Tips and Guide
This overview of budget backpacking New Zealand covers:
General costs, things to know, tips, transport, accommodation options and my overall experience of the country.
Welcome to middle earth…
When Peter Jackson thought about turning the Lord of the rings books into movies, you can see why he didn’t need to stretch his imagination too much in terms of where to set the movie and what landscape to use. There was no need for a make belief world to be dreamt up, he just needed to see what was around him.
The two volcanic Islands that make up New Zealand make this country one of the world’s hotbeds for tectonic activity and geothermal phenomena.
While the Lord of the Rings movies may have exposed and made New Zealand even more famous, there is so much more to this country.
Home of Kiwis, Mauri’s, the Haka, the extreme sports capital of the Southern Hemisphere and the adventure travelers heaven. With hiking, mountaineering, caving, skydives, bungee jumps, mountain biking, white water rafting to name just a few activities. It’s one of the worlds geothermal wonders, with volcanoes, black sand beaches, hot springs, sulfur pools, geysers, wide mountain ranges, and Glaciers. Then there’s it’s natural charm and beauty….And it’s the only place on earth you can eat a Fergburger!
The thing is these are just words until you experience and travel New Zealand for yourself you can’t get a true sense of how amazing this country is. What I can say is, when you’re backpacking through New Zealand you’ll forget the rest of the world exists.
Backpacking New Zealand tips:
- Renting a car or campervan is a great way to explore and backpack through New Zealand rather than organized bus tours.
- Traveling through New Zealand will make you feel like you’re in a fantasy world.
- There are designated campsites throughout the country – some are very cheap
- New Zealanders are known as ‘kiwis’ – they’re a friendly bunch but might take some getting used their accent. for example; eggs are pronounced as ‘iggs’ and chips are pronounced as ‘chups’.
- As you’re backpacking New Zealand you will come across so many hidden gems.
- New Zealand can be quite expensive – Be sure to budget well (covered more below).
- Be prepared to see a lot of sheep.
- Not surprisingly New Zealand is known to have the best Lamb in the world, and also very big on its dairy.
- Be prepared to have your breath taken away every day.
- Take clothes for all-weather conditions – Wellington is always windy no matter what time of year it is.
- New Zealand is the adventure capital of the Southern Hemisphere.
- Winter in New Zealand is when the South Island comes alive.
- If you’re planning on learning Skiing or snowboarding remember ski passes can be quite expensive.
- Backpackers go to Queenstown – And don’t leave! There’s a reason it’s known as Neverland.
- Try a Fergburger in Queenstown.
- Do a skydive in Franz Joseph (incredible views of snow-capped mountains and the glaciers)
- Drinking ‘just one more’ leads to being out until the sun comes out.
- Be sure to check out the Southern Fiords like the Milford sounds.
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