Thursday, September 3, 2009

Travellers name NZ second-best destination


New Zealand has been named the second-favourite destination in the world by readers of Conde Naste Traveller magazine.

The publication's annual Readers' Travel Awards rank everything from cities, countries and islands to tour operators and spas.

New Zealand topped the 'favourite countries' list last year but was pushed into second place this year by Italy, which the magazine's readers identified as having the best food, culture and climate in the world.

Each country was given a mark out of 100, with Italy this year scoring an impressive 95.55. New Zealand's score was 95.18.

Rounding out the top five were Turkey (94.84), Australia (94.47) and France (94.31).

We may be pushed to second place after Italy, but that's ok, considering Italy is full of Culture and History.

I feature the Kowhai, a native tree of New Zealand. In Maori, Kowhai means yellow. The flowers are yellow and the whole tree turns yellow when they are in bloom around this time of the year.

This little tree is in our school compound. The Maoris use it as a medicinal tree. Native birds like tuis and kereru (wood pigeons) love the nectar of the Kowhai.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kowhai are small, woody legume trees in the genus Sophora native to New Zealand. There are eight species, S. microphylla being the most common.

Kowhai trees grow throughout the country and are a common feature in New Zealand gardens. Outside of New Zealand, Kowhais tend to be restricted to mild temperate maritime climates.

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