But Napier on the north island of New Zealand definitely hit the spot for us. From the moment we arrived by coach, having passed through stunning scenic locations coming down from Auckland, we felt right at home.
It has a bit of everything - the feel of northern California, landscape of Cordoba, Argentina, smells of Croatia, water that looks like the Adriatic, hills to rival Brecon and, in the summer, sunshine like in Greece.
There are vineyards everywhere, the streets are clean, the people nice and friendly, the parks modern and well looked after and the 'traffic' flowing. There are gorgeous rivers where children can play safely. Heck, there's even three CrossFit gyms in the region!
For food, farmers selling fresh fruit and vegetables are abundant. And for shopping, while downtown isn't exactly bustling and huge, there is little that exists in big cities that cannot be found here.
Even the drinking water here is cleaner/safer than elsewhere - no flouride!
In terms of access, Napier lies about four hours-plus from Auckland in the north and about the same from the capital, Wellington, to the south.
It's a special place on planet earth - at least that's how we feel about it.