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New Zealand is blessed with some of the most beautiful and widely varied terrain in the world.  You can go from beaches, to mountains, to glaciers and fjords and back to meadows and rain forests— all in one country about the size of the state of Colorado.  It’s smaller than Japan but larger then Great Britain in land size but much smaller in population (unless you count the sheep as part of the population).

Shotover jet in Queenstown

photo credit:  Shotover Jet, Queenstown

So just a few fun facts about New Zealand:

  • the locals are called Kiwis
  • the population of sheep outnumber the population of people by 10 to 1.
  • you can go hiking in New Zealand but when speaking to a local, you will be going tramping
  • hiking trails are called tracks and spending the night in a hut on one of the tracks is a great way to experience tramping
  • Some really fun activities were “invented” in New Zealand like bungee jumping off cliffs or bridges, rocketing through narrow caverns on jet boats or even strapping yourself inside a huge plastic ball and rolling down the hillside
  • you can go skiing in New Zealand from May-September and the South Island has some great ski resorts
  • New Zealand is home to hundreds of boutique wineries
  • New Zealand is famous for its mussels and oysters as well as kiwi fruit, passion fruit and tamarillos (tree tomatores)
  • Try a specialty meat pie (showing its British influence) but you may want to skip the steak and cheese pies which are more of an acquired taste.
  • Lamb and hogget (1 yr old lamb) dishes taste different from the lamb dishes you would find in the US.  The taste is milder and similar to a high quality beef or pork.
  • Whitebait fritters will be on menus seasonally (late September -Early October).  They are 1 inch long fish held together with egg whites.
  • 2 things to note about dining in restaurants in New Zealand
    • the waiter will not bring you your check until you ask for it
    • tipping is not expected but if you are happy with the service, it will be graciously accepted.

My Vacation Lady has been seeing a lot more interest in the unique vacation and honeymoon experiences that you can find in New Zealand and we’ve been working on some great itineraries combining New Zealand with the Cook Islands, Fiji, or Tahiti to combine an adventure filled vacation ending with a relaxing beach vacation.

If you think that New Zealand might be perfect for your next vacation or honeymoon, contact us for more information.