I think it’s the most beautiful country we’ve ever been too. New Zealand is so diverse and it’s not even that big. When you love to travel, it’s a must to go to New Zealand. It doesn’t matter if you’re only like to chill at the beach or want to spend your time hiking through the beautiful nature. New Zealand has it all. I’ve only been once to New Zealand and I really loved it. Kirsten’s been there a couple of times and we both think it’s one of the best countries we visited.
Definitely in our top 3! Along with Cape Verde and South Africa (I think.. the truth is we love almost every country where we’ve been to! “Travel Geeks”)
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The adrenaline country
Are you an Adrenaline Junkie? New Zealand is the best place you can visit! Did you know that bungee jumping was invented in New Zealand? For most people it’s a must do when they’re in New Zealand, we did a lot of other things. For our bungee jump adventures, we went to South Africa.
Last year we spend 5 weeks in New Zealand to make sure we get enough information about this travel guide. We also filmed a documentary about the Māori culture, which will be online in a few months. Are you interested in our other videos and documentaries? Check out our Travel Show page.
Did you know the name New Zealand is actually a Dutch name? In The Netherlands, we have a province that’s called ‘Zeeland’ (Zealand). Around the early 1600s, the Dutch ocean explorer Abel Tasman discovered Australia and New Zealand. He was one of the first to write about those two countries and called them ‘New Holland’, what you now know as Australia and New Zealand, which they still call it ;) Abel Tasman also discovered the Tonga Islands. He was one of the greatest Dutch ocean explorers in that time. In New Zealand, you’ll find a national park that’s named after him. Abel Tasman National Park (so easy) is really beautiful, it’s worth a visit! We tell you all about it later in this travel guide.
The Tasman Sea is also named after the Dutch ocean explorer Abel Tasman.
It’s quite fun eh? The Netherlands is really a small country, but we had a lot of influence in the world back in the day. Go Dutchies!
Enough with the history lesson, let’s go back to the information you’re looking for. The best travel guide for New Zealand.
New Zealand is known to be one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Especially the south island of New Zealand is a dream destinati...
So you decided that you’re going to travel to New Zealand? It’s maybe the best choice in life you made! Regarding travelling I mean ;)
We put this Travel Guide together for you. And it doesn’t matter if you’re a first time visitor in New Zealand or that you’ve been their several times. This travel guide will give you’ll the important information you’ll need. As well as a selection of the best things you can do while travelling around New Zealand. And if you’re not a big adrenaline junkie? Don’t worry, New Zealand is for everyone there’s so much more to do then just extreme sports.
Flights to New Zealand
It’s really easy to reach New Zealand by plane. With several international aiports you can choose on which part of New Zealand you’ll start your travels. Wether you’ll start at the North in Auckland and travel down South to Queenstown or the other way around. Everything is possible.
When you don’t have enough time to travel by land, it’s also possible to travel with New Zealand Air, they connect all the big cities with their domestic flights! We started our trip in Queenstown. It’s a very beautiful way of arriving in the country when you’re flying between the Queenstown mountains. Best flight ever!
Weather in New Zealand
Four seasons in one day. That’s New Zealand. Depending on which part of the country you’ll visit, the weather can vary almost every day.
The summer months, with the best weather with temperatures from 20 – 25 degrees Celsius, are from December till February. From March till May it’s fall and it can rain a lot during these months. Wintertime is June till August and in some parts of the country, it can reach temperatures below 0 degrees Celsius!
Where in September the Spring starts en the warmer weather arrives again. The best weather info you’ll find on this site
Visa for New Zealand
The visa rules in New Zealand are very strict. But just as in Australia, the rules are very clear. New Zealand has different visa options depending on the purpose of your visit. Please check this website from the New Zealand immigration office. You can find all the relevant information. When you’ll arrive in the country you need to pass through customs. I think New Zealand has the most strict policy with customs. They’re very strict to make sure that there are no prohibited items entering the country. A lot of the rules are there to protect the beautiful biodiversity of the country. I just realize that this part sounds very hard, but it’s really easy actually. Just follow the rules so you can enjoy your stay. Everything you’ll need to know beforehand you’ll find here.
Vaccinations for New Zealand
Most people don’t need extra vaccinations when they’re travelling to New Zealand. Please make sure you’re up to date with all the routine vaccinations.
For U.S. citizens you’ll find all the information about vaccinations on this website. Our Dutch fans should go here. No matter which country you’re from, always check with your own doctor which vaccinations you’ll need!
The New Zealand Dollar, also known as NZD. You can pay with the New Zealand Dollar all over the country. They don’t accept other currency such as US Dollar or EURO. But it’s really easy to pay with credit card or visa in New Zealand.
Are you curious what the latest exchange rate is? Check this website.
Time in New Zealand
New Zealand time is UTC+13, which means it’s 13 hours ahead on Coordinated Universal Time.
During the winter months, New Zealand uses Daylight Saving Time. In that period it will be UTC+12.
New Zealand has two offical languages. English and Te Reo (Original Māori language).
