‘People come here and say they drove in Australia and the scenery didn’t change all day.
In New Zealand it changes around every damn bend!’
This is Noel – who runs the Wine – Art & Wilderness tour company in Nelson in the far north of NZ’s South Island.
When I meet him I’ve just spent a week with my boyfriend Gavin driving the Top of the South touring route – from quake-hit Christchurch and whale-watching hub Kaikoura through alpine terrain and the country’s biggest wine region – to end in this city famed for art – food and sunshine.
We’ve jet boated through rapids – bathed in thermal pools – biked between vineyards and kayaked in the Marlborough Sounds.
The best bit?
Just being in the car each day watching these splendidly shaky isles seemingly form and re-form around us.