New Zealand is a very beautiful country with outstanding landscapes and surroundings, to be honest it reminded us of Ireland a lot. Many days driving through countryside we could have easily been driving through many counties in Ireland, on a sunny day!! We clearly weren't the only Irish to think this as George Vesey Stewart from Tyrone felt the same. In 1873 George found himself in a small town by the name of KatiKati. He liked it so much he sailed back home, gathered as many people as possible and brought them all back to KatiKati. In June 1875 27 families along with George's family set sail for New Zealand, taking three months to get there. When they finally got there they had to start from scratch, building homes, planting their crops etc. The move was so successful another ship load of Irish arrived three years later. It's fair to say that these people certainly had an influence in this town!
Nowadays there are plenty of young Irish building lives in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown. Life treats them well here, so well in fact unfortunately many will not return home. For those who will stay they find comfort in the Irishness that has followed them. They are plenty of Gaelic football and hurling teams, with ladies football especially thriving. We were lucky enough to attend a session in Wellington where over 30 girls were training. Apart from the sport which gives an automatic family, there are shops that supply the Barry's tea, Tayto, Club Orange and Cadburys chocolate for those days that home seems that much further away. We got to spent plenty of time with many Irish that have emigrated (friends and new friends) and see first hand the new opportunities that brought them to New Zealand. It's a great outdoorsy lifestyle, the weather is a little better, career opportunities are endless, it'd be great if we could just move it next door to us!