I’m always surprised when other travellers tell me they’ve always wanted to visit New Zealand. For many, it’s their dream destination. Because I grew up here, I sometimes forget what an amazingly beautiful country New Zealand is. When you’re surrounded by towering mountains, lush rainforests and crystal clear lakes your whole life you can end up taking it for granted. So, what is it that people love about New Zealand? For me, it’s got to be the relaxed nature of the people, the uncrowded cities and the great cafes and restaurants. It’s always refreshing to come home to what I consider “normal”. New Zealand is just home to me so to gain a little perspective I asked my travel blogging tribe to enlighten me on what it is they love about New Zealand.
Why do people love New Zealand?
“I enjoyed the beauty of the islands and also the exposure to the Maori culture.” -Chris Christensen at AmateurTraveler
“Simply put, New Zealand has the friendliest people in the world. I love the scenery, the things to do, the outdoor culture, and more, but in the end it comes back to the people.” – Michael Hodson at Go See Write
“It’s an easy country to live in and run a business, we are usually ranked #1 in the world for ease of setting up a business, and the tax system is very straightforward too. The coffee is good, better than most places in the western world – this is amazing because until I left for the first time in the early 1980′s I’d never even seen a cappuccino! It’s small and compact, it’s easy to get around, and has huge variety of scenery within a day’s drive.” - Elisabeth Sowerbutts at Lis’s Travel Tips
“New Zealand was a place, prior to travelling, I knew very little about. I thought Australia would be the highlight for me on my first ever RTW trip. It turned out it wasn’t. New Zealand upstaged Australia in every way possible. It had everything. Every single town/stop off has something for you and every single thing is different. There honestly isn’t a thing I can think of that New Zealand doesn’t have.” – Simon Flood at LADventurers
“New Zealand is exactly on the other side of the world from where I grew up, and since I was a child I really wanted to visit just for that reason. Nowadays it is not only the remoteness but the many varied and simply stunning landscapes that attract me. I’m a very outdoorsy and adventurous kind of person, so I love all that New Zealand has to offer to the active traveller. On top of that, in the years that I have lived in London I have made quite a few kiwi friends , and their laid-back no-nonsense culture suits me really well. When I’m in NZ, I just love being in the mountains, cycling around the lakes, or being active outdoors in general. It’s got a very creative and quirky vibe, friendly, down-to-earth people, and great coffee. What more could you ask for?” – Christina Hegele at Sandalroad
“Tough question after 4 years of living here! I think my list of what I DON’T love would be much shorter. I love the diversity of scenery compacted into one little far away package – you’ve got beaches for days in the winterless north, a multitude of volcanoes and unique geothermal activity, remarkable mountains strengthening ‘the backbone’ of the south island, rugged coastlines, mighty fiords that soar into the sky and plunge hundreds of metres below the sea – it baffles my little mind! But I think the thing that has kept me here, has been the kiwi way of life. It’s a bit slower, relaxed, and often led by the “she’ll be riight” kind of mantra, and New Zealand has just got this unified pride that links the whole country. Air New Zealand has Grab a Seat, which makes it easy to jet set away each beautiful little corner for something different.” – Kate Clarke at CanucKiwiKate
“It seems behind the times in a good way. I ran into few crowds, and prices are great.” -Carole Meyers at TravelsWithCarole
“For families, especially those with younger children, it’s an easy, safe, friendly yet adventurous destination. There are no nasty insects, diseases or vaccinations needed. It has diverse attractions and a great outdoor lifestyle in a fairly small and compact area. And with two such different islands, it’s like two destinations in one.” – Stuart at FamilyAdventureProject
“The laid back people, quirky charm and wild scenery. New Zealand is so varied you can see beaches, volcanoes, rainforest and even desert in one day. It’s a safe, easy place to travel with friendly, creative people and endless walks for nature lovers like me.” -Annabel at GetInTheHotSpot
“I love the landscape, around every corner is a different view designed to blow your mind.” -Michael at NomadsOnTheRoad
“What we love about New Zealand: It’s not Australia. But seriously, the incredibly clean air, the unspoiled nature, the sweeping views when driving along the Southern Scenic Route, the relaxed carefree attitude of the people.” -Larissa at ChangesInLongtitude
“New Zealand has great opportunities for making long hikes and going camping. It’s one of the reasons I’d love to go back one day as I didn’t do nearly enough of this during my first visit!” -Nienke at TheTravelTester
“I love that the country has such incredible variety in a relatively small amount of space. You can see fantastic mountains (and ski on them), then hit up the surf or go explore some jungles. From hikers to city lovers – New Zealand really has got something to offer everyone.” -Laurence at FindingTheUniverse
“Having only been in the country a little over six weeks… I can tell you why I have already fallen in love with this wonderful country. Growing up New Zealand was just a shape on the map. Along with Australia, China and Japan they were exotic faraway lands that we learnt about in our Geography lessons along with tectonic plates and weather systems. The idea that I would ever visit such a magical place never crossed my mind.” – Charli at Wanderlusters
If you’ve been to New Zealand, tell me what it is you loved about it.