10 Things Travelers Need to Know about New Zealand

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New Zealand. It is a country that is sweet as, ‘ey.

Here are 10 interesting (and random) facts I collected throughout my five weeks traveling the country.

1. Almost all backpackers carry around eskies (re: coolers) or some kind of shopping bag filled with food. One of the best ways to budget in New Zealand is to cook your meals instead of eating out, so many travelers buy things in bulk like instant noodles, oatmeal, bread and the like, and carry them around until they need to re-stock. I felt like the odd one out when I did not have a shopping bag.

2. Sandflies are lethal. The South Island specifically is ridden with sandflies, and they may leave you wanting to amputate your limbs because they itch so badly. Many a New Zealand traveler leaves this country with tattooed with scars from scratching.

3. You should travel there before 2050. According to the guide on my ice explorer climb in Franz Josef, given the rate at which Franz Josef Glacier is currently receding, scientists predict that it will be gone by 2050. Franz Josef Glacier is currently one of three glaciers in the entire world that runs into a temperate rainforest. This is a must-visit in New Zealand.

4. No New Zealand trip is complete without a visit to Fergburger. Queenstown’s Fergburger is the champion of New Zealand, though it is in a bitter rivalry with Fat Tui just outside of Abel Tasman National Park. As a New Yorker, I found Fergburger to be a bit overrated, but it did make for an awesome birthday dinner.

5. Hitchhiking is a popular way to get around. There are heaps of travelers making their way around New Zealand by hitchhiking. Though it is never a guaranteed safe way to travel no matter what country you are in, New Zealand is known to be a friendly country that welcomes its travelers and gives you a helping hand along the way.

6. You will be showered with starlit skies. I am talking drenched. Maybe I am just starry sky obsessed, but these skies are so vibrant you can see the Milky Way on a regular basis, especially in places like Mount Cook, National Park (if you stay there to do the Tongariro Crossing) and Abel Tasman.

7. There is hiking, and then there is tramping. I never heard of the word tramping before I got to New Zealand, and to be honest I am still not completely 100 percent sure on the difference between the two. I think tramping is somewhat more in the backcountry of New Zealand and more off the beaten path than hiking is (based on stories from “trampers” I met in my dorm rooms), but don’t hold me to that.

8. Everything is “sweet as” and everything ends in ” ‘ey”. In New Zealand, Kiwis describe almost everything as “sweet as“. Additionally, almost every sentences ends with ” ‘ey” at the end – and it is not always said with the uppity-volume when you ask a question. It is just plain and simple. For example, “This is a classic Kiwi film, ‘ey” or “You’ll be all right, ‘ey”. Sometimes, they would combine the two and make it “That is sweet as, ey”. These two phrases are sort of like the head bob in India, the “same same but differnet” in Southeast Asia and the “good on ya!” bouncing around Australia.

9. Everyone is German. I mean everyone. There are probably more Germans in New Zealand than there are in Germany. There might even be more Germans in New Zealand than there are Kiwis. I would be interested in the results of such a survey.

10. New Zealand is one of the most beautifully diverse countries you will ever travel. Travelers always have differing opinions from country to country, but the opinion on New Zealand seems to be universal: Stunning, gorgeous, beautiful, friendly, a country unlike any other. New Zealand is like six countries smashed into one. It leaves everyone who visits in awe, so be prepared to be blown away.

4 comments on “10 Things Travelers Need to Know about New Zealand

  1. Agreed!!! it takes ALOT for a country to impress me but I have to say New zealand is probably one of the best places I have traveled to in my life. Wish I could have done it with you!!!

    • Leanney, thank you so much for always following my blog and being so supportive! One day we will travel together :)

  2. Awe, that’s a pretty sweet post, aye bro.

    • Haha, glad you liked it, Lisa!

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