How to Get Around Breathtaking New Zealand
of the major attractions of visiting New Zealand is the possibility
of losing yourself in its rugged and wild countryside. The desire
to be alone and at one with nature frequently leads New Zealand
tourists to buy travel guides in hopes of finding advice on 'getting
off the beaten track'. To get off the beaten track, however, you
need to throw away your travel guide
and discover the real
is the real New Zealand?
certainly don't find the real New Zealand by buying a travel
guide that thousands of other tourists already own. If you do
that, you will end up on a supposed unbeaten track with hundreds
of other 'bulk produced tourist guide' readers.
real New Zealand is not a tangible location, it is not a hidden
village in the mountains or by the sea, and it's not a beach,
nor a farm, nor a quiet city corner. You will find the real New
Zealand in the people of the land and their rich culture.
Discover the real New Zealand by fishing with a Maori (an indigenous
New Zealander), or shearing sheep with a Pakeha (a European White
New Zealander), or singing karaoke with one of the countries broad
range of immigrants. While they come in a variety of shapes, colors,
and sizes, all New Zealanders are proud to communally call themselves
'Kiwis'. And it is through the eyes of these Kiwis that you will
discover the real New Zealand!
do you find the real New Zealand?
ask. I am serious, all you need to do is ask.
Zealanders are known worldwide for their friendly and open personality.
It isn't just a rumor; the further into New Zealand you go the
friendlier the locals become.
Auckland is not the friendliest part of the country, but then
big cities never are. But even in Auckland you will normally
find at least one local who is happy to give you sound advice
on what to see, where to visit, and how to get there.
Auckland behind (after a good visit to the cities wonderful
attractions) and you will quickly find yourself surrounded by
good-natured Kiwis, ready to show you what New Zealand is all
for getting the conversation started
1. Look lost. Trust me on this,
Kiwis always feel sorry for someone who looks lost, and because
we love to show how well we know our land, chances are we will
walk over and offer help.
2. Go into the nearest open store and ask for directions, making sure the shopkeeper hears your
accent. This is particularly effective if English is your second
3. Be honest. Simply walk up
to someone, tell him or her you are a foreign tourist, and you
would like to discover the real New Zealand. They will probably
call in some assistance from friends and family and plan the
rest of your New Zealand holiday with you.
places to find the real New Zealand
not confuse Northland with the North Island. Northland is basically
comprised of all of the land north of Auckland. Northland stretches
from Orewa, a popular beach village 20 minutes north of Auckland,
to Cape Reinga, the northernmost point of New Zealand. Northland
offers many beautiful unspoiled beaches, wonderful diving, and
some of New Zealand's most important history. Add to this that
Northland embodies a full Maori culture and you have discovered
an open doorway to the Real New Zealand.
off the beaten track is easy to do on the East Cape. Driving the
road that leads from Whakatane, in the sunny Bay of Plenty, around
the easternmost tip of New Zealand to Gisborne is one trip not
to miss. This lonely and rugged land is home to hardened farmers
and fishing families who have worked this land and water throughout
New Zealand's history.
will never forget driving this road in 2002 over a three-day
weekend and experiencing a more real New Zealand than I ever
knew. It is crazy for me to say this because I was raised in
Whakatane and never really discovered this treasure before.
people are amazing, the scenery and landscape is incredible,
and our experience there, on the whole, was just perfect. It
was the real New Zealand.
this can be a tricky one. Do not confuse Southland with the South
Island. Southland is the southernmost part of mainland New Zealand.
Boasting the southernmost cinema in the world and various other
interesting claims to fame,
is perhaps best known throughout the world for 'Bluff Oysters'.
But my main reason for loving Southland is the people. 'Southlanders'
are without a doubt the friendliest and most welcoming of all
New Zealanders. They also talk a little different to the rest
of us, but that is ok, we love them all the same.
high country sheep farms of Southland are a perfect place to
discover the real New Zealand. Drive north from Invercargill
to the towns of Winton or Gore, ask a local farmer questions
about farming or sheep, and do not be at all alarmed if you
are invited for dinner or a 'cuppa'. The real New Zealand is
definitely in abundance here.
the real New Zealand home
these key points, and you will not only discover the real New
Zealand, you will also have the trip of a lifetime.
you can lose yourself in the rugged and wild New Zealand countryside,
and yes, you can find 'not so beaten tracks' in guidebooks, but
the real New Zealand is more than that. You deserve to discover
the real New Zealand (especially after surviving that long flight),
and it won't cost you anything.
real New Zealand is available through the people, 'Kiwis'; just
talk to them and you will find the real New Zealand. Chances
are, you will take a lot of it home with you.