While Spring once again shines bright in the UK, taunting everyone that for once maybe it won't chuck it down all summer, on the other side of the world where the weather keeps its promises, New Zealand is cooling down for autumn.
"D'you wanna flake in that love?"
The brief appearance of a warm sun in the UK might mean you can go and sit on the patch of grass in the park in the UK, using the blanket your dog sleeps on to cover up the broken glass, but we all know it won't last.
The average Briton's wait for summer is the same as the average 5 year old's wait for Christmas, a permanent state excitement. However, like Christmas, it lasts for just one day and then your dog drops dead on Boxing Day for sleeping in too much broken glass.
However, around the world in New Zealand, the weather is like a favourite grandparent, always waiting with a giant box of chocolates which you can never get sick of.
New Zealand is a land of astonishing beauty and when the summer wraps up, the colours come out to play, leaves turn from green to some slightly reddish shade of green (I think it's called 'gred'), to some slightly greenish shade of red and then brown.
While that description may not have done it quite justice, the kaleidoscope of colours which brings out the intrinsic beauty of New Zealand's incredible landscape really needs to be seen to be believed.
ANYWAY, now you've got the idea - your dog's not dead, you know what gred is and you're in New Zealand looking for some stuff to do this April. Here's some of the best things going on across NZ this April.
Royal Easter Show - Auckland - 5th - 9th.
Nobody knows how we got from Jesus on a cross to an egg laying rabbit and that's because when there's chocolate involved, you can get away with anything if you've got a couple of Milky Ways handy:
"Did you kill my wife?"
"Well, I could tell you, or you can have this Crème Egg"
"I never liked her anyway."
So, in line with that, if you're in Auckland over the Easter weekend, head on over to the ASB Showgrounds in Greenlane for the Coca Cola Royal Easter Show. Taking place across the Easter weekend, there's plenty to do including a Carnival, a Circus, fireworks AND '100% Kylie', the world's most FAMOUS Kylie Minogue tribute act (although how much better would the name Kylie Min-faux-gue been?).
That towel was to stop the trumpet from
shattering at his ice cold touch.
The New Zealand International Jazz & Blues Festival - Christchurch 11th - 15th
The word 'jazz' meant cool before 'cool' did. Jazz is so cool it even has an age named after it, the Jazz Age, which lasted from the booming '20s (when J Edgar Hoover was running the FBI in a dress and Gatsby was getting his Great on) right up until the 30s, when the Great Depression struck and ruined EVERYTHING.
However, the spirit lived on and Jazz remains one of the most popular genres of music today (right behind pop, rock, R&B, hip-hop, rap, soul, folk, metal, nu-metal, classical and polka).
If you're a fan, or even if you're not but need to prove to some cooler kids you're cool (or to some jazzier kids you're jazz, right?) then the New Zealand International Jazz & Blues Festival takes place between the 11th and 15th when a new generation of jazz talent will show off their talents as 21st century (or Teeny-Bop Age, no?) updates mix with tributes to Duke Ellington, Miles Davis and Louis Armstrong.
Gred sky at night, traffic light's delight
Arrowtown Autumn Festival - Arrowtown - 20th - 29th
Thanks in large part to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, New Zealand's landscape is now almost as famous as New York's skyline, Sydney's harbour or Paris' Shomps Elle-E-zay. Of course, the difference is that New Zealand's is 100% natural and, just like nose jobs, fake tans and wonder bras, we all know natural is better.
So if you want to see the best of New Zealand's landscape, at its best, the Arrowtown Autumn Festival could be for you.
While just standing around trying to see how many different colours you can apply the description "sort of brownish" to might be enough, the festival has a plethora of events to get involved in, everything from 'Arrow Ambles' walking tour with guides Ray, Rupert, Rita and Russell (yes, really) to a stone carving workshop and Blues shows.
There's also a Pint & Pie Festival and a fancy dress pub crawl. Sold? Thought so.
International Comedy Festival - Auckland, Wellington, nationwide - 27th April - 20th May
The Flight of the Conchords did wonders for New Zealand's comedy scene and everyone is waiting with baited breath for the arrival of comedy's next best thing.
Whether or not this will happen is another matter, so no whining for a refund if they're all rubbish. However, with shows in Auckland and Wellington as well as spread across the rest of the country, a trip to the NZ International Comedy Festival could easily land you with a chance of seeing what could be the next big world star in comedy.
This will then allow you to rave to all your friends about the hot new comedy act you discovered, brag when they get big and then be the first to turn on them when they get too successful.
- Dominic Ladden-Powell is Online Editor with the New Zealand Visa Bureau, an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people lodge applications for a Working Holiday Visa to New Zealand.
©Visa Bureau 2003-2013