In praise of New Zealand

As part of Blog4NZ, today I’m talking about some of my favourite Kiwi destinations. I’ll admit my knowledge is limited so far, still having never set foot in the South Island, but there’s plenty to be seen in the north as well. Blog4NZ is set to be a social media first, a grassroots blogging effort to support New Zealand travel in the wake of the Canterbury earthquake. New Zealand is still open for business!

There’s something to be said for living on an island nation. You’re never too far from the water.

Be it the shimmering black sand and rugged beauty of the West Coast beaches…

Or the pristine waters in the Coromandel…

But we’re not just all about beaches and surf. Keen for a hike through the bush? We’ve got some of that, too.

And powder for snowbunnies!

I can’t think of any kind of landscape – mountain, sea, lake, forest – that we don’t have. Or outdoor activities (apparently our skydives and/or bungy jumps are some of the best value in the world). There’s hot water beaches, stinky geothermal springs if you’re into that kind of thing, and tons of places to watch, or swim with, marine life.

But you know what? My absolute favourite landscape anywhere, hands down, is the Desert Rd. Desolate, unspoiled, breathtaking. No pictures can do it justice. It’s a harsh, dry, barren landscape: the clay-coloured cliffs, the sandy grounds, the wild grasses. And yet, there is something almost lush about the reds, the purples and the yellows of the earth and the flowers.I greedily soak up the juxtaposition, trying to imprint it permanently and vividly in my memory, but I am always amazed when I set eyes on it.

The first time I  encountered this scenery was when visiting T at the army training camp in Waiouru; they do drills and practices and marches through the desert, which is why you can’t really stop and go wandering through the area. And it’s why this is one photo I’m bringing to you not from my camera, but courtesy of DeeKnow on Flickr.

7 thoughts on “In praise of New Zealand

  • Reply Sense March 21, 2011 at 13:21

    In comparison with all of the gorgeous places I’ve lived & visited (southeast coast, US; southern CA, US; Hawaii, US; New Zealand; east coast, Australia; Thailand; CA/UT/NV/AZ, US), NZ is the most beautiful and has the most varied landscape in the most compact space. Not only that, but it is all gorgeous. Not that the others are not beautiful & amazing in their own right, but they don’t offer the quality of variety that NZ does; can’t even compare!

  • Reply SP March 21, 2011 at 15:49

    New Zealand is definitely somewhere I’m be interested in going – the milford track is somewhat famous in the backpacking world. (there are many famous treks, but that one is definitely high on my list.) The hot beach sounds so neat!

    The problem with new zealand is that it is an island and it is so so so far away from me. But someday!

  • Reply Well Heeled Blog March 21, 2011 at 16:28

    Gorgeous! I would love to go to New Zealand.. perhaps for a honeymoon. 😉

  • Reply First Gen American March 25, 2011 at 21:58

    When I describe New Zealand, I say it’s like visiting North America but compressed into the size of 1 of our 50 states. It really is impressive how significantly the landscape changes in just a few hours in the car.

  • Reply The Asian Pear March 26, 2011 at 15:56

    Wow. It’s so pretty. I wanna visit. I plan on visiting Australia in 2015 or so… Maybe I can swing a plane ticket to NZ while I’m in that area.

  • Reply Living in NZ: The ultimate post | Musings of an Abstract Aucklander April 10, 2012 at 11:29

    […] here, here and here for a few examples of stunning […]

  • Reply Iceland: First impressions and travel recommendations January 12, 2014 at 14:40

    […] landscape is, but as it turns out, it’s not so different from home. It resembles the Desert Rd (my favourite New Zealand landscape), with its rocky terrain and muted […]

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