New Zealand at a glance:
Some flock for Lord of the rings filming locations, some visit to ski, several visit to hike, and still others visit for the island beach life. No matter your reasons for visiting, New Zealand is one of the most well rounded places to visit- particularly for the outdoors enthusiasts. The most difficult challenge you will face when planning a trip to NZ is what to do in your allotted time. If you only have one week, only choose one island. If you have two weeks then you have a chance to see both. I would HIGHLY recommend at least a week for each island as well as seeing both. Both islands are very unique in landscapes and culture. The North Island is volcanoes, coastal islands, bubbling hot pools, and peaceful rolling hills. The South Island is fjords, incredible glaciers, stark mountains, and deep valley lakes. So with that- try to see both.
Is it safe?
Yes, New Zealand is considered one of the safest countries in the world to visit.
Best time to visit:
The seasons are reversed in NZ so if you want to hike, visit Nov-March. If you want to ski, visit June-September. The other months will be the shoulder seasons and like other places, they will be less expensive but more risky as far as being able to see everything you want to see.
English primarily, with Maori making appearances.
Best way to get around:
1000% Driving. I’ve written an article below on tips for driving in NZ. While there are buses and some trains, it is much easier to get around with your own personal car.
Top things to do:
- Cruise on Milford Sound
- Experience the Shire at Hobbiton
- Hike the Tongariro Alpine Crossing
- Swim at Cathedral Cove
- Paraglide or skydive in Queenstown
- Backpack to a hut along a great walk