Yes, we know that New Zealand is a 10-hour flight away and return air tickets can be about 10 times the cost of flying to somewhere around South East Asia – but hear us out. The money and time spent is totally worth it, because the memories you’ll make in this gorgeous country is priceless.
Let us tell you 8 reasons why New Zealand is for everyone.
1. It’s perfect for all kinds of adventurers.
Pristine, untouched natural wonders like glaciers, mountains, forests, beaches, lakes, rivers, and more, are made very accessible by the Department of Conservation of New Zealand.
It doesn’t matter if you’re 3-years-old (or you’re carrying a 3-year-old), an unfit desk-bound worker, or a silver-haired adventurer with more spirit than physical prowess; whether you have an hour to spare or want to live out in the wilderness for a few days – there’s always some kind of spellbinding sight accessible for you to take in.
2. It’s got four seasons.
While the weather in New Zealand leans towards the cooler spectrum, their summers can still get pretty warm. Whether you’re looking for a winter wonderland holiday or a surf in the sun, a chance to catch red-orange autumn foliage or the blooming of gorgeous spring blossoms, Aotearoa (aoh-tay-ah-roah), The Land of the Long White Cloud) will get you your fix.
Winter is between June and August, and summer is between December and February.
3. You can choose between city-living or a stay in the countryside.
If you truly wanna get away from it all, head out to the smaller towns or back country. Use platforms like Airbnb, Workaway, Helpx or WWOOF New Zealand, to find residences in off the beaten track locations.
With the latter three avenues, travellers do a little bit of work in exchange for food and accommodation, so you can live cheaply in the country and experience life as a local.
If you can’t get enough of the buzz of the city, with its modern conveniences, a variety of cuisines and shops, then it’s all there for you too. Which brings us to the next point…
4. It’s got great shopping.
Farmers markets are a huge thing in Kiwi culture. They’re a great place to find locally-created and/or locally-grown foods, handcrafted knick-knacks, home-made beauty products, art pieces, clothes, and more.
Make sure to take home some Pounamu, or New Zealand jade, a gorgeous greenstone that is significant to the indigenous Maoris. You’ll find these markets easily, anywhere, from the bustling cities to quiet towns.
Want more modern, cutting-edge designs? Cities like Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin are home to boutiques stocked with local designer threads, luxury labels, high-street brands and vintage stores.
5. You can eat really well.
New Zealand boasts some of the world’s finest wines, freshest produce and dairy products, honey and craft beers, since everything is grown in such pristine environments.
Try your best to participate in a hangi (hah-ngi) meal – a traditional cooking method used by the Maoris. Meat and root vegetables are cooked for hours under the earth using hot rocks – turning them into intensely smokey, flavourful and tender morsels.
Kiwis are also very good with their sweeties, be sure to try their lolly cake (a colourful slice made with biscuit crumbs, condensed milk and a marshmallow-like candy), ambrosia (a yoghurt and cream-based dessert with marshmallows and chocolate), and trifle (a layered dessert made with custard, fruits and fruit jelly, cream and sponge cake).
6. The stories of the indigenous people can be appreciated by anyone.
Given that New Zealand is an isolated island far away from the rest of the world, its discovery gives it an interesting history.
The indigenous people of the land, the Maoris, pass down their traditions, knowledge, and stories orally. Their myths and legends are particularly riveting, often involving taniwhas (tah-ni-fahs; monsters or spirits), a brave warrior, and magic.
You can find out about them by visiting a museum, watching a cultural performance, or even making friends with a Maori.
7. Making friends with locals is super easy.
Whether you’re a solo traveller or with a bunch of friends, it’s super easy to become buddies with a Kiwi. You’ll often find that the locals will go above and beyond to help, or invite you for a meal, a drink, or even a Rugby game.
8. There’s a right place for you – no matter your interest.
Love surfing? Head for Raglan.
A bit of an adventure junkie? Visit Queenstown.
There’s Marlborough for vineyard tours and wine tasting, Wellington for your arts, culture and nightlife fix, Nelson for the yoga and spiritual community, Kaikoura for marine wildlife watching and seafood, Auckland for eating and shopping – and heeeaps more. If you need a recommendation, just ask a local!
There’s plenty to see and do in New Zealand, so you should start planning a vacation there soon! Make sure to get more air miles on your booking by using the UOB PRVI Miles Card or the DBS Woman’s World MasterCard. Don’t forget the travel insurance too!