Obviously if you have been following my New Zealand Diary posts, you know that we have been home for a while. Our trip ended on November 6 with a rather uneventful trip home albeit a very long one. We had a nine hour layover in Los Angeles thanks to United's change in our flight times. Total travel time was about 26 hours. But the memories are still fresh and I'd just like to share a little of the impressions I got from the wonderful country of New Zealand.
New Zealand is pastoral. You can see that from our pictures. It is quiet countryside with mostly small towns/cities. So relaxing for the traveler.
The service we experienced in the motels and B and Bs we stayed at was exceptional. Only once were we not escorted to our room, shown around, offered milk for our tea (which we used for cereal) and made to feel appreciated.
As I have shared with friends and family, I could count on one hand the times we saw any graffiti and then it wasn't much. There was no litter on the highways or even in the cities we visited. And people were very polite--even the kids! There were lots of skateboards and scooters primarily in the morning when the kids were on their way to school. If you moved over to let them pass, they invariably looked back over their shoulder and shouted a "Thank you!"
Perhaps if we'd spent more time in the larger cities we would have had a different experience but I'm thinking that the polite attitude extends from the countryside to there as well. I just want to know what they are doing right. Only once did we run into teens who were just slightly rude. Even then it was only a passing comment and not really foul language or nasty--more a funny joke among themselves as we were obviously old folks
out of breath climbing a bunch of stairs.
There is a pride in their country. It's obvious in how they look after it. The parks and public places we visited were well cared for. Even the toilets. Every town, no matter how small, had a public restroom that was very, very clean. One of the parks had a team of cleaners that even made sure the more "rustic" toilets were clean and litter free. It made me embarrassed to think of what they would run into should they visit the U.S.
Hats off to you, New Zealand. What a wonderful place to visit. We will cherish the memories of the places and people we visited and look forward to our stops there when we return in 2015 on a cruise.