To say that New Zealand is heaven on earth is apt. From the beautiful coastal line to mountain peaks, New Zealand offers something for everyone. If you are a nature lover, New Zealand is the place to be.
Before the pandemic, the country had a deluge of tourists rushing to its various attractions. In times to come, New Zealand may cut back on tourism to protect the environment and the local population. New Zealand is one of the few countries that promote sustainable tourism.
If you are planning a trip to New Zealand, here are a few things that you should keep in mind.
Because of the pandemic, New Zealand has imposed travel restrictions. Currently, only people from Western Australia can travel to the country. Check the current status as things change often.
However, the visa application process for New Zealand is online. Apart from filling out the application form, you need to provide the following documents:
- Two recent photographs no more than six months old
- Bank statement of the last six months
- Visa application form with the intent of the visit
- Valid passport for at least six months
- Travel Itinerary
- Air tickets
Traveling to New Zealand during the pandemic will be difficult due to the various travel restrictions. If you wish to visit New Zealand during this time, you have to travel to the country from a quarantine-free zone.
Depending on how long you're travelling for, you more than likely want to minimize your budget on amenities and accommodation while maximizing your quality of experience. Hence, shared rooms (hostel accommodation) are appropriate. In all the major cities, including Queenstown, Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Wanaka, and other cities, you can find affordable shared accommodation. Basic amenities, including laundry, showers, kitchen and a communal lounge, are available for guests. The prices are also quite affordable.
Apart from hostels, travellers also have the option to live in motels and budget hotels. These generally only offer private rooms and are not as great for meeting other travellers, as they don't have the communal spaces and are not geared towards socialising. Additionally they're normally a little more expensive too. Most hostels do offer private rooms if you need a bit of privacy. Apart from this, if you plan a tour on your own, you can rent a campervan and enjoy everything that the country has to offer. Staying in a campervan may not be everyone’s cup of tea. However, it provides conveyance as well as convenience. While staying in a campervan, do consider the cost of various campsites. Also, be aware of the extra chores that come with living in a campervan, such as dumping waste and recharging the van.
If you want to stay close to nature, you can camp at various sites. The campsites are owned either by the Department of Conservation or by the local councils. These often have basic services, including toilets and running water. You may also have access to a shower and cooking amenities at some of the campsites.
The choice of accommodation depends on your budget and your comfort level.
If you are travelling to New Zealand, chances are that you will be participating in many high-risk outdoor activities. After all, New Zealand offers many adventures for tourists. Bungy jumping, hiking, skydiving, skiing, snowboarding, and other activities are fun, but they pose a risk. Moreover, the New Zealand government strongly recommends that tourists entering the country should have travel insurance. It offers coverage for unexpected circumstances. If you are travelling alone, you require travel insurance for an individual. However, if you are travelling with your family, a family policy covers your spouse and your children.
The cost of travel insurance varies from $25 to $50 per person, depending on the duration of your visit. Many insurance companies offer travel insurance for tourists.
Kiwi lingo and local slang
If you are travelling, you will be interacting quite a bit with the locals. Hence, being able to converse with them freely and easily is of the utmost importance to have a good experience.
While the official language of New Zealand is English, many of the native people also speak Maori. So you don’t have to worry about the language barrier because about 95% of the population speaks English. However, there are a few terms and phrases that sound foreign to any tourist. It doesn't hurt to learn a few kiwi slang words if you are backpacking.
Activities and places to visit
Some of the must-visit places in New Zealand are as follows:
One of the major cities of New Zealand, Queenstown offers a view of the Southern Alps. The city is located along Lake Wakatipu. The city has many landmarks and provides an opportunity to witness city life. In addition to this, you can go do the infamous Nevis Bungy Jump, which is close to Queenstown.
Waitomo Glowworm Caves
For a different kind of adventure, do visit the Waitomo Glowworm Caves. To get to the caves, you can go blackwater rafting or take a boat tour and visit the caves that are 30 million years old.
Bay of Islands
If you have spent a lot of time up in the mountains, come and relax at the Bay of Islands. You can go for a dolphin spotting boat tour or relax along the ocean. It's a very popular place to visit, so make sure you book your accommodation before you arrive. You can also discover the local history by visiting the nearby towns, like Waitangi.
In addition to these places, the following must be on your list
- Tongariro Alpine Crossing
When travelling to New Zealand, you must have the appropriate equipment to make your visit more enjoyable. You should have a durable backpack that can carry various items. Hiking boots are essential for all travelling on foot. You must also have your swimming gear with you. Also, carry a towel in your everyday bag; you never know when you need one. Keep extra layers with you to keep you warm in case of unexpectedly cold weather. Insect repellents are also a must, especially if you plan to camp. You must also carry medicine in case of an upset stomach, headaches, pains, etc.
In addition to hiking essentials, you should have a mobile phone, laptop, and camera. To communicate with friends and family, services, such as VPN, are a must. It creates a private connection, ensuring that your communication is secure. Alongside this, a portable charger is a must.
Author: Gabriela Kurtz: I am an experienced writer who is passionate about digital marketing and traveling! - I always try to give my most honest advice or talk about topics I consider relevant in today's society.