New Zealand – A round-up

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New Zealand – A round-up

This post was planned when I was still travelling around New Zealand and I thought it would be a good way to round-up the trip. See the highs and lows, so to speak.

New Zealand - A round-up

New Zealand – A round-up

Before you go on a trip there are always dreams of what you think that trip will be like. Yes? You have these visions of beautiful landscapes you can photograph. You will find tranquility everywhere you go. That everyone you meet will be lovely. You will have the most amazing experiences.

Of course, then you get to where you are going and the reality sets in.

Perhaps that is why I don’t like dreaming, they are always disappointing. Well, maybe that isn’t entirely true. Okay not true at all. Some of those things were as we thought they would be, others not so much.

Let’s take a look.

New Zealand - A round-up

The Scenery Round-up

Without a doubt it was stunning. Everywhere we went it was so beautiful. I think as we were driving around what I kept saying was “wow”. Some days it seemed like around every corner we were saying that.

It was amazing how different to Australia it was. For two countries that are so close to one another, it is incredible how different they are. They are like chalk and cheese. One country is a dry flat land and has many deserts, while the other seems very green and mountainous. Yet you can travel from one to the other in under 4 hours.

New Zealand - A round-up

Mountains

You have heard me talking about mountains before. I find them so fascinating. They are so massive and each one so different. There is something ancient about them. I don’t know how to describe it.

Perhaps it is the volcanic nature of them. There is a rawness to them. I don’t know how to describe it. I just love them.

New Zealand - A round-up

Environment

In many places where we visited there was a strong sense of how much the environment needed protecting. The government there appears to be committed to trying to stop the effects of climate change. That is is how it seemed to me.

It is something that drives me crazy about the government in Australia. They are so attached to coal when so many other countries are turning away from it. We get so much sunlight, but still solar isn’t an option for many. We did put 34 solar panels on our house in the last couple of years and that feels great.

However, in New Zealand there seemed to be warnings everywhere about protecting the fragile environment. That really spoke to me. While I can’t remember specifics, I’m getting old, I know I found it a few times. So on with the New Zealand round-up.

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New Zealand round-up of the Tourists

This is a hard one, as I know I was a tourist myself, but they are horrible. Actually, the actions of many tourists just turned me off the whole idea of travelling.

The morning we went to Glenorchy it was spectacular. It was so calm and peaceful. Then four small vans pulled up full of people and they yelled at one another. They didn’t seem interested in the calmness of where they were. They stood mostly with their backs to it posing for photo after photo. They destroyed the serenity and our visit.

They were often pushy in places. At the glow worms cave when we were trying to look at something, we were pushed out of the way so we couldn’t see anything. It was shocking.

New Zealand - A round-up

When in Rome. . .

I’m glad it wasn’t that way everywhere. I know that much of it is cultural, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. It isn’t cultural for New Zealand. Apparently, for many tourists, no matter what country they come from, the saying when in Rome, doesn’t matter. I have seen it time and time again here too.

When you are in New York and walking on the footpaths, if you walk on the wrong side, you get yelled at. However, when people come here, well we drive on the left, so they should walk on the left. Do they, no. There are streets in Melbourne that are just as busy as those in New York, not many but a few. People walk where they want. It is chaos.

Thankfully, many of the places I photograph here aren’t on the tourist trails. I can pick when I go and usually have the place to myself. That is so much better if you ask me.

New Zealand - A round-up

Tourist Buses

They are everywhere. Really everywhere. There are so many buses. They all drive SO slow. We usually made it that I drove early, before the buses got on the road. I hate following slow vehicles. Their speed varies constantly and you really have to watch them. You can’t enjoy where you are going.

Yeah, I’m impatient. I can’t lie.

New Zealand - A round-up

Internet

This one was really surprising. We purchased SIM cards for our phones so we could get the internet there, but it was nearly always useless outside of towns. Trying to keep people up to date with social media was so hard. I’ve been trying to do more Instagram stories, but it was just about impossible. I ended up taking photos and then loaded them up to IG later on.

It was so surprising. I get that with all the mountains it was hard. I just wished I had known really.  The west coast was far worse than the east coast.

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Being a vegetarian

Being a vegetarian does come with many challenges. Mainly finding food to eat or meals when you go out that don’t have meat. It wasn’t easy. Now that could be because I’m also fussy, I hate cheese. Well, most cheeses. Anything that has a strong flavour, so feta and up.

Though many places had no vegetarian options at all. Most just have one, the token vegetarian dish. There were a few times I thought I was going to have to eat meat, but nearly every place we went to was really good and happy to help me.

