I’m a kiwi gal, born and raised in New Zealand and moved to the USA in 1998. I have never forgotten where I have come from nor do I hesitate in promoting New Zealand to anyone who asks about it, mentions it, or wants to talk about it.
New Zealand is an amazing place. If you haven’t been there then you are missing out on one of the hidden treasures of the world. To give you an idea on how much we can pack into a small country like New Zealand, take all 50 states and squish them into the state of Colorado and add 4.5 million people and about 60 million sheep and you would be close to what we have in New Zealand. Remember New Zealand is made up of three main islands, North Island, South Island and Stewart Island surrounded by two oceans. On the east we have the Pacific Ocean and on the west we have the Tasman Sea.
I like to refer to New Zealand as being “down under and over a bit”. When you mention down under most people automatically think of Australia and forget that New Zealand is down there too. So I get people thinking when I add the “and over a bit”! 🙂
Another symbol associated with New Zealand is the Silver Fern. Whenever you see any NZ sportsperson in action you will see the silver fern on their uniform. The silver fern is actually a tree fern known as Ponga. it’s trunk is extremely hard and made of thousands of fibers instead of solid wood. My dad broke many saw blades trying to cut the Ponga. The top of the leaf is dark green but the underside of the leaf is silver.
Many Australians are going to balk at the next kiwiana item. It has been an ongoing controversy between Australia and New Zealand since 1925! Now don’t get me wrong we love our neighbors and yes, we have a great friendly rivalry. You are probably wondering what I’m talking about. One of New Zealand’s best culinary delights is our national desert, the Pavlova. The Pavlova was inspired by the Russian Ballerina Anna Pavlova. A New Zealand baker wanted to create something that represented her dancing. He came up with a meringue-based sweet concoction made of egg whites, vinegar, vanilla essence, caster sugar, and cornflour; topped with whipped cream, sliced kiwifruit and drizzles of passionfruit. The meringue is light and represents the lightness of her dancing; the whipped cream the tutu and the kiwi fruit and passionfruit the decorations of the tutu. The controversy comes in where the Australians say they are the ones who first came up with the desert. Sorry to tell my Aussie friends this, but in Anna Pavlova’s biography and in other sources it is stated that it was New Zealand who was the first to make this dish.
Thirsty? Then you have to try some Lemon and Paeroa, otherwise known as L&P. Its slogan is “World Famous in New Zealand”. L&P is a wonderful refreshing combination of mineral water and lemon extract. The water first used in L&P was from a spring in Paeroa and they would add a wedge of lemon to the water. Paeroa is a little town in the heart of Thames Valley that I’m familiar with as my great grandparents used to lived there. In town you will find a monument of a giant bottle of L&P as a reminder of where L&P originated.
Now onto the other kiwiana item was just mentioned…jetboating! You can race along the Shotover River with a company called Shotover Jet or you can race up the Kawarau River on the Kawarau Jets. I have done the Kawarau Jet and LOVED IT!! We left the pier in Queenstown on Lake Wakatipu and went across the lake and up the Kawarau River. It was a blast!! Sir William Hamilton invented the jetboats to go up shallow rivers against the currents. This way you wouldn’t have to worry about the propellors on regular boats being damaged by rocks. I can tell you when I was on the Kawarau river we were going through waters about 4 inches deep. So much fun!!
New Zealand has so much to offer that it is very hard to put it all in one blog, so I guess that means that I will have to write more blogs about New Zealand. I hope you have enjoyed this glimpse into New Zealand and a few of the unique things New Zealand has. I will be bringing you more about New Zealand so stay tuned!
If you would like to know more about New Zealand please go Have2GoNewZealand.com and set up a FREE 1-hour no obligation planning session. If have been to New Zealand then please let us know in your questions and/or thoughts in the comments.