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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 12, Issue 8 (November 1, 1937)

The Appeal of New Zealand

page 7

The Appeal of New Zealand.

Cruise ships are coming to New Zealand in increasing numbers. The total tally of tourists is mounting by leaps and bounds. These and other indications supply ample proof that the appeal of this Dominion to travellers is becoming greater as knowledge of its advantages is more widely spread.

The factors that go to make up the total appeal of New Zealand are so many and varied that their mere catalogue would tend to be voluminous, but a glance at some of the more outstanding should serve as a reminder of how goodly is the land of our heritage.

The country's comparative isolation helps it to be a haven of peace in a world of turmoil, and its climatic range from sub-tropical through temperate to semi-arctic gives it variety not possessed by any other country of comparable size.

The geological formation runs from the oldest to the youngest of the stages in the world's development. The native flora is of a most distinctive quality and is almost infinite in its variety. The native fauna is a source of endless delight.

From the comfort and conyenience of our modern cities the visitor may pass through places which are in every stage of development, right back to the free-and-easy-do-little-and-care-less conditions of primitive existence.

With good and frequent steamer services between New Zealand and the countries lying east, west and north, means of access for visitors are exceptionally favourable, while regular air services are just in the offing. Within the country, train, road and air routes bring every part within easy reach.

The weather is of the kind that is health-giving and invigorating. The ample sunshine is not so persistent as to be monotonous; the rainfall is plentiful without being super-ample; and the goodness of the country as a place to live in is seen in its mortality statistics, with the world's lowest death-rate and the world's highest expectation of life. With a population 93 per cent. of which is British stock, it is natural that the tendencies of life, the ideals and outlook, should be typically British, but there is piquancy for the traveller in the incidence of racial settlement. The predominantly Scottish touch to the tongue of residents in Otago and Southland, and the typically English characteristics of Canterbury, give cause for interesting comparison with the good heather mixture of the British races in other parts of the Dominion.

Of course, further racial interest is lent by the districts on the East Coast of the North Island, in Rotorua and in Northland, where the Maori is found most plentifully. In those favoured districts they have not only their own native charm with which to entertain and delight the traveller, but they have also influenced the pakehas who live amongst them to something of their own philosophy of life, which includes finding the joy of existence in each day as it passes without too much thought for the morrow, a liking for community life, high spirits, good fellowship and a genuine love of nature.

When all this is found in a land almost wholly covered with the green grass carpet for which New Zealand is famed, its unfailing attractiveness can well be understood. But with this said, the list of things that make the place so dearly liked has only been begun.

Not only is sport within the Dominion of a kind to please all the disciples of rod and gun, but the best sporting fish find their happy hunting grounds in the temperate waters that wash these shores. New Zealand is a base for whalers making south, as well as for those that seek the well-armed sword fish and the monstrous mako in the warmer eastward seas off Tauranga and the Bay of Islands.

The good earth of our country produces record crops when it is not engaged in raising prime Canterbury lamb, general utility wool, dairy products, and beef for chilling, freezing, or just plain eating on the premises. The part of our earth that is not so good, usually carries our finest forests and finds room for magical lakes and fiords, great glaciers and playing fields for skiing, hot baths and mineral waters for healing, mountains for climbing, and an inexhaustible supply of surprises and excitements that make the appeal of New Zealand an irresistible lure to those who love a full, free life.