One place in Christchurch was amazing. They made special meals for me. Partly because they didn’t have anything on their menu that I could eat. I have found that it is really good to just talk to the people and explain.

New Zealand - A round-up

The Locals

Everywhere we went we met locals and for the most part, they were fantastic. Very helpful. Seemed like nearly everyone had a relative living in Melbourne which was funny. Perhaps being from here gave us a connection.

We had places recommended to us to go and photograph. Some helped us work out when it was a good time to go. We felt welcomed everywhere we went. That was a really nice side effect.

New Zealand - A round-up

Summing Up the round-up

New Zealand really is a stunning country and I will never regret going. It was a great experience and I loved it there. Will I go back? Good question, I don’t know. It is one of those countries that is swarming with tourists and they are a problem as well. I am not sure I want to be part of that.

That is pretty much it for my New Zealand – a round-up post.

Here is a link to a couple of other posts.

Back home – New Zealand Wanderings are over

New Zealand Wanderings Day 4 – Trees and Towns

Travel Plans – New Zealand

11 Responses

  1. Loved this very honest look at New Zealand. Yes it’s beautiful and remote but it’s fragile too. Fragile in that the entire economy is reliant upon tourism to survive, if there was no tourism, some of these tiny towns in the middle of nowhere would just be ghost towns. It’s sort of both a blessing and a curse. Thankfully, away from the tourst spots it is possible to find a piece of beach in New Zealand or a mountain where there is absolutely nobody…although that means going the road less travelled. Coming from Melbourne and living here in New Zealand I’ve seen all sides. It’s really interesting to see your take on it.

    • Australia is very similar, very reliant on tourism. I don’t have an issue with people travelling and wanting to see places, that is what I was doing, but for many there isn’t a lot of respect for where they are, or those around them. That is what I didn’t like. I just don’t think I should travel. I am thankful that we managed to get to some places without them being overrun by others. I loved the landscape in New Zealand and would love to see it again, but not sure I could deal with those tourists again. Thank you.

    • I find them annoying too and I totally understand how you feel. I think it’s primarily a cultural thing, about respect, personal space, public disturbance, noise and so on. I was astounded to visit Japan and find that they openly frown upon talking on mobile on the train, and that speaking in a loud and obnoxious voice will see you looked down upon by locals. As a result, everyone is super polite, all public spaces are super organised and even in the biggest city in the world at peak hour, millions of people queue up respectfully and get on the trains, even though trains are packed you never feel like it’s overwhelming. Seeing that changed everything for me – in a good way. This is how I wish it was everywhere else in the world!

    • Yes, I think it is as well. Definitely cultural. I have heard that a lot about Japan, and I think they are great tourists as well. I wish it was like that as well.

  2. I think you should tour Tasmania. You get good internet for the most part, our food is wonderful, not too many tourists once you get outside of Hobart. The winter light is brilliant for photos. The scenery is unrivaled. Though you do need to be careful of Tassie drivers. They are nuts. Come when the kids are in school.

    • I have been to Tasmania a couple of times now, just short trips, over 10 to 12 days. I loved it there and really want to go back again, was going to go towards the end of the year, but have now decided to do in autumn next year. It is funny you say that about the internet, I’m with Optus and the first time I went the coverage was really bad, but last time it was a lot better, so they are improving it. Definitely only travel when the kids are in school. Where in Tassie are you Pam.
      Thank you.

  3. very nice….good post

  4. I’ve lived in Wellington for just over 6 years, and love being in New Zealand. Like every country, there are good and bad bits, but it is extremely beautiful. It is a pity you didn’t also travel in the North Island. That could be your next trip perhaps? On a clear day the flight from Wellington to Hamilton can be fantastic, with volcanic peaks visible on both sides of the aircraft. Oh and there are lots of vegetarian and vegan places to eat in Wellington! I have to agree re tourists (though when I visit Melbourne I am one there of course…). My home town of Edinburgh, Scotland, is horrible now in parts of the old town – completely spoiled in my opinion. But they also bring money to the city. Anyway, I have loved your series of New Zealand pictures.

    • We did consider doing some of the North Island, but in the end thought it would be better to stick with one and do as much as we could. Thankfully NZ isn’t that far away, so always room for more trips. It sounds so beautiful, that flight. Yeah, I know what you mean, I was criticising them but then would have to remember I was one myself. lol. I have heard that a lot about Scotland, I want to go there, but I don’t know now after being to NZ, it will be worse. That is great to hear, glad you enjoyed my trip too. Thank you.

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