There’s always a lot of excitement before you set off on a trip, especially if you’re about to visit a country or city for the first time.

New Zealand is no exception — especially since it’s so far away for most of us! However, this also means there can be a lot to plan before you set off.

We’ve put together a list of seven things you need to know before your first New Zealand adventure; you’ll be clued up and ready to enjoy yourself in no time.

1. There’s No One Right Way to Travel

In fact, there’s a lot of flexibility and plenty of different routes you could follow. Want to do your own thing? Hire a campervan or a car. You can even put the planning into someone else’s hand and book a self-drive tour, which will note the must-see sights along your route and save you the trouble of finding accommodation each night.

The one thing you really need to know is that you’ll be travelling by road. New Zealand doesn’t really have a train system unless you’re going on a scenic route (which is definitely worth it).

According to 1cover, if you’re going it alone, be extra vigilant of your surroundings and swot up on what not to do to draw the attention of potential thieves.

Hobbiton, New Zealand

2. You Can Get Lots of Tips from the Locals

New Zealanders love to talk about their country, so take advantage of this! Ask them where they like to hike, eat, visit… you’ll quickly find out about lots of hidden gems you might not have discovered otherwise, plus it’s a chance to experience the country in the same way a local would (without having to move across the world).

3. It’s a Haven for Foodies

Wellington’s food scene has an excellent reputation and we predict it’ll only become more famous. There are more restaurants per capita than in New York City, which is perfect for diners because the standards are always high and there are plenty of different places to choose from, whatever your tastes and dietary requirements might be.

Food to try in Wellington:

  • Southern fried chicken
  • Seafood
  • Malaysian cuisine
  • Asian fusion

Auckland, New Zealand

4. There Are Lots of Adventure Activities, but There’s Plenty of Relaxation to Be Had, Too

Many people associate New Zealand with extreme activities like bungee jumping, canyon swinging, and jet boating. And it’s true there are lots of opportunities to get that adrenaline rush, especially in Queenstown, which has more than earned its title as the adventure capital of the world. It was even home to the world’s first commercial bungee jump.

However, you won’t miss out if you’d rather enjoy some quieter activities. New Zealand has a fascinating history and there are lots of old towns and museums to stroll around. Or why not stop at a winery and enjoy a glass of the country’s finest while admiring the views?

5. Keep Your Outdoor Gear Clean

New Zealand is a very outdoorsy place. If you’ve used any of your outdoor gear before, you’ll need to declare it when you enter the country, including:

  • Hiking gear, including boots
  • Sportswear
  • Diving equipment
  • Fishing equipment
  • Tents and camping equipment

You’ll be given a passenger arrival card to fill out at the airport, which makes the process a lot easier.

Sunrise at Roy's Peak, New Zealand

6. You Can Experience Every Season in a Matter of Days

New Zealand’s climate is pretty mild, especially compared to neighbouring Australia, but the weather changes quickly. It’s not unusual to need a raincoat in the morning and a sun hat in the afternoon, or vice versa. Pack accordingly (layers are handy) and don’t forget your SPF!

7. You Won’t Be Able to Do Everything in One Trip

New Zealand is relatively small but there’s still a lot to see and do. Sadly, you won’t be able to experience everything at once. It makes sense to pick a few must-sees for your to-do list and then be flexible for the rest of your trip. You’ll visit all the places you want to go to (and you can always come back in the future!).

At The Road Trip, we love sharing the best things to do in New Zealand. If you’re planning to visit New Zealand for the first time we can help you customise your adventure according to your interests. Call us at +64 2191 0433, email us at [email protected], or use our contact form.