New Zealand, a country of breathtaking sceneries and untouched natural beauty. The country with a lot of sheep (unbelievable fact: 20 sheep to every person), remarkable vines, extraordinary Maori heritage, pristine lands, forests, glaciers, beaches, and, well basically everything. New Zealand is THE adventure capital of the world: hiking, skydiving, jumping, skiing, skateboarding, caving, are just some of the amazing things you can try when in New Zealand. It is a unique destination with something for everyone’s likes – you can find fancy cosmopolitan cities in the northern part of the country and, in the south, there is that rugged natural beauty, dramatic landscapes, and glowing turquoise lakes. However, with the vast spectrum of things to do and see, trying to plan the perfect New Zealand trip can be tricky. This is why we prepared a guide to help you prepare and use up the time you have there in the best way possible.
Beware of the weather
Okay, so the weather is pretty unpredictable. You might have to wear layers and wrap up. Pack both your swimming suits and an umbrella. No matter how crazy it sounds, there is a high possibility you will experience four different seasons in ONE day! The good thing is that New Zealand has a mild climate, with a lot of rainfalls and no extreme lows or highs. Another fun twist is that summer starts on Christmas. But, if you’re travelling during wintertime, which is between May and September, bring cozy clothes, waterproof jackets, and avoid beaches – they are cold and extremely windy during this period.
Un-usual road signs
Be careful, driver! Many road signs are universal and self-explanatory, for instance, the speed limit, no parking or roadworks signs. However, there are also some confusing, right-of-way signs, such as a big white arrow and a small red one on a blue rectangle. You will find these on lane bridges and the meaning is the following: if the white arrow points in the direction you’re traveling, it means you can go onto the bridge first, provided there is no oncoming traffic on the bridge already. Also, at roundabouts, there are the ‘Give Way’ signs and you will need to give way to your right and check that there are no vehicles before proceeding. There several more unusual and lots of usual road signs which need your attention, but this shouldn’t scare you away from using the services of car rental at Christchurch airport and exploring this beautiful country in depth.
Kiwis (New Zealanders – not birds) are Italian-level obsessed with coffee. They claim to have devised the world’s first flat white, and once you have one, you will very probably concur with this! What’s amazing is that you can have quality coffee almost anywhere, from gas stations on the road to downtown cafes. Latte, skim, skinny or espresso – you name it you got it.
Believe it or not, there are no snakes in New Zealand. Not even in the wildest corners of this amazing land. No, we are not kidding. This is a major advantage, especially if you want to spend some time in a remote and isolated natural environment. And guess what? No lethal spiders and no crocs at all! There is literally nothing stopping you from stepping into the unknown. You can set off for a bush-walk or set out to camp anywhere you wish, without the fear that something might eat you alive.
A rich Māori heritage plays a big role in New Zealand’s culture. The indigenous Māori people are prominent in society and governments, making up fifteen percent of New Zealand’s total population. Moreover, Māori is New Zealand’s official language, along with English, so it’s useful to get familiar with some basic expressions beforehand. For some in-depth cultural experience, look for one of the many Māori cultural shows around the country and get a better understanding of this intrinsic part of Kiwi culture.
With such a diverse culture, fascinating nature and rich wildlife, it’s no wonder New Zealand is on every traveller’s bucket list. Regardless of your interests and preferences, this remarkable country is the destination that won’t let you down. It doesn’t matter if you’re planning to visit New Zealand for the very first time, or you’re one of the happy come-backers, bear in mind the guide we’ve shared above for the ultimate Kiwi experience.