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New Zealand Teardrops

Auckland NZ 26 e1264564040590 New Zealand Teardrops
There are places that have always stood out to me from my childhood geography lessons. Those places that have some fantastical shape, like snaking around a mountain range or mirroring the boot I put on my foot to face a winter snow. The sheer isolation of New Zealand, the two teardrops sitting on the edge of the world, has attracted me for some time. These are the places I’ve dreamt about visiting all my life.

I arrived in New Zealand with my eyes wide open to all we would experience. Known for its breathtaking scenery and extreme adventure, it’s a destination that has been near the top of my long list of places to visit on our around the world trip. For all expectations that I brought to the table, I have to say, New Zealand has lived up to the hype and then some. This country truly takes my breath away.

Auckland NZ 41 e1264564617239 New Zealand Teardrops

Our adventure began in Auckland, New Zealand's largest city of 1.2 million people. Upon our arrival, I was immediately taken aback by how progressive the country is. The airport alone was such a well-oiled machine that I could have taken up residence there and been quite content. Clean, green, cheerful and efficient, we soon learned this would be a theme of our New Zealand stay.

From the moment we stepped off the plane, we were welcomed with open arms by the Kiwis, the name given to the residents of New Zealand after the iconic, nocturnal Kiwi bird. We were directed to a government-sponsored tourist office they call "i-site" that we soon learned has locations in nearly every town across the country. Here enthusiastic Kiwis armed us with free guidebooks and enough glossy brochures to fill a library while sharing their take on where to find our corner of paradise.

We spent two days exploring Auckland. After hearing mixed reviews of the city, we were quite impressed. Known as the 'City of Sails,' Auckland's picturesque setting has the cosmopolitan and colorful city perched above a harbor dotted with islands made of volcanic rock. We found the city charming with its green parks, rolling hills, thriving cafe scene and Victorian cottages transformed into boutiques and restaurants. It proved to be an excellent introduction to Kiwi culture and a great spot for plotting out the exciting three weeks ahead of us.

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  1. Mom Keller says:

    Pictures are amazing and I am in awe of all the things you both are doing. Hope the camper makes it through the trip or should I say hope the driver makes it. Sounds a little scarry to me.
    I miss you both so much already and it hasn’t even been that long. How will I make it til Thanksgiving? Just stay safe and I continue to pray for you and your travels. Love you both, Mom