Everything from what to expect in New Zealand, where to go, what to take, what to do and of course, money!
We had our magical New Zealand experience in what some may call their mad crazy wild winter season, with the adventures starting in the north island. We flew into Auckland city and spent the weekend with our heads in the clouds, mouths open, bumping into one another and generally looking like lost tourists. Getting our bearings & our things together it was time to make a plan.
That’s when the adventures started. We managed to cover the whole north island & south island in 2 months.
Here’s a guide to activities, must do’s, money, accom & travel in mystical New Zealand.
How expensive is New Zealand?
Jeeeeeee wizz, if you’re not planning on working in the magical hilltop land, get saving!
New Zealands pretty expensive, here is a few listed items & prices on basic essentials –
✿Basic lunchtime menu (including a drink) NZ$18
❀Combo meal in fast food restaurant (Big Mac Meal or similar) NZ$11
✿500 gr chicken breast NZ$8
❀1 liter milk NZ$1.96
✿12 eggs, large NZ$7
❀1 kg of tomatoes NZ$6
✿500 gr of local cheese NZ$7
❀1 kg of apples NZ$3.73
✿1 kg of potatoes NZ$3.02
❀0.5 l beer in the supermarket NZ$4.31
✿Bread for 2 people for 1 day NZ$1.98
❀1 liter of gas NZ$1.9
✿1 Monthly ticket public transport NZ$165
❀Short visit to private Doctor (15 minutes) NZ$47
✿1 box of 32 tampons NZ$8
❀Deodorant, roll-on NZ$5.81
✿Hair shampoo 2-in-1 NZ$4.78
❀4 rolls of toilet paper NZ$2.35
✿Tube of toothpaste NZ$2.95
❀Tickets to the movies NZ$33
✿1 cocktail drink in bar/club NZ$16
❀1 package of Marlboro cigarettes NZ$25
If you are planning activities for your time in New Zealand, be sure to do your research beforehand. New Zealand is the activity country, there is SO much to be done, take your time looking through and decide on what you want out of New Zealand. Activities can get quite pricey! Check out http://www.new.grabone.co.nz & https://www.bookme.co.nz for deals & discounts on activities!
Where to go?
New Zealand is so tremendously beautiful everywhere, it doesn’t stop anywhere you go, wherever you drive,fly,walk!
It’s surrounded by incredible luscious green bouncy hills that go so far into the distance it looks like it’s warped, huge characteristic snowy mountains following alongside with the most incredible drives – with the most tangled roads! And of course the admiring culture of the Mauri and the land of which they carry so much pride in.
※Our tip – Drive, drive, drive as much & as far as you can, carry on going.※
Must do’s –
❀Paihia and the bay of islands
❀Redwood forest – Rotorua
✿Glow worm caves – Waitomo
❀Trippy tree in Wellington (get a local to take you)
❀Golden bay & Abel Tasman national park
We try and not stay at hostels, especially the normal standard party goers ‘base’ or ‘YHA’. Why? Because we would rather not be woken up by a drunk naked German guy or an English “lad” trying to successfully have sex with a foreign fellow traveler or a bunch of screaming girls, that are hysterically crying because they realised they left their Mac 003 ruby red lip pencil at home.
Hostels in New Zealand range from around $18-$35, dorm singles are around $18-$20 and for a private double its around $30-$35, it works out for couples usually!
Couchsurfing is an awesome way of travelling, getting around countries, meeting incredible people and finding the best kept secret places! It’s easy and free to sign up! New Zealand’s inbetween towns can be really small, so small it’s just a road with a few houses and a petrol station – don’t assume there will be hosts, look into where you’re going to first.
Couchsurfing is generally safe it’s been a website since 2004, just cool people wanting to meet cool people or fellow travelers wanting to give back after being a CS on their travels, you meet some characters but that’s all part of the fun!
※Get in touch if you want any advice on getting out there on couchsurfing.※
Take in mind –
✿Write a personal message to the host, read their profile. Don’t copy and paste.
✿ Get verified – this helps, so people can also know that YOU are legit & normal.
✿ Don’t treat their house like a hostel – treat it like their home.
✿Connect with the hosts before you meet them, hosts can be getting up to 30+ requests a day, sending them a message that’s the same as everyone else’s isn’t going to get their attention.
✿ Chip in – couchsurfing is free, the whole concept is to be able to socialise, meet new people, exchange memories and stories and give happiness and smiles everywhere you go. Do the washing up or a quick wizz around with the hoover, clean the bathroom – show your appreciation, don’t be an arsehole.
Note, do not camp in winter! We made the rooky mistake on our 2nd night in New Zealand. We had been checking the forecast prior to arriving, temperatures were saying 15•c during the day – now in England that’s the middle of summer, being English we thought that we would be absolutely fine, wrong. I think New Zealand have different thermometers to England. Camping in a 2 man tent (with bare to nothing for warmth) resulted in us breaking into a caravan to sleep for the night.
Camping the rest of the year I imagine would be absolutely incredible!! The views and sunrises you’d wake up to would be out of this world!
In New Zealand they have doc sites (doc stands for department of conservation) it’s pretty much loads of campsites around New Zealand some with basic facilities others with a bit more, pricing ranges from free – $10 per person per night, money goes towards maintaining the sites.
In New Zealand you can’t just pull up and camp anywhere, you’ll get fined $200 straight up, they seem to be pretty strict on it. Sucks, but there are quite a lot of free DOC sites – download camping NZ, it has all of the doc sites throughout New Zealand on an offline map with prices.
Hitch Hiking in New Zealand is pretty common all over, whether it’s winter or summer a friendly kiwi is bound to stop and take you. In city’s it’s pretty common to hitch back to town after going up the mountains. We picked up a Chinese guy named Drin who was hitch hiking his whole journey – and camping! Crazy guy.
Buses – Kiwi Experience
We started with kiwi experience, its a hop on hop off bus which goes pretty much everywhere around the north and South Island of New Zealand. With a guided bus driver (we had scotty) they tell you bits and bobs about the places you’re going through or visiting on the way to your destination and then drink and socialise with you in the evening.
Coach rides are pretty easy, new Zealand’s like the same size as England so it doesn’t take long to get from place to place, the free activity’s are usually walks and hikes – they are optional, there were days where we set up the hammock in a near by forest, listened to music and chilled rather than climbing a mountain at 9am with no coffee.
Kiwi Experience is an awesome way to travel if you want to meet people & have a plan/structure set in place for your travels, the itinerary plans everything for you.
Take a look at our New Zealand story through photos – https://www.nomadictrippers.com/new-zealand-gallery/