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New Zealand

In 1988 I took a trip to the land on the other side of the earth (if you are in Europe), it is actually as far away from Sweden as you can go without ending up in the water. The reason for this trip was not only adventure but I also wanted to meet my penfriends that I had. I must say 'had' because we do not write to each other anymore. For some reason it felt like the ultimate thing, to meet, and we had nothing to tell each other after that. But it was a lovely time and I met some wonderful people. .

I decided to stay in New Zealand for a month. There was a lot to see, but unfortunately a month was not enough, especially if you end up stuck at some places because you meet great people and there are beautiful landscapes.

We were lucky, we went there in April and that is the fall, and it is supposed to be cold. It was a bit cold in Auckland during the nights but not much. But we were going to visit the south island and it has a colder climate. We went down to Christchurch and if I remember it right, it had not been that hot in April for over 80 years. It was close to +30 Celsius. We were on the South island for a week and we had two nights of rain, but the rest of the time there was sun and warmth.

Because of the short time on the island we didn't go further south than to Queenstown, we then took the coastal road on the west part, visiting Franz Joseph glacier, Pancake rocks, Haast, Golden Bay way back to Picton and the boat back to the North island..

Hitchhiking our way back up to the north, we passed Auckland to Whangarai, Russel Island and Paihia. Paihia being one of the most important places in NZ. This is where Captain Cook set foot for the first time and also where the Maori people and the white man signed a treaty. The treaty was formed in a way that the white man could steal the country without the Maori doing anything about it. The same way that the white man stole the country from the Native Americans.
But Paihia is a beautiful place and there are a lot of things to see. The largest war canoe in the world stand here, the little town and friendly people. The only thing I didn't like was that all the ladies called me "darling" after every second word. Sounded false after awhile and at some times very patronising..

One month is not enough as I said, I had no time to go to the east part of the northern island, I never saw Coromandel and because of the time of the year I also missed the Ninety Mile beach. We tried to get there but for over 2 hours there was not one car going that direction..