Like you, we think that New Zealand is a pretty cool place. Yes, the scenery is amazing - the whole place is packed with beautiful beaches, native forests, glaciers, volcanoes, fiords and mountains. There’s a whole lot of awesome outdoor activities around, so you can actually get in amongst nature, and not just take photos. Plus the people are really friendly and fun - as well as Kiwis you’ll meet a whole lot of different travellers from all over the place. There’s also a lot of really cool other stuff like Maori culture, outdoor music festivals, local events and vibrant urban spaces that you may not know about, but which are equally as awesome. Pack all of that in to a country that isn’t that big and you’ve definitely got a recipe for some good times. There's really too much to do in New Zealand so we've put together a few ideas of to get your started.
1. Splash, swim, surf - New Zealand is a water paradise with thousands of kilometres of coastline and countless rivers and lakes to get out on
2. Get your hands on a campervan and take your own tiki tour (a sight-seeing journey with no particular destination in mind) of the country
3. Alternatively let someone else do the driving by travelling around New Zealand on a hop-on, hop-off bus. You can make new friends or jump ship if you don't like who's sitting next to you.
4. Meet the locals. Swim with dolphins, seals, whales (no actually best to watch whales from a boat!), check out native kiwi birds and penguins in wild or in the conservation grounds of the Karori Wildlife Sanctury
5. Throw yourself off a bridge, out of a plane, down a hill, into a cave or along a river for some pants-wetting fun
6. Get to Queenstown, adventure capital of the world that parties all year round and has the best burgers in the country
7. Learn somthing such as how to do the Haka like New Zealand's national rugby team the All Blacks or cook a meal in a traditional Maori earth oven
8. Find an incredible view by climbing the volcano in central North Island that doubles as Mordor, walking up a West Coast glacier or walking around the top of Auckland's Sky Tower
9. Take advantage of the country's geothermal activity and dig your own hot water spa pool at Hot Water Beach or see boiling mud pools in Rotorua
10. Stand in front of a round green door on the set of the Hobbit and tour other Middle-earth filming locations
11. Get amongst New Zealand largest student population in Dunedin
12. Be among the first in the world to bring in the New Year at the Rhythm & Vines music festival on the East Cape or for some mid-year fun head to the Queenstown Winter Festival for 10 days of carnage known as the ‘Southern Hemisphere’s Ultimate Winter Party’
Now that’s all very nice, but how do you actually go about sorting a trip here? Well we’re glad you asked. On this page you’ll find pretty much everything you need to know (or at least a link to it)
How to find and book flights (airline options on your right)
Or if you want some help we know who you should talk to (offers on the side)
Recommended itineraries so you can do to get the most out of your time here
Places to stay on a budget
Tips on backpacking and work/visa information if you decide you want to stick around a while (and need a way to pay for it)
There’s a cool map (pdf) showing you some fun things to do
And a hand-book (pdf) that you can print off and keep…now that’s good service!
After all of that if you’re still not convinced that New Zealand is incredibly awesome then we’ve included a whole page with links to your fellow travelers reassuring you that it is – don’t say we didn’t tell you so.
So what do you think? You’re only young once, and New Zealand is the perfect place to make the most of it. Have a look around, start sorting your New Zealand trip and get yourself down here. There really is too much to miss.
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Two brothers from Budapest traded their winter for an epic two weeks in New Zealand.
Four outdoorsy young Germans came to NZ for a whole lot of natural goodness.