We spent a lot of time travelling around New Zealand and wouldn’t hesitate to drop everything and go back and do it all over again. It seems as though everyone just goes to Australia and forgets about the incredible set of islands just to the east. Not to mention there are no deadly bugs in New Zealand so you don’t have to worry about being bitten and dying…just sayin.
We can’t even begin to fully describe how incredible this country actually is. From it’s beaches to it’s mountains from it’s animals to it’s people and from it’s fine restaurants to it’s small food shacks. Everything here is worth seeing and experiencing.
So here are 13 Reasons why you need to visit New Zealand right now:
1) It is extremely easy to get around.
We can’t emphasize enough how easy it is to travel around this country. Not only is hitch hiking socially acceptable but you will see hitchhikers everywhere and kiwi’s have no problem picking them up either. If hitchhiking isn’t your thing you can also hop on the system of buses that tote tourists all around the country and work as an ‘hop on, hop off’ service. Hop on the bus in one town and get off in the next, spend a week in one place or not, when you are ready to leave just hop on the next one and continue on your way. Maybe you want a bit more freedom and want to do what the majority of travellers do and buy/rent a campervan to live in, well guess what, you can do that too! There is a massive network of backpackers buying and selling campervans (check out some tips on buying on here and on living in on here) and most of them are pretty cozy too!
2) The Landscapes are beautiful
Describing the landscapes of New Zealand is pretty close to impossible. It’s so diverse you can go from the grassy countryside to ocean front to mountain range within hours, you’re never more than about three hours away from the ocean. Certain areas in the country actually manage to incorporate all three of those things into one and it’s nothing short of spectacular, sort of like Kaikoura.
3) They have the best coffee ever
Everywhere you go has a full blown espresso machine ready to make you the perfect latte. Even the gas stations offer a full service espresso bar. Try a flat white and get a real New Zealand coffee experience!
4) There’s no reason to wear shoes
This was one thing we thought was sort of weird at first and then afterwards we learned to somewhat envy how carefree kiwi’s are when it comes to footwear. It seems like no one in New Zealand bothers to wear shoes, not while driving, not while going to the grocery store, and certainly not when grabbing a bite to eat. Honestly after a while it’s pretty freaking fantastic to live without shoes.
5) Visit Milford Sound
Again, this one is impossible to truly describe (but we do try here). If this isn’t already one of the natural wonders of the world (which we are pretty sure it isn’t) it totally should be. It’s absolutely breathtaking and is one of the only places in the world with black coral making the water look dark and mysterious. This area receives around nine meters of rain per year, which means you are bound to get some very beautiful moody pictures! Also consider whether you want to Kayak or Cruise the Sound, we help you with that decision here.
6) You can visit Queenstown and Wanaka
Queenstown is known as the adventure capital of the world and offers views like this:
A one hour drive will get you through the Crown Range to Wanaka which offers views like this:
7) It has some of the best mountain biking
We might not have had the best ending to our Mountain Biking adventure in Wanaka however, the bike ride itself was absolutely unreal! Even for an intermediate track there were tons of great corners and turns, jumps and scenery. Read more about our not so grand mountain biking adventure here, but don’t let that ruin it for you!
8) Tim Tams and Bundaberg Ginger Beer
Whether or not you like sweets, you need to pick yourself up some Tim Tams! They’re one of the best little chocolate biscuits that seem to be hidden in that corner of the world. Binge eat on some sugar and get yourself a Ginger Beer, now don’t be fooled this is not actually beer but a pop (or soda if you will, if you’re a kiwi you may call it fizz). If you’ve ever had Ginger Ale it’s very similar but a little bit more gingery, it’s seriously addictive and something you absolutely have to try. But be warned, you’re going to miss it when you leave the country and no longer have access to it, we crave it daily.
9) Friendliest People
As Canadians we know how nice people can be, Kiwi’s give Canadians a run for their money in the kindness department. It would be seriously interesting to figure out which country was actually more friendly, we can guarantee it would be pretty close!
10) You can dig your own hot tub
Of all the things we did while travelling around the country this was by far one of the coolest and most unique of them all. Between the high and low tide reaches there is a natural hot spring that filters up through the sand so when you dig a hole in the sand it begins to form a hot water pool. Dig it big enough and you can sit in it like a natural hot tub! But beware certain parts of the beach get incredibly hot, so hot you can actually burn yourself!
11) You can Zorb
This sport was actually invented in New Zealand and remains one of the best places in the world to do it. Think of putting yourself inside of a gerbil ball and rolling down a hill. It’s seriously one of the coolest things you could ever do and we recommend not skipping out on this activity, even though it can be somewhat pricey it’s worth every penny. We highly recommend zorbing in Rotorua with Ogo, their zig-zag track is out of this world fun!
12) See the glow worm caves
Now you don’t necessarily have to pay for glow worm caves, we managed to avoid paying for it and honestly got pretty lucky because the more popular glow worm caves were actually closed for renovations anyways. We made our way to the Waipu caves just south of Whangarei, these caves had absolutely amazing glow worms and it was completely free! We even heard one person say they saw more glow worms in the Waipu caves than the more popular costly caves!
13) Visit the Real Middle Earth
If there is one thing that is unmistakably New Zealand it’s the reputation it holds as being the Real Middle Earth. Everywhere you go you are able to visit filming locations from both of Peter Jackson’s trilogies, The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings. When you arrive at those filming locations they are untouched and look almost exactly like the scenes in the movie. We went to a lot of the filming locations because we are such huge fans and we pleasantly surprised at how truly untouched they seemed. You can find a list of the South Island filming locations here. Dont forget about being able to visit Hobbiton itself! Read more about our visit to Hobbiton here.
You truly feel like you are traveling through Middle Earth.
New Zealand has a sort of magic to it that we haven’t really been able to find anywhere else. Which is we came up with these 13 reasons why you need to visit New Zealand right now!
Have you ever been to New Zealand? What would be your reason for going back?