New Zealand

Country number 29!

I've just travelled to New Zealand and as we were landing I thought about the fact that I was visiting a new country for me. A few of the travel vloggers I watch, proudly announce "This is country number 63 for me" as they arrive in a new country. So I started counting how many I'd visited. I refined the total amount by using the criteria that I had to have stayed in them for at least 2 nights. So flight layovers were out, that cancelled South Korea, India, Greece and Bahrain! Day trips really didn't count either, so a day trip to Tijuana from San Diego, really doesn't count as having visited Mexico, same with The Vatican which I'd been to a few times, but actually stayed in Rome.

The view from Mt. Victoria across to the Auckland city centre, with the ferry that takes you across the harbour, and the New Zealand naval base on the right.

I flew into Auckland, New Zealand's largest city but not its capital. Once I listed all the countries I visited (I forgot a few!), it turned out that New Zealand is the 29th country I'd been to. Not a huge number but I revisit favourite countries all the time, such as Singapore, my favourite place in Asia and I've lost count how many times I'd been there!

Coming into New Zealand I discovered that New Zealand is just as strict as Australia when it comes to protecting itself from agricultural pests. I blithely brought almonds and biscuits with me, a few snacks! Noooooo, you have to declare all food, and so instead of skipping through the 'Nothing to declare' line I was stuck in the very long, 'Something to declare'. Once I finally got to the customs officer and declared my nuts and biscuits, thinking they'd be taken off me, he just asked 'Any honey? Any meat?' No, go through then!!!

Note for anyone coming to New Zealand, leave your honey at home!

I was also amused by the helpful Air New Zealand email showing me the different choices there were to travel from the airport to the city centre, from the cheapest, the airport bus to the most expensive, a helicopter! I went for the shuttle! Not the cheapest and not the most expensive!