I visited New Zealand about 20ish years ago. I had planned on spending about 2 weeks on the South Island and 2 weeks on the North Island. I started at Christs Church on the South Island and spent the next 3 1/2 weeks on the South Islans and a couple of days on the North Island.
The South Island was the cleanest, most pristine place I have seen. The people, except for Invercargle, were the most friendly I could imagine. At that time, most everything except transportation was realtively inexpensive compared to southern California. I was going to give my hiking guide a ger=nerous tip for expraordinary service, attention to details, and just plain being friendly, when he told me he would much rather have my polarfleece Patagonis shirt. I litterly gave him the shirt off my back. I spent Thanksgiving at a fishing lodge. The hostess had very little idea what a US Thanksgiving was, except for turkey and dressing. She served a turkey breast roast and a whole roasted chicken. Well, the thought was great, and the roasted chicken priceless. I caught a couple of "average" trout, that were the catch of a life time for me.
I would go back in a second, and would try for the North Island again.