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Aoatearoa | The Land of the Long White Cloud

I’ve gone on a number of vacations, but strangely this was only my second going in the summer, so it was a welcome change of pace. Freezing cold and snow here, and sun and warmth in the South Pacific! This was my second trip to New Zealand to see my best mate Maria who is currently residing there, and this time wasn’t a ‘microvisit’ as she says (last time was for a week, this time for two weeks). Who would think my only real goal in going to the exact opposite side of the planet would just be to hang out with her, but we were able to squeeze in some good trips to the cultural and seat of government, Wellington, as well as Rotorua, and lots of exploration of the Auckland area.

A few things I realized on this trip and that is one, after two trip to Australia, I now see that that lovely country has nothing on New Zealand. While Australia is a perfect mix of England & America, and despite its obvious beauty, its just too large in size and population to give you a feeling of coziness or comfort. Meanwhile, New Zealand is a small nation composed of 2 islands and a smaller population than Massachusetts, and being what is the largest polynesian nation that embraces its Maori past (unlike the Aboriginals in Australia), there’s just a stronger positive vibe in the air that you just feel every day you are there. The other thing I learned for the first time, which New Zealand taught me, that its simply impossible to capture the vastness and just plain feeling of AWE you get when you see landscapes like this. Take Auckland for example. It lies on an isthmus, which basically means it is surrounded on both sides by two harbors. One the Pacific, the other the Tasman Sea. Then, because New Zealand is an extremely volcanic terrain, Auckland is dotted with dormant volcanoes all around. Some of the Auckland pictures you will see are taken from Mt Eden, which is the name of Maria’s neighborhood, and is a dormant volcano. Insanely beautiful.

There were four words that came into my head as I was there, and those were FRESH, GREEN, CLEAN, BLUE. I remember the last day i was there and the guy on their morning show called ‘Breakfast’ signed off the show saying ‘remember everyone, we live in paradise, enjoy it’. There was something very humbling and charming about it, like he was talking to his friends. In a country this beautiful and intimate in its confines, he couldn’t have said it any better.

I’ve been satisfied before with pictures I’ve taken (not that they are great or anything, but that they captured what I remembered seeing), but not this time, not anywhere close. New Zealand is that beautiful and inspiring as a country. But I tried my best, and think you will enjoy these pictures!

CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO OF THE MUDPOOLS in ROTORUA!

Click the picture below for …. pictures!

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