It’s very interesting to see Māori development over the last years in New Zealand. Especially regarding the language. Because it was forbidden by law until the 1970s to speak Te Reo (still don’t understand why), a lot of the native speakers has passed away. Thankfully the New Zealand government are trying to revise Te Reo together with the Māori community. It’s now possible to learn Te Reo on highschools or via special courses of the government. Are you interested in learning Te Reo? Check out this YouTube channel where you can find a lot of tutorials.
Here are a few words to help you get started;
Hello = Kia Ora! Welcome = Haere mai Rugby = Whutupōro Food = Kai Fish and Chips = Ika me te riwai
Documentary 'Meeting the Māori People"
When we visited New Zealand we filmed a documentary about the Māori, the indigenous people of New Zealand. Make sure that you watch the documentary.
You can watch all our travel show episodes and documentaries on our travel show page
We can make an almost endless list of things to do in New Zealand, we will do that later. But for now, we collected our top five things to do in this country.
1. Visit Queenstown
Queenstown is a city, but it feels more like a small village. With the beautiful surroundings with the mountains and the lakes, it’s really breathtaking. Queenstown is a real tourist place, but it's still very relaxing to walk around the small city. Make sure you’ll walk up to Queenstown hill where you have a beautiful view of the city.
2. Milford Sound
It’s a fiord land in the Southwest of the South Island. Milford Sound, or PioPioTahi as the Māori’s call it, is one of the world’s top travel destinations and is really beautiful. It can take a lot of time to get there. There are several daily tours departing from Queenstown to Milford Sound.
Milford Sound is known as the wettest place in New Zealand. So bring your raincoat!
3. Go Bungee jumping!
3…2…1…BUNGY! Everyone who has ever jumped knows the feeling right before the countdown. I have no idea how that feels, you can ask Kirsten because she bungee jumped from the bloukrans bridge in South Africa.
If you’re not afraid to jump like I am, just go for it! New Zealand is the perfect place to go bungee jumping because that’s where it all started. AJ Hackett is the guy who invented it all, along with some friends and help from Auckland University.
4. Visit the heart of the Māori in Rotorua
It’s the place what’s called the heart of the Māori culture. Visiting Rotorua you get to know everything about the native people of New Zealand. Thankfully the Māori can show their culture again with proud. Not so long ago that was totally different, but since the New Zealand government acknowledged all the mistakes they made regarding the Māori culture a lot has changed. You can still feel their pain when you’re talking to the Māori, but it’s a beautiful thing that their culture is preserved. You can find several Māori villages in Rotorua. The two main villages are Te Puia and Whakarewarewa village, home of Tūhourangi Ngāti Wāhiao people. In this village, the people share their unique way of life with visitors. Both are worth a visit!
5. Go Hiking
New Zealand is perfect for hiking. With the several national parks, it’s almost everywhere really beautiful to wander around. One of the most beautiful hikes we did was in Abel Tasman National Park, it’s truly amazing there. Check out this website for all the New Zealand hiking info
Visit Stewart Island.
A lot of people don’t know that New Zealand has actually more than two Islands. The other island where you can go and stay for a while is Stewart Island. The island is around 30 kilometres south from the South Island and it’s over 85% a National Park. So do you like hiking, enjoying nature and go bird watching?
This is the place to be!
Getting around New Zealand
Car or Camper
The best way to discover the beauty of New Zealand is to travel by campervan or car. We prefer to travel by campervan because you’ll have all the freedom you’ll need. You can just go camping in a lot of different places and enjoy the beautiful nature. Make sure that you book your campervan or car in advance because the prices can be very high when you book last minute. Cheaper rental companies are not always better rental companies. One of the cheapest rental companies in New Zealand is Lucky Rental. Let’s say that you’re lucky when your car doesn’t break down during your road trip (thankfully we were lucky, but a lot of other travellers weren’t). Our advice is to book somewhere else.
We had some great experiences with Jucy Rentals, but that was in Australia. Jucy is a reliable company, but when you’re looking for a lot of space in the campervan, maybe it’s better to choose something else. The best thing you can do is check on rentalcars.com and find out the different options.
travel by bus
Of course, there are other ways to get around New Zealand. There are really good bus connections all over the country. Buses take you from one city to another and it’s mainly hop-on-hop-off principle. So that’s very easy. They connect even the smallest places, so when you’re not fancy driving a campervan this is your best option. Check out Intercity for all the different routes and options.
Want to meet local people? Go Hitchhiking! It’s cheap, easy and you’ll meet the nice local New Zealand people. You can also ask around in your hotel or hostel for a ride. Use this easy app to get a ride.
Ferry connect North and South Island
When you’re hopping from north to the South Island. Or the other way around, you’ll travel by ferry. It’s a very scenic boat ride that takes up more than 3 hours. Make sure you’ll book your tickets in advance at direct ferries It’s also possible to travel by train in New Zealand. But it’s very expensive to do and there are not a lot of different routes. But when you really want to do a train ride, which can be very beautiful by the way, check out Rail New Zealand