New Zealand, I love you // 17 March 2011

Not for nothing do they call it the land of the long white cloud.

A picture-perfect blue day will see puffy white clouds niftily perched above New Zealand’s skinny islands, leaving clear skies directly above the ocean, or the Waitemata (sparkling water) as the Harbour’s so aptly known.

I have just returned from 5 days in Aetearoa’s the North Island and I am stunned by what I found there. A country so uncluttered, filled with air so clean and a landscape that can only be described as a cross between the Alps, the Caribbean and the Dorset hills. I stayed in Pataua, framed by sea to the east, steep, tree-clad hills to the south and far west, a huge, blue, slow-moving lagoon-esque river to the west and surfing beaches to the north. Tree ferns, fruit trees, wild grass, sea trout, dolphins, you name it. Check.

I can’t do it justice here but a picture or two may help set the scene. Suffice to say I’ll be heading back to have a little dabble in the South Island, walking trails, hot springs and ski hills in the not-too-distant future.

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