Thursday, 27 October 2016

Five things I love about running New Zealand

This weekend marks the end of our first month in New Zealand (!!), and I thought I’d celebrate the occasion by sharing with you my five favourite things (so far!) about running our new neighbourhood.  Our new surroundings are, in my humble opinion, a runner’s paradise, and you’ll soon see why.  Oddly enough, though, I don’t see that many people out running – perhaps they wait until after work, in daylight savings time, when I’m busy with the kiddos?  Or perhaps I have an unrealistic expectation that everyone else here needs to feel the need to run in all this beauty too?  Whatever the case may be, here’s the Top 5 things I love about running New Zealand:

1.  Bike paths, bike paths, everywhere!

Every single street, as far as the eye can see, has a bike/pedestrian path on one or either sides of it.  This may sound like no big deal, but to someone hailing from an area where bike paths are the exception rather than the rule, not having to run in traffic is huge - especially when running with the kids.  There's literally never a reason to run in the road, except when crossing one - I love it.



2.  Peace of mind

Don't worry - I'm not under the (false) impression that New Zealand is crime-free!  Not at all.  But the crime rate here is considerably lower than that of South Africa, our country of birth, and I can promise you one thing: Running along a river path, woman alone, without a bunch of scary crime statistics mulling about in the back of your mind, is wonderful.  I love it.


3.  Beauty as far as the eye can see

I fell in love with New Zealand's beauty the minute we set foot here.  It's a lush beauty - with different shades of green as far as the eye can see.  Drinking it all in on the run is good for the soul - I love it. 


4.  After you!

Kiwi drivers are extremely courteous and traffic will come to a complete halt when a pedestrian just looks like he/she wants to cross a street at an official crossing.  Once again, I know that that's the way it should be - I guess we're just not used to this level of courteousness in traffic! 


5.  Here, doggy, doggy...

Even though many homes here do not have fences/walls around it, I haven't met a single unaccompanied pooch in the streets to date.  (Note: I have absolutely nothing against dogs - on the contrary!  Encountering a grumpy one off leash is just never fun, especially when out running with the kids).  I've heard that the policies around keeping a dog here are pretty strict - and I can definitely see the results.  Hashtag happy runners.  

What do you love about running in your neighbourhood?  Any neighbourhood-specific quirks that other runners might find interesting?

Happy Thursday, everyone!

12 comments:

  1. Dink klink verskriklik lekker! En as daar nou EEN mens is wat n bike path verdien is dit jy, liefste Saar! Liewe hygent, jy het nog altyd jou beste gegee waar jy gaan, grow where you were planted, of dit nou oor klippers of potholes of karre en honde of Kalaharisand of 40+ grade C was, jy het gehol, en jou kindertjies nog gestoot EN dit lekker gemaak vir almal! Jy verdien elke heerlike veilige kilometer van vry hardloop, Saartjie! Ek gun jou dit mer my hele hart xxxxxxx

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    1. Aaaaaag, liefste Saar - sil ek nou insit en tjank...! SO dankbaar vir hierdie hoofstuk. En SO dankbaar dat jy verstaan! Baie liefde! ! Xxxx

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  2. Omgosh the scenery there looks absolutely gorgeous!! I love all the bike path options!! Enjoy those runs!

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    1. Thanks so much, Lauren! A runner's paradise for sure!

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  3. WOW! I think I need to visit your area...these photos are stunning! It's nice to be able to enjoy this kind of scenery on regular basis.

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    1. A huge blessing indeed, Elysha. So thankful!

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  4. Looks and sounds so amazing - for running and living! I love that I live close to two great parks with dirt trails for running. Neither are huge, but it's still really nice.

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    1. It sure is, Lisa - so thankful to be here.

      Your parks sound really great - so much better than plodding the streets!

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  5. The photos are beautiful.

    When I was in Auckland earlier this year I did see some runners, but not as many as I expected. We did bump into big groups of older people walking though!

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    1. Thanks, Nicola!

      We see the same thing here in Wellington: Lots of older people walking, and also many, many people on road bikes, but not that many runners. Interesting!

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  6. I don't run, in my neighborhood or anywhere, but I have done lots of walking, and it's beautiful! There is a section that has a lot of dead ends, though, which makes it hard to do anything of reasonable length (in my opinion)! Thanks for sharing this. I wouldn't even think about some of the things you mentioned, like unaccompanied dogs, though I have seen a lot of those in South Central LA! (Chihuahuas mostly)! ;)

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    1. I can imagine that a lot of dead ends would be frustrating - ugh! Lol on the chihuahuas...! ;) x

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