What I like about New Zealand.

Sunset on Auckland Harbour

Sunset on Auckland Harbour

When I think of images of my trip to the North Island of New Zealand what comes to mind? Green farmland, cows, sheep, mountains which are active volcanoes, the sea.

I also think of Prince of Wales Feathers which seem to be everywhere and very tourist friendly harbour developments in Auckland and Wellington where the redevelopment with museums and cafes exists with a working harbour.

Sea Urchins

Sea Urchins in the redeveloped Wellington Harbour

I also think of all the great sculptures I saw in streets, parks and the Wellington Botanical Gardens. There seemed to be sculptures everywhere.

Personification of Art Deco  Napier

Personification of Art Deco Napier

Napier is one of my most favourite of all the cities I have visited.

Known as the Art Deco City, Napier has the most comprehensive collection of inner-city art deco buildings in the world. Every February, thousands of people flock to Napier to celebrate the Art Deco Weekend Summer Festival, sending the township back to a time of new hope. The Festival celebrates the reconstruction of Napier City after a devastating earthquake in 1931.

I went on a 2 hour walking tour with a very informative guide from the Art Deco Trust. I was lucky enough to be the only person on this tour which started with a video of the earthquake. She pointed out all the art deco features and we went into buildings I would not have gone into on my own including the theatre where Kiri Te Kanawa was to perform the following night.
I would thoroughly recommend this tour.

Like most visitors to Wellington I took the funicular to Kelburn and walked back to the city through the Botanical Gardens along the sculpture walk.

I met so many helpful friendly people during my 3 weeks in New Zealand. There was the woman on the bus from Napier to Wellington who was going for the birth of her first grandchild. She told me all about the area we were travelling through and how she and her sister went to NZ on a working holiday 30 plus years ago from Melbourne. They both met and married backpackers, her husband was from the UK and they settled in NZ. When we arrived in Wellington I was given a lift to my hotel by her friend.

A couple from Wellington, who were staying at Tongariro Chateau told me to be sure to visit the Museum Hotel opposite the Te Papa and suggested where I should eat. The Museum Hotel has an amazing collection of art in their bar, foyer and 3rd floor restaurant, where I was very welcome to have a drink with a view of the harbour. I then followed up their suggestion of where to eat. So glad I did. There was no way I would have known about these 2 places without their helpful suggestions.

There was the woman from England who shared my table in a cafe in Taupo only to meet again in the Museum in Napier.

One of the joys of travelling alone is the chance encounters and conversations.


Filed under New Zealand

16 responses to “What I like about New Zealand.

  1. kathymarris

    Some lovely photos here which bring back memories of my trip to the North Island a few years ago. I loved the Hamilton Gardens in Hamilton. They were simply stunning!


    • I just went through Hamilton on the train so I will add these gardens to my travels for when I go back. I have yet to visit the South Island for any reasonable period and my sister lives in the North.


  2. elephantwoman

    I’ve heard about Napier and it’s art deco heritage, if I make it there I will definitely take the same tour you did. And agreed about conversations with strangers while travelling alone. I have had so many extraordinary ones this past month. Most notably with a real life mercenary – will blog about it when I get the chance…time for blogging being another joy of travelling alone!


    • Many are scared of travelling alone. But I have had such great encounters which I blogged about. But nothing to compare with meeting a real life mercenary. Looking forward to that.


  3. Chris Achjian

    Sounds like a wonderful trip Pat. Your reports are so interesting and indeed inspiring,including the photography – the wish to spend time in the north is reinvigorated


  4. Kerry Ilsley

    Thanks for sharing your latest journey. Stirred up so many long forgotten NZ adventures. Kerry


  5. M-R

    The Kiwis are great people: we Aussies kind of look on them like part of our family, and have a lot of time for them. What they’re been through on account of earthquakes is no-one’s business, the poor buggers !! I would dearly love to have been there; but we spent all our money on Europe.


  6. Sha

    Totally agreed! You end up meeting and talking to all sorts of people…one of the joys of travelling alone. 🙂


  7. Wow. I really think if I’m going anywhere OS maybe I should try NZ. I’m assuming the sea urchins in Wellington Harbour are sculptures? I remember collecting little ones when I visited Balmoral Beach, Sydney as a child.


  8. LaVagabonde

    Sounds like a wonderful trip. I loved Napier, too. I really regret that I didn’t take more photos of those gorgeous buidlings. I wasn’t a photography enthusiast at the time. It’s funny how we sometimes end up running into the same travelers during a journey.


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