Five Reasons New Zealand Should be Your Next Destination
New Zealand boasts some of the planet’s most awe-inspiring landscapes. The Lord of the Rings trilogy exposed this scenery to the world causing travelers to go see for themselves.
We did this. Our first destination on our round-the-world trip was New Zealand (NZ). We campervanned for five months exploring every nook and cranny.
The landscapes are more powerful in person than any movie or picture can capture.
You gotta go! Here are five reasons to choose New Zealand as your next destination.
1. It's on your bucket list.
We know it’s on your list and there’s no better time to go than now.
First, it’s the perfect time to extend your summer! As the Northern Hemisphere is preparing for winter, NZ is heading into their summer months. So, while your friends are complaining about cold temperatures, you’ll be relaxing on the beach in your togs (swimsuit) with your toes in the sand!
Second, NZ is home to tons of glaciers including Fox Glacier, Franz Josef Glacier and Tasman Glacier. These glaciers are melting quickly, so you gotta go see them now.
2. The scenery will blow your mind!
NZ has diverse landscapes of mountains, glaciers, volcanoes, beaches, rain forests, rolling hills, gorges, and valleys all packed in a tiny area only equaling 2.7% of the US.
In one day, you can go from hiking the Southern Alps to watching the sunset on the beach. Now, that’s an epic day!
Tourists can visit for up to 90 days. You’ll certainly see the majority of the country in that amount of time.
3. Hike the best trails in the world
The Routeburn Track, Te Araroa Trail (Tongariro Alpine Crossing), and Queen Charlotte Trek are listed as three of the top treks in the world. You can knock off these in one road trip!
If you want more tramping (hiking), New Zealand has seven other premier Great Walks to explore.
4. It's easy to find everything you need.
The free app CamperMate is all you need. It gives travelers info on everything they need. It has maps, locations of campsites, things to do, water, dump stations, toilets, garbage, LPG fill ups, petrol stations, groceries, wifi, public showers, Laundromats and more.
No more researching for hours to find everything on your trip. It’s all in one place on your phone!
5. You can do it on a budget!
We traveled for five months on a backpacker’s budget living on NZ$65 per day. Here are five tips we learned for keeping your costs low.
1. Buy a campervan
Stay with me now. Campervanning is the best way to travel the country. Many of the most beautiful landscapes are in remote areas. By having your own wheels you can get out there and have your transportation and accommodation wrapped in one.
To get a campervan, you can rent or buy. Renting is expensive. We bought and sold a campervan and made money back. Over five months, our campervan only cost us NZ$12 per day.
Buying a car is intimidating, especially in a foreign country. We learned from our experience and wrote a step-by-step guide to help you make it happen for your trip: How to Buy a Campervan in New Zealand.
The guide includes what prices to expect, where to look, what to look for when test-driving, what government forms to complete, and everything else you need to know about traveling in NZ.
2. Camp at free and low cost campsites each night
NZ has tons of free and low cost campsites scattered across the country. If you can’t find a free one nearby, you can find a low cost site maintained by the Department of Conservation (DOC) ranging from NZ$6 to NZ$10 per person per night.
CamperMate’s app has the location of every campsite listed by category. Finding one each night will be easy!
3. Stay clean on a budget
These free and low cost campsites are primitive without many amenities. There are high-end campsites with showers and laundry available. However, you’ll pay more for these sites.
We stayed clean and kept our costs low by finding public showers and Laundromats listed on CamperMate’s app.
4. Cook your meals
New Zealand is an English colony and is known for their fish and chips, mince (meat) pies, and Cadbury and Whittaker’s chocolate. Once you’ve tasted those, you’ve experienced NZ cuisine.
Save money by cooking meals “at home” in your campervan. The grocery store New World gives discounts to tourists.
5. Hike for your entertainment
The best entertainment you’ll get in NZ are the stunning views. There are so many trails, you can easily spend every day exploring a new spot for free.
Now, are you pumped? We are too and can’t wait to go back!
Road tripping New Zealand will be a top experience you’ll treasure forever.
Get more travel tips and our favorite places to camp and explore in our guide How to Buy a Campervan in New Zealand.
Happy trails to middle earth!