New Zealand: A Journey Through an Island

We After 4 short days spent in Sydney Australia, Amy and I boarded the plane and continued our journey to Auckland, New Zealand. It was hard to stop smiling as I stepped off the plane, we were after all on the other side of the world..literally, where time begins!

We made our way to our hotel, unpacked and set off to explore this new strange land. We were greeted with not only smiles and warm wishes, but a whole new set of words! Much like Hawaii, New Zealand-ers (AKA..Kiwi’s) speak a mix of Maori, English and a little of their own made up language. Here are a few words that you must know about if you decide to travel to the land of Kiwi:

Hello: Kia ora
Sweet-as: a term people say instead of “cool” or “awesome”. (“That car over there is sweet-as!”)
Dunny: toilet, bathroom, lavatory
Crisps: potato chips
Bugalugs: a bit like “mate” as in “how’s it going bugalugs”
Lemonade: 7Up (we discovered this the hard way)
Pong: bad smell (this is the word I would use to describe downtown Auckland very early in the morning)
Entrée: appetizer or hors d’oeurve.
Lolly-pop man/woman: one who hold the slow/stop sign in construction zones.
Superloo: massive automated public toilet complex.

Ok, now that you are all caught up on the lingo, I will continue to tell you about some of the images you saw above. You are probably wondering what is up with all the fern and tree pictures…the tree you see in all the images is called the Kauri Tree, it is very special to the people of New Zealand, specifically the Maori people who have based many of their beliefs around this magical tree. The size of these trees is mind blowing!! The oldest one takes 8 males adults to go all the way around! Also, in this spiritual place, the fern represents new life and new beginnings..you will see this a lot if you ever go there. One thing we did find odd was the lack of animals..and I mean there are NONE! Here in North America we are familiar with grey squirles, snakes, chipmunks and other creatures that fill our world with sounds. In NZ they do have these creatures..they do have possum and kiwi’s, neither of which you will see roaming around in mass population! It was like someone shook the island and started over with no animals. Except sheep. We love the sheep.

Its hard to recap in words what we experienced out there. New Zealand is a whole other world. Everything is supersized (meaning plants, beaches and surroundings), we were out numbered by sheep 10-1, we saw ancient waterfalls, eco-farms, fed baby lambs, saw dolphins leap out of the water, walked on black sand beaches that you would think was made of baby powder, tasted the most amazing wine, learned about honey and bee’s, saw some gorgeous art and met the most insanely awesome people!! To sum up, I wish I could have spent some more time there. Even though this country is tiny, there is honestly so much to see and do there that you could end up spending a year and not see it all! On the next trip I take to the Kiwi land I will be spending some time soaking in volcanic mud and jumping off bridges..hope you are ready for that Wally : )

I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to experience this once in a lifetime trip. If you ever find yourself wanting to get away from it all, hop on a plane to New Zealand, its as far away as you can get with out leaving the planet!
As a side note, my thoughts go out to all the people in Christchurch who just experienced a massive earthquake. If you would like more information or if you would like to donate, please visit the Red Cross of New Zealand by clicking HERE.