If a New Zealand summer is not your bucket list, think again. No, not because its that place where ‘The Lord Of The Rings was filmed’, or because its the first place in the world to bring in the new year. But because of the long summer days, the laid back attitudes, and the friendliest locals in the world. Well in my opinion ;).
New Zealand is a place where it is socially acceptable to go into the supermarket in bare feet, go into the dairy only wearing a towel and using sunscreen not only as sun protection but as a fragrance.
The ‘no worries’ attitude and the ‘sweet as’ mentality of the locals is like nothing else in the world, this way of living has created a summer vibe that you can not find anywhere else in the world. How do I know? Because I’m a Kiwi.
So when you’re in New Zealand, how do you spend summer like a local? Well, it all starts with grabbing yourself a bottle of L&P and your jandals.
You might know about tramping. It’s what we like to call hiking or bushwalking. Essentially it means getting out there and exploring on foot.
New Zealand has some of the most picturesque natural beauty in the world, and the best way to see it is on foot. There are dozens of tracks out there to suit everybody, from a few hours to a few days. You can find something from the coastline to the mountains, New Zealand has you covered in every direction.
When you are out and about, remember to always keep your eyes peeled for the elusive Kiwi bird.
Try A Hangi?
This is a traditional Maori meal in which the veggies and meat are cooked in the ground. The hangi is made by digging a large pit, lighting a fire inside, then river stones are laid. The food is then placed on top of the rocks (wrapped in foil, or traditionally leaves).
The food is then covered with foliage and the soil from the pit and steamed for hours. Chicken or lamb is usually used as well as pumpkin, onions & sweet potatoes (or kurmas, as they are known in NZ). Cooking underground can be difficult to make you known when the meat is safe to eat!
They may seem like a lot of work, however, once you smell and taste one you will realize the work is well worth it.
Head For A Swim In The Rivers or Oceans
New Zealand is home to over 180,000 kilometers of rivers. You will be hard pressed to find anything more Kiwi than heading down to your local ‘swimming hole’. Setting up for an afternoon of cliff jumping, rapid surfing and rope swinging is one of a favorite past time for Kiwi kids. There is always a local swimming hole with something to jump off, so don’t be scared!
If fresh water isn’t quite your cup of tea, you’re in luck. New Zealand boasts an impressive 15,000 kilometers of coastline. Load up the car, grab your chilly bin (Esky) and head down to the beach for a day of swimming, sunbaking and beach games. Always remember to swim on patrolled beaches and be careful of the burning hot black sand!
Eat Fish ‘n’ Chips
Having a ‘feed’ of fish ‘n’ chips is about as Kiwi as you can get. However, the fish ‘n’ chips that I am talking about are not the kind that comes served in an ironic serving basket for $35.99 at your local fine dining restaurant. I am talking about the real fish ‘n’ chips.
What do I mean by real fish ‘n’ chips? I mean going to your local fish shop, ordering a $20 family pack and heading down the beach to eat it with your hands while watching the sun go down.
Every fish ‘n’ chip shop has a $20 Family pack, however, they can differ from place to place. You will usually find they contain something along the lines of 4 pieces of crumbed fish, 2 scoops of chips, a couple of hot dogs & a small army or kumara fritters. This delicious pack of deep fried goodness will always come wrapped in last weeks newspaper, which is used as your table at the beach!
Always remember your can of Watties Tomato Sauce and lemon to get the full experience.
Get an Ice Cream From Mr. Whippy
In summer there is a tune that is music to everyone’s ears. That wonderful tune is the tune of Mr. Whippy. You will find him at the park, at the beach, and if you are lucky enough you will find him cruising down your street.
He is the sound of summer. He is at times, a life saver. No day at the beach is complete without an ice cream from Mr. Whippy. Your first time can be overwhelming, with a picture board with 20 – 30 different combinations and styles it’s hard to choose. Do you go for the standard flake cone or go all out and get the banana split?
My favorite is the standard flake cone dipped in a crispy chocolate layer. Do yourself a favor and see Mr. Whippy before the summer is out and he is parked up for the winter time!
So have I made my argument?