Postcards from New Zealand

Four weeks in New Zealand: what I ate, saw and wore

WHERE — New Zealand
PHOTOGRAPHY — Jessie Bush and Sam Flaherty on 35mm

Being a Kiwi I’m incredibly biased, but there really is nowhere quite like New Zealand. Impossibly green, easy-going and lined with beautifully dramatic coastlines. Over Christmas (which is also the summer holidays in NZ) we spent four glorious weeks back home. Here’s what I did, ate, wore and where we explored.

HOW TO TALK LIKE A KIWI (AKA A NEW ZEALANDER)

Kiwis (a person from New Zealand – or someone who calls NZ home) have enough slang that to the untrained ear it can often sound like we’re speaking a whole other language. So here are a few common phrases: Kiwi English 101 if you will.

Bro – “bro” is everyone’s name (regardless of gender): use liberally
Sweet as – “that’s awesome”
Cheers! – “thank you”
Op shopping – “thrift shopping”
Yeah nah – “no”
Nah yeah – “yes”
Dairy – “convenience store”
Gutted – “so upset” (but not really)
Togs – a swimsuit
Jandals – flip-flops
She’ll be right mate – “it’ll be okay”
Sweet as – “great/no problem”
Heaps – “lots”

HOW TO DRESS LIKE A KIWI

Shoes, particularly in summer, are optional.

But if you do want to wear shoes in summer, jandals (aka flip flops) are the footwear of choice (particularly for men).

Always wear your SPF – the sun in New Zealand is no joke. In summer it’s not uncommon to be burnt to a crisp in under 20 minutes.

HOW TO EXPLORE LIKE A KIWI

We love hike, rivers and waterfalls, preferably all three at once. Near Auckland, Kitekite Falls is pretty special (plus you can tack it on to a day trip out to Piha beach). Otherwise for a more dramatic waterfall (which involves a kayak rather than a hike) there’s few places more jaw-droppingly wild than Stirling Falls in Milford Sound.

Holidays, celebrations and even just weekends are often centered around a body of water; and thankfully with endless coastline, NZ has plenty of it. For me I love the Marlborough Sounds (at the top of the South Island) both for it’s untouched beauty, and for all the memories spent there as a kid. Waiheke Island (a short ferry ride from Auckland) may not be untouched, but it’s also incredibly beautiful, with crystal clear waters unlike many other places in the country.

HOW TO EAT LIKE A KIWI

Fish ‘n Chips (pronounced fush ‘n chups) are a Kiwi staple, usually ordered on a Friday night as a bit of a treat. If the weather is warm then take your fish and chips to the park or beach – just don’t forgot the tomato sauce.

When summer time rolls around we love a BBQ – for any and every occasion. After a sports match, for dinner, with family, during a time of celebration, you name it.

And last but not least, we take our pies very seriously. Commonly found at our local diary (aka convenience store) or a bakery, you’ll find every flavour under the sun. Seafood, butter chicken, vege, paua (Google it), vegan.

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