fierce warrior society and still a proud people. The Mitai tribe performing the Haka, a war dance, was something both Lars and I could have watched again and again. An intriguing contrast to the Aborigines indeed! Despite of being surprisingly cold, we would like to do New Zealand again - but this time in the summer ;- )