WOW. Possibly one of the most beautiful places on earth, it has got the locals with the most swag and funny personalities I’v met worldwide, combined with everything a new and seasoned traveler could possibly want. I completed the North Island with the tour bus company Kiwi Experience, and then drove solo in a campervan around the South Island. It was the best of both worlds, and one of the highlights of my trip.
North Island South Island
Bay of Islands Lake Tekapo
Cathedral Cove Queenstown
Rotorua Milford Sound
Taupo Franz Josef
Tongario Crossing Abel Tasmam
River valley Kaikora
SO WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT TO SPEND THERE?
A LOT. It is the adventure capital of the world, so you may as well cough up and enjoy it. Youcan do everything from hiking, rafting, skydiving, bungy jumping, snowboarding and even surfing. It is well set up for travellers, whether you are apart of a tour bus, hiring a camper or even hitchhiking your way around the country. Yes, you will spend a lot of money, and maybe even have to go home a month earlier than you wanted because you ran out of money (probs should have attempted to budget a bit…) but New Zealand and the experiences and memories you can take away from there will be more than worth it.
ACCOMODATION – there are plenty of hostels around NZ, there are the well known chain ones such as Base, which offer all amenties budget travellers want, ones that are a part of an experience, such as the Maori Tribe experience accomodation and then good old budget backpacker hostels. Dorms are between 20-30 NZD per night, with private rooms and hotels being anything from 50 NZD and upwards. There are plenty of campsites, and cheap places to park your camper, if youhave a fully self-contained camper then there are some areas you can park for free.
some of the hostels I stayed in were –
FOOD – Eating out is really expensive here. A restaurant meal can cost around 35-40 NZD. If you choose to cook your food, plan to spend about 75 NZD per week, or share with other backpackers and bulk buy. You can find sandwiches for 8 NZD and fast food like McDonald’s or Burger King will cost between 7-15 NZD. Drinks at the bar will soon add up and eat into your budget at around 8 NZD, especially in places like Queenstown, with the variety of bars of the famous Ferg Burgers on offer.
GETTING AROUND – with it not being a huge country it is actually pretty easy to get around, and the drive aint half bad either. There are a variety of bus services on offer, The Kiwi Experience, the Naked Bus (you don’t have to get naked, don’t worry!), and then Stray. These do seem quite pricey, but you are automatically with like minded travellers and can jump on and off and stay longer in places you wish to stay, so the flexibility is pretty good! Just keep your eyes open for promotional offers and discounts are these are fairly common. For getting between the 2 islands, you can fly or take the ferry. Campers vary in price depending on how long you want them for, and if you are returning them to the original location. I will do a post listing my entire spends for the south island campervan trip!
WHAT SHALL I DO THERE? – I would budget quite a bit for activities, they are all very outdoorsy and centre around challenging yourself, getting your heart rate going and having fun. Activities can cost anywhere from 100-600 NZD. To name a few you can: spa in natural springs (free!), skydive, climb Mount Doomat the Tongario Crossing and walk through Mordor and Hobbitton (LOTR fans scream here), bungy jump, canyon swing, white water rafting, climb through glowworm filled caves, swim with wild dolphins, cake dive with sharks, learn about the Maori culture… I could go on and on.