How to Vacation in New Zealand


New Zealand is a beautiful island nation with a rich history. The country lies 2566 kilometres off the coast of Australia and was first inhabited by Māori tribes from Hawaiki. If you love nature, taking a vacation in New Zealand is a great idea. By preparing your trip correctly, planning your activities, and having an understanding and respect for local customs and culture, you can make your trip to New Zealand easy and fun.[1]

Part 1
Getting the Proper Paperwork and Making Arrangements

Getting the Proper Paperwork and Making Arrangements on How to Vacation in New Zealand

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To travel, there's a good chance that you'll need your passport to leave and reenter the country. If you are over the age of 16 in the U.S.A., your passport is valid for ten years after it was issued.[2] If you've never traveled out of the country then you'll have to apply for a passport. You can do this online, or by visiting your local passport acceptance facility and filling out an application in person.[3] Getting a passport can take up to a month and a half in some circumstances, so make sure that you get your passport well in advance of your trip.[4]

Getting the Proper Paperwork and Making Arrangements on How to Vacation in New Zealand

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Residents of certain countries do not have to get a visitor's visa to vacation in New Zealand. Check their website to see if your country is on the list of visa waiver countries.[5] If you do need a visa, visit New Zealand's immigration website and sign up online.[6] Vacation visas are for those that are visiting for three months or less. Visa waiver countries include the U.S.A, Canada, Poland, Mexico, Brazil, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Greece, Japan, South Korea, and many more countries.

Getting the Proper Paperwork and Making Arrangements on How to Vacation in New Zealand

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Check on reputable travel sites online to find tickets to New Zealand. Choose a flight that fits within your schedule and budget. If you are visiting as part of a guided vacation or tour, make sure to talk to the vacation company before booking tickets. Take the time of year into account when planning your trip. Know New Zeland's seasons so that you can go during a time of year that you can enjoy. Spring is September through November, summer is December through February, autumn is March through May and winter is June to August in New Zealand.[7] Purchasing tickets in advance of the date of your flight may reduce the price significantly. The top travel websites include Kayak, Momondo, Jetsetter and Skyscanner.[8] If you can't purchase tickets online, you can contact a travel advisor to help you book tickets.

Getting the Proper Paperwork and Making Arrangements on How to Vacation in New Zealand

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Think of what you'll need while on your vacation and pack accordingly. Make sure to take extra sets of clothes. Consider the activities that you'll be doing while you're on your vacation and make sure to take the equipment you need. Pack swimsuits and light t-shirts and shorts for warmer weather in November through March. In April to October the temperature gets cold, so make sure to pack warm pants, jackets, gloves, and hats.[9] Check New Zealand's official travel site to see a list of restricted items.[10] A raincoat and umbrella are often required when traveling to New Zealand because of the country's temperate climate and regular rainfall.

Getting the Proper Paperwork and Making Arrangements on How to Vacation in New Zealand

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Decide whether you'd rather rough it in a remote lodge in the forest or whether you'd rather stay in a five-star hotel with all the amenities. Look for a place to stay that you'll feel comfortable in and coordinate your hotel or inn to the activities you'll be doing. For instance, if you plan on enjoying New Zeland's nature, it may be a good idea to stay in a lodge. If you're going to enjoy the restaurants and nightlife, however, staying in a nice hotel might be for you.

Getting the Proper Paperwork and Making Arrangements on How to Vacation in New Zealand

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If you hire a car, remeber in New Zealand, they drive on the left side of the road. If you live in a country where this isn't customary, driving may be difficult for you.[11] Decide whether you'll be renting a car or using public transit. Because New Zealand is so environmentally conscious, taking public transit is usually encouraged. "It's important for anyonetraveling in New Zealand torealise it's not as small as youthink! There are many places withone, very winding road, in andout. Always know how long it willtake to get where you're going,and then add some extra time forunexpected issues. You'll alsowant to be able to stop and checkout interesting views or lookouts along the way!""It's important for anyone travelingin New Zealand to realise it's not assmall as you think! There are manyplaces with one, very winding road, inand out. Always know how long it willtake to get where you're going, andthen add some extra time forunexpected issues. You'll also want tobe able to stop and check outinteresting views or look outs alongthe way!""It's important for anyone traveling in NewZealand to realise it's not as small as youthink! There are many places with one, verywinding road, in and out. Always know howlong it will take to get where you're going,and then add some extra time for unexpectedissues. You'll also want to be able to stopand check out interesting views or look outsalong the way!""It's important for anyone traveling in New Zealand to realise it's notas small as you think! There are many places with one, very windingroad, in and out. Always know how long it will take to get where you'regoing, and then add some extra time for unexpected issues. You'll alsowant to be able to stop and check out interesting views or look outsalong the way!""It's important for anyone traveling in New Zealand to realise it's not assmall as you think! There are many places with one, very winding road, in andout. Always know how long it will take to get where you're going, and then addsome extra time for unexpected issues. You'll also want to be able to stop andcheck out interesting views or look outs along the way!"

Part 2
Partaking in Activities

Partaking in Activities on How to Vacation in New Zealand

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New Zealand is a beautiful country with mountains, shores, thick lush forests, coastal glaciers, rainforests, rivers, and caves. Consider taking long walks or hikes, where you can stargaze or just admire the stunning scenery. There are thousands of kilometers of hiking trails for novice and seasoned hikers. Remember to dress appropriately for the weather when hiking or walking. Hiking is called tramping in New Zealand. There are natural structures in New Zealand that you can't find anywhere else in the world, such as Mount Ngauruhoe, a large active volcano in Tongariro National Park. Another location in New Zealand is Rotorua, a large natural space that has geysers and is one of the largest geothermal locations in the world.[12] Hiking and walking trails include Whanganui Journey, Heaphy Track, and Abel Tasman Coast Track.[13]When asked, "What are some ofyour favorite tourist attractionsin New Zealand?"Andrea ThompsonNew Zealand resident, AndreaThompson, answered: "I just loveto be outdoors! I like to hearthe birds and see the scenery.Bush, beach, mountains — it'sall beautiful. I also like thetourist attractions that are notso crowded and touristy. PancakeRocks Punakaiki is always fun.Seeing the White Herons atWaitangiroto Nature Reserve wasreally special. Te WaikoropupuSprings is a special place thatI'd go back to again."When asked, "What are some of yourfavorite tourist attractions in NewZealand?"Andrea ThompsonNew Zealand resident, Andrea Thompson,answered: "I just love to be outdoors!I like to hear the birds and see thescenery. Bush, beach, mountains —it's all beautiful. I also like thetourist attractions that are not socrowded and touristy. Pancake RocksPunakaiki is always fun. Seeing theWhite Herons at Waitangiroto NatureReserve was really special. TeWaikoropupu Springs is a special placethat I'd go back to again."When asked, "What are some of your favoritetourist attractions in New Zealand?"Andrea ThompsonNew Zealand resident, Andrea Thompson,answered: "I just love to be outdoors! Ilike to hear the birds and see the scenery.Bush, beach, mountains — it's allbeautiful. I also like the touristattractions that are not so crowded andtouristy. Pancake Rocks Punakaiki is alwaysfun. Seeing the White Herons at WaitangirotoNature Reserve was really special. TeWaikoropupu Springs is a special place thatI'd go back to again."When asked, "What are some of your favorite tourist attractions in NewZealand?"Andrea ThompsonNew Zealand resident, Andrea Thompson, answered: "I just love to beoutdoors! I like to hear the birds and see the scenery. Bush, beach,mountains — it's all beautiful. I also like the tourist attractionsthat are not so crowded and touristy. Pancake Rocks Punakaiki is alwaysfun. Seeing the White Herons at Waitangiroto Nature Reserve was reallyspecial. Te Waikoropupu Springs is a special place that I'd go back toagain."When asked, "What are some of your favorite tourist attractions in NewZealand?"Andrea ThompsonNew Zealand resident, Andrea Thompson, answered: "I just love to be outdoors!I like to hear the birds and see the scenery. Bush, beach, mountains — it'sall beautiful. I also like the tourist attractions that are not so crowded andtouristy. Pancake Rocks Punakaiki is always fun. Seeing the White Herons atWaitangiroto Nature Reserve was really special. Te Waikoropupu Springs is aspecial place that I'd go back to again."

Partaking in Activities on How to Vacation in New Zealand

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Bodies of water like Lake Taupo, Bay of Plenty and Hawke's Bay provide a great environment for both veteran and novice white water rafters. Contact rafting companies in the area and talk to them about your experience and what you're looking for. Inquire about the cost and time investment before agreeing to a day of rafting.[14] The waters of New Zealand have rapids ranging from level one for novices up to level four rapids for seasoned rafters.

Partaking in Activities on How to Vacation in New Zealand

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New Zealand's largest commercial ski area, Mt Ruapehu is on the North Island. On the South Island, there are three different ski areas called Canterbury Ski Area, Mount Cook Mackenzie, and Queenstown. Each of these ski areas has multiple mountains that you can use to ski, with varying levels of difficulty for both veterans and novice skiers and snowboarders.[15] Remember to wear protective gear when doing snow sports like gloves, heavy clothes, and a helmet.

Partaking in Activities on How to Vacation in New Zealand

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New Zealand is known for their high-adrenaline activities like skydiving, bungee jumping, canyoning, caving, jet boating, and diving with sharks. If you like trying new and exciting things, do some research on the possibilities that are available in the country.[16] New Zealand was the first country to introduce commercial bungee jumping to the world. You can also go ice hiking in New Zealand and walk around large glaciers. Canyoning involves climbing up rock faces and leaping into giant pools in the rainforest.

Partaking in Activities on How to Vacation in New Zealand

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There are a variety of different types of cuisine available in New Zealand. In particular, the country boasts a wide variety of seafood, like mussels, oysters, and crayfish/lobster. For libations, they have a growing list of local craft breweries, as well as wineries and vineyards that you can tour. Check out regional restaurants and bars and try to take in the culture.[17]

Partaking in Activities on How to Vacation in New Zealand

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There are over 500 festivals annually in New Zealand ranging from wine and cheese festivals to St. Jerome's Laneway Festival, a music festival with guests like Bob Moses and Young Thug.[18] Find festivals that incorporate something that you like and purchase tickets online. Other popular festivals include Balloons over Waikato, the Luminate Festival, the Leadfoot Festival, and Pinot Noir NZ.[19]Check out local museums as well.Andrea Thompson, New Zealandresident, adds: "If you're on abudget, The National Museum, TePapa, in Wellington has freeadmission."Check out local museums as well.Andrea Thompson, New Zealand resident,adds: "If you're on a budget, TheNational Museum, Te Papa, inWellington has free admission."Check out local museums as well. AndreaThompson, New Zealand resident, adds: "Ifyou're on a budget, The National Museum, TePapa, in Wellington has free admission."Check out local museums as well. Andrea Thompson, New Zealand resident,adds: "If you're on a budget, The National Museum, Te Papa, inWellington has free admission."Check out local museums as well. Andrea Thompson, New Zealand resident, adds:"If you're on a budget, The National Museum, Te Papa, in Wellington has freeadmission."

Part 3
Abiding by New Zealand Social Norms

Abiding by New Zealand Social Norms on How to Vacation in New Zealand

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The biggest cultural groups in New Zealand are those of European ancestry called Pākehā and natives of the island called the Māori. While the both peoples are friendly and outgoing, there are some significant cultural differences between them. These cultural differences include the way that both cultures greet each other. The Māori people, for example, have a custom called Powhiri, a formal way that people introduce each other in business and could take anywhere from 30 minutes to three hours.[20] Not abiding by Māori customs may offend them. When in doubt, inquire about their customs so that you don't do anything inappropriate. Māori people are reserved and offer great hospitality. The culture is also a happy and positive one, with people launching into dance and song. Kiwis are reserved and are typically very easy going.

Abiding by New Zealand Social Norms on How to Vacation in New Zealand

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Speaking loudly or boasting about your accomplishments is deemed inappropriate in New Zealand. This is especially true when eating around the dinner table. Conversation at the table should be polite and reserved.[21] Try to speak with a lower tone and don't yell or speak over others in a conversation. Boisterous behavior is frowned upon in most circumstances, even if you're drinking alcohol.

Abiding by New Zealand Social Norms on How to Vacation in New Zealand

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Manners at the table are incredibly important and are seen as a reflection of your personality. When eating a traditional New Zealand meal, make sure to wait to be seated and keep your elbows off the table. The more formal the occasion, the more that these manners matter. Meals are often served in large groups and is a bonding and social experience for those in New Zealand.[22]

Abiding by New Zealand Social Norms on How to Vacation in New Zealand

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Punctuality is an important aspect of culture in New Zealand. Try to be on time for social events. Being "fashionably late" isn't a custom in New Zealand and could be considered rude.[23] Try getting to meetings or social gatherings early to be polite. If you are going to be late, contact the person and let them know that you're running late.

Abiding by New Zealand Social Norms on How to Vacation in New Zealand

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If you want to be able to communicate with people living in New Zealand freely, you'll need to know how to speak English or Māori.[24] Learn common phrases in English if you don't know how to speak the language. Māori is Polynesian language that is native to the area and that over 157,000 people in New Zealand speak. English is commonly the language used when purchasing goods or ordering at a restaurant.[25]

Abiding by New Zealand Social Norms on How to Vacation in New Zealand

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The people of New Zealand are environmentally conscious, so you shouldn't litter or destroy the environment in any way. Try to utilise public transportation like buses when traveling to your desired destinations. You should also partake in New Zealand's recycling program to help preserve the ecosystem.[26] Many government policies also reflect this environmentally friendly focus, such as the use of wind and hydro-power as their main source of electricity. Single use plastic bags were banned in New Zealand in July 2019. If you go shopping, take a bag to carry your purchases, or be prepared to purchase a reusable bag from the retailer.

Abiding by New Zealand Social Norms on How to Vacation in New Zealand

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The people of New Zealand are friendly and reserved. When interacting with others, maintain a polite demeanor.[27] Do thoughtful things like holding doors open for others and waiting for your turn in a line. Mirror how New Zealander's act and always remain respectful of the unique customs and culture of New Zealand. A common Māori greeting is the hongi, where people shake hands and then press noses briefly. Māori woman may also kiss you on the cheek to greet you.[28]