If you’re looking for some adventure in one of the most stunning, Instagrammable countries on Earth, then New Zealand is a must! Even though I love nothing more than exploring a new place, I’m always excited to return home to New Zealand after travelling. It really is a country like no other! But there are a few things you should know before you head over to our isolated, little island country in the Pacific.
1. Bring Every Kind Of Clothing You Own
Okay that might be a bit dramatic, but we have some crazy weather in New Zealand, from snow in Southland, to windy Wellington, to Auckland which experiences four seasons in one day! You’d be forgiven for thinking that you could just bring your hot weather gear if you’re here in the “summer months” – summer often doesn’t truly kick in until mid-late January, and even then it’s touch-and-go. And if you’re under the impression that it doesn’t get very cold because it’s so close to Australia, or because it’s a “Pacific island” then you probably need a new travel agent.
2. You Won’t Understand What We’re Saying
We call ourselves kiwis (after the bird, not the fruit). Ask us a simple question and our answer will confusingly be “yeah nah.” We wear jandals (flip-flops), and togs (bathing suits I do believe), we have friends that live out in the wop-wops (far out in the country), and everyone is someone’s “bro, cuz or aunty.” Basically, like our friends across the ditch (in Australia) we have some weird slang and an even weirder accent, so good luck even if English is your first language!
3. New Zealand Beaches Are Stunning, But Treacherous
New Zealand has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and it’s not uncommon to have a whole beach to yourself. Sadly though, I’ve seen countless tourists on the news who have underestimated our beaches and end up having to be rescued – or worse. Though a lot of the beaches are popular destinations for locals and tourists alike, make sure you read the signs, check online, or ask a local, to make sure it’s safe. Also remember to apply sunscreen! You’ll soon find out that the sun in New Zealand might not be as hot, but you’ll burn a lot faster than anywhere else.
4. You’ll Need A Vehicle To Get Around
Sure, there are plenty of tours that you can go on to see different parts of the country, but by hiring your own vehicle while you’re here, you’ll have the freedom of the open road. New Zealand’s public transport is adequate at best, so getting around is much easier with your own vehicle and you’ll be able to come and go as you please – handy if the weather takes a turn and you need to make last-minute changes to your plans. Don’t forget to drive on the LEFT side of the road down here!
5. Our Animals Aren’t Trying To Kill You
Unlike being in the wilderness in Australia, if you go for a bush walk in New Zealand, your biggest danger is slipping on some rocks or getting lost. We don’t have any snakes, only a couple of poisonous spiders (which aren’t particularly common), you won’t see any lions, tigers or bears (except in a zoo), no poisonous frogs or lizards, and we don’t get swarms of jellyfish in summer. We have beautiful native birds however, so keep an eye on the skies!
6. You Will Be Coming Back To New Zealand For More
Whenever I travel, the people who I’ve met along the way typically have rave reviews about my weird, picturesque little country, or if they haven’t been, it’s high up on their bucket list. From the mountains to the sea, you’re spoilt for choice with scenery, adventure, culture and tranquillity. It’s easy to see why several blockbusters have filmed scenes in New Zealand such as Narnia, The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, and why people keep coming back.