New Zealand is a country of 2 main islands (north and south), both marked by volcanoes and yes, privy to earthquakes! We were very fortunate to be on the north island, just outside Auckland when the two hit New Zealand today. Apart from curtains flapping, up here there was no damage.
The whole country has a population of only 4.5 million with Auckland having 1.5 million. It has a quaint feel, laid back compared to Australia:
One example can be seen with one of their 'major department' stores sprucing up for Christmas:
New Zealand is actually an island nation and made up of a lot of islands. We went over to Waiheke Island to do some wine-tasting and passed several islands along the way:
The wine- according to Cathy- is excellent as we visited 3 vineyards. I can say that the water is also excellent, although I really couldn't tell the difference from one vineyard to another!
Please ignore the sign she is holding especially the wording- she told me if I took this picture I'd get a real nice Christmas present under the tree and this is the ONLY reason it's in this blog!
There isn't a lot happening here except tourism and vineyards of which I'm sure we're going to explore a lot. What we have picked up is a general feeling of Kiwis (New Zealanders) feeling almost like a second cousin to Aussies- they explained it to us like the way America treats Canada! Quite interesting conversation and we'll see if this is felt in other parts of the country.