|But plenty to see. We moved sort of in an 8, starting out from Auckland to South Island and back, which took us four weeks. Full of surprises.|
The landscape often is unique, but the light can be awfully difficult to work with. With those low-hanging clouds it's much harsher than you'd expect. I'd never go and shoot a movie there, so they had to make Lord of the Rings, a trilogy to boot.
Then, maybe because it was wintertime, it was awfully damp. The Sony A900 succumbed and had to take a drying-out Cure that took over four days before it climbed back on the wagon. Meanwhile I'd bought a back-up Panasonic Lumix for about 1/3 more than what you'd pay in New York.
Food-wise, come right down to it, your safest bet is to stick to fish-and-chips—not at all what you'd expect.
Traffic is not bad but they are among the world's greatest tail-gaters, if mostly courteous and forgiving. The weirdest thing about left-hand driving is that, for some reason, they also switch the windshield-wiper and light/turn-signal switches around, so you keep switching on the wipers when you want to make a turn. And after you get back, you start making the same mistake.
Road surfaces are awfully noisy, maybe to make 'em less slippery. Now it's your turn to guess.
Roundabouts all over
Noisy road surface
Polite, good drivers but tailgaters
Give room to pass but flashing emergency to thanks no used
A fair guess is, South Island is one of the last countries in the world where people don't bother to luck up when they leave their homes. Well, some people won't.
All-in-all, the place is bloody expensive.