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1


Introduction


We extended the duration of our stay in New Zealand (NZ) to one month for a main reason: this country is splendid and we wanted to explore it deeply. Here is the vision of NZ by two backpackers and tramp-ers:

2


Geography


NZ is overall composed of the two main islands. On the one hand there is the North Island, inhabited by Maori for more than 700 years. On the other hand, the South Island is a wild land with plenty of hikes in the heart of an environment mostly preserved and protected from the human footprint.

3


History


Polynesian tribes were living on the North Island before its discovery by Abel Tasman in 1642. The famous explorer James Cook circumnavigated and map NZ in1770, making this Terra Incognita a land of Her Majesty. The British colonized the island despite the Maoris' attacks to dislodge them. The Maoris scuttled the British ships during the night. Then they were waiting for shipwrecked on the beach and eating the head of the captain. Usually they are not cannibal but they kept some tribal Polynesian traditions. British people were so feared that in 1840, the British crown proposed to Maori the membership of the NZ to the empire in exchange of the equal rights than the British citizens. And the Maori chiefs accepted

4


Society


Despite the British concessions, Maoris became impoverished citizens which continued to live cloistered in their tribe. Today due to the high cost of the life on the island, the Government provides them allowances. It helps some Maoris to settle in town looking for work or study, and others, remained in their tribe, to take advantage of the pleasures of life offered to them... without work. This positive discrimination is very criticized by the non Maori population.

5


Economy


The incomes of the country are based on two economic pillars: tourism and movies industry. With an exceptional nature, there is no surprise. The island life has the disadvantage to make the cost of imports high as we discovered in the supermarket. Life is expensive and wages are not that high.

6


Transport


Traveling there can be expensive. Hitchhiking is a cheap way to travel. It makes you meet locals (or tourists) and learn more about the country. People there are really open to hitchhikers, so it’s an easy but still long way to move. Some travelers also use the "relocation" which consists in bringing back for free the leased vehicles to their hometown. Like Bibi, our Polish benefactor, they choose to take hitchhikers to make the travel more enjoyable.

7


Sleeping


Hostels (called here "backpackers") are a good way to meet fellow travelers. They are quite expensive, even overpriced for a limited service, which oriented us to the solution "tent". The camping is very few tolerated. We were woken up three times by local threatening to denounce us to the police if we wouldn't leave the camp promptly.
Benoît, so curious, led his investigation to understand why camping is so regulated. Take a sit: campers relieve themselves in the bushes! This stereotyped idea doesn't take into account the important number of public toilets, or even the methods of excavation that practice the real campers (which at the same time fertilize soils). We confess, however, that some campers do not comply with the basic gestures of life in the nature hence the trouble.
On the other hand we appreciated the shelters and camping spots present on the hiking trails that facilitate the meals preparation, the drying of clothes and our rest during the treks.

8


Security


During our trip we noticed a tendency of New Zealanders to ensure the safety of its inhabitants at all costs. All the "Great Walks", these hiking trails for the general public, are so arranged a blind man on a wheelchair could follow them. In some cases they will reach the climax of the waste of time and money. The omnipresence of the amenities, the tags trails are enjoyable as long as the reverse excess is not achieved.
Also any unusual activity requires a permit, to renew all X years: driving license, fish license, hunt license, looking askance license... The administration hits a record in term of intellectual masturbation, multiplying restrictions, constraints and steps, complicating all systems.
If you look like twenty-five or less, you can be asked to prove your age for purchasing alcoholic beverages. And the store's staffs follow the rule. Benoît was shocked being asked his age for the first time in five years, for a simple beer.
What a pity to discover the precautionary principle has become such a strong constraint for the people in this country!

9


Fauna


In the XVII° century, there used to be only one mammal in NZ: the only able to cross the ocean to settle down. Bats are now protected and endangered in the country. In addition, there are many bird species very unique in the world: the Kea, the Kaka and Takare. All endangered, they are obviously protected. But settlers added to the birds a new fauna: livestock. There are now in NZ thousands of cows, sheep and... deers. Deer farms are impressive, hunting quarry is abundant and the pie venison is delicious.

10


Pests


The possum is a mammal proliferating in NZ. This marsupial imported Australia has found perfect living conditions on the island: tons of birds and nests for its meals and no predator. Many species are considered as "pests". Their population is regulated as extermination is impossible. Only solution for the country, use traps and trappers, as Jim, our favorite possum trapper, which invited us at his home and related us his adventures!

11


Personal summary


The final feeling of our adventure on the land of the kiwis is very positive. This country is beautiful: it's a thrilling place there! Follow the Te Araroa, the hiking trail which crosses the two islands from top to end. It represents three months of breathtaking landscapes on both islands. What a beautiful adventure to go over yourself!

11


Personal summary


The final feeling of our adventure on the land of the kiwis is very positive. This country is beautiful: it's a thrilling place there! Follow the Te Araroa, the hiking trail which crosses the two islands from top to end. It represents three months of breathtaking landscapes on both islands. What a beautiful adventure to go over yourself!

1


Introduction


We extended the duration of our stay in New Zealand (NZ) to one month for a main reason: this country is splendid and we wanted to explore it deeply. Here is the vision of NZ by two backpackers and tramp-ers:


Geography


NZ is overall composed of the two main islands. On the one hand there is the North Island, inhabited by Maori for more than 700 years. On the other hand, the South Island is a wild land with plenty of hikes in the heart of an environment mostly preserved and protected from the human footprint.


History


Polynesian tribes were living on the North Island before its discovery by Abel Tasman in 1642. The famous explorer James Cook circumnavigated and map NZ in1770, making this Terra Incognita a land of Her Majesty. The British colonized the island despite the Maoris' attacks to dislodge them. The Maoris scuttled the British ships during the night. Then they were waiting for shipwrecked on the beach and eating the head of the captain. Usually they are not cannibal but they kept some tribal Polynesian traditions. British people were so feared that in 1840, the British crown proposed to Maori the membership of the NZ to the empire in exchange of the equal rights than the British citizens. And the Maori chiefs accepted


Society


Despite the British concessions, Maoris became impoverished citizens which continued to live cloistered in their tribe. Today due to the high cost of the life on the island, the Government provides them allowances. It helps some Maoris to settle in town looking for work or study, and others, remained in their tribe, to take advantage of the pleasures of life offered to them... without work. This positive discrimination is very criticized by the non Maori population.


Economy


The incomes of the country are based on two economic pillars: tourism and movies industry. With an exceptional nature, there is no surprise. The island life has the disadvantage to make the cost of imports high as we discovered in the supermarket. Life is expensive and wages are not that high.


Transport


Traveling there can be expensive. Hitchhiking is a cheap way to travel. It makes you meet locals (or tourists) and learn more about the country. People there are really open to hitchhikers, so it’s an easy but still long way to move. Some travelers also use the "relocation" which consists in bringing back for free the leased vehicles to their hometown. Like Bibi, our Polish benefactor, they choose to take hitchhikers to make the travel more enjoyable.


Sleeping


Hostels (called here "backpackers") are a good way to meet fellow travelers. They are quite expensive, even overpriced for a limited service, which oriented us to the solution "tent". The camping is very few tolerated. We were woken up three times by local threatening to denounce us to the police if we wouldn't leave the camp promptly.
Benoît, so curious, led his investigation to understand why camping is so regulated. Take a sit: campers relieve themselves in the bushes! This stereotyped idea doesn't take into account the important number of public toilets, or even the methods of excavation that practice the real campers (which at the same time fertilize soils). We confess, however, that some campers do not comply with the basic gestures of life in the nature hence the trouble.
On the other hand we appreciated the shelters and camping spots present on the hiking trails that facilitate the meals preparation, the drying of clothes and our rest during the treks.


Security


During our trip we noticed a tendency of New Zealanders to ensure the safety of its inhabitants at all costs. All the "Great Walks", these hiking trails for the general public, are so arranged a blind man on a wheelchair could follow them. In some cases they will reach the climax of the waste of time and money. The omnipresence of the amenities, the tags trails are enjoyable as long as the reverse excess is not achieved.
Also any unusual activity requires a permit, to renew all X years: driving license, fish license, hunt license, looking askance license... The administration hits a record in term of intellectual masturbation, multiplying restrictions, constraints and steps, complicating all systems.
If you look like twenty-five or less, you can be asked to prove your age for purchasing alcoholic beverages. And the store's staffs follow the rule. Benoît was shocked being asked his age for the first time in five years, for a simple beer.
What a pity to discover the precautionary principle has become such a strong constraint for the people in this country!


Fauna


In the XVII° century, there used to be only one mammal in NZ: the only able to cross the ocean to settle down. Bats are now protected and endangered in the country. In addition, there are many bird species very unique in the world: the Kea, the Kaka and Takare. All endangered, they are obviously protected. But settlers added to the birds a new fauna: livestock. There are now in NZ thousands of cows, sheep and... deers. Deer farms are impressive, hunting quarry is abundant and the pie venison is delicious.


Pests


The possum is a mammal proliferating in NZ. This marsupial imported Australia has found perfect living conditions on the island: tons of birds and nests for its meals and no predator. Many species are considered as "pests". Their population is regulated as extermination is impossible. Only solution for the country, use traps and trappers, as Jim, our favorite possum trapper, which invited us at his home and related us his adventures!


Personal summary


The final feeling of our adventure on the land of the kiwis is very positive. This country is beautiful: it's a thrilling place there! Follow the Te Araroa, the hiking trail which crosses the two islands from top to end. It represents three months of breathtaking landscapes on both islands. What a beautiful adventure to go over yourself!


Personal summary


The final feeling of our adventure on the land of the kiwis is very positive. This country is beautiful: it's a thrilling place there! Follow the Te Araroa, the hiking trail which crosses the two islands from top to end. It represents three months of breathtaking landscapes on both islands. What a beautiful adventure to go over yourself!

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