With 20 years experience and some of New Zealand’s top tourism talents working in the team, we have some great New Zealand backpackers tips. From what to pack to what to see you’ll know you’re getting the best travel advice when travelling with us. Don’t worry if you haven’t got all the answers before you arrive, Kiwis are renowned for their hospitality and friendly nature; and of course, our fantastic Driver Guides will be there to give you awesome travel tips at every turn too.
A Snapshot of New Zealand
New Zealand is one of the most beautiful countries backpackers or anyone else can visit, with volcanoes, glaciers, geothermal activity, luscious bush, awe-inspiring mountains, endless stretches of beaches, abundant wildlife and much, much more. Film makers from all over the world travel here for the stunning backdrops you just can’t find anywhere else.
It’s renowned worldwide for having a relaxed, friendly, spacious and outdoor adventure lifestyle (think sport, walks, BBQs, and beaches). When you combine this adventurous outlook with our stunning backdrop you start to see why travellers and backpackers rate New Zealand as the action/adventure/adrenalin capital of the world!
New Zealand’s people (known as “Kiwis”) are well known for their welcoming and accepting nature. Our history is littered with examples of us leading the world on gender equality, environmental initiatives and peaceful resolutions.
|Quick facts about New Zealand|
||South Pacific Ocean (Southeast of Australia, below the Pacific Islands and above Antarctica)|
||A little bigger than the UK, Japan, and California, and a little smaller than Sweden|
||4 million (+ 1 million travelling overseas themselves!)|
||Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch|
||A huge range but the North Island is generally warmer
- Summer = December, January, February, March (but March is often hot too). Average maximum temperature = 20 - 30º Celsius (68 - 86º Fahrenheit)
- Winter = June, July, August. Average maximum temperature = 10 - 15º Celsius (50 - 59º Fahrenheit).
||New Zealand is one of the first places in the world to see the new day, 12 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time). As a rule of thumb we’re usually about 12 hours ahead of the UK. In summer New Zealand uses ‘daylight saving’, with clocks put forward one hour to GMT+13 so that we can enjoy more of the summer sun into the evening – brilliant!|
||There are about 10 public holidays/year but these don’t stop the buses from running and doing their thing. Besides if you're here travelling you'll probably be on holiday the entire time you lucky thing! Christmas, New Years and Easter are the big ones for most Kiwis.|
||English (official), Maori (official), Kiwi Slang (unofficial). You’ll notice this local slang as soon as you arrive in New Zealand. Much of it originates from our unique rural and Maori heritage. Make sure you take a few good sayings home with you!|
||65% European/Caucasian, 14% Maori, 9% Asian, 7% Pacific Islander, 5% Other, 1% Hobbit|
||A very peaceful democracy|
||New Zealand dollar = NZD = $. See What to bring for more info.|
||Wood and paper products, textiles, wood products, wool, dairy and meat products, fish and some brilliant little sauvignons and reds from our vineyards.|
||Rugby all year round (go the All Blacks!). Netball for women in winter, and cricket in summer.|
||1) the Kiwi bird - it’s brown, flightless, nocturnal and endangered but we love the little fella 2) the Silver Fern plant – with its very distinctive triangular shape and silver colour, and 3) black – our national colour that you’ll see worn so proudly. Often with a Kiwi or Silver Fern overtop.|