New Zealand Extremities

The image of New Zealand is of a small country, yet the sign at Bluff, close to the southern point of the South Island, indicates that Cape Reinga, near the northern tip of the North Island, is 1401 kilometres away.

Autumn near Arrowtown, Otago, South Island

At Cape Reinga, the Pacific Ocean and Tasman Sea collide in boiling currents, a fitting place for the spirit of a Maori to take their last journey by leaping off an 800 year old pohutukawa tree into the ocean, on the way to returning to their ancestral home, Hawaiki.

When in Bluff, Antarctica feels close. Eating Bluff oysters for lunch while gazing south towards the pole is recommended.

In between New Zealand’s extremities awaits a country of great scenic beauty, quirky towns, a vibrant culture, and friendly people.  I keep coming back for a couple of weeks each year to rent a campervan/motorhome and enjoy a meander. It’s easy to find an isolated beach or country spot for a picnic, and often, to free camp as well. Those locations are a perfect place to sample one of New Zealand’s great wines along with some local produce.

Each time I visit, I find more appealing towns to add to my list of favourites. On my recent visit to the South Island, Oamaru and Akaroa joined the list. Away from towns, the hauntingly beautiful Coromandel Peninsula in the North Island keeps returning to my thoughts.

As an Australian, another joy about visiting New Zealand is that it’s the only country in the world where I am allowed to stay for as long as I want. No visas required

This is my contribution to Tiffin’s A-Z Guidebook, this month starting with the letter N.

A-Z Guidebook Badge

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I like to travel while having a base from which to roam. Home is a small farm on the outskirts of Melbourne, Australia, where I grow organic vegetables and fruit, keep a few chooks (chickens) and Dexter cattle. The place offers some country peace and quiet, and wildlife, as well as quick access to the inner suburbs of the city for my regular contrasting visits. I enjoy walking, camping, swimming and snorkelling, photography, reading, listening to and playing music, and good food and wine. A major flaw in my character is being susceptible to sales of air flights.

6 thoughts on “New Zealand Extremities”

  1. Hi Stuart – got your email and have linked you for N. No idea what happened there but we all know technology will try to defeat us at every turn. What a lovely story and photo. I can imagine it was bloody cold when you visited but I see that you both had a great time. Oh how I laughed at your visa comment. ‘Aint that the truth?!


    1. Thanks for your comments and linking me to the A-Z Guidebook series. I’m trying to keep a perfect record of participation.The South Island weather was really warm for the first week of our fortnight during the first weeks of May – 25 degrees C – then in the second week, about 18 degrees C. The mountains were distinctly colder, especially when waking up in the morning at Lake Wanaka to see yesterday’s bare mountains clothed in snow.


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