In Rotorua, we are so lucky to have such beautiful scenery.
We live in a geothermal paradise of a city, which has an abundance of native flora. Our lovely lakes are surrounded by so much greenery and our forest is beautiful.
I've often heard this, particularly from friends from overseas who tell me I'm lucky to live in a place with so much greenery.
Even though I do use the forest, I've (I say this reluctantly) admittedly taken it all for granted. This is something many people in our beautiful city do, I'm sure.
I've only just come to realise the beauty and appreciate it, and I can thank Australia for that.
I spent part of the holiday season in Perth and, even though this wasn't my first time overseas, to Australia or even to Perth, it was the first time I had noticed how dry and brown everything from the grass to the trees were.
I remember visiting Kings Park and Botanical Garden and thinking how dry everything seemed. Sure, there was greenery on one side of the road but not on the other. Many of the walkways seemed lifeless.
I remember wondering where in Perth people could go running or enjoy a walk, away from the heat and under some beautiful green trees.
It was then I found my appreciation for Rotorua's natural wonders, and in particular, our redwoods in the forest.
What we have here is gorgeous and we should utilise it and enjoy it.