When you are based in Europe, New Zealand lies on the other side of the world and the 24h+ trip there also gives you this feeling. There are also so many things to consider before embarking on this long journey. While this is not a guide on New Zealand as a whole, this is meant to provide you with some tips and tricks that are good to know.
BEFORE YOU GO
Book in advance
Finding last minute deals has become super easy, specially with platforms solely focusing on them. But in New Zealand we highly recommend to book as much in advance as possible, specially when traveling during their high-season from December to February.
You shouldn’t just book hotels in advance but also a car, if you’re going to drive around, and specific activities you want to do.
This might sound quite obvious but it always is good to double check the visa requirements.
Pack the right clothes
Again might seem quite obvious, but we were surprised by how the weather can change and differ all around New Zealand. One minute you’re almost melting at the beach and the next you don’t have something to protect yourself from the strong winds. So, to be prepared for all the weather changes and the different climates (South Island climate is a bit different from the North Island) by packing multiple layers.
This one deserves its own point because it is just so important. The sun literally burns because the ozone layer is very thin there. From experience rather put on another layer of sunscreen that to “trust” that layer your smeared on was enough.
International Driver’s License
If you plan on renting a car in New Zealand and your driver’s license is not in english you need to get an international driver’s license. If your drivers license is in english you shouldn’t have a problem.
PLACES TO VISIT
So many places to visit, here’s a quick introduction to some of them.
Although this is not the capital of New Zealand it is the largest and therefore worth a quick stop. It also has the largest airport making a perfect place to travel to and from New Zealand.
Bay of Islands
As the name describes it, it is a beautiful bay with tons of little islands. Absolute scenic and great to spend some days at the beach.
The most northern point of the country where you can find beautiful beaches and even sand dunes.
Although this is only a day trip - it is so far from civilization that there is no mobile phone connection or anything - it is absolutely worth seeing New Zealands Fjords.
Volcanos and such.
This is probably THE town for any adrenaline junkie. From riding jet boats through canyons to bungee jumping and skiing in the winter time. It is also worth visiting for its stunning scenery and amazing vineyards.
WHEN TO GO
As already mentioned, December to February is high season in New Zealand and considering the warmer weather then probably also the best time to visit. Some places such as Queenstown are for sure also amazing to visit during winter.