Things to Remember When Visiting New Zealand for the First Time

You can spend days exploring New Zealand, and it still won’t enough. To see as much as you can, better plan ahead. It also pays to know more about the local custom to avoid any misunderstanding. Here are some tips that can make your trip hassle-free.

1. Choose a suitable transport.

You could get a car rental in Auckland to drive around New Zealand. If you’re from a country such as the US, remember that in this country, they drive on the left side of the road. You also need to learn the local driving rules. Always exercise caution since you’re driving for the first time on unfamiliar highways.

There are also other options for travelling around the country. There are buses available and regular ferry services to the South Island. For nature lovers, biking and hiking are also options.

Cyclists, however, need to follow local laws, which include wearing a helmet. For hikers, it’s highly recommended to travel in groups.

2. Mind the weather.

New Zealand’s climate is a bit unusual. You get to experience four seasons within a day. Summer days are short and start in late December. Winter is also not the best time for beach parties as the cold temperature makes it almost impossible to enjoy the waters.

3. Watch your expenses.

The prices in New Zealand’s restaurants and shops are a bit steep compared with other countries. Better watch your expenses, or you will run out cash. Before going out, check the local prices first. You could also opt to make your meals and buy the ingredients from the market.

4. Be mindful when visiting a marae.

Getting to know the Maori custom will save you from potential embarrassment. For example, the Maori don’t permit footwear when inside the Marae (literally, a meeting ground) where Maori communities get together. Learning to speak local phrases can help you converse and understand what’s going on.

5. Tips are not necessary.

Kiwis don’t encourage tips, but you can give at your discretion. If you must, tip at around 10 per cent, but no more than that.

6. Never barter.

The locals are not fond of bartering, so don’t even try. They also don’t appreciate haggling. Once you see the marked price, it’s unlikely the vendor will lower it.

New Zealand offers a lot of places to explore. The people are generally warm and friendly. There is a reason The Lord of the Rings was filmed there. You will know for sure when you get there.