February 22 is the one month anniversary of the devastating earthquake that hit Christchurch, New Zealand. This week travel bloggers from all over the world are banding together to help New Zealand get back to the business of welcoming travellers and tourists to their incredibly beautiful country. I’m proud to do my part in getting the word out about New Zealand and how you can help. While some areas of the country were badly damaged and lives were lost, New Zealanders are a courageous and resilient people who are not afraid to roll up their sleeves, and get their country back in shape. But pride and courage are not enough, and New Zealand needs your help.
Here is what you can do:
We’ve all heard the bad news about the earthquake, and we all feel a sense of sadness and loss when something terrible happens to a friend or family member. Today I feel a kinship with my brothers and sisters in New Zealand, and I’m going to accentuate the positive side of this most beautiful of countries. The earthquake hit the area of Christchurch, however the rest of the country is largely unaffected by the quake. Many people think that the whole country is in ruins because of what they saw on the news, this is just not so! I’m here to tell you that the people of New Zealand are ready to welcome you with open arms right now. It was my experience that New Zealand is not just the most naturally beautiful place I have ever been fortunate enough to visit, but the people were so kind and welcoming, that I felt right at home from the moment I landed in Christchurch back in 2006.
Where else in the world other than New Zealand can you see so much diversity in the landscape, in such a short amount of time? Within a few hours of driving, you can see, beaches, snow capped mountains, glacier fed lakes, fjords, volcanoes, wine country in the valleys, glaciers, hot springs, and the list goes on, and on. This is truly one of the world’s most incredible places and I feel so fortunate to have been able to visit. I was only there for a short time, but in the 5 days I had, I drove well over 2000 kilometres, just to be able to see as much as I possibly could. Was it enough? No way! I know that one day I’ll be back for an extended trip that will allow me the chance to photograph so much more than I was able to during my first visit. I remember having this feeling of absolute awe on so many occasions and in so many places during my road trip. The feeling I got when standing alone in such magnificent places, just like New Zealand itself, defies description. I wonder if New Zealanders realize just how lucky they are, to live in what I consider to be the most beautiful place in the world.
The main thing I want to convey today, besides that New Zealand is a stunningly beautiful place, is the fact that New Zealand is ready to welcome you and all travellers right now. If New Zealand is not on the top of your list of countries that you want to visit, it should be, trust me. Tourism plays a big part in the economy in New Zealand, and one of the best ways to help the country in their recovery efforts, is to take that trip of a lifetime to Aotearoa, which is the Maori name for the country, and means Land of the Long White Cloud. Not only are in in for the time of your life when you visit New Zealand, but you’re also helping our Kiwi friends when they really need it. Good on ya!
New Zealand is open for business!
Here are some great resources to help you plan your trip to New Zealand
Hei konā rā
Enjoy more travel photos and stories: