You are reading an honest New Zealand travel blog. Lucky for you, I like to keep it real and tell you how it is. If you are are in the throes of emigrating to New Zealand or even if you are in the early stages of thinking about moving to this beautiful country, then you are on the right page.
l I have 20 perfectly honest (maybe a bit too honest) truths to share with you about New Zealand. All of them positive, some of them a bit weird.
My family and I have been living in New Zealand for the past ten years. It is now my home. But this wasn’t always the case and I wish someone had given me a few of these pointers before we arrived. Want to know what New Zealand is really like?
A New Zealand Travel Blog: 20 Things That May Surprise You.
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- Know that New Zealand is the best place on earth. Every corner you turn there is something that will take your breath away, from bubbling hot waterfalls at the side of the road to hillsides that look like bars of Toblerones.
- Know that in New Zealand the sun moves across the sky in the opposite direction to the Northen Hemisphere.
- Although the sun still rises in the East, it goes from right to left and not left to right. Along with having Christmas on the beach, it takes some getting used to. Plus, the moon is upside down.
Know That New Zealanders Are A Nation of Dog Lovers.
- I have a dog and I have kids. Walk anywhere with both in New Zealand and watch how people clamber over the kids to stroke and fuss over your dog.
- They want to know everything about it. Its name, make, what it like to eat for its dinner and what’s its favourite colour.
- Dogs. New Zealanders love them. If you are emigrating to New Zealand with your pooch then you are in luck.
Know that The New Zealand Wine is Gorgeous.
- I won’t lie. New Zealand wine played a huge part in our decision about whether or not we should emigrate to New Zealand or to Canada. What can I say?.
- Sorry Canada, I love your wilderness and all that, but your red wine doesn’t come close to New Zealand. That’s why we chose Taranaki over Vancouver.
Know that New Zealand is Full of Positivity.
- We and have never come across anything but encouragement for everything we have chosen to do.
- Absolutely everything. No matter how unconventional or weird.
‘I’m taking both my kids out of school to homeschool them. Even though I’m not a teacher and I prefer dogs to children’.
Yeah! Go for it! That will be so cool for the kids eh?
‘We are going to leave New Zealand, start a travel blog and travel the world with our kids for a year. Even though we are old enough know better’
‘Cool! Send us loads of pictures and let us know how the travel blog goes!’
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Know that New Zealanders Say ‘Ay’. A lot.
- It’s their way of affirming that what they have just said to be true. For example “That woman in the house on the hill has started a travel blog, ay?”
- “I think it’s going to rain, ay?” Get the picture?
Know that New Zealand is Probably The Most Modest Country on Earth.
- And so are New Zealand’s people. The only other country where I have witnessed the same modesty is in Japan.
- When I tell any New Zealander that we emigrated to NZ from the Uk they say ‘why would do want to do that?’
- I want to shake them and ask, ‘why wouldn’t I want to leave the Uk to come and live in a country that I can only describe as paradise?’
- But they just don’t see it, and that’s both beautiful and sad.
Know that You Must Never Complain About The Weather in New Zealand.
- Not if you’re a Brit anyway. We already hold the title of the whinging pom. We don’t want to encourage it.
Know that When Talking to a Kiwi Farmer About The Weather it’s Best to Just Shut Up And Listen.
- Especially when they are discussing the wind. They won’t just say ‘its windy’, or ‘there is a bit of a breeze coming through’, no.
- Instead, you will be treated to such flamboyant wind language as ‘there’s a Sow-Westerly, gonna come through the back’ or ‘It’s a Nor-Nor-Easterly, she’s biting a bute’
- You won’t have a clue what they are talking about so just nod your head and smile. I tend to hold a wet finger up in the air if I’m not sure whether or not to hang my washing out.
And then there’s the washing…
Know that People in New Zealand Don’t Believe in Tumble Driers.
- Not when there’s a perfectly good rotary washing line sitting in the garden thank you very much.
- If you tell a kiwi that you tumble dry your clothes you might as well say I just killed my Mother.
Know that Some Kiwi Homes Are Freezing.
- Kiwi’s don’t believe in central heating. They are in denial of it. If you happen to complain of suffering from hypothermia while watching television at a kiwi house you will be told to put another jersey on and man up.
- In saying this they love their open fires and their wood burners, so their houses always smell of delicious wood smoke in the winter.
Know that Kiwi’s LOVE Sport.
- If you live in New Zealand and don’t love sport with an absolute passion, then you might as well say ‘I’m a jelly blob with no brain’.Competition is everything to the New Zealanders. They live and breathe sport.
- If you are like me and don’t like spending your free time watching men in black shirts slapping their thighs, then you have to pretend that you do.
- It’s not hard.
- Just casually drop into the conversation that ‘the lads are having a good season this year’ and all will be well.
Know that the sun in New Zealand is harsh
- The relentless heat of India. The drenching humidity of Thailand, the scorching sun of Vietnam. All of them are nothing compared to what the sun in New Zealand does to you.
- New Zealand sun is brutal. It will burn you before looking at you. Seriously, wear sunscreen otherwise you’re done for.
Know that New Zealand is THE Most Beautiful Place On Earth.
- That even though I have lived in New Zealand for almost ten years, I still feel as though I am on holiday every single day.
Know that it’s Perfectly ok to Visit The Supermarket in Slippers.
- Or bare feet. Or in your pyjamas. Kiwis don’t give a toss what you are wearing, and it is wonderful.
Know that Some New Zealanders Are a Corse Bunch of Buggers
- If you are a well-bred English Rose such as I, then you might find this rather unsettling. Put your hands over your ears and say ‘lah, lah, lah’. This helps.
Another one for Pinterest!
Know that avocados are as cheap as chips in New Zealand. And nearly everyone who has a bit of space has a lemon tree in their garden.
Know that kiwis call crisps ‘chips’ and chips (as in, french fries) hot chips. So, just to be clear, that’s chips and hot chips. Keep up, please.
New Zealand has been described more than once as being boring.
Know this. New Zealand is not boring. It is far from boring. It has ninety mile long beaches, gorgeous natural hot springs that you can soak in for free and snow-capped volcanoes.
Some Final Thoughts On New Zealand
New Zealand has forests so dense that you could walk for weeks and never see a soul.
It has a world-leading cafe culture and theatre that knocks the socks off most of the things that I’ve seen on Broadway or the West End.
New Zealand is raw. Raw and beautiful. Beautiful and edgy. It is a place like no other. New Zealand is home and this is what inspired me to write a travel blog on this beautiful country. If you make it down this way be sure to look me up and I’ll answer any questions that I can help you with.
Enjoy New Zealand!
This post was originally posted as one of my answers on Quora.