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He only went out for some milk A blurb of monstrous proportions - it was only supposed to be a couple of lines and the odd photo.

That's all for New Zealand

NEW ZEALAND | Friday, 1 February 2008 | Views [1317] | Comments [1]

How could you not like NZ when they have these - wow, oh wow...this bird made my day.

How could you not like NZ when they have these - wow, oh wow...this bird made my day.

Perhaps more than any other country, New Zealand was the one i wanted to visit.  Yet for all its beauty and dramatic landscapes I've been ready to leave here for a couple of weeks.

NZ caters for the backpackers incredibly well - travel, bookings and tours are easy, varied and of good value when compared to Europe.  Kiwi's are generally friendly and if they're not then the million plus tourists probably are.  The combination of mountains, volcanoes, hot springs, lakes, golden beaches and green as far as the eye can see in such a small place is awe inspiring.  The easy access to interesting wildlife and the 100's of tramps for appreciating the flora, fauna and landscape is the best of anywhere I've been.  I love some of the little towns and even a city or two - nice combinations of rural and urban, a comfortable feel to them and some jaw dropping backdrops.  The presence of Maori's and lots of travelers from different nationalities gives an interesting mix to the whole experience.

However, of course it's not all good, the grass maybe greener here but it's no paradise.  From reading a newspaper nearly everyday, seeing the news and talking to the locals i have some idea of the realities although i realise i am still just a short term tourist.  I've been gobsmacked at the amount of violence, murders and car accidents.  It's probably a small amount compared to the UK, but it feels like a big, everyday problem.  It could be that I'm de-sensitised to the news in England or maybe we don't report in the same way - it's simply not news in the UK anymore.  There seems to be an element of the population that hasn't evolved yet.  In one of the papers there was a story and a Spanish tourist described some of the men as a bit "ug ug".  I know exactly what he means and yet it's a highly literate, well travelled, often forward thinking nation.  Like virtually everywhere else there are racial tensions between; white kiwis, Maori and the increasing 'immigrants'.  Ironic considering most groups are fairly recent additions to the islands.  I don't find the country cheap or particularly good value, how can i after spending so long in Asia - I took part in virtually none of the 'adrenaline tours' simply for that reason.  The food has also been poor to average for a guy on a budget.  I think like England you need to know where the good places are.  There are so many tourists and so it's hard to tell where the locals eat, and the establishments can get away with not serving great food.  Although you can find it, there isn't the amount of history available compared to a lot of places - whether it's in the architecture, the museums or the galleries.  Many times I've (laughably) seen something described as historic purely because it's over 100 years old!  Sand flies are a bloody menace in certain places and can completely reduce the enjoyment of a place.  The sun is another problem - the UV index is generally off the scale!  NZ has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world.

That seems like a lot of negativity and yet I've said many a time that i love NZ.  So why am i ready to leave?  Simple, it's too much like England and I'm bored.  I have to make full use of the time i have got to travel, and of late I've felt like I'm just going through the motions of travelling.  The travel is too easy, too familiar and in a too culturally similar place for me to enjoy it fully. 

Yet i do love this place!

The good points easily outweigh the bad; it's just the wrong place and not quite the right time for me.  When it is right...I'll be back.

Tags: conclusions?, island




Yes. I've re-travelled NZ with you and I'm sorry you're leaving. It feels like a wire being severed. I guess the NZ I travelled no longer exists. Still, I wanna go back there and check...---shane: places we travel and certainly places we love are always different to different people. I could go back to NZ tomorrow and have a completely different experience. NZ is in your heart, it's the place you love and it will always exist for you.

  Tam Feb 9, 2008 2:41 PM

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