6 Things To Know Before Visiting New Zealand

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Disclosure: This article may contain links to products or services (including Amazon) that pay me a small commission. This is at no extra cost to you.

This is a sponsored post from Avanti Travel Insurance.

New Zealand boasts stunning natural beauty, unique wildlife, and a rich cultural heritage. From rugged mountains to pristine beaches, there is no shortage of things to see and do. However, before you pack your bags and head off on your adventure, there are a few things to remember. From the weather to Māori culture, we’ll look at five things to know before visiting New Zealand.

Whether you’re planning a solo adventure or a family holiday, these tips will help you prepare for your visit before embarking on your next Kiwi adventure!

1. Geography And Climate

New Zealand is located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, and is made up of two main islands, and 700 smaller islands. The country’s geography is diverse, with everything from mountains and glaciers to lush rainforests and beautiful beaches.

The climate is also varied, with different regions experiencing different weather patterns. For example, the North Island tends to be warmer and more humid, while the South Island is cooler and drier. Regardless of where you are, it’s important to be prepared for a range of weather conditions as it’s not uncommon to experience four seasons in one day in some parts of New Zealand!

Man walking along wide path with trees and bushes on either side. There are tall mountains in the distance
There are lots of opportunities for hiking in New Zealand

The peak tourist season runs from December to February, which is also the warmest time of the year. However, this is also the busiest time, and prices for accommodation and activities tend to be higher. If you’re travelling on a budget or want to avoid tourists, consider visiting New Zealand during the off-peak season (March to May and September to November) when the weather is still mild but there are fewer crowds.

2. Activities And Experiences To Enjoy When Visiting New Zealand

New Zealand is an amazingly diverse country. It is home to some of the most stunning hiking trails in the world, including the Milford Track and the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. If you’re not up for a multi-day hike, there are also plenty of shorter hikes that offer breathtaking views and beautiful scenery.

Another classic New Zealand experience is whale watching. The country is home to many whale species, including humpbacks, orcas, and blue whales. There are several whale-watching tours available, allowing you to get close up to these magnificent marine mammals.

The tail of a large whale disappearing into the sea
A whale disappears into the water at Kaikoura

If you’re looking for something a little more adventurous, New Zealand is also a great place to try bungee jumping, skydiving, or white water rafting, and there are plenty of travel operations that offer these types of adrenaline-pumping experiences.

3. Accommodation And Lodging Options

When it comes to accommodation, New Zealand offers a range of options to suit every budget and preference. From budget-friendly hostels to luxury resorts, there is something for everyone. Hostels and backpacker lodges are great options for young travellers on a budget, offering affordable accommodation and the opportunity to meet other travellers. Many hostels also offer private rooms if you’re looking for a bit more privacy.

For family travellers, or holidaymakers who are looking for something a little more luxurious, there are plenty of high-end hotels and resorts throughout the country offering all types of amenities, including spa services, fine dining, and stunning views. If you’re looking for a unique experience while visiting New Zealand, consider staying in a bed and breakfast or a rural farm stay. These types of accommodation offer a more authentic experience and allow you to connect with the local culture and way of life.

4. Travelling Around New Zealand

Taking a road trip around New Zealand can be a bit challenging, especially if you’re not used to driving on the left hand side of the road. However, if you’re planning to stay in major cities like Auckland or Wellington, public transport can be a great option. Buses and trains are affordable and easy to use, and they can take you to most major attractions and destinations.

Renting a car or a campervan is a popular choice if you want to explore the countryside because it gives you the freedom to move at your own pace and take in the sights you’re most interested in. Another great option is to book a tour with a local travel operator, allowing you to sit back and relax while someone else takes care of the driving and logistics.

Lake surrounded by bushes and trees, with mountains in the background
The beautiful scenery of New Zealand’s Fiordland

5. Cultural Norms And Customs

New Zealand has a rich cultural heritage that is influenced by both Māori and European traditions. It is important to be respectful of these cultures and to learn a bit about their customs and traditions before travelling. You can learn more about Māori history and heritage at several sites around the country, including Rotorua and the Waitangi Treaty Grounds.

Traditional Māori meeting house with a triangular structure. The frame is in richly carved red painted wood, and there are pillars with carved figures
A typical Māori marae, or meeting house

It’s also important to take care not to disturb the wildlife when visiting New Zealand, as this island country is home to many rare and endangered species. When hiking or exploring the outdoors, make sure to stay on designated trails and to follow the “leave no trace” principle.

You will also need to familiarise yourself with New Zealand’s strict biosecurity rules when entering and travelling around the country.

6. Take Travel Insurance

New Zealand is a beautiful country that is sure to capture your heart and leave you with memories that will last a lifetime. Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or cultural experiences, you’re sure to find it here.

However, one final thing to consider when visiting New Zealand is travel insurance. While this is a safe and welcoming country, accidents can happen anywhere and at any time. Having travel insurance can provide you with greater peace of mind, allowing you to have the adventure of a lifetime in the Land of the Long White Cloud.

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WorldWideWriter is owned and managed by Karen Warren.

I have been writing and travelling for many years (almost 70 countries at the last count), and I’ve visited every continent except Antarctica. This website is my attempt to inform and inspire other travellers, and to share some of the things I’ve discovered along the way. Read more…

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