Your most pressing FAQs about visiting New Zealand
New Zealand is the other side of the world for most people. So most people have many questions about visiting, here many frequently asked questions are answered
New Zealand is a remote travel destination that many only dream of. It is an island country in the South Pacific and is world famous for its natural beauty and attractions. New Zealand is a paradise for hikers, adventure sports enthusiasts and anyone who loves the great outdoors.
When it comes to wildlife, New Zealand is popular for whale watching in Kaikoura, spotting penguins and for its many unique and bizarre native birds. New Zealand is a far away travel destination that everyone wants to reach exactly if they have the opportunity to travel there.
Is New Zealand similar to Australia?
No. The countries are around 2,000 kilometers apart and have completely different development histories and prehistory of the indigenous people. They differ markedly from each other in almost every respect – climate, flora, fauna, topography and their native population.
The only thing they have in common is colonial history and both are mostly populated from Britain. Politically and culturally, the countries are very similar between the mostly European population groups – but here too there are big differences between the countries.
Snakes: There are no snakes in New Zealand
Dangerous animals: Unlike Australia, there are almost no dangerous animals in New Zealand
Who are the indigenous people of New Zealand?
The indigenous people of New Zealand are the Maoris. They are a Polynesian population who first colonized New Zealand some 700 years ago (New Zealand was the last major landmass discovered and colonized by mankind outside of Antarctica).
The Maori make up around 15% of the population and are considered one of the two main cultures in the nation. Their culture and traditions have had a major impact on shaping New Zealand society, arts and culture.
Aotearoa: The Maori name for New Zealand is often used
The Maoris are related to other Polynesian island populations such as Tahitians and native Hawaiians.
Maori language: An official language of New Zealand
About a third of Maoris can speak their language and is one of the country’s official languages (the others are English and New Zealand Sign Language).
You can see traditional Maori performances and villages in Rotorua and the Treaty of Waitangi site in the North Island.
How much time do I need in New Zealand?
Plan at least 2 weeks in New Zealand. New Zealand is probably very far from your place of origin, so be aware. Don’t make the mistake of only having a few weeks and thinking that you can visit New Zealand, Australia and even Bali in that time. It is better to choose a site.
Minimum: A week for each island
Four weeks: Four weeks is ideal (3 weeks is also ok)
If you have less than two weeks, then you just pick one island to explore. If you absolutely want to see Hobbiton and hike the Tongariro Crossing, then choose the North Island. If you want to see the most dramatic landscapes associated with Lord of the Rings, then choose the South Island.
Three weeks is a good amount of time to see New Zealand, and four weeks is perfect (although even then it’s nowhere near possible to see and do everything in New Zealand).
What are some of the must see and do things in New Zealand?
Queenstown: This alpine resort city is the adventure capital of the country, and possibly the southern hemisphere
Milford Sound: A stunning fjord Ubuitqitou on postcards from New Zealand
Wanaka: One of the most beautiful alpine lakes in the country
Mount Cook: The highest mountain in New Zealand is crowned by glaciers
Fox & Franz Josef Glacier: Notable glaciers that plunge into the rainforests
Nelson: Known for its beaches, sunny weather and pristine forests and coastline
The Tongariro Crossing: The filming location of Mordor – Dramatic volcanic landscapes
Hobbiton: The film set for the picturesque hobbit village
Auckland: Voted the best city to visit in 2022 by Lonely Planet
Kauri Trees: Massive trees in the extreme north of the country
What’s the best way to get around New Zealand?
Public transport in New Zealand wants to put it mildly. If you’re not going on an organized tour, it’s best to hire your own vehicle to get around the country. There are many rental vehicles available for tourists, but one of the most popular options is renting an RV (popularly called a “camper van”).
One of the leading RV rental companies in New Zealand is Maui Rentals.
Public transport: Poor in New Zealand
Top: Rent a car or campervan to explore New Zealand
Next: New Zealand Holiday Guide, The South Island: How to Plan the Perfect Holiday
Your frequently asked questions about visiting California, finally answered
About the author