Outside, the day is gaining light. I have to remind myself that today is Thursday. This is my 4th day upon reaching home and there is an increasing sense of urgency to get back into routine. Yet, I refused to be hurried. My best excuse reason would be that my body clock is still operating on Kiwi time and pace.


I was reading one of my earliest posts regarding New Zealand where I shared the four stages to happiness. From anticipation, savouring to expressing happiness, I have come a long way within the short months. And now I have arrived at the period of recalling happy memories. Please stay with me, as I dish out backlog travel insights (and hopefully useful tips), mushy sentiments interesting encounters and inspiring stories.

Without further ado, here’s the usual appreciation list for the destination that I landed foot in.

05 Things that I Appreciate About New Zealand

An island country that is located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, New Zealand comprises two main islands and numerous small ones. The common misconceptions about New Zealand depict it to be a destination with fresh air, countless dairy farms and most suitable for old people and retirees (I cannot help but to think this misconception is somewhat similar to cruising!). Well, I’ve been there and Kiwi land definitely is all these!… and more. 🙂

Mount Manganui Beach

#1 Picturesque

Beauty has a way of inducing biasedness. If there’s only one word that I can use to describe New Zealand, it must be “picturesque”. This is one country that reflects charming beauty in almost every corner.

Tranzapline route from Christchurch to Greymouth

Be it extraordinary natural landscapes, hauntingly beautiful old buildings or just a small town lake, your eyes shall be satiated and eternally grateful! I have met countless individuals who always tell me the same thing: “one does not need to be a professional photographer to take lovely pictures in New Zealand because every angle is so beautiful”. 🙂

If you seek beauty, visit Kiwiland.

Lake Tekapo

#2 Accessibility (Easy, Easy)

Considering the size of New Zealand (just one lake equates to the size of Singapore!), it is amazingly easy to get information and travel within the country! To get around, one can choose among several car rental choices to suit each needs. If you can’t drive prefer to be driven, there are intercity buses, ferries and trains that will transport you to your destination. Be it big cities or small towns, there are always tourist information sites to give invaluable information.

railRail Station, Wellington

It is tough not to appreciate a country that takes special care to fufill your most basic needs! Public toilets (99% FREE) are in good supply everywhere (even within the bush forests!). With such easy accessibility to (mostly) clean toilets and toilet papers, what’s not to like?

I finally reached my actual destination and look what i found? A much-needed toilet! :D

#3 Great Value Freebies & Cheap Deals

Call me cheapskate or frugal (I don’t care either way), but one must have a budget when travelling for months without a proper job! If you are like me on a tight travel budget, you would be happy to know that entry to fun, interactive museums and magnificent (well-maintained) national parks are mostly FREE! Frankly speaking, there’s just no lack of FREE activities! Take a heritage trail in the city, stroll in pretty gardens and chase ducks or simply chill by the sea.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARotorua Museum – one of the rare museum that charges admission fees but it’s worth it!

Join a free public tour to know more about the Parliament House

Paid attractions and activities shall not disappoint too! At times, travel deals’ websites provide (unbelievable) HUGE discounts that one simply must not missed. This is one of the rare times when you don’t get monkey for paying peanuts!

Black water rafting at the Waitomo Caves have to be one of the most great-value paid activity! I got a 20% discount using a coupon from the BFF’s entertainment book!

PS: For affluent travellers or luxury-seekers, fret’ not as there are out-of-this-world luxurious accommodations and travel packages to suit your needs too!

#4 Something’s in the Air!

You might not have planned it but one may easily develop a certain condition of staring into space over a cup of delicious coffee or just lazing in a lounge area. This is commonly known as “chilling” (at times literally during winter). After several experiments, my best excuse conclusion is that there’s something in the air! The wonderful climate and fresh air have a way of inducing such idyllic enjoyment.


This relaxed air shimmers along streets to the countryside and by the sea, putting everyone at ease. Friendly and approachable, the Kiwis’ penchant for small talks is akin to how I savour the Cookie Time (NZ most delicious cookie). I was worried when the BFF first told me to be prepared for small talks (since I am prone to be socially-inadept). Yet, once again, there must be something in the air, for I have since been conditioned to enjoy small talks. Come chat with me. 🙂


#5 Unpretentious & Quality Lifestyle

Last but not least, I am unsure if this would be a travel motivation for potential visitors but it was something that I experienced and like about New Zealand. She is unpretentious; and what you see is (mostly) what you get.

The kids spotted rabbits and I was in the same position when I realised how funny we looked, thus I scrambled up to take a shot of my friends in Tauranga.

People place emphasis on values that are different from the Eastern world. Career and wealth are overshadowed by family, which is placed in top priority. This is a family-oriented nation that seems to care more about Mother Nature, heritage and sports. The Kiwis are definitely not fashion-forward, or trendy. Instead, they keep to their own pace, clearly knowing what is most important to them. And for this, I am thoroughly charmed.

The above information has been complied based on various sources, including my own (sometimes biased) experience and should only be used as a reference. Check out http://www.newzealand.com/ for more information on New Zealand.

6 comments on “New Zealand (Stage IV)

  1. nice photos and great place 🙂

  2. Rufus Girard

    You left us with sunshine. I cannot recall it being so hot in November and now, it has rained for two solid days! The ups and downs of NZ – earthquakes excluded! Take care.

    • It seems like I am always leaving summer behind. Well, I supposed I left “while the going is good”, otherwise I might never want to leave! The weather’s erratic in Singapore too but sunshine always peeks through. So, Im praying and sending some sunshine to NZ and you. 😉

  3. Hi KaZ, i chanced upon your blog looking for travel insurance for a 6 months stint to NZ, and how surprised was I when I read that you went to NZ for wwoofing as well! I am heading over soon and I was wondering if I could get some tips pertaining to the wwoofing part. Would be most delighted if I could connect with you over email.

    • Hi Dorcas, I am glad to be of help and hope that the travel insurance article helped. What would you like to know about wwoofing? I will drop you a mail shortly. 🙂

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