My friend Anil is currently in NZ having the time of his life. Last time around he was in Coromandel on a fishing expedition and now he’s in Northland. Here’s a transcript.

‘Hey dude, hope you are well and having a good summer back in Bombay. As for myself, I’m doing finer than ever. Autumn in New Zealand is indisputably the most beautiful time ever! The water’s just perfect, the people seem generally happier and the Maori’s keep laughing and rubbing noses with me wherever I go, it’s quite amusing altogether.

I’m currently up in Northland, a very pretty and culturally vibrant place. I think the ideal way to get to Northland is by car as it gives you a chance to check out the beaches. Northland has loads of places to stay at. I booked a room at Hotel Paihia [Qualmark rated, which means it’s good!]. Northland also seems to have the most amount of backpacking lodges. The town of Paihia is an ideal location to check out the island. On my first day, I took a cruise to the ‘Hole in the Rock’ at Cape Brett. Our guide said it was the best place to go swimming with dolphins, so I thought, ‘what the heck, why not! I’ve never touched a dolphin before!’ Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time as it was already close to sundown. I decided to go again the next day, but something else caught my fance back in the hotel. I met this guy at the lobby who conducts these horseback trails through the farmlands. I thought it sounded good, so the next morning I saddled up for a horse trek through the river valley! New Zealand’s a good place, it’s definitely not the kind of place you want to be doing things on your own, but I don’t have a choice and I’m not complaining, but seriously, two’s a company. Tomorrow I’m taking a ferry to Russell.’


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