Land of the Long White Clouds

Flight: British Airways
Time difference: +5 hours


Visited April 2012

Those who are familiar with the title will know that I’m referring to Aotearoa, the Maori name for New Zealand. They say that the white clouds can go as long as 10km. As crazy as it sounds, I was lucky to witness long clouds myself, though not as long as the fabled saying.

Aotearoa has always been a dream destination of my Boy. So when the opportunity arose, I thought that it was only right that we made our way there together. I first got to visit Aotearoa in 2002 during Spring. And now, 10 years on, I visited it again in Autumn last year. While it was a packaged tour the first time, being the travellers we are, it was free and easy this time round. My family even decided to jump on the bandwagon and tag along, with us meeting up with them only during the second part of our trip. And because I am the type of traveller who prefers to spend more time in a single country, we limited our trip to the region where the cows and sheep graze.

Saying that Aotearoa is a haven for nature and scenic beauty is an understatement. While self-driving has been touted as the best way to explore the country, I can understand why. The land is huge with loads of unspoiled beauty that one can never get enough of, even while on the road. Maybe that is why it’s the best way to travel as you can choose to stop whenever and wherever you wish to. But, as much as we recognised that it was best to explore via car, we only did it for the first part of the trip, heading up furthest towards Mount Cook. For the rest of the time, Queenstown was our home base, with day trips departing from there.

Despite a total of 8 days spent there, we just can’t get enough of the country. While we do plan to return for another road trip, there comes my dilemma of whether or not should I consider taking a license to aid with the road fatigue. Not only is it expensive in my country, I’m also not sure if I’m good with reaction time and road stress.

Or maybe I should just stick to keying in GPS coordinates.


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