It’s only my first time in New Zealand and I’ve already been in love with its beauty the moment we arrived.
Here are my 10 first impressions and aha’s about the country…
1. Best time to go to NZ
The best time to go is during New Zealand’s Autumn season during the months of March, April, and May, which is Summer time in the Philippines! The second-best time is during the Spring at around September, October, & November, which falls on the semestral break of most schools back home.
Wellington is the political capital of NZ, while Auckland is the business capital. Queenstown is the most beautiful city in the southern isle.
2. Living an Awesome Life in Waiheke Island!
Waiheke island is 45 minutes away by boat from the big city of Auckland. It feels like Napa Valley with a view of the sea and different wine-producing vineyards and beaches on the island. They are also a big producer of extra virgin olive oil and Manuka honey.
It has all the elements of living a sustainable lifestyle with modern urban comforts. The island seduces you to stay and makes you seriously consider living here.
3. NZ’s Cuisine is based on the Freshest Ingredients
New Zealand cuisine is not defined by the dishes but by the ingredients that make up the dish, which are all available on the island. They are best known for dairy, meats (lamb and grass-fed beef), seafood (mussels and salmon), and desserts (pavlova and ice cream).
NZ cuisine easily adopts flavors from Southeast Asia and most restaurants here just use what’s locally available in their community.
4. Drinking Water from the Tap!
The water is so clean and pure that you can drink directly from the tap! I forgot the last time I trusted the tap water from a hotel.
In New Zealand, they follow the strictest standards for the quality of their water. 🙂
5. Awesome Aviation Industry!
Did you know that New Zealand manufactures and exports airplanes? Pacific Aerospace manufactures the ultimate multi-role aircraft–the P-750 Xstol–used as a utility, medical, and skyjump plane.
6. Surreal Nature!
Green Landscape, Bluest Skies, and Colorful Rainbows = 100% New Zealand
It’s like stepping into an eco-dreamland where nature overwhelms your senses.
7. $400 Instant Fine
New Zealand is very serious about conservation and sustainable living, so much so that they don’t want tourists to bring any plant or animal products into the country that can potentially damage their ecosystem.
You cannot bring in fruits or any food into the country; you must declare any food products or suffer an instant $400 fine. You also have to declare items that were used for outdoor activities like shoes and ensure that these are clean.
8. Pavlova Heaven!
We haven’t stopped craving for the NZ kind of pavlova topped with strawberries and kiwis ever since we tried it in Kalamunda by Sylvia Miguel!
There is an ongoing debate on whether this was an Australia or New Zealand innovation.
9. Land of Active Manuka Honey
All our boys take Manuka Honey back home in Manila to maintain their health and well-being. Manuka Honey comes in several variants with different levels of active ingredients (from UMF 5+ to UMF 20+).
We love the ones you can buy directly from Rangihuoa Estate in Waiheke island. But you can also buy from Comvita, which is the biggest exported brand outside of NZ.
10. Pampered with Pinot Gris and Pinor Noir!
I’m loving Pinor Gris at the moment because of its fruity, light, and refreshing dry taste with a nice, sweet finish. I’m also starting to love Pinor Noir with a sweet red fruity, spicy taste, nice tannin, and a dry finish.
The more you get to taste what good wine is all about directly from the vineyard estates, the more you get addicted to drinking it. 🙂
I’m still enjoying discovering the rest of New Zealand. Let me know if you have any foodie and travel tips!
Live an Awesome Life,
Disclosure: Our New Zealand trip is courtesy of the New Zealand Embassy. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights. Read Our Awesome Planet Complete Disclosure Policy here.
P.S. In the winter season, the weather can drastically change in single day–from sunny to rainy to cold. Make sure to bring a potent vitamin like Conzace, which keeps you travel healthy. I drink one pill a day after having a full meal at night.