2 February 2018
New Zealand has been high on our travel wish list so when we decided to move to Australia for a year, we quickly added time to explore the island nation. We chose February because it should be less crowded – summer holidays just ended – and the weather should be good. The weather forecast for the next few weeks however is dominated by rain so we will see how that works out.
Before planning and researching our trip, I was under the common misconception that New Zealander’s nickname, “Kiwis”, came from kiwifruit, of which they are one of the world’s leading exporters. It actually comes from the Kiwi, a flightless bird that is New Zealand’s national symbol. There is one on the dollar coin. Souvenoir shops sell kiwi everything and anything.
We have always had a great impression of New Zealand as they are an ally and good friend to the United States. Having lived in Australia for almost 7 months we have been getting much more news and information about our Kiwi friends. Australians and New Zealandars are strong allies and friendly rivals. The two nations have a lot in common but each have a distint identity. From my vantage point, their relationship is similar to that between the United States and Canada. We hope to learn more about this in our upcoming travels.
Sport is one way their interconnection and rivalry are expressed. New Zealand has professional sports teams in Australian leagues, including NRL (rugby league), BBL (cricket), NBL (basketball), and A-League (soccer), and their national teams play each other in test matches on a regular basis. We were fortunate to see the All Blacks rugby team play in Brisbane this past October and experience the rivalry first hand.
We are excited to explore this great land and see it for ourselves.