‘Nau mai haere mai ki Aotearoa!‘ or in English, ‘Welcome to New Zealand!’
New Zealand is among the top countries on many travellers’ wish lists because of its remote location, rugged terrains, and remarkable sights to see and experience.
Are you a LOTR (Lord of the Rings) fan, or has J. R. R. Tolkien’s masterpiece wowed you either on the big screen or through the pages of the book? Regardless, Zealand will surely knock you off your feet with the extravagant force of All Blacks prop forwards when you finally visit.
Count on us to give you a comprehensive New Zealand travel guide, the best New Zealand travel suggestions and tips, and a lot more helpful tidbits about New Zealand.
New Zealand 101
With a 4.4 million population, New Zealand comprises two main islands – the North and the South Islands, respectively. Each island has a different characteristic vibe to it.
The North Island is a tad warmer, with more rolling hills, a beautiful stretch of beaches, and some seriously satisfying sulphurous volcanic goings-on.
TIP: If you want some otherworldly landscapes, make sure to visit Tongariro National Park and its still-active craters and Rotorua if you’re going to experience the world’s best thermal baths.
Meanwhile, with its highest peaks, and glacier-engraved fiords, the dramatic South Island is another one for the books. A trip to Fiordland showcases Mother Nature’s most artistic prowess. Southerly Stewart Island and some other outlying atolls make up this portion.
This island is the best place for kiwi sightseeing, so best have your New Zealand visit quite a lengthy one for the best experience possible!
New Zealand’s capital is Wellington, with English and Māori as the country’s two (2) main languages. The greeting we had for you, in the beginning, was taken from Māori, NZ’s native language.
New Zealand follows the time GMT+12 (GMT+13 end Sep-early Apr) and has an international dialling code of +64, in addition to the country’s voltage of 230/240 volts, or 50 Hz.
UK nationals do not require visas if you’re bound for New Zealand. Its currency is the New Zealand dollar (NZ$). Take note that international credit cards are accepted across the board, with easy accessibility to ATMs.
New Zealand’s tourist board is Tourism New Zealand while seeking travel advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
When to Visit the NZ
When the Southern hemisphere summer occurs between December and March, experience the warmest and driest times in New Zealand; however, these months are also the most popular times in NZ, with hotels getting booked up and prices increasing.
Wintertime in June to September is New Zealand’s wettest and coldest time. Albeit the temperatures, it’s also great for skiing. However, popular hikes like the Milford Track are off-limits due to the snow.
The lovely shoulder seasons of October to November’s spring and April to May’s autumn have moderate weather, with famous sites less busy and airfares much lower than other times of the year.
Getting Your Way Around NZ
It’s pretty easy having your way around New Zealand. Across the country, domestic airlines are of service in small airports– with the convenience of an airpass if you’re short on time.
On the other hand, international airports, including Auckland International, or AKL, is 25kms. from Auckland; Wellington International, or WLG, located 7kms. from Wellington; and Christchurch International, or CHC, which is a good 12kms. from Christchurch.
Although a bit time-consuming, New Zealand’s bus travels are comfortable and efficient. There are those backpacker-style hop-on services that you can hop off afterward and access towards the main highlights. If you want a sightseeing travel option, the NZ’s train travels are rather practical means–routes slowly yet generally stunning nevertheless.
TIP: Experience the best way of getting around New Zealand by hiring cars or campervans. Roads are quiet, with reasonable rates and maximum flexibility.
- Mount Cook, South Island – New Zealand’s highest peak
- Edmund Hillary’s Everest training ground – a climber’s delight
- Stewart Island – a night walk while searching for elusive kiwis
- Milford Sound – magical cruises with dolphins, black coral diving, and a fantastic walking getaway
- Māori Guides – explore and bush around Auckland and its beautiful coasts
- Queenstown – South Island’s adventure capital
- Fox and Franz Josef – superb glaciers
- Kaikoura – astounding whale-watching
- Christchurch – the best chill-outs
- Marlborough Sound – experience sea kayaking
- Napier, North Island – drink fine wine and enjoy incredible Art Deco
NZ Board and Lodging
New Zealand offers many accommodation types – city hotels, hip hostels, boutique lodges, cool campsites, and wilderness retreats. These options cater to all budgets and tastes.
Other possible options are Māori homestays and farm stays, wherein you help out with farm animals. Another popular option in New Zealand is campervan touring, with many campsites to stop at.
TIP: Book in advance because most accommodations get busy from December to February.
Food and Drinks
Local cuisine offers fresh, natural, and tasty mouthfuls and after-tastes. Experience well-renowned dairy, meat, and fish products, and make sure to try their lamb, grass-fed venison for meat, Bluff oysters, local scallops and crayfish for seafood, and sweet delicacies such as the hokey pokey ice cream – vanilla-flavoured with pieces of crunchy toffee.
Another local specialty is the Manuka honey, great for toasts and your overall immune system. Experience a New Zealand traditional taster with a Māori hangi–a meal of meat, spices, and vegetables prepared and cooked in a hot-rock oven found underground.
Vegetarians don’t need to be jealous of succulent meat and fish offers in New Zealand. Local fruits and veggies are also good–the kumaras, sweet potatoes, and the kiwis. Most NZ restaurants will surely be vegetarian-friendly.
The drinks scene in New Zealand is equally good, so don’t miss out. Enjoy local vineyard tours that allow sampling of some of New Zealand’s excellent vintages.
Start by trying the sauvignons located in the Marlborough region and pinot noirs in Otago. Sober up next with a brewery visit in the good New Zealand beers of Speights and Monteiths, in addition to a wealth of microbreweries that ferment excellent ales.
Health and Safety in the NZ
In line with the pandemic, no specific vaccinations are required when bound for New Zealand. UK’s NHS has a reciprocal agreement with the NZ health service, so there is no need to worry.
In general, the New Zealand weather, especially in the mountains, is highly unpredictable. Make sure to be adequately equipped and well prepared with warm, waterproof gear. Exposure to the sun can be extreme–apply high-factor sunscreen as regularly as possible. During the summer, sandflies can be a nuisance.
Darwin is considered to be the youngest capital city of Australia. The capital city of Northern Territory is a multicultural city rich in Asian cuisine.
Some of the highlights of Darwin’s top tourist spots are:
- Ultra Tjuta National Park – This national park is home to majestic, rich formations and stunning canyons or gorges.
- Alice Springs – is famous for people who love Savanna adventures through their Safari wild areas that could definitely attract tourists.
- Kakadu National Park – This national park boasts its way into being listed as one of the World Heritage Site. It is proud of being in a tropical state and being home for Crocodile Dundee, Arnhem Land settlements and Litchfield National Park.
Help yourselves out with this ultimate travel guide to New Zealand and experience a memorable trip you’ll be sure to talk about for the rest of your lives.
Follow all necessary guidelines and protocols and have yourselves a merry and marvelous journey. Enjoy New Zealand, or as they say in Māori, ‘pārekareka!’