As Autumn gives way to the crisp cool days, warm company, and well-earned peace of winter, the challenges of recent months begin to ease and fade. The land and people slow down and recuperate, taking stock as we look forward to the promise and hope of a newfound spring.

As we celebrate the obstacles we have overcome, we once again venture out into the world to celebrate our freedom. The relaxed pace and quiet allure of the season creates the perfect opportunity to investigate and uncover all the reasons why this time of year brings so much joy.

Time to renew

In the wake of the pandemic, Winter is a time of introspection and renewal in New Zealand, a quiet time of reflection, recovery, and rediscovery. It’s a time to regroup, recharge, and remerge… to return to life with a passion and a new sense of purpose.

This newfound love of life makes it the perfect season to turn our attention to all of the things that need doing… to pick up the things that fell by the wayside during the hectic days of summer. It’s time to reset, repair, and make ready for the days to come, to take this opportunity to not only restore but improve as we return from our hibernation and reunite with the wider world.

A renewed trend towards wellness is an obvious by-product of coming to terms with the impact and struggle we have had, and continue to have with the virus that swept across the world. New Zealand is possibly the most perfect place for this revival. Not only is it visually breath-taking, but it is also a cleanse for the spirit and soul in ways that are hard to explain. Our natural world has enjoyed the precious interlude, resting and revitalising as it patiently awaited the return of our footsteps.

Land, sea, and sky all have a newfound crispness; the days seem brighter, the air fresher, the landscape more alive. Perhaps this much-needed rest has given the land renewed vigour… or perhaps our time away is just letting us view the world’s miracles with fresher, more appreciative eyes.

No matter the reason, the beauty and wonder of New Zealand lies impatient under the mantle of winter, ready to burst forth in the riot of Spring to fully celebrate our return.

Time to re-assess

Like butterflies, our withdrawal from the world has reshaped us into something more than we were. The rest has done us all some good, letting us recuperate from our busy lives and rediscover the beauty and joy that each day can truly bring. While we feel that perhaps we are changed forever, the metamorphosis and journey of self-discovery will continue… but now it’s time to emerge from our cocoon and rediscover all of the joys of living.

If there’s one insight the challenges of recent days have shown us, it’s that we need to seize the day and make time for special moments with special people… to enjoy life to its fullest. It’s time to spread our wings, chase our dreams, and savour every moment.

Now is the perfect time to do the things that we’ve always wanted to do… to explore a world of limitless possibilities. We can mark that must-do thing off our bucket list or just follow where the wind takes us and our heart beckons, leaving no stone unturned and no cause for regret.

We can head out to see the sights we’ve never seen and take the risks we’ve never taken. Share our long-neglected favourites with those we love. Revisit happy places and share precious moments. Rekindle old memories and forge new ones together.

Time to re-discover

While there are a multitude of popular activities and must-see sights, the country has more to offer the discerning traveller. For those willing to look beyond the shiny spotlight of the well-known, there are exclusive experiences and unique adventures just waiting to be discovered.

Removed from the crowds and the commonly sought pursuits, smaller groups seem an ideal way to emerge oneself, safely and without worry into the experiences that await. With the focus for the coming years heavily skewed towards safer ways to see the world, the trends towards bespoke, designed travel experiences offers reassurance.

Time to re-think

As we emerge into a new era of being, our very existence, our day-to-day lives, our travel plans, our family plans, pretty much every part of our lives are being reconsidered. And so too, it is that travel and tourism will be viewed, through the lens of restructuring. Attracting the traveller that will inherently value the same things that we do as a nation. Our national resources come into focus, as does the intention to maintain the integrity and beauty of it all.

We will see travel trends emerge that may well be very conducive to restoring and maintaining national treasures; travel in smaller groups feel safer than bigger travel tours. Guided experiences offer deeper emersion into the culture of New Zealand. This applies specifically to the Maori culture of our country which holds such fascination for international guests.

But to spend an hour observing a cultural show, or to wander around a museum may prove to be meaningless. Especially when compared with an opportunity to be fully invested in a cultural narrative that speaks to ancient wisdom and shares enriching insights into a time gone by, yet relevant today nonetheless.

Quality time

Any time is a good time here in our little slice of paradise, but as we emerge from days of isolation and hardship, we have been awarded a special glimpse into the possibilities and potential that each day can hold.

So, as the country revives and reawakens, it’s the perfect chance to make up for lost time… to get out, explore, and discover those special experiences, delivered through personal interactions. With care for the resources, respect for the smaller enterprises and attention to personal safety, the future of New Zealand tourism is set to a new course.

Veronika Vermeulen is Director of Aroha New Zealand Tours Ltd. Aroha New Zealand Tours Ltd. has been offering 100% tailored journeys and private guided luxury experiences in New Zealand since 2000.

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