New Zealand is stunning and a must visit. I loooove it so much!! Here are my thoughts on the country, in a nutshell.
Phrases: Sweet As (awesome), Kia Ora (hello; Maori origin), If everything turns to custard (our Milford Sound bus driver kept saying this and I loved this!)
New Zealand sources of revenue: #1: Farming, #2: Tourism, #3: Movies
Birds are the only native animal to New Zealand and the flightless ones became flightless because originally there were no predators (I guess that made them lazy). Now the main predators are possums, ferrets and rats. New Zealanders swerve for possums…swerve to hit and kill them.
#1: Queenstown – I think hands down my favorite city in New Zealand; picturesque ski town on a lake. I can’t wait to go back again, next time in the summer!
#2: Nevis Bungy Jump – the most exciting thing I’ve ever done. I went from never wanting to bungy jump to wanting to do it again and again. Such a rush!!
#3: Cooking Lesson – amazing, awesome, wonderful Kiwi chef who gave me a private cooking lesson on delicious New Zealand cuisine.
#4: Driving through the South Island – New Zealand is such a gorgeous country and driving through the South Island, even in the winter, is like driving through a painting. Snow capped mountains that are mirrored in crystal clear lakes. Insane!
#5: Franz Josef Glacier – Helicopter ride, hiking around a glacier, seeing blue ice, crawling through crevasses, wearing crampons…need I say more?!
#6: Martinborough Wine Country – I pretty much love any time I get to visit wineries. Especially ones known for their Pinot Noir.
#7: Johnny Barr’s – our favorite QT coffee shop. Reasons are 3 fold: owned by a cool American guy who lived in Manhattan Beach for six years before moving to NZ (small world!); delicious grilled cheese Panini’s (which I was asked if I wanted to add mayo to…to which I said yessss, twice…I’m a faatttt bastard…but it was delicious!!); and most importantly, we got to access their wifi…for free…for a whole week (basically priceless). (photo from JB’s mustache wall in the bathroom)
#8: Remedy Coffee Shop – I still can’t get their bagel with cream cheese, avocado, bacon and tomato sandwich out of my head
#9: Cookie Time – I’m a sucker for a warm chocolate chip cookie and every time we’d walk past the shop, it would be sooo warm and smell sooo good. Plus, they have a cookie happy hour every day from 6pm-7pm.
#10: Air New Zealand – currently up there as my top airline flown so far. On the way from New Zealand to Australia, we received the international service you expect – free champagne, delicious hot meal with ice cream, the ability to order hot tea (or anything) from the screen and all the movies I could watch (in a 3.5 hour span…sooo only one, but I still got to watch The Hunger Games for the first time since the theatre…it made my day). As it turns out though, Danielle & I got some sort of first class treatment because Casey was sitting further back and for some reason didn’t get anything. She has very different feelings towards Air New Zealand.