New Zealand Budget Travel Advice

Milford Sound

New Zealand is the adventure capital of the world and the outdoor person’s paradise. If you want to take part in adrenaline sports, this country has it all. In fact, they have so much that they even started inventing new ways to get your heart pumping. The two islands can be easily traversed by boat and road due to the relatively small size of the country and lack of traffic. If you’ve ever watched Lord of the Rings and dreamed of venturing to Middle Earth, this is it. The whole film was shot here for it’s natural and varied beauty that incorporates rolling hills and desolate mountains. The only downside to NZ is that it isn’t a cheap country. A lot of people choose to rent or buy a vehicle for their stay here so that they can reduce the overall cost of their trip as a combined result of cheap accommodation, food, and transport.

Food and Drink in New Zealand

Eating and drinking out is expensive. Head to the shops to purchase your groceries and ideally cook them at your campsite. Why not have an outdoor party.. New Zealand is one of the most beautiful countries in the world and you wouldn’t want to miss it by sitting inside a bar.

Accommodation in New Zealand

As New Zealand is expensive, I recommend getting hold of your own vehicle if you stay exceeds a few weeks. If you can get a van, sleep in the back of it. Or get a tent and camp. Whether you’re in a vehicle or not, I recommend free camping in New Zealand because it is an expanse of wilderness. There are also a lot of volunteering placements on farms or in hostels, allowing you to stay in one place for an extended period of time if you are happy doing so. Also consider viewing my generic free accommodation pages to help reduce the cost of your trip.

Transport in New Zealand

Getting your own vehicle is one of the best ways to get around and brings you absolute freedom. If you’re fairly athletic, some people choose to cycle around New Zealand due to it’s quiet roads. Hitchhiking is also possible. Alternatively there are tour operators that offer hop-on-hop-off tours around the country. These are generally the worst types of tourists and I avoid them like the plague.

Mountain lake

What to See and Do in New Zealand

Jump Out of Aeroplanes and Off High Platforms. If you’ve never tried skydiving or bungee jumping, this is the perfect country to do it in. There are a lot of companies offering these services all over the country, but during my time here, I found Taupo to be the cheapest location. Plus it has a nice lake.

Go to the Moon. Craters of the moon on the north island is like another plant. Wonder through this alien landscape and wonder how something so surreal came into existence on our planet.

Swim in Natural Hot Springs. New Zealand has a lot of geothermal activity and throughout the year you can find free-to-access streams that are hotter than your bath.

Luge the Street. Queenstown and Rotarua offer downhill street luging. Essentially this is downhill, motor-less go-karting. More than that, it is fairly cheap and a whole lot of fun.

Visit Queenstown. The capital of adrenaline sports, this place is worth a visit just for the gondola ride up the mountain to where the street luge is. To protect your pennies, it’s best not to do any activities here as it is the most expensive place in the country.

Huka Falls. Up to 220,000 litres of water a second flows through an eleven metre gap on a river that provides a significant percentage of the total power of New Zealand. If you want to have  your breath taken away by the strength of nature, this is a good place to start.

Puzzle World. A charming little adventure involving optical illusions and mind tricks in real life. You get to walk around the attractions, get lost in a maze, and touch or play with some of the exhibits.

Do Everything You’ve Never Heard of Before. If your budget permits it, go black water rafting, zorbing, flying by wire, canyon swinging, and everything else that you don’t know. These activities are expensive, but you might not get to do them anywhere else. Pick and choose carefully.

See Penguins. Head south and you will find penguins. At first I thought this was a joke.

Visit Middle Earth. Lord of the Rings was filmed across the country and with a little bit of research, you can find your way to the film spots without having a tour bus take you there.

Get Outdoors. Everything in New Zealand is urging you to get outdoors. You don’t have to pay huge amounts of money to go white water rafting or horse back riding, you just need to get out there. Start walking, looking, and idly wandering. You are in one of the most beautiful countries in the world.

Visit the Sounds. Google image search Milford Sound. Need I say more?

Visit Pancake Rocks. Punakaiki is a truly remarkable rock formation that resembles a stack of pancakes.

Closing Remarks

New Zealand is beautiful and exhilarating. Try and spend an extended period of time exploring all corners of this as-of-yet, unspoilt beauty. If I had to be confined to one country for the rest of my life, I might well ask if it could be this one.

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