Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic many of us spent most of 2020 locked indoors, only connecting with the rest of the world through social media.
But there are some positives. Many Facebook groups offer different communities the chance to bond, form friendships and in some cases - romantic relationships.
Now Kiwis will be actually able to explore the real world this summer - all things going well - it doesn't mean you have to abandon those online groups completely. In fact, many offer ways to elevate your summer holidays even more.
There are groups which can offer insider knowledge about Aotearoa's hidden gems, help you identify some of the bugs and birds you might see on your summer travels, learn a little te reo Māori in your free time, or let you know the best op shops for bargains in the towns you're holidaying in.
There's even a Cloud Appreciation Society - if that has you thinking 'I've found my people', well, you're welcome.
The team at Facebook have put together a list of some of the best groups for Kiwis to join over the summer months. I've already joined New Zealand Pie Reviews - a community I really feel I need to be a part of for all upcoming road trips.
Here are the top contenders:
For discovering the country:
This group is for the New Zealand native flora and fauna lovers. If you want to share your knowledge or learn more about what our beautiful country's nature has to offer, this is the place to go.
Are you looking for a place to catch up with your mates for some great food and are sick of trolling through countless restaurant websites? Lazy Susan is a place for like-minded food lovers to share recommendations and scout out the best food hubs in Auckland.
Tramping New Zealand is a popular group for those that want to go off the grid and explore New Zealand's beautiful landscapes. If you feel like submerging yourself in nature this Summer, join this group and gain underground tips and tricks from other trampers.
It's been an expensive year and who doesn't love a new summer wardrobe? Op Shopping NZ is a community of thrift shoppers who know the best places to get a bang for your buck. Join this group to get advice on the best locations for the trendiest recycled fashion finds.
This year Chooice has been thrown into the limelight by supporting small New Zealand businesses throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Why not think about supporting a local business when buying Christmas gifts this year? Warm fuzzy factor, guaranteed.
For learning new skills:
With the rellies not far away from showing up on your doorstep for Christmas, I'm sure we can all relate to the pressure of having a lovely outdoor space to gain those cherished memories in. NZ Gardening on a Budget is a place for all different levels of experience to share tips and tricks - and the best part, it won't break the bank.
Have you had a creepy-crawly hanging around your place that you want to identify? Maybe you want to teach the kids something cool this summer? NZ Bug identification is a New Zealand discussion group to aid your knowledge when dealing with those unique unknown insects.
If you've ever had an interest in learning New Zealand's beautiful native language, now is the time to do it. Those language classes can be expensive, but this group prides itself on helping beginning Te Reo speakers move from confusion to clarity.
Cheaper Living NZ is a group of like-minded individuals that want to motivate, encourage and challenge each other towards savings, debt reduction and economical living.
Want to brighten up your day by joining this group that celebrates whales and dolphin sightings in New Zealand waters? Nothing starts the day off on a good note than remembering these beautiful creatures exist.
Do you have a few pallets lying around you're unsure what to do with? DIY Pallet Ideas is a fun group that gives advice on how to turn these scraps into home decor.
Birds NZ is a group for like-minded feather friendly folk to share and discuss the different species of wild birds that grace our country. Why not start up a discussion about the best local locations for bird watching and head out for some fun?
For connecting with others:
Rocks New Zealand is a nifty group of people that find joy in painting rocks to hide around NZ trails, tracks and parks for other group members to find. It might help get the kids' creative juices flowing by painting some rocks before heading out for a bit of a treasure hunt these school holidays.
Do you have a friend that is always going on about the new craft beer they tried? Or are you one of these people looking for a place to share your excitement (with someone that will listen)? Fear no more, The League of Distinguished Hop Hunters is an active Facebook group that is here to get your knowledge up to speed before the festive season.
If you have a sophisticated palate when it comes to the humble Kiwi pie, give back to the community by sharing your experiences on the best pies in your area and find out where other locals enjoy going for their pie fix in return.
This group has all the things you need to know to get the most out of Kmart - and it's not just limited to mums! Check it out if you're interested in hacks, hauls, clearance deals and even Kmart interior design inspiration to get you ready for the holidays.
If you're a person who finds themselves constantly looking up at the clouds and appreciating their beauty, then you sound like you need to be in this group. Nothing screams Kiwiana more than appreciating The Land of the Long White Cloud.
Are you feeling ripped off because you've just returned from overseas, are currently completing your 14-day isolation and can't go and do any of these cool activities? Don't worry, we haven't forgotten about you! Join the NZ Hotel Quarantine group, make some friends and complain about your situation with others in the same boat.