The scenery is beautiful. Breath-taking. North Island New Zealand reminds me of home in Scotland. Pastoral. Quiet. Green, so very green. 44 million sheep, 4 million people, and you can easily tell this is true. We think the sheep are just waiting until they get that magical 12 to 1 advantage before the uprising. Black sand beaches, with nobody else there. Volcanic hot springs bubbling up into pools dug on the beach. A back-packing wonderland.
Australia is a completely different story - the sunburnt country. Vivid yellows and ochre. Huge ghost gum trees, stuffed to the gunnels with Koala bears, just waiting to drop on your head and suck out your brains. Rainbow flocks of lorikeets swarm the bird feeders. The oceans heave with fish, just waiting to hook themselves on a line and jump into your boat.
The seafood is amazing, everywhere. Fresh, tasty, well cooked and cheap. People are friendly, yet restaurant service is almost non-existent. A Christmas with family is always a great way to spend a holiday, particularly with some great walks to help work off the excesses. Wine tasting is, as ever, a great day out. Suppose we'll have to leave at some point. I'll be sad to go.