Known for its beautiful sights, exquisite vineyards and a rich cultural heritage, New Zealand has been near the top the top of every traveler’s list for a very long time.

Also known as Aotearoa in Maori, New Zealand is home to over 4 million residents and comprises of two distinct islands: the North Island and the South Island.

In this post, we’ll cover tips and information for South East Asian tourists to New Zealand.

1. Manage your finances correctly

Something that catches most South East Asian travelers off guard is the currency conversion rates.

If you are from Singapore, this should not be an issue as the SGD has always been a strong currency; at the moment, 1 SGD is roughly equivalent to 1 NZD (New Zealand Dollars).

However, if you are from other countries in the region, make sure that you have enough money to be converted into NZD. You should make sure that each member of your tour party has at least $1,000 NZD on hand which is roughly equal to about RM3,200 if you are from Malaysia.

$1,000 NZD seems a lot but it’s always better to have more cash on hand in case of emergencies. You can use debit or credit cards but make sure to change your overseas transaction limit before you use it.

Some national banks have a limit on how much you can spend per day (or per month) overseas; exceeding your limit while overseas is an annoying thing to deal as you’ll have to call your bank so make sure that your cards are setup for overseas transactions beforehand.

2. Keep yourself warm in the country

new zealand weather

South East Asian countries are blessed with all-year summer and humid conditions throughout the year.

Because of that, the cold weather can take you by surprise especially if you’ve never been to a country with low average temperatures like New Zealand.

For instance, summer in New Zealand has a maximum temperature of 20-30 Celsius which are normal temperatures for air-conditioned rooms in a warm country like Malaysia.

During the winter season, the temperature may even drop to single digits. It sounds trivial but single digit temperatures are no joke if you’ve lived your whole life in a warm region like South East Asia.

To help you deal with cold weather better, here are some tips for you on your next trip:

Wear warm clothing

The easiest way to keep yourself warm is to choose your clothing wisely. You should have at least a hat or beanie, a jacket, gloves, and long pants when traveling the country regardless of the season.

You can also decide to wear compression pants and shirts under your clothing to increase blood flow and warmth across your body.

After a few days when you’ve adapted to the cold weather, you can choose to not go as heavy on your clothing; just make sure to pack warm clothing with you in case you get the colds along the trip.

Warm yourself when you start to shiver

Shivering happens when the weather is too cold for you. When you start to shiver, get yourself to somewhere warm or rub your hands together to radiate some warmth across your body.

When you shiver, it means that your body is trying to tell you that it’s too cold and you need to go somewhere warmer. To counteract that, get a thick jacket or blanket to cover your body when you shiver. If you have something warm like coffee or tea, have a drink to increase the temperature of your body.

Be careful if you are shivering too much; at one point, the shivering may suddenly stop but this does not mean your body is back to its normal temperature. Studies have shown that people with hypothermia will reach a certain body temperature where the body actually stops shivering as it gets colder.

Exposing yourself for too long to cold temperatures can result in abnormally low body temperatures. This can affect your brain in harmful ways which you definitely do not want to happen.

Hypothermia usually happens at very cold temperatures, but it can also happen if a person is chilled by cold water or rain.

The CDC has a helpful guide to identifying symptoms of hypothermia; you should read it to prepare yourself to help someone who may suffer from the condition.

Eat foods that are rich in fat to keep you warm

Eating good and healthy food in the winter is a surefire way to fend off colds and flu, but it can also keep you warm during the winter!

Studies have shown that eating healthy fats during the winter speeds up your body’s metabolism. The increased metabolism then warms your body which is extremely helpful during the winter season.

Some of this food include almonds, dark chocolates, avocados, and cheese.

If you are worried about gaining weight, you can always skip the fatty food and try eating warmer foods and drinks. Warm soups and hot beverages like tea can help you to keep warm in New Zealand.

3. Choose a good time to travel to New Zealand

new zealand winter travel

The best time to travel to New Zealand is during the holiday seasons. For instance, Ramadan or Hari Raya (Eid al-Fitr) celebrations and the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations are good dates to travel to the country.

If you want to enjoy New Zealand’s winter activities such as skiing, traveling to the country anywhere between to June to August is a good choice as that period is winter season in New Zealand.

Again, if you’ve never visited a country in the winter season before, remember to pack warm clothing with you.

June and July are also holiday seasons in South East Asian schools and offices which makes it prime time for you to visit New Zealand.

As we’ve mentioned earlier, Eid al-Fitr dates are a good choice to travel to New Zealand as crowds usually move out of the country for a while to return to their homelands. If you are a not a fan of large crowds, consider these months as your travel date.

A surging trend among South East Asian tourists is to visit the country during Chinese New Years which is usually in February–the final month of summer in New Zealand.

Traveling to the country during the later stages of summer means that you encounter fewer crowds as well as enjoying lower prices for activities and events.

About the Road Trip

We have a reputation for preparation and detail that goes above and beyond – making excellent recommendations for your itinerary as well as including the best stops to enjoy the scenery and take memorable photos on your next time.

We offer a wide choice of private tour packages and you can select one based on your needs and travel expectations.

From an 8-day Winterless North private guided tour that covers the very best of the North Island, to a 14-day self-drive adventure in New Zealand’s South Island, we’ve got your traveling needs covered.

We’ll be happy to discuss your interests and the length of your stay, before putting together an itinerary that is tailored exclusively for you.

Click here to learn more.

What’s next?

Over here at The Road Trip, we have several tour packages on offer for visitors.

We are one of the leading tour provider in New Zealand with a host of awards under our name. You can check out our client testimonials over here.

To get in touch with us, send us an e-mail by heading over to this page or call us at 0800 4 ROADTRIP if you are in New Zealand or +64 2191 0433 if you are outside of New Zealand.