The 1999 New Zealand holiday was written up as the trip progressed and sent out as a series of emails to friends and others who expressed an interest. The write up was initially done on our old HP95 (which runs for weeks on a couple of AA batteries) then copied weekly onto the Libretto, spell checked and sent out by Email. We tried to keep it lighthearted but to also address the question of what was special about New Zealand as we have been often asked to provide itineries for visitors. This made us think seriously about what aspects of New Zealand make us come back year after year and ultimately led to the "Uniquely New Zealand" section of the Site.
Climate and Scenery - mountains, lakes, forests and a spectacular coastline with deserted beaches, maritime parks and islands. New Zealand has them all and most of it is protected in National Parks and Reserves.
Active Thermal Areas New Zealand is also an area which is very active geologically and has a number of fascinating thermal areas, predominantly North Island.
The Wines The climate is ideal and there are many excellent wine areas in both North and South Island which we have visited.
Goldmining was important the turn of the century and there are many goldfields with structures still standing some of which have been restored.
Kauri, both logging and the gathering and use of it's gum forms another unique part of New Zealand history worthy of investigation.
Maori Culture and Heritage Finally one can not fully understand and appreciate New Zealand without gaining some understanding of the Maori Culture and Heritage and the interactions with the first settlers and their way of life.
The Peace and Quiet - in the UK you can never get away from people and noise - in New Zealand there are areas where you never even have an aircraft go over for days and people are so rare, friendly and helpful you want to stop and talk.
We tried to bring out these themes and provide background information as we wrote up the trip. In reviewing the result we felt could well lose far more than we stood to gain if we changed the original narrative more than necessary and that it would be better to index/crosslink the themes and areas and add any supplimentary information on separate pages where appropriate. Even so the narrative has turned out to be far too long to all be on one page so we have broken it down into four major sections.
Part 1 - Auckland and the local Wineries, Mount Egmont and the Taranaki National Park, Napier and the Hawkes Bay Wineries, the Central Mountains, and a week in Wellington including the Martinborough Wineries.
Part 2 -
The Mahia Peninsular, The Pacific Coast Highway round the East Cape, Rotorua and the surrounding Thermal Areas, and the Coromandel including its Goldfields and scenary.