Posted by: Matt | November 16, 2008


That’s what we’re well on our way to becoming here in NZ. It’s a bit necessity, a bit cultural, but it’s all been good fun. The necessity part comes from the fact that dining out here is expensive. There is no such thing as your friendly neighborhood Applebee’s chucking fried food in your direction and hosing it down with ranch dressing. There is really nothing in between the burger joint or cafe and the nice-evening-out-I-can’t-believe-I’m-paying-this-much-for-dinner-but-dang-it’s-good restaurant.

The cultural part probably comes from the necessity part, but people still cook at home in New Zealand. Cooking shows are extremely popular here, and cook books take up a disproportionate amount of the local bookshops here in Queenstown. We make dinners and pack lunches almost every day of the week.

When we travel now, we pack a picnic and stop at a scenic vista to have sandwiches and cookies. And when we stay in hostels, we use the kitchen and make our dinner alongside all the other guests staying on for the night. It’s not just poor backpacker kids either, there are members of a number of different generations standing around big gas stoves discussing their day and preparing a meal together.

If there is one thing that has nothing to do with the landscape, photo opportunities or friends that we’re making along the way that I’ll be glad to take home from NZ, it will be a newfound appreciation for making a meal at home.

Looks cold?  It was.

Looks cold? It was.

As far as updates, we’re busying ourselves with all the activities that Queenstown has to offer whenever we’re not working. I have been rock-climbing lately, Liz took a back-country horse ride with some friends, and we’ve both been swimming and mountain-biking to start a long list.

We’re waiting expectantly for Liz’s family to arrive next week and then we’ll be off on a tour of some new and some increasingly familiar destinations around the South Island.

Climbing at Wye Creek

Climbing at Wye Creek


  1. AAhhhhh…..sandwiches and COOKIES…it doesn’t get any better than that! I doubt they have tubs of cookie dough in NZ….it’s probably the invention of American gastronomy!

  2. Sounds like you may need my cookie recipe!!!

  3. Sweeeeet climbing pic Matt! Wow! Georgeous.

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