I recently spent a little over two weeks touring New Zealand. It was a self-driving trip, which meant we got to cover a lot of ground, although certainly the coverage was very shallow.
Before this trip, I had not set foot on foreign soil more than one mile from the US border, so the experience of going to a foreign country was in itself new. This means I am compelled to share it with you.
Overall New Zealand made me feel very welcome. I would like to move to New Zealand. Barring that, visiting New Zealand as a tourist was a great experience.
I could write a detailed photoblog of our eighteen day journey, but this would be a lot like going to your Uncle’s house and watching his 90-minute DVD compilation of his trip to Norway - a bit tedious.
One thing I noticed as a tourist is that it is kind of hard to notice things that are there, but very easy to notice the things that are missing. So my detailed summary of the trip will give you the list of things that I noticed were not in New Zealand - at least not on my self-driven tour. (I’d give a link to the fine touring company if they would work out some sort of affiliate program, then you could do it yourself.)
Things that don’t appear to exist in New Zealand:
Insane airport security (domestic only)
The purported monoculture of sheep
Cosmopolitans, or more generally, grown-up cocktails
Air-Conditioned hotel rooms
Reasonably priced Wireless
Horrifying public restrooms
4 lane highways
Any sense of realism about building a country in a volcano/earthquake/tsunami free-fire zone