There's something otherworldly about New Zealand. Particularly when you are from Australia, as I am, and you're used to crumbly red dirt and eucalyptus-scented bush (a term used to describe scrubby forest/grass areas), and also when you're used to thinking of New Zealand as being, well, almost like Australia. It's so close to us, and yet the landscape is so very very different.
Volcanoes push their way through rolling green hills, mud pools hum and spit, deserted beaches glow with white white sand and heavy dark trees drip with rain.
It make sense to me why New Zealand has been the site of fantasy films like Lord of the Rings - it is hard to believe this landscape exists, even when you're standing on it.
And really... there's nothing as fun as bubbling mud!
One thing I love about New Zealand is the Polynesian culture, and I had a great time at Waitangi learning about the treaty, and seeing some Maori performances in a traditional Whare.
Lest you think New Zealand is just a wild landscape, I took a few photos in some of its urban spaces...
Looking for mussels, Whitianga