a bit of a rough time, us Kiwis, haven’t we?
The election has managed to highlight our
lack of affordable housing, under-resourced health system and astronomically high cost of dental care.
cost of living crisis is hurting everyone in the back pocket.
On top of that, we’ve had
ferocious weather and the All Blacks lost the World Cup final.
But if you’re feeling a bit “meh”, join me in celebrating
all the amazing things Aotearoa does right – from our lip-smackingly-good coffee to our wide open skies, these are the things that New Zealand gets right. Kiwi coffee
JUAN ZARAMA PERINI/Stuff
Good coffee is something New Zealanders are great at making. (File photo)
Whether you enjoy coffee with creamy home-grown cow’s milk or prefer a milk alternative,
New Zealand is the crème de la crème of coffee makers.
good cup of coffee is not hard to find, even in small-town New Zealand, and coffee carts at the beach.
For many Kiwis, coffee is
more than just a beverage – coffee culture is a way of life. And, with more than 9000 cafes in New Zealand, it is a perfectly wonderful way of life.
Another bonus in New Zealand is that our cafe culture is not based around tipping and there are few time restrictions for customers, so you can enjoy your coffee in quiet luxury.
Piha Beach on Auckland’s west coast is a favourite for its black sand, constant surf and proximity to the centre of the supercity. (File photo)
From the seemingly endless expanse of Northland’s
Ninety Mile Beach (Te Oneroa-a-Tōhē), to the wonderful waves of Dunedin’s St Clair beach, New Zealand arguably does beaches better than anyone else.
has at least one favourite – whether it’s the black sands of Auckland’s Piha Beach, the relaxing warmth of Hot Water Beach in the Coromandel, golden sands of Tasman’s Tata Beach or the dramatic windswept views of Castlepoint, New Zealand beaches offer variety, magic and beauty.
The best part about
New Zealand beaches is that it doesn’t matter what activity you chose to do – swimming, diving, surfing or simply sunbathing – access is free for all.
When you look down Ninety Mile Beach/Te Oneroa-a-Tōhē from the Te Araroa Trail, it’s hard to believe access to such beautiful vistas are completely free. (File photo)
classic steak and cheese, to gourmet creations like roast duck and mushrooms, New Zealand does pies like no one else.
little corner of the country boasts perfect pie creations, with more than 4000 entries in the annual Kiwi pie awards.
vegans are well catered for, with vegan buttery chicken available at most service stations and New Plymouth’s veggie korma winning awards.
The chicken, bacon and mushroom pie at Providence Pantry in Paeroa is just one of many favourite pies in the country.
Kiwis are so fanatical about
which bakery has the best pies in the country, Stuff has often run into trouble trying to list the best.
Even though it may show on our waistlines, there is only one rule when it comes to eating pies:
“Always blow on the pie!” Our stars
It’s so easy to take for granted that one of our best vistas here in New Zealand can be seen by
simply looking up at night.
The stars above the Church of the Good Shepherd on the shore of Lake Tekapo, are a feature of the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve but good stargazing is available almost everywhere. (File photo)
A lack of light pollution means Aotearoa offers
amazing stargazing opportunities from everywhere but the centre of our largest cities.
The Southern Cross is the best known constellation in New Zealand, but it now has a fair rival, with
Matariki earning a new public holiday to celebrate its rising at the start of the Māori New Year.
The best views of the night sky can arguably be found at the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, Aotea/Great Barrier Island – the
first island in the world to be designated a Dark Sky Sanctuary – South Wairarapa or Stewart Island. Safety
We’re lucky here in New Zealand: Not only do most places have great views of the Southern Cross, it’s perfectly safe to go out at night and view it. (File photo)
Safety is nothing to be sneezed at and New Zealand is
one of the safest destinations in the world.
For a start, we have nothing like the
deadly animals harboured by neighbouring Australia – no snakes, crocodiles or cane toads.
Our wildlife is so tame that one of our most deadly creatures,
t he Katipō spider, is shy and rarely spotted.
But it’s not just the lack of deadly animals that
makes Aotearoa safe, New Zealand is also free from conflict, plus it is one of the best in the world for political freedom and civil liberties.
Institute of Economic Peace/Supplied
New Zealand is right near the top in the 2023 Global Peace Index.
All of this makes New Zealand one of the most peaceful countries in the world, according to the
2023 Global Peace Index. Chocolate
Life is certainly sweet with
New Zealand chocolate.
gorgeous gourmet offerings – from Makana Confections in Kerikeri in the north to Ocho Chocolate Company in Dunedin in the south, and plenty of crafty chocolatiers in between.
Whittaker’s is a Kiwi-as chocolate maker. (File photo)
But one of the best things about New Zealand is
crowd favourite Whittaker’s, a proudly Kiwi chocolate bar which keeps fans guessing with nutty ads and interesting new flavours. Our us-ness
Take a bow, Kiwis, because we have saved the best for last.
New Zealanders are
famed for our friendliness: Not as stuck-up as the British, not as loud as Americans, not as crazy as Aussies.
Warm but casual.
And together, we have achieved some pretty amazing things.
We let absolutely everyone
have a go at designing a new flag. We all chipped in to buy a beach. More recently, people showed up to a random birthday party, so a 3-year-old wasn’t sad.
New Zealanders have achieved some pretty awesome things.
What do you think the best things about New Zealand are? Reply in the comments below.