Thinking of visiting New Zealand? If you’re not, you probably should be. New Zealand is a beautiful country with plenty to offer for everyone, from the adventure junkee to the relaxed wanderer. Here’s what you need to know before you visit the sweet as nation.
- Don’t rush
New Zealanders were happy to tell us Aussies (particularly Sydney-siders) how fast paced our lives are for no apparent reason. And they had a point! There’s no need to squeeze as much as possible into a short amount of time when you’re in New Zealand. Take your time and bask in the beauty of the wonderful country.
- Look up
New Zealand is one of the most visually stunning countries I have ever been to so don’t spend your time looking at your phone or through the lenses of a camera. Look up and take it in! Whether you’re on the train or bus, there’s plenty of incredible scenery to take in so lap it up.
- It’s cheap, but it’s not
As an Australian, the dollar has always done really well when converting to NZ dollars so you’d think everything would be much cheaper. But prices there are still pretty high, especially for things like petrol. Don’t think that just because you get a lot of money after converted to their currency that you’re not going to end up spending a lot, because you are. Especially if you buy into all of the Lord of the Rings and Hobbiton merchandise (which you can’t help but doing).
- It takes longer than you think
New Zealand may be a small country but you’d be silly for thinking you can see and do everything in a couple of days. Often towns and attractions aren’t located too far from each other but the stunning scenery will have you pulling over to the side of the road every ten minutes. For that reason, allow extra travel time when planning your itinerary.
- Hire a car
Hiring a car in New Zealand is the easiest way to get around the country and see more attractions and natural beauty. The scenery is breathtaking so you’ll need to stop a lot along the way. Just be sure to plan for longer road trips than normal. There are plenty of public toilets around too which is super helpful.
- It’s nothing like Australia
Many people think that because the countries are such close neighbours they share nature in common but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Where many of Australia’s cities are coastal and surrounded by bush, New Zealand is mountainous and green with no deserts.
- Look for airfare sales
Flights from Australia to New Zealand vary in price depending on the time of year and airline. Look for EOFY deals and early bird sales to save money on your flight. I find Jetstar are often the cheapest airline to fly there from Sydney however, Emirates was once the best option for us.
- Don’t worry about the cash
New Zealand is one of the most card-friendly countries I’ve ever been to. I don’t remember once visiting a restaurant or attraction that didn’t accept card payments. If you like having cash on you, I recommend getting it exchanged before you leave Australia so you don’t have to worry about paying ATM fees.
- Focus on the free attractions
Although many travel to New Zealand for the extreme sports such as bungee jumping and sky diving, New Zealand is a naturally beautiful country that offers plenty of free things to do. From scenic road trips to beautiful hikes and walking trails, there’s plenty to see and do across the country.
- Go to the grocery store
You’ll often find that alcohol and food is much cheaper when bought from a grocery store. The legal drinking age in New Zealand is 18 years and you’ll be asked for ID to prove it.
What do you love most about New Zealand? Planning your trip now? Let me know in the comments below!