Tuesday, November 3, 2009

East, West...



So, New Zealand is one of Lonely Planet's newly-announced Top 10 places to visit in 2010! It's a little disconcerting to find El Salvador in the list, along with Suriname, but that's probably more to do with my ignorance than LP's quirkiness: especially as the list compiler joked about our inclusion being so predictable.

It's ironic, of course, that I've written far more stories about Australia than I have about NZ - but you know how it is with your own back yard. At least I've seen most of it, unlike so many North Islanders, Aucklanders especially, who've been across the Tasman multiple times, but never Cook Strait. The LP report mentions Tongariro (tick), Queenstown (tick), Abel Tasman NP (tick), Fiordland (tick), Dunedin (query, but tick) and Otago (tick) - five of the six, note, in the South Island where I was born - and where, appallingly, many overseas visitors never allow time to get to. Shouldn't be allowed.

Up here there are great beaches, the thermal zone, volcanoes and the Bay of Islands - but in the south? Also beaches, plus fiords, the Sounds, proper mountains, the wild West Coast, Kaikoura, pretty Christchurch, sunny Nelson, fabulous lakes, gold rush country, unexplored bush...

Next month I'm going down south to walk the Milford Track (world famous in the world), a four-day tramp through stunning mountain scenery from Lake Te Anau to the coast, and it's going to be brilliant - even if the sandflies are as big as sparrows.

1 comment:

Brett said...

Hi Pam - nice post but virtually all overseas visitors do get to the South Island. If anything it's the North Island that's overlooked. Loads actually fly in and out of ChCh - been down here a month now and of the 100 or so overseas visitors I've met I'd estimate 80% are only doing the Mainland.

I went sea kayaking in Doubtful Sound a few days ago - highly recommended if you've got time in December

nice Listener Hawaiian shirts story too...

Cheers - Brett Atkinson

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