Photography by Moritz Lips.
It has been exactly 55 days since Moritz left for his adventure to New Zealand. The last update was on his birthday and already more than one month ago, click here to see the visual diary of Auckland (if you haven't already seen it). This time though I've forced him to write down some of his experiences and impressions himself:
Traveling New Zealand has been a great experience so far. Sometimes you almost get the feeling it’s only built for you to discover. Everywhere walks, signs, museums and tours educate you about the islands history and mysteries. They do a lot to protect what’s left of this fragile habitat; You could argue whether that effort is made for tourism or because they really care, but nevertheless it’s great! All the amazing places you encounter here are almost spotless. No plastic bags or bottles, no rubbish, no polluted water. It’s a very different sight to what we’ve gotten used to in most places... New Zealand feels like a lot of different landscapes, packed in to these two comparably tiny islands. After the arrival of humans, the amount of land covered in forest has dropped from 80% to about 23% (!), leaving most of it to farmland. But what’s remained, combined with the many impressive mountains and volcanoes, is absolutely stunning and creates a great scenery while driving around.
The great forests now face drastic changes, having evolved here, isolated from modern explosion of fast, adaptable warm-blooded mammals. It has poor defences against newcomers released on these islands by humans. The predators amongst the introduced have already taken a drastic toll on the wildlife. Only a few of the endemic birds sing their haunting songs in the depth of the forest.
The country feels young, whereas the islands feel ancient. A place worth visiting.
Follow him on Instagram for live updates: @moritzlips
A quick visit to Wikipedia clarified, which predators endanger New Zealand's biodiversity. Animals that aren't considered dangerous in Europe or elsewhere, but that the fauna (especially birds are threatened) and flora of this unique habitat are overstrained with: cats, deer, ferrets, goats, European hedgehogs, horses, house mice, pigs, rabbits, rats, but also different kinds of wasps. And the list on the side of the plants is even longer.. We tend to forget that certain animals and plants only live at certain places, because they have adapted themselves over thousands of years and have become a cycle in their own. Traveling is beautiful, exciting, adventurous, mind-expanding and we all love it, but ultimately we should adapt ourselves to the places we travel to and not trying to adapt the places to our needs! That's the reason why the imbalance between nature and humans has grown rapidly over the past hundreds of years.
New Zealand is by far not the only country who is experiencing those difficulties. For example: In Europe and North America species from Asia (fish, plants and insects) have been spreading like a fire, because tourists may have brought a living "souvenir" back home from their holidays and then threw it away carelessly. Or with all the goods that are being transported a stowaway came along. Indeed it is hard to calculate the consequences, but always think twice before bringing back home something that doesn't belong to the place you live...