Friday, October 15, 2010

Ride of the long white cloud.

Did you know that the Maori name for New Zealand is Aotearoa which means land of the long white cloud? Me neither. One of my absolute favorite aspects of travel is the planning, researching and dreaming process. I eat it up, all of it - landscape, culture, statistics, weather, economy, name it, i want to know before the plane touches down. Today, i learnt a few neat things about NZ on Wiki: NZ is notable for its geographic isolation. It's situated about 2000 km south-east of Australia and it's closest neighbours are New Caledonia, Fiji and Tonga. During its long isolation it developed a distinctive fauna dominated by birds a number of which became extinct after the arrival of humans and the mammals that they introduced. One such bird is the moa which was hunted to extinction by the Maori. The reason that the South Island is nearly treeless is that the Maori set the forest on fire to hunt the moa.

Hey enough about flightless birds...why don't you just come on down to NZ with us March 1, 2011 on our new 12-day Silver Fern trip? It's going to be fun...

Pretty crazy that this big 'ol bird roamed New Zealand not long ago.

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