The NZ Travel Tips Article You Have To Read
Monday, October 7th, 2013
Being a visitor in New Zealand isn’t always easy. Everyone has an opinion on what makes the best Kiwi holiday, and it’s hard to know if you’re getting genuine tips or being shepherded towards a tourist trap. That’s why we’ve compiled a range of useful info and guides, covering everything from planning and arriving to driving safely. These resources will give you the inside scoop on putting together a fantastic holiday.
10 Hot Tips
Firstly, here’s a quick list of our personal suggestions.
- Where to find and sample New Zealand’s top pie.
- A run down on New Zealand ice cream flavours and top manufacturers and shops.
- A list of Lord of the Rings filming locations that can be visited by any intrepid traveller free of charge.
- Do you have what it takes to seal your New Zealand trip with a bungy jump?
- Chill out in the sun at one of the top 10 beaches in New Zealand.
- If you’re finding yourself lost in translation, why not try out some Kiwi slang?
- See how many New Zealand native birds you can spot during your trip.
- If you’re travelling in winter, hit the slopes at the best ski resorts in New Zealand.
- New Zealand is home to world-class winemakers, and these are the bottles to look for.
- Enjoy the journey as much as the destination with these top driving roads.
Getting to New Zealand from most parts of the world is no mean feat. The last stop before Antarctica, we’re tucked away at the bottom of the globe. The seclusion is part of what makes the country such a unique and magical place, but it can be a little daunting for unseasoned travellers. If you haven’t flown long-haul before, get yourself prepared and realistic about what to expect.
Having survived the flight and arrived safe on Kiwi soil, you’ll then be required to pass through customs. This is normal procedure for arriving at most international destinations, but New Zealand customs and securities are notoriously strict – but rather than looking for terror suspects, they’re worried about biosecurity risks. These can be anything from dirty shoes to animal products. General travel items usually pass through without problem, but you should check specific lists just to be sure, especially if you’re bringing food or plant products. It may seem like a hassle, but the strict procedures keep the New Zealand ecosystem pristine.
Getting Around New Zealand
You’re all checked in and ready to start your holiday – so how do you get around? New Zealand is covered in world-class driving roads lined with picturesque scenery, so if you have an international license then driving is your best bet. A well-chosen rental car will be your friend for the entire journey, and allows you to take things at your own pace.
Driving in New Zealand may be a little different to your home country, and although the roads are well built the terrain is often hilly and winding. Ensure your license is valid to be used here, and verse yourself on driving tips and local conditions, especially if you’re here in winter.
Of course, New Zealand is made up of two separate islands and while they’re linked by a ferry, sometimes internal flights are a more efficient option. The local budget airline is JetStar, however if you want to experience one of the best airlines in the world at a cheaper price, Air New Zealand often has “grab a seat” deals where a limited number of seats go on sale for a steal. These can be found by changing to the New Zealand version of the website and it’s worth checking these before and during your travels, as they become available at different times.
Don’t rush into hotel package deals – there are lots of accommodations available to consider. There are camping grounds all over New Zealand that have powered sites for campervans and caravans, and during the summer seasons they’re incredibly popular with locals. Tenting is an incredibly viable option too if you’re staying longer term, as you can pick up tents and camping equipment cheaply from local retailers.
To really sample Kiwi hospitality and get an insider perspective on the best places to go however, staying with locals will leave you with a unique experience. AirBNB connects you with lodging all over the country, and is a warm and friendly alternative to staying in hotels. If however a hotel is more to your taste, it’s worth doing your own legwork to find the best price and location.
Things To Do
New Zealand offers no shortage of tourist activities – in fact it can be a little overwhelming. Our location guide pages offer handpicked choices to give you some ideas to start. Most tourist centres will have i-Site information kiosks that offer pamphlets and info from a range of activity providers so you can compare and contrast services and prices, and wherever you go in New Zealand the Department of Conservation maintains bushwalks, parks and picnic areas that are picturesque and free of charge.
In closing, a lot of tourists to New Zealand make the mistake of trying to see as much as possible of the country in 10 days. You’ll have a more rewarding and intimate experience if you take your time to look around. Focus on some key areas that interest you or extend your trip a week or two longer. Make an effort to get to know the locals, slow down and enjoy the journey.