Pure New Zealand: 5 points of view

The following is a guest post by Juno Kim of RunawayJuno.com

This is New Zealand: one of the world’s most well-known scenic places and one of the most adored countries on earth. However, New Zealand is not all about astonishing landscapes or adrenaline-rushing bungee jumping. It’s about the intimate feel of the place that warms your heart, that’s what makes New Zealand so wonderful. You’ve seen enough great scenery photos of New Zealand, so I’ll give you “Pure New Zealand” from five points of view.  These are the everyday scenes you’ll witness while traveling around the country.

Over the windshield, this is your view:

Driving around New Zealand

I admit; New Zealand is not one the most convenient places to drive around. You won’t find straightforward highways with lots of rest stops. Driving will take more time than you expected. Why? Because they’ve built their roads around the natural features: mountains, rivers, and lakes. Nature before convenience, just like their reputation. And you may have to stop the car for sheep crossing on many occasions. Also, you might want to slow down because the scenery will be beautiful. When you are planning a schedule for driving around New Zealand, keep this in mind.

This photo is from the northern neck of the North Island, near Auckland, taken while driving.


Natural Planetarium: Free admission, every night.

Night sky of New Zealand

Afternoon’s clear blue sky turns into a dark blue natural planetarium. Then you’ll see the symbol of the Southern Hemisphere: the Southern Cross. Due to extremely low light pollution, New Zealand is a very well-known place for stargazers. Every night was a stargazing festival for me, an astronomy buff. But no astronomy degree is required to appreciate this amazing night sky. As I’ve heard, New Zealand’s brother country, Australia, is another outstanding place for enjoying the extreme darkness of the southern night sky. I’ll have to find out for myself by grabbing one of the numerous Australia flights from New Zealand, the next time I’m there.

For naked-eye stargazing, Lake Tekapo is especially well-known for its low light pollution. Also visit Carter Observatory at Wellington, Stardom Observatory at Auckland, and Mt. John Observatory at Lake Tekapo for an organized astronomy tour.


“Oh, the mountains are my back yard.”

This is what you can say if you’re living in New Zealand. The landscape still pockets the town, not vise versa. Everything outdoors is easily accessible. Although New Zealand is well-known for extreme outdoor activities like skydiving, glacier hiking, and bungee jumping, even small towns offer opportunities to explore the surroundings at your own pace.

This photo was taken on the top of Baldwin Street, the steepest street in the world. A lot of towns around New Zealand offer adventures both big and small. Even in a big city like Auckland, there is plenty of bush with hiking trails you can explore.


This is a beach

Notice anything missing? Beach umbrellas, souvenir stands, fish n’ chip shops…  development? The beauty of New Zealand beaches is that there’s still more beach than beachcombers. Depending on where you are, each beach presents its own personality: black sands, isolated coves, rocky shores, some roughness due to the proximity to Antarctica, and others boasting warm waters with fruit-bearing trees.

This particular photo is from Koekohe Beach which is famous for the Moeraki Boulders. As an island country, it’s easy to visit beaches in New Zealand, especially, Dunedin, Invercargill, and Picton on the South Island, and Auckland, Napier, Wellington, and New Plymouth on the North Island—all great places to enjoy the beach.


This is what you feel in NZ

Easy going. Everything here is just that.