A Family RTW Travel Adventure (2008-2009)
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Just Do It Kiwi


For such a small, remote nation, New Zealand has had extraordinary impact far beyond its shores.

In 1893, NZ became the first country in the world to give women the right to vote; in 1898 it introduced old-age pensions.  After World War I, NZ was a founding member of the League of Nations.

In 1984 the country stood up to the United States by barring nuclear-powered or nuclear-armed ships from entering NZ waters. Now NZ is a world leader on environmental and sustainability issues.

The country’s leadership on political and social issues is equaled by its impact in sports. Difficult sports.

The All-Blacks, NZ’s rugby team, dominated rugby union for most of the 20th century.  NZ Challenge has won two America’s Cups, and the country’s sailors are considered among the best in the world. And Kiwis have excelled in the triathalon, picking up gold and silver medals in the 2004 Olympics in Athens.

For many, Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to summit Mt. Everest, was the quintessential Kiwi — humble, practical, always prepared.

Today NZ is leading in a new arena: Extreme Sports.

Kiwi AJ Hackett made bungy jumping famous with a 1986 plunge from the Eiffel Tower.

Two decades later, bungy, along with jetboating, skydiving and paragliding are well-established activities in NZ.

Every day it seems some Kiwi dreams up a new extreme sport or activity.  Drive around the North and South Islands and you will have the opportunity to go zorbing, quad-biking, cave rafting, river sledging (white-water body boarding), and blokarting (windsurfing on wheels).

While many consider the Kiwis crazy, they don’t see it that way.  Life’s an adventure, and with the right preparation almost any activity can be enjoyed safely.

Even the very extreme Shotover Canyon Swing.


1 Doug Spiro { 12.10.08 at 8:55 am }

I learn something every morning with your blog!

2 Mark H { 12.15.08 at 12:23 am }

Queenstown seems to have every adventure known to mankind and then a couple fo new ones.

3 Karl Norris { 01.14.09 at 7:58 pm }

The thing about NZ blocking nuclear-powered ships in 1984 is a pleasant myth. My USN friend told me that the Navy simply added extra shielding before arriving into port so that the radiation would be below detectable levels. Everyone was happy after that.

4 gullible { 01.20.09 at 4:56 pm }

Can’t seriously believe that the New Zealand Government wasn’t aware of what nuclear powered ships the USN had?
Also, what detection equipment would they use if they didn’t? Underwater, mobile, up close geigerometers… sounds like JamesBondesque to me.
Also, if they were happy, why haven’t they been back?

Your USN friend told you a pleasant myth and you fell for it.

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