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Listen Closely and You Might Hear the Silence – New Zealand

on March 7, 2013

This message was originally circulated as NZ Update #2 on Tuesday, December 23, 2003. It’s being shared as part of my Travel Babble series in honour of the Big Blog Exchange for which I hope to be selected. If you like my blog, and want more of my travel babble, vote for me here.

So, up, up, and away.

Hey all!

Yesterday, I spent the day taking in more of the beautiful sights of Auckland. This is truly a beautiful city. Even though it’s New Zealand’s largest city, with approximately one million people, there are so many beautiful parks and getaways and most times I forget I’m in the middle of such a large city. I was at Cornwall Park yesterday afternoon – you can see much of Downtown from the Park and the major roadways aren’t too far from it. But the minute I entered the park, it felt like I was in a different world. Can’t even hear the city noises once you enter the park. There are tons of trees – lots of varieties that I have never seen before, and so much green space and vibrant colours. While I was in New York this summer, I felt total sensory overload standing in Times Square. I felt the same way standing in Cornwall Park but in the Park, the sensory overload had everything to do with Mother Nature and the sheer beauty of the trees, colours, and birds chirping. I had to stop and remind myself that I am Canadian and this experience isn’t that much different than how I feel when I stand around looking at Lake Louise on a crisp spring day 🙂 But the fact that I was in the middle of a large city and could see the Skytower (the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere) from where I stood in the Park…well it was just a really neat experience.

(Okay, LJ and Juli, you can stop giggling now – I think you just had to be there with me as I reconciled the big city/nature’s backyard in my mind. It was cool!)

Today, in a couple of hours I am on my way to the Skytower…to climb inside the mast!!! It’s a 1,000-foot climb and I am so not sure I am up for it. But I figure, when am I ever going to have the chance to say that I climbed the largest building in the Southern Hemisphere. Besides, the views from that vantage will be incredible. So, gonna try it…Wish me luck. 🙂

Other notes…before I came to New Zealand I thought the cost of living here was comparable to Canada (well maybe more specifically to Alberta’s). But I was wrong. Things are fairly expensive here – food, clothing, restaurants. I guess it’s because NZ is so far removed from everyone else and it is quite expensive to bring in things that aren’t produced right in the country. NZ has a 12.5% GST that is applied to virtually everything. The Canadian dollar is slightly stronger than the NZ dollar so that helps a bit. The things that are less expensive here are inter-Island transportation – the trains and ferries are really affordable. Hotel/motel accommodation is pretty much on par with what we pay in Canada. But everything else costs a lot more. Petrol costs per litre are upwards of a dollar (for the days leading up to Christmas, the price of petrol is up to $1.08 – ack and happy holidays to you, too!). All of a sudden, paying 63.5 cents a litre doesn’t sound so bad. Gaining a lot of perspective already.

So, that’s it for today. Will write again soon.




One response to “Listen Closely and You Might Hear the Silence – New Zealand

  1. […] Listen Closely and You Might Hear the Silence […]

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