Wednesday, December 06, 2006

New Zealand - A Tribute

With great reluctance I left Wellington this morning, beginning the journey home and bringing to a close 6 wonderful months in New Zealand. I can say without hesitation that I have never been this gutted leaving a place. I can say without a hint of hyperbole that New Zealand is a million times better than all the other places I've been to combined.

Wellington is a gem of a city. About the size of Cork, its location on a fault line has resulted in some stunning surrounds. Everything is within walking distance in the city center. The people are great. Friendly, helpful and always up for a chat. I lost count of the number of times a conversation started over my Munster Rugby jacket. Wellington is also the safest city I've ever been to. I've never felt safer walking alone through streets at 4am as I did in Wellington. Not once in 6 months did I witness a fight. Like CK I'm a bit of a cinema fan and if there's one thing New Zealand knows how to do its cinema. Imagine watching a movie slouched in your very own Laz-E-Boy chair with all you can eat popcorn and all you can drink soft-drinks for around 15 euro. Heaven.

Like Peter Jacksons trilogy the real star however is New Zealand's countryside. It simply is Middle Earth. Stunning. New Zealanders have made a massive effort to preserve their surrounds and it puts Ireland to shame. The best way to see the countryside is by car, however in doing so you run the risk of getting nowhere fast as you'll likely be pulling over every 5 minutes to take a picture. Places like Milford Sounds, Arthurs Pass, the inter-island ferry route (indeed all of the South Island), Bay of Islands, Rotorua, Queenstown, Wellington and countless others have to be seen to be believed. If you do come here don't fly, DRIVE!

I am not now, nor have I ever been associated with the Tourism New Zealand, but please, do yourself a favour and visit this amazing country during your time on this planet.

Of course pretty much every reader of this blog, save those from Australia, will be presented with quiet a trip in order to do this and this brings me to the only complaint I have; location. New Zealand is almost as far away from Ireland as it is possible to get, before you start to come back again. Thus, I propose that we swap the two islands of New Zealand with the British land mass. The South island would fit nicely in between Ireland and France whilst the North Island would have the entire North Sea to itself. The 4 Nations as it would become, would be very difficult to win I accept, but having Queenstown a 40 mintue flight away would be worth it.

I am but a computer scientist, so I'll let Simon, a real scientist, come up with the mechanics of it. That, or come up with some type of matter transporter that cuts 26 ohours or so out of the journey.

Simon?

6 comments:

CK said...
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CK said...

Full sure that Tuathal had to limit his word count to ensure the post was of reasonable length I want to add to his praise of New Zealand.

I'm home now a week and I cannot tell you the magic of New Zealand, an endless succession of views you think can never be topped, year round access to unbelievable activities, so much of it water based which is always heaven for me, and every imaginable challenge as well as idyllic surround to soak in.

Anything your guide book or car hire company tells you is a days trip or day return trip is a blatant lie, no one day, let alone a weekend can do justice to any sight, there are countless views, glacial features and walks to stop and relish.

One of the most distinctive characteristic of the people is how well they know their own country and how much they tour their own country, its given me an incentive to reappraise Ireland and be able to say I can recommend places and offer as much detailed information as Kiwis.

En route home I met a guy travelling on to New Zealand and sat with him for 3 hours listing sights, places to eat, tour companies to use, pubs to drink in the length of the islands. I impressed even myself that I remembered so much but the conversation was a nice end note to my trip and each and every bit of it are cherished.

Anonymous said...
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Simon said...

Lads I get the point New Zealand great better then here. ;)

As for the matter transportor. Emm let me get back to you on that

Godwhacker said...

If you are disintegrated in a transporter and then reassembled elsewhere, are you still the same person?

Anyway ~ New Zealand sounds like a great trip, but is the beer as good as Ireland's?

Tuathal said...

Ah Gobwhacker gets straight to the important stuff.

The beer in NZ is preety good. Monteiths have a range of beer that has something for everybody, my own fave being Monteiths Golden. Most of whats available here is available there, albeit in bottles. The one exception is Budweiser which cant be found, and frankly thats a good thing if you ask me.

However best of all beer and alcohol is pretty cheap. A pint costs $6, in most places, a little over 3 euros, and shots are alot less expensive than home.