10 Essential Tips for Those Planning to Visit New Zealand

It’s getting real, you’re about to travel to New Zealand for a Holiday. Things can get both exciting and a little stressful when you are planning and packing. Here’s a series of helpful tips to ensure you have a holiday to remember in ‘the land of the long white cloud’.

Visit New Zealand

#1 Bring Extra Layers

There’s a famous saying that in New Zealand you’ll get to experience four seasons in one day. The weather in New Zealand changes fast, and you can genuinely feel like you’re living all the seasons between morning and evening. Pack extra layers and plan on taking a sweater or coat on most outings.  

#2 Choose Transportation Wisely

New Zealand is nicely connected with roads and public transport. A pass for the InterCity Bus or Manabus will usually be the cheapest options. Check out the Bus Networks in New Zealand before you go to familiarize yourself with the options.

Visit New Zealand

#3 When Driving

If you are thinking about driving, do yourself and everyone on New Zealand’s roads a favor, check out the road rules before you visit. New Zealanders drive on the left side of the road but there are specific rules about one-way bridges and intersections that you may not be familiar with.

You should also double-check your GPS with another source, especially when heading to a secluded destination as the GPS maps aren’t always 100% reliable in New Zealand. Finally, be aware of the long and winding roads.

#4 Know Your Budget

Expect to pay a little more for everyday items like food and drink and plan your budget accordingly.  If you are conscious of costs, plan to cut back on the number of times you eat out and cook for yourself when the situation permits.  

Staying in a local motel or backpackers will also be significantly cheaper than some of the better-known hotel chains. Checkout Jasons comprehensive guide to NZ Accommodation.

#5 Don’t Get Burnt

There is a hole in the O-zone layer between Australia and New Zealand which makes UV rays in New Zealand very intense. You can get burnt in as little as seven minutes in the direct sunlight, so lather up with at least SPF 30 before you head out each day – even if it’s cold and clear.

Speaking of protecting yourself, it’s always a good idea to invest in reliable travel cover before you leave. Travel insurance can cover medical expenses, lost luggage, delayed travel and more.

Essential Tips for Travelling to New Zealand

#6 Don’t Feel the Need to Tip

Tipping is not common practice in New Zealand. You’ll never be expected to leave a tip, but if you think that a worker has gone above and beyond with their service, a tip will most certainly be welcomed.

#7 Bring Your ID

If you are 18 years or older you can enter any licensed premises and buy and drink alcohol, as long as you can provide acceptable proof of age identification such as a driver’s license, Hospitality New Zealand (HANZ) card or passport.

You can buy beer, wine and cigarettes from local supermarkets, but once again expect to be asked for ID if you look under 30.

Essential Tips for Travelling to New Zealand

#8 Be Aware of Camping Rules

If you have any intentions of camping or staying in a camper van during your travels around New Zealand, be extra sure that you know where you can camp and where you can’t.

There are plenty of camping options available throughout New Zealand. Campgrounds or Holiday Parks are commercial operations that provide a safe and well-equipped camping experience. Prices typically range from between NZD$10 and $40 per site.

The Department of Conservation (DOC) manages over 250 public camping areas on conservation land throughout New Zealand. Facilities are usually pretty basic, but the price can be right. Sometimes even free! Prices range from between NZD$0 and $19 per person. Visit the Department of Conservations website to find out more https://www.doc.govt.nz/campsites

Be careful ‘Freedom Camping’ as there are many places that you are not allowed to camp. For more information check out http://www.freedomcamping.org/

#9 Book Directly

It’s likely to be cheaper if you bargain hunt and book yourself rather than going through a travel agent. This is almost always true for flights, activities, and accommodation.  Compare prices using a virtual travel booking tool and then go direct to book. Remember to search in ‘incognito mode’ or using private browsing.

About Marina Villatoro

Marina Kuperman Villatoro CEO of TravelExperta.com, a travel resource site to inspire families to travel with kids of all ages. Marina has been an expat 20+ years in Central America raising 2 boys in a multicultural, trilingual household. She travels all over the world with her family to give first hand experiences of where to eat, stay and play with kids. Needless to say, it’s never boring! Join Marina on Facebook and Twitter for more unique and boutique family travel!

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