My wife and I have visited NZ three times, going back to 1978. We love to rent a motorhome and stay in the campsites. Our last trip was in 98 and we visited Kaikoura on that trip. At the time we were still JWs and attended the memorial with the Kaikoura Congregation, went door to door with them and had a nice social time. Sometimes we wonder if any of those dear ones have found their way out.
One of the things I loved was the round stones on the beach and the sound of the water as the waves wash over them. It sounds kind of like applause. I brought one home (probably a violation of some international law: "Do not remove stones from the country.") We don't get to vacation much being self employed in a service business, but NZ has been our vacation spot of choice. For those going, you really should plan for at least three if not four weeks and the South Island is definitely where it's at. Hanmer Springs is a great place too, not too far from Kaikoura. Just to casually drive a counterclockwise circuit around the South Island is as close as you'll get to nirvana. It is so wild, untouched and spectacular. There just aren't words. Ania, you have made us all so envious!
We looked into immigrating there after our first trip, but the standards were very difficult to meet. At the time they were only accepting applicants with a needed skill that could not be met by the natives, or someone with enough money to start up a business and provide employment to a significant number of Kiwis.
Hey, all you Aussies, how's life on the West Island?
Lenny (of the "wish I were there" class)