Blogging for NZ

When I first saw the reports of the devastating earthquake which hit New Zealand’s South Island on 22nd February (one month ago today), like many people I watched in both shock and horror at some of the heartbreaking images being displayed across our tv screens. With any major disaster like this, you always feel great compassion for the country involved, and hope that nobody loses their life as a result of it. Unfortunately, the reality is that when a disaster of this magnitude hits (in this case a 6.3 magnitude earthquake hitting quite close to the surface), there almost always is. So far the death toll for the earthquake stands at 154 people. Many people still remain missing, with the death toll expected to rise as more bodies are found beneath the rubble.

It is with this that the Blog4NZ campaign begun shortly afterwards, spearheaded by Craig and Linda Martin from the Indie Travel Podcast. It’s going to take a lot of cash to rebuild the parts of New Zealand which have been damaged. In particular, the damage to Christchurch, one of New Zealand’s most popular destinations for backpackers and visitors in general. With tourism making up approximately 10% of New Zealand’s GDP, as Craig and Linda say “it is essential for the world to know that New Zealand is open for business, and that it doesn’t look like a war zone.

Right now they are asking bloggers and travel websites around the world to publish at least one positive post on travel in New Zealand between March 21 – 23, 2011. They are also providing guest posts and photo essays that may be used royalty-free for those who would like to take part, but haven’t yet been to New Zealand, as well as having some key New Zealand tourism organisations on board, and combining all those Blog4NZ posts in one central location so people can see, retweet, and and repost as they like.

As someone who has yet to make it to New Zealand’s shores during my travels, I am limited to what I can post in regards to the country personally. In fact, up until this campaign was launched my knowledge of New Zealand was very limited. I knew they filmed Lord of Rings there, were the home of the super funny Flight of the Concords, and had a scary (but awesome) rugby team! What has been great about this campaign however is that it has brought New Zealand to the forefront of my mind. It’s made me want to learn a little bit more about the country, and gave me an interest in fitting it into my future travel plans, which I think is what Craig and Linda are trying to do with this campaign – bring the tourism in New Zealand to the forefront of people’s mind’s. In particular, seeing some of the incredible New Zealand themed photography has made me very jealous of what appears to be some breath taking natural beauty that the country has to offer.

Although I can’t write at the moment about my experiences in New Zealand however, what I can mention is some of the amazing backpackers I have met along my travels who come from New Zealand. You meet Kiwi backpackers everywhere on your travels when you do what I do. Never once have I met one who wasn’t laid back, down to earth, or easy going. It seems it’s just the way local people are from New Zealand, and if that’s anything to go by then it sounds like a pretty cool place to be.  I look forward to adding New Zealand to my list of places to go this year. If you’re also thinking of visiting New Zealand, or would like to find out or contribute to Blog4NZ, you can find out more via the official website, or check out and “like” the facebook page at

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