Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Little New Zealand of Sri Lanka

I haven’t been to New Zealand so far. In fact, it is one of the top places on my travel bucket-list given that it is an adventure travel paradise. But, I have seen a lot of pictures on the internet and books of the New Zealand landscape and I was stunned when I saw something similar in Sri Lanka. I was at Ambewala, a small hill station near Nuwara Eliya, the tea capital of Sri Lanka. This place is tucked in the central highlands of this island nation and falls enroute from Nuwara Eliya to the Horton Plains National Park. This hill station and its near-abouts is known for its milk and cheese. And on any given day, you will see large herds of cows grazing on this pristine green landscape.

The lush green countryside that helps these cows produce some of their best milk n cheese 
The misty surroundings, the wavy hills in the background and the never ending green landscape give this place a magical touch. And when you see the big white cows grazing here, you feel that you are in New Zealand’s countryside. No wonder, this place is called the ‘Little New Zealand’ of Sri Lanka.

One of Sri Lanka's best grazing pastures for the bovines 
While you are here, do pay a visit to the Ambewala and the New Zealand cheese farms and try out a hot cup of fresh farm milk. And if you wish you can buy some of their cheese and other milk products. Each cheese farm has a retail outlet to cater to the tourists.

Tuk-Tuk, our ride in the central highlands of Sri Lanka 
In terms of access, Ambewala is connected by buses from Nuwara Eliya that ply this route once every hour. The bus ride (one way) should take about 45 minutes.  But, if you wish for more flexibility, hire a tuk-tuk (3 wheeler taxi) from Nuwara Eliya. A return trip on the tuk-tuk from Nuwara Eliya should cost you about 800-1500 LKR depending on tourist demand.

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