12 Things to Know When Traveling to New Zealand

So you’re wanting to travel to New Zealand? This is a great article to really help you better understand your travel destination and give you some insight.

So you’re wanting to travel to New Zealand? This is a great article to really help you better understand your travel destination and give you some insight that you might not have known yet.

#1. New Zealand is located in the South Pacific.  This country is split up as two islands – The North and South Islands.  You can travel by ferry between the two islands and experience the breathtaking 3-hour ride through Marlborough Sounds.

#2. New Zealand has the friendliest people in the World!! I’m sure you’ve heard it said, but it must be mentioned because when Americans think of “friendly” we think of folks from the South waving “Howdy” as you pass by.  That doesn’t even come close to the welcoming embrace of the Kiwis (Native New Zealanders). Everywhere you go you’ll experience their warmth, joy and energy.

#3.  Speaking of Kiwi – they’ve got some weird names.  Did you know that New Zealand was originally known as the Land of the Long White Cloud or Aotearoa. The Maori gave this name to the land from myths and legends rooted in their culture.

#4. Iconic landscapes (Movies) New Zealand is very well known for its majestic landscapes and iconic movie-set mountains.   You may know that The Lord of the Rings movies and The Hobbit were filmed here, but did you know that there have been more than those? The Last Samurai, The World’s Fastest Indian, The Chronicles of Narnia, Out of the Blue, Avatar and many others. New Zealand is more glorious than even Hollywood could design!

#5.  Being from Texas, we know a thing or two about snakes – and what is great about New Zealand is they don’t have snakes!  In fact, they are a predator-free country! That means no lions, wolves, or bears are poised to attack.  Nothing is going to jump out at you while you explore the natural waterfalls or as you hike through the majestic mountains.  So – campers, hikers, explorers and nature-lovers of all kinds will bask in the wonders – worry free.

#6. If you’re like me, you prefer to travel when it’s not exactly peak season, so that prices are better and the crowds are less. Travel time to New Zealand is a bit tricky. The weather is best during September, October and November but December, January and February are peek tourist season. Connecting with a travel agent is typically the best way to plan your travel, plus they can give you additional insider tips for the best prices and places to see.

#7. Ask about microbreweries and brewery tours – while many people know that wine tours are popular, there are plenty of stops along your journey to visit home-grown breweries where you can taste the organic flavors of some pretty incredible beers. Both islands have fun options for any beer connoisseur, and you’re sure to make some new friends at any pub when you ask for a locally brewed beverage.

#8. Dancing is in the culture! From the moment you land in New Zealand you’ll feel the Maori culture all around. Dancing is just another form of expression to them, and haka,  is one of the more popular dances. You might have seen a viral video or two from the All Blacks (New Zealand’s Rugby Team).  It’s a type of Māori war dance, designed to intimidate the opposing side (who usually just stand there, watching in awe and sometimes confusion).  Check out this video http://youtu.be/tdMCAV6Yd0Y

#9.  The sheep-to-human ratio is a tad high. They say actually ten to one.  That’s right there are sheep everywhere. The current population is some where around 4 million people and 40 million sheep.

#10.  One of the best aspects of traveling to New Zealand is the vast range of climates.  Do you enjoy mountains? Want to relax on a beach? Investigate volcanoes? Explore Rainforests?  You’ll have the chance to do that all in New Zealand. You can drive just a few short hours and travel from glaciers to rainforests, then take the train from shopping in a metropolis like Auckland out to the immeasurable rolling hills of McKinnon Pass.

#11 Crazy Fun Holidays and Festivals!  New Zealand celebrates some really great causes. Like Chocolate Week (July 11-17) at the Dunedin Cadbury Chocolate Carnival, and the Visa Wellington on a Plate where you can try some gourmet native Kiwi food from a delicacy like muttonbird to whitebait fritters, ponga fern pickles and huhu grubs. (Don’t let the names distract you - it’s good eatin’).  There are Festivals and holidays all year round and something for everyone of every age and interest.  This is another reason to find a seasoned travel expert to help you book your travel time.

#12 If you’re looking for the perfect romantic getaway (maybe for a wedding proposal) you’ve got to include the town of Wanaka in the South Island (it is close to Queenstown). Wanaka sits on a lake so pure it is hard to not start naming the fish. The surrounding mountains are so tall & Majestic making the perfect backdrop - you will never want to leave.

Some of the best advice you can get is from actual Kiwis and experts of the South Pacific. Connect with About New Zealand today for a custom trip that will include some of the incredible things listed above and more!

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