|After working our way up New Zealand's beautiful East Coast, we crossed over to the wild West side. This side of the country borders the windy and rough Tasman sea, and is even more remote feeling than the East coast. We're amazed by how few people there are. We would literally drive for miles without seeing another car, house, or sign of human life- it was refreshing after the population density of Asia. And the few locals that we did see were so friendly. The Kiwis seem to always smile and strike up a conversation. Just asking directions at a gas station can lead to a long and friendly chat. Even other surfers are kind, and they have given us lots of tips on where to find the best waves- surfers in California would never do that!!
Other than the wide open beaches, the most amazing stretch of coast was the protected Waipu forest. Here are the largest Kauri trees, found only in NZ, and many other native plants. The forest is so dense and different looking, that you feel like you have stepped back in time. The sounds, sights, and even smell of this forest add to the unique experience.
Even though we have only been here just over a week, we are thoroughly impressed by New Zealand. The land is so beautiful and clean- nobody throws trash out of their windows- and the people are super nice. Oh, and the surf is pretty good too! So Lisy and I are sure that we will enjoy our time here, we are even going to extend our stay!!