New Zealand is Calling – Will You Answer?

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This post is part of my Blog4NZ series. Blog4NZ, running March 21-23, is an initiative by travel bloggers to share memories, photos and stories from New Zealand in order to bring awareness to the fact that, despite the Feb. 22 Christchurch earthquake, the country is still very much open for business.

It's no secret that I love New Zealand. Like, really, really love New Zealand.

If I had the money, I think I would probably pack up my bags and move there tomorrow, that's how much I love New Zealand.

And, while I sometimes feel like nobody else could possibly feel as strongly as I do about this country, I know that I'm not alone in my adoration.

New Zealand is appealing to many people, and travelers who visit and get to know Aotearoa and its people often find that their hearts get left behind somewhere between its shorelines.

I know what I love about New Zealand — its friendly people, its laid-back attitude, its varied and beautiful landscapes, its culture, its history… basically everything. It doesn't matter how many times I visit — I always find myself wanting to travel to New Zealand again and again.

And I also know that removing New Zealand from your travel itinerary due to the Christchurch earthquake is only going to hurt this country that I love.

New Zealand NEEDS us.

The Remarkables, Queenstown, New Zealand

The Remarkables, Queenstown

But don't just take my word for it.

Collected here are reasons given by a variety of travelers, bloggers, and New Zealand-lovers from around the world about why THEY love NZ, and why they think you should consider visiting right now:

From Michael ofGo, See, Write:

My favorite memory about traveling in New Zealand is… I love almost everything about New Zealand, but the people are my fondest memory. While there are a huge variety of natural wonders there that I adore (Fjordland, Northland, the hiking trails, black water rafting, scuba diving, etc.), I keep going back to memories of the nicest people I've meet anywhere. One way that everyone should try to experience the overwhelming warmth of the people is do a little hitchhiking in New Zealand. Best place in the world for it!

I would encourage others to travel to New Zealand right now because… Because it remains one of the greatest and more spectacular countries in the world. More importantly, no doubt they need your tourist dollars and tax dollars from going there. Head over and spread the good word about this wonderful country. I wish I was on my way there right now.

Paihia, Northland, New Zealand

Sunrise over Paihia

From Ayngelina of Bacon is Magic:

My favorite memory about traveling in New Zealand is… bungee jumping off the bridge of the world's first bungee jump. I am scared of heights, so this was petrifying. Actually, they had to give me a bit of a nudge because after two attempts I just couldn't bring myself to fall!

I would encourage others to travel to New Zealand right now because… it's a travelers dream destination: beautiful landscape, amazing food, strong indigenous community, adventure activities. I spent a month there and love it so much I wanted to move there.

Island Bay, Wellington, New Zealand

Island Bay, Wellington

From Richard Tulloch of Richard Tulloch's Life on the Road:

My favourite memory about traveling in New Zealand is… tramping in the Te Urewera National Park. The lovely Lake Waikaremoana was formed by an earthquake (see, they do have their uses!) and is surrounded by forest unlike any other anywhere in the world.

I would encourage others to travel to New Zealand right now because… I was there last week, in Christchurch too, and can assure you it is open for business and still the most beautiful country on earth. Sorry Switzerland, you're number 2. And when they're not on a rugby field, the Kiwis are very friendly people who will welcome you warmly.

Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown, New Zealand

Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown

From Linda Fairbairn of Journey Jottings:

My favorite memory about traveling in New Zealand is… the awe-inspiring variety of landscape.

I would encourage others to travel to New Zealand right now because… When you can see the fjords of Norway, the Alps of Switzerland, the geysers of Iceland and the lowlands of Scotland without having to deal with Europe's manic traffic culture, or fight for a viewing spot against the hustle and bustle of Europe's 250 million plus annual tourists and… all in a fraction of the space… It's picture perfect.

Wai-O-Tapu, Rotorua, New Zealand

Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal Wonderland, Rotorua

From Rebecca of Travels at 88mph:

My favorite memory about traveling in New Zealand is… The awesome people and the beautiful scenery. Everyone is so glad you made it to their little piece of paradise that they'll go out of their way to help you with anything you may need. And around every corner is a scene more beautiful then the last!

I would encourage others to travel to New Zealand right now because… Besides the fact that the main tourism season is over and the country is sure to be empty, it's that you never know what is not going to be there tomorrow. Why put anything off to tomorrow when it can be accomplished today?

I guess this can go for anything, but to make it New Zealand related, it's that the damage from the earthquake is extremely limited to a small area and even my favorite town Akaroa (which is on the outskirts of Christchurch) is open for business. So if you can't make it to Christchurch, just go there. Actually, just go there anyway.

Dunedin Railway Station, New Zealand

Dunedin Railway Station

From Paul Corbett of My Postcard From:

My favorite memory about traveling in New Zealand is… New Zealand is not just about the places you visit, it's also about the journeys that get you there.

I would encourage others to travel to New Zealand right now because… Driving alongside snow-capped mountains and through the Homer Tunnel enroute to Milford Sound; soaking up the view on the top deck of the Interislander ferry sailing between the islands; and walking the winding path down to the secluded beach of Cathedral Cove in the Coromandel. All these snippets of the journey add to the great memories you'll have of New Zealand.

Milford Sound, New Zealand

Milford Sound

From Raewyn, co-owner and operator of Red Carpet Tours:

I would encourage others to travel to New Zealand right now because… New Zealand is a safe place to visit and one of the world's best kept secrets. Clean and green, with a huge diversity of scenery, friendly people, excellent fresh food, quality accommodation and transport that gets you ‘there and back again'.  We have  amazing mountains to climb, safe beaches and beautiful lakes to enjoy, wonderful native forests,  lush countryside, bustling cities, and sleepy towns. Something for everyone, far away from the hurly burly of the rest of the world, and determinedly nuclear free. (Snakes and predator free, too!)

Mother Nature can be harsh. But the wonderful attitude of the people here will ensure Christchurch recovers and rebuilds.  The locals refer to New Zealand  as “Godzone” (God's own country) because we know how fortunate we are to live here. Come and see for yourself. You will be glad you did and we'd be pleased to share this secret with you.

Omarama, New Zealand


From Craig of Indie Travel Podcast:

My favorite memory about traveling in New Zealand is… waking up for sunrise on the banks of Lake Waikaremoana. We had a tent break down, so there were three of us jammed in a two-person tent. The fresh air and glorious colours were stunning, and such a wonderful start to a new day of adventures.

I would encourage others to travel to New Zealand right now because… it's great. Right now, there's a very long end-of-summer that's toasty warm. I'm heading down to the beach this afternoon! In a few months, the skiing season begins, so places like Queenstown are going to be taking off with some of the Southern Hemisphere's best skiing and snowboarding.

Kaikoura, New Zealand


From Laurence of Finding the Universe:

My favourite memory about travelling in New Zealand is… Well, I'm still in New Zealand, but my latest awesome memory is making it to the top of Mount Taranaki, a totally incredible hike up the side of 2500 metre volcano. Photos and more from that walk right here.

I would encourage others to travel to New Zealand right now because…
The sun is shining, the people are smiling and the world cup is coming!

Mount Cook, New Zealand

Driving toward Mount Cook

From Denise Limoge:

My favorite memory about traveling in New Zealand is… difficult to choose. I guess just traveling in NZ is my favorite memory about traveling in NZ. Going from place to place by car, by plane, by boat and even by foot and being able to see the amazing and ever-changing countryside was such a great part of traveling in New Zealand. Then reaching a destination and being able to experience its culture and life…. and not to mention meeting so many amazing kiwi natives and fellow travelers from all over the world. The overall experience was unforgettable.

I would encourage others to travel to New Zealand right now because… for me, traveling to NZ was a life changing and amazing experience. I loved everything about the time I spent there and, although in the grand scheme of things I only spent a few short months there, it somehow still feels like home. I would encourage others to travel to NZ because it really is unlike any other place I have ever been. Its beauty is breathtaking and in my opinion everyone could use a moment of complete and utter awe in their lives!

Paihia, Bay of Islands, Northland, New Zealand

Paihia, Bay of Islands

From Echo Skyhorse:

My favorite memory about traveling to New Zealand is… just how vast and varied its natural beauty is. It has absolutely everything you could ever want in a vacation, and I did/saw most of it! The beaches, the lakes, the sweeping landscapes, the majestic mountains, the forests rich with life and mystery, the twisting and braided rivers — I could go on and on! One moment I was watching someone bungee jumping. The next I was marveling at the beauty of the Remarkables mountain range. The memories I hold close to my heart from my travels in New Zealand leave me wanting to go back, and waking up from vivid dreams of being back there.

I would encourage others to travel to New Zealand right now because… with the state of the world and the tragedies occuring seemingly all over the globe, sometimes you need to step away from it all and remember that there is hope. There is beauty left in this world. There is peace and tranquility, mystery, awe and wonder. It's the best place I can think of in order to rejuvinate the spirit and lift the soul.

Purakaunui Falls

Purakaunui Falls, the Catlins, New Zealand

From Jamie Clauss:

My favorite memory about traveling in New Zealand is… the couple of days we spent in Akaroa. Not only was Akaroa the most quaint and endearing little town, but it was full of very special experiences. It's one of New Zealand's best-kept secrets, and the place where we were able to experience (and encounter) the most wildlife. Like in many places in New Zealand, we were able to see NZ fur seals, but we also saw the smallest penguin in the world (the White Flippered Blue Penguin), the world's smallest and most rare dolphin (Hector Dolphin), and plenty of amazing birds, including the Albatross. in fact, we were able to actually swim with the Hector Dolphins, which was truly a breathtaking experience.

I would encourage others to travel to New Zealand right now because… New Zealand has the most bang for your buck, not only in the literal sense, but because minimal effort and time can still get you far. New Zealand has so much beauty and adventure to offer. No matter how much time or money you have, you can always see and experience something wonderful. It's many of the most wonderful things that the world has to offer, wrapped up in an accessible, clean, and VERY friendly little country. Why take years' worth of vacations full of travel time to see a handful of beautiful scenes or have exciting experiences when you could do and see SO MUCH MORE in just a week or two in New Zealand?

Cathedral Cove, Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand

Cathedral Cove, Coromandel Peninsula

From Annie of Wayward Traveller:

My favorite memory about traveling in New Zealand is… Well to be honest that would have to be the bungy jump I did in Queenstown. Of course there is so much more to New Zealand than its love of adventure sports, however, this was a big moment for me. I had already decided against it, something that I generally don't do, and on a whim decided that I could run with the boys and go off the deep end, literally. My first taste of real adrenaline was jumping 143 m over the Shotover River in New Zealand on Easter Sunday 2009.

I would encourage others to travel to New Zealand right now because… it is beautiful no matter what corner of the country you are in and although I only have limited experience, I know that it has so much more to offer. I knew a lot of Kiwis while I was abroad and they truly are care-free people just out to live their lives. Imagine not only traveling in one of the most naturally stunning places in the world, but among some of the worlds most friendly people.

Have YOU been to New Zealand? If so, tell me why you would encourage people to travel there now!


Please note: All photos in this post were taken by me in New Zealand. To see more from this album, head over to Flickr.

And, if you liked this post, I would love if you would tweet it with the #blog4NZ tag, stumble it, and share it on Facebook to help promote this awesome blogging effort!


  • Ayngelina says:

    Great post Amanda and I discovered a few new bloggers!
    Ayngelina recently posted..Blissful beach days make boring blog posts

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Thanks, Ayngelina! Glad I could both showcase NZ, AND introduce some new bloggers. Lots of great input for this post (you included!).

  • Laurence says:

    Lovely post Amanda 🙂
    Laurence recently posted..Climbing Mount Taranaki in photos

  • Alouise says:

    Well I haven’t been to New Zealand, but you and all these other bloggers are making some pretty compelling arguments for me to go.
    Alouise recently posted..Let’s Go To New Zealand

  • wow…its superb !!! Pics looks awesome .Finally New Zealand is added to my dream list
    Sheril Benedict recently posted..Batman Arkham City-Hugo Strange

    • DangerousBiz says:

      I’m so glad you like the photos! I’m really proud of some of these. Though, I think it would be hard to take a bad picture in some of these places! I hope you make it to NZ someday – it really is one of the most beautiful places on earth.

  • Great! My favourite place any time is to stay at a house at Tata Beach in Golden Bay. Here we rent a house right on the edge of the golden sand, that is nearly always flat enough for waterskiers and all! Here we have constant supply of scallops that you dredge from the sea floor – it’s bliss.
    John in France recently posted..The New Zealand Way

  • I’m visiting New Zealand for the first time in November. Reading all these posts is making me super excited for the trip!
    Chris @CAroundTheWorld recently posted..What to Do in a Natural Disaster When Traveling

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Awesome! I’m excited for you! And, if you ever need any tips or suggestions, I’m happy to help in any way that I can.

  • Randy says:

    Excellent post! This is an awesome collection of testimonials for a great cause.
    Randy recently posted..SH!T My Spam Box Says

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Thanks, Randy! I had fun putting this together. It was great learning why other people love New Zealand so much. And yes, it’s a fantastic cause!

  • I agree with Ayngelina on this — great post and some new bloggers. Multi-cool!!
    Michael Hodson recently posted..I am in Love… with my Passport

  • Sarah says:

    Amazing post! Brilliantly compiled with all the gems included and illustrated with lovely photos! Good on ya mate 🙂 I am a Brit that arrived in NZ in 1997 and never left. It has my heart hooked x
    Sarah recently posted..Colour Poetry- Lyrical Sunday Week 11

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Thank you, Sarah! I can definitely understand being “hooked” and never wanting to leave. I’m jealous that you never had to!

  • Annie says:

    Everyone had such great contributions! I loved reading other’s stories.

    Thanks again for including me on this one!
    Annie recently posted..Christchurch-Getting Over First Impressions

    • DangerousBiz says:

      I really loved putting this post together. Everyone had such great stories to share, and the love for New Zealand is evident in all of them! Thanks so much for helping me out, Annie!

  • Kieron says:

    This really makes me regret not taking advantage of all those cheap flights over the years to get across to New Zealand. If we didn’t have so many plans for the next few months we’d be there in a heartbeat!

    A co-worker recently decided against going to New Zealand because of his fear of another earthquake… annoyed the hell out of me but some people are just ridiculous sometimes! Keep up the great work with your efforts for Blog4NZ Amanda, you’re doing a fantastic job!

    Anyway, we promise that we’ll get to NZ soon enough – I’m sure there’s a campervan over there calling our names as I type this.
    Kieron recently posted..There’s gonna be a wedding!

    • DangerousBiz says:

      That’s really discouraging to hear about your co-worker… I mean, yes, I understand the fear. But there are dangers all over the world – both natural and man-made. And to avoid New Zealand for that reason is just silly as far as I’m concerned.

      Hopefully you guys can make the hop over the Tasman sooner rather than later!

  • Serena says:

    i’ve loved so much your post ’cause i want to visit NZ right now, and i’ve discovered some great bloggers! thanks!

  • jade says:

    Great group of bloggers and I loved reading all of their answers. I really want to make it to New Zealand and the pictures you have above along with the stories just make that lust even stronger.

    • DangerousBiz says:

      I’ve been to New Zealand twice, and yet I’m STILL lusting over it. It’s one of those places I don’t think I could possibly get tired of traveling to.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post! Thanks for checking it out.

  • Mike says:

    My favourite memory of New Zealand has to be the moment as the car comes over the tip of the hill leading down to Lake Wanaka after a wicked day up in the mountains. The sun glistering off the lake always made me smile and we would head down to the lakefront and have some beers.
    Mike recently posted..Six musical reasons to love New Zealand – Blog4NZ

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Ah, Lake Wanaka is such a beautiful place! I find it often gets mentioned in a lot of people’s lists of favorite NZ spots, and I can totally understand why!

  • Fraser says:

    Great post Amanda. I think it’s very powerful that you can write a post that is both entertaining and important. New Zealand left quite an impression on me, and this post has inspired me to do my bit to promote the country too.
    Fraser recently posted..a moment unusual

  • Sophie says:

    I like New Zealand so much, I brought my kids to live there for half a year – and would happily do it again tomorrow.
    Sophie recently posted..Open-minded Oslo

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Oh wow, how cool! I’m sure the kids loved it! I hope to be able to move there sometime in the not-so-distant future.

  • kelley says:

    Along with all the obvious wonderful things about NZ, I love that there are no big, dangerous animals – when you’re camping or hiking you never have to worry about bears, cougars, coyotes, poisonous snakes/spiders (well, there are a few of those but VERY rare!). All you have to worry about are the Kea’s taking off with your belongings!

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Great point! I love that there are no creepy crawlies like in Australia. Though, those keas can get pretty mischievous!

  • Rebecca says:

    Wee! Lots of Akaroa love, especially at a time like this, so awesome!!

    So much love, seriously, how can an earthquake keep people away after this post and those pictures?!?
    Rebecca recently posted..Random Weekend- Book- The Sex Lives on Cannibals

    • DangerousBiz says:

      I’m guilty of not having visited Akaroa yet… but I’ve only heard great things! It’s high up on my “next time” list, for sure.

      And I agree – how can anything keep people away from NZ after reading testimonials like this??

  • Andrew says:

    My girlfriend is off traveling for a while this year and I have to stay home and work most of it. Yet, she has got me to agree to brave the ridiculously long flight through my fear of airplanes to do Christmas and New Years this year with her down there. I am terrified of the flight, but totally looking forward to seeing NZ. I know a number of Kiwis here in Germany, so it will be cool to see their homeland. My top 2 are Milford Sound and a Kiwibird (there is a Sanctuary near Auckland I have heard of.) Oh and beer, but that shouldn’t be hard.
    Andrew recently posted..Fun with Translation- Animals Edition

    • DangerousBiz says:

      That’s so awesome, Andy! You and Ali will have a blast. It will definitely be worth braving that long flight for, I promise.

      Mildford Sound is beautiful, though I’ve heard Doubtful Sound is even better (and less crowded). And as far as kiwi birds, there are lots of options! There’s a Kiwi Experience place in Rotorua; you can see them at the Wellington Zoo; and, if you’re lucky enough to catch them during a night trek, you can see wild ones at Zealandia (the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary) near Wellington. And there are probably more places besides!

      But you’re right about the beer part — that won’t be difficult. 😉 If you visit Dunedin you can even go to the Speight’s Brewery!

  • Mark H says:

    This #blog4nz is a great initiative. There seems to be over 100 bloggers involved giving some great ideas for visiting all over NZ. I wrote on Rotorua but was tied between Queenstown, Christchurch itself, Kaikoura and a number of North Island locales. Hoping to go to Doubtful Sounds late this year or Jan, 2012.
    Mark H recently posted..Thermal Wonderland Rotorua- New Zealand

    • DangerousBiz says:

      I love this blogging initiative, and it’s great to see how the travel blogging community is banding together to make it happen!

      It’s definitely tough to choose blogging topics when it comes to NZ — there are so many great cities and areas to visit! Rotorua is definitely a unique one, though.

  • Keith says:

    Very nice. I have only been away from NZ for 7 days and this is making me homesick!

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Aww, well hopefully not too homesick! But I definitely understand. NZ isn’t officially my “home,” and yet I always feel homesick for it.

  • Amy says:

    Yay! This post makes me very excited (as if I could get more excited than I already am) – we fly to New Zealand TOMORROW!!!!

  • Victoria says:

    I have family in New Zealand, but sadly only made it over to Hamilton on the North Island. I loved Raglan and the hot springs in Rotorua. Definitely wish I’d had the time to do the south!
    Victoria recently posted..The World Is Small

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Well at least you got a little taste of NZ! But if you ever have a chance to go back and exlore the south island, DO IT! It’s a beautiful place – so different from the north.

  • I would jump at the chance to head back to NZ. I travelled the North and South back in 2000 and was welcomed with open arms wherever I went. The scenery is stunning, they have everything!

  • Pingback: Blog for NZ
  • Kate says:

    I AM the girl that loved it so much I moved here! Actually I came to study for a year in 2009, and then after that got a job and never left! I love it so much, and love reading about others experiences of all the things that I have already done.

    Ka pai effort, no one should miss out on all that NZ still has to offer!

    • DangerousBiz says:

      That’s awesome, Kate!! It’s so easy to fall in love with NZ and never want to leave. I hope to move back there someday, too.

  • Marianne says:

    Wow, I’m not a pro hiker but i would like to make awesome memories making it to the top of Mount Taranaki. I’m an outdoor person and i think hiking will be on top of my list.
    Thank you for sharing this blog. Everything I want to know is here already.
    Also, I found this fantastic deal travellers to New Zealand shouldn’t miss!

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