No picture can capture the beauty of majestic New Zealand. The fact that is the most remote country in the world had help it’s beauty to stay wild and intact. Known as the adventure capital of the world here the main attraction is Mother Nature. From epic hikes, skydiving, bungy jumping, skiing, caving or just cruising in any of their thousand lakes, New Zealand is here to mesmerize you.
Although movies like Lord of the Rings had made its epic landscapes recognizable and famous to the popular eye, surprisingly not much people take up on the journey to get down here. If the access was easy tourists would overwhelm the place affecting the paradisiacal landscape for sure. If you want to get to heaven…you must travel far! New Zealand is one of my favorite places on earth. If you have unlimited time and have to pick between the north and the southern island, GO SOUTH!
The North Island of New Zealand is known for its volcanic activity, national parks and cosmopolitan cities. All the gay night life of the country is located on this side. Home to about three-quarters of New Zealand’s population, it has the country’s largest city, Auckland. Surrounded by bays and islands, it’s known as the “the City of Sails.”
At its southern tips is harbourside capital Wellington, home to the national museum, Te Papa. This town is Kiwi’s version of Melbourne. Also here you will find the famous Hobbiton town movie set of The Lord of the Rings film trilogy and The Hobbit film series. But don’t leave the northern island without visiting the Waitomo glowing caves, it is one of the wonders of New zealand natural treasures.
Where the wild things are! The most jaw dropping scenery I have seen in My life. Make sure to stay at least a week in Queenstown, summer or winter this is the outdoor action capital of the world, with so many activities and things to do you will not want to rush it. From Milford Sound to Mount Cook, from the best vineyard of the world to icebergs of Josef Glacier. The southern Island of New Zealand is probably one of the most beautiful scenic places on earth.
- Luxury Hotels The best rated rooms in luxury hotels can be found for $400 NZ
- Budget hotels, you are looking to spend at least around $75-95 NZ for a double room, private bathroom, TV, and breakfast.
- Hostels can start at $15 NZ per night for a dorm room, though they can get as high as $40 in the big coastal cities. Private rooms with a double bed and a shared bathroom in hostels range between 60-100 NZ per night.
- Airbnb can be an option if this is the budget you are working with. Larger, chain hotels cost closer to $200 NZ.
- Camping costs between $25-40 NZ per night for a spot that can either be for an RV or tent. For more specific information, visit the camping National Park website of the region you are looking to camp in.
Food prices are similar to New York City prices. Almost every entree costs $20 NZ or more, even two fried eggs with some bread. Doing groceries can be your safest bet. If you cook your meals, expect to pay $70-90 NZ per week for groceries. Grab and go places cost around $8-10 NZ for sandwiches. Fast food is around $15 NZ for a meal. The best values are street Sushi where you can get a filling roll for $3 NZ.
The easiest way to get around the country is by renting your own car or mini. You can find them as cheap as $20 NZ a day! Flying can be another option specially when deciding to cross from North to Southern Island. If you book your flight in advance with Jetset, or Virgin Australia, they all offer incredibly cheap options to and from the main cities and destinations.
Avoid the KIWI experience at all costs: tours begin at $1,000 NZ and go all the way to $8,000 NZ. They are expensive, long, and uncomfortable trips that you can do and have way more fun if planning by yourself or by meeting backpackers on the road. The most popular and cheapest way to travel is to drive yourself. If you are going to be here for a couple of months and you’re coming with a group of friends, renting a van or a 4 x 4 can be the most fun and exciting way to explore the country.
Multi-day activities and tours are expensive, generally costing $300-540 NZ. Day trips will cost about $135-230 NZ. For example, a one-day trip to Milford Sounds from Queenstown can cost $150 NZ, while a wine tasting tour can cost upwards of $200 NZ. Out door activities like bungy jumping or skydiving can be up to $300 NZ. Fast boat tours can be find as high as $190 NZ. But guess what? The best thing of New Zealand are the hikes, and walking is free 😉
MONEY SAVING TIPS
GET A SIM CARD
The telephone companies Telstra and Optus have really improved their services, and they offer great phone packages that have great coverage throughout the country. Their call/text rates aren’t that high either, so the credit will last you awhile.
DON’T DRINK OR SMOKE
This is a great opportunity to go sober and connect with nature and save probably over a thousand dollars on your trip. Everything here in New Zealand is taxed heavily, so a drink in a bar can easily cost you $14-20 NZ depends how fancy the venue is.
Australia is a big country that can be expensive to get around. If you are traveling with friends, it’s smart to buy a used car or campervan (or rent a new one from one of the many rental companies in the country) and split the costs of gas. You can also hitch a ride with other travelers using sites like Gumtree, Jayride, or a hostel message board.
This country has a lot of exciting activities and tours that eat into any budget. Booking activities together through a hostel or tour agency will