To say that New Zealand is a gorgeous destination would be a vast understatement.
The amazing variety of New Zealand’s landscape must not go unnoticed. It’s a land of geographical diversity that has enticed many a traveller to roam its varied scenery, where beauty and uniqueness are the names of the game. New Zealand as a country spans two relatively small islands on which you can find volcanoes, glaciers, fjords, but also beaches, meadows, and deep forests, all adding a certain charm that can’t be found anywhere else on the planet.
The cuisine in New Zealand readily reflects its surroundings – it’s diverse, seasonal, and fresh. Cooking and food have been largely influenced and inspired by different parts of the world, like Europe, Asia, Polynesia, with many local ingredients being used in unique ways in recipes from all around the world. Fish and lobster are a mainstay, but also lamb and venison, as well as a wide plethora of sea-based food that is constantly fresh and spiced just enough to have its own unique flavour. Kiwi wine is also a unique part of New Zealand’s cuisine that has awed any visitor from anywhere in the world.
New Zealand’s national character is one of friendliness, politeness, but also vibrancy and colourfulness. The local Maori population has largely influenced the newcomers that settled long after the Maori started living on New Zealand’s land, and even the newcomers’ accent was influenced and changed by the locals. This is one of the reasons that arts and crafts are such a large part of New Zealand’s culture, with many unique, interesting, and downright quirky crafts being made in its many regions, with sports and outdoors taking a very close second as the pillars of New Zealand’s culture.
New Zealand’s scenery and nature are so absolutely striking and breathtaking that it’s inspired filmmakers and artists to create pieces of art that have stood the test of time. One of history’s most acclaimed film series, The Lord of the Rings was filmed on location in New Zealand and is praised for using the fully stunning natural beauty of New Zealand to its maximum potential. The scenery of the country is varied to the maximum, and every sight is a picturesque one.
The gorgeousness and uniqueness of New Zealand is something no traveller should even consider skipping, as it’s a destination that anyone will love.
Know Before You Go
New Zealand is possibly the most perfect place on the planet for an epic road trip. Take an unforgettable journey from rolling dunes at the tip of the North Island, to the formidable fiords in the south. As the Kiwis put it - New Zealand roads are different. Out of the cities, there are no highways, no controlled crossings. Just endless hours of narrow, winding country roads that lead through epic beauty and infinite mystery. In New Zealand, they drive on the left, and journeys are most likely to take twice the time that google states. That's without pulling over to witness breathtaking views every 5 minutes.
There are more sheep than people. You can drive for hours in some parts of New Zealand and only spot sheep, cows, and birds. Thankfully, most of the wildlife is cute and none of it is dangerous, except perhaps the Kea. These curious alpine parrots are ridiculously charming, but you won't be praising one if it breaks off your windscreen wiper.
New Zealand has several celebrated hiking trails considered Great Walks. The walking season is between October and April, and you must book in advance for the huts in the peak season. Outside the official dates, tramping the unforgettable trails is much cheaper, but can get tricky quickly as the climate changes. Always check-in at the Department of Conservation (DOC) sites before you walk and check the weather conditions.
Best Time To Visit New Zealand
New Zealand is most popular in the summer, (November to February) and places like Queenstown can book up fast. If you want to take advantage of the adventure capital, make sure you plan early.
Spring is a wonderful time to visit most parts of New Zealand. Some snow still clings to the mountains and waterfalls flow freely from melting ice. Wild and wonderful lowland and alpine flowers burst into life.
In summer, days are long. It's hotter and more humid the further North you travel.
Autumn cools rapidly and washes the landscape in incredible colour.
Winter (June to August) brings those glorious snow-capped peaks and the world-class ski and snowboarding resorts open for business.
Fiordland in the remote parts of the South Island sees over 200 days of rain a year. But there is something hauntingly beautiful about cruising Milford and Doubtful Sound on a moody morning. Most waterfalls are also only active during a torrential downpour.
What To Expect
New Zealand is one for the bucket list, and you won't be happy until you've explored every beach, lake, and mountain. Here are a few tips to help you pack.
Currency - The official currency is the New Zealand dollar.
Language - The official languages are English and Maori.
ATMs - ATM's are everywhere in cities and towns. You'll find the world's most scenic toilets in the National Parks but no ATM's.
Plugs & Sockets - New Zealand uses the angled two-pin or three-pin plug. The standard voltage is 230v and 50Hz frequency.
Safety - New Zealand is one of the safest countries in the world. When travelling on the road, never leave valuables on show in your vehicle.
Climate - Most of New Zealand has a temperate climate. The far North is more subtropical in the summer.
Most inhabited areas are by the coast and enjoy mild temperatures with moderate rainfall throughout the year.
Alpine areas can drop to below -10 degrees celsius in winter, and Fiordland is generally a few degrees colder than the rest of the mainland and has the highest amount of rainfall in the country.