When people visit New Zealand, they leave as whānau (family). Here, travellers share their personal stories of how they felt a deep connection with locals.
"We had a super nice dinner at the lake with two charming old Kiwi couples who invited us to their house in the west of NZ. 'When our daughter was traveling Europe, she experienced a lot of hospitality. Now we wanna give that back to someone. So please, come and stay with us. We have a big house, lots of spare bedrooms, a hot shower and a washing machine and you are most certainly welcome!'
"Those people were amazing and this experience sums up the Kiwis quite well. Everyone is so nice to us. #KiaOraNZ" - Miriam (@wandersfrau)
"I really like the people of New Zealand. They are some of the warmest, friendliest, most helpful and genuine that I've met from my world travels thus far. When they smile at you, it reaches their eyes. #KiaOraNZ" - Julia (@lostandfoundtraveller)
"Two weeks ago, we got a lift with Monkey, the owner of a backpackers in Southland. Two days ago, he picked us up and whisked us away to Milford Sound for two days of fishing, diving, cruising and feasting on our fresh catches on his boat.
"Kiwi hospitality at its finest" #KiaOraNZ. - Quinn (@qolivia)
"During our first seven days in New Zealand, we had been recipients of so much unsolicited kindness and generosity that our human interaction paradigm was spinning.
"In those first few days people that hadn’t known us up until a few hours beforehand offered us rides, invited us to their homes for coffee and cake, invited us out to dinner in the city, took off work to show us around the country they were so proud of, engaged us in deep and meaningful conversation, bought us lunch and dinner, offered the use of their vehicles and homes to us, prepared us dinner, brought us home to meet their family, and even invited us to cross-fit with them.
"I will say it again in case you missed it – this was all in the first seven days! It was not the things people offered us that we were most impressed by, it was that they were offering us access to themselves and their families. The spirit in which they gave was eye-opening" #KiaOraNZ. - The Barbars (@barbersgoglobal)