Ask any Kiwi why they love their country, and they’ll fall over themselves to tell you why their home country is so great. The rugby team are capable of knocking the socks off any team from around the world, the food is terrific and when it comes to natural beauty, we win.
However, we weren’t content with just sitting back on our laurels and going ‘Yep, we’re pretty good.’ We’ve decided to list nine of our favourite things about New Zealand, just in case anyone ever asks us to justify our love down the pub.
You can really push your limits here
If you love your adrenalin sports, you’ve got plenty to pick from. Whether you want to bungy jump, canyon swing, sky dive, ride a jet ski or scuba dive, they’re all here, and if you have the money (and the energy!), you can do them all in one day. The Nevis Bungy is guaranteed to leave you shaking and exhausted; it’s one of our favourites, but it’s best not to try it after a substantial lunch.
It spawned The Flight of the Conchords
Hapless Kiwi musicians Bret and Jemaine attempt to make it big in NYC with the ‘help’ of their manager, Murray. Murray’s fondness for posters marketing New Zealand’s beauty have clearly been made with enthusiasm, but they are lacking somewhat. Their Kiwi accents are very rarely understood, and people often mistake them for Aussies - and Scottish people. You can watch TFOTC’s homage to New Zealand here.
You can roll down a hill in an inflatable ball in Rotorua
It’s called ‘zorbing’, and you can do this 364 days a year, come rain, hail or any other weather condition (not including storms). Basically, you climb inside a huge inflatable ball and you’re pushed down a hill. If you like, you can roll with a friend, and they’ll also fill the ball with water for an added thrill. A single trip, as it were, costs $39. You can find out more here.
We invented Lorde
Well, we didn’t invent her, she’s self-made, but you know what we mean. We love Lorde for many reasons - she’s talented, clever and innovative - and she’s also no prude. “I have nothing against anyone getting naked,” she said in an interview in 2014. “For me personally, I just don't think it really would complement my music in any way or help me tell a story any better. It's not like I have a problem with dancing around in undies.” We’re with you 100%, Lorde.
It’s Lord of the Rings territory
New Zealand is home to The Hobbit. And Lord of the Rings. So whether you’re a massive fan of the movies or you find the whole thing a bit ‘meh’, it’s a movie phenomenon that brought the beauty of New Zealand to the masses. If you’re a massive fan, you can totally immerse yourself in the experience and take a tour; much of the film was shot near major landmarks and tourist centres, so you can either take a self-guided adventure or join one of the many organised The Lord of the Rings location tours that are on offer.
You can walk across glaciers
We say ‘nay’ to the average walk - why traipse across a hill when you can mooch across a glacier? Mind-blowing glaciers like Franz Josef are well worth a visit; you can land on in a helicopter before exploring by foot. You can even take a dip in a hot pool at the end of the tour. The Heli Ice Climb is $499 per person, and it promises five hours of adrenaline-fuelled fun - you’re given expert equipment and tuition as you face the glacier head on. Book your ticket here.
New Zealand is the only place in the world where the Fergburger is on offer. We’ll put it this way; it’ll ruin other burgers for you in the future as nothing will ever quite compare. For the ultimate cheesy hit, we recommend the Fergburger with cheese, which comes with blue cheese, brie and swiss cheese. Order with a side of fries and aioli (a lush garlicky mayo). You can swoon over their menu here.
Kiwis are amazingly friendly
We’re proud of our friendly natures and welcoming attitudes; whether you’re a local or you’re a first-time visitor, you’ll be amazed by the kindness and openness you’ll see. Maybe we’re always in a good mood because there are no harmful animals in New Zealand (this is a true fact; go on, look it up), but we prefer to think it’s because we love where we live - and why wouldn’t we?.
Chocolate fish live here
There are loads of companies which make the fish, but Cadbury is the general favourite. These pink marshmallow-filled fish are hugely popular with pretty much everyone; the fish’s ‘scales’ are formed by blowing air across their rapidly-cooling chocolate coating. They’re delightfully moreish, and on a total adorable side-note, smaller, or ‘fun-sized’ variants of the chocolate fish are colloquially referred to as ‘sprats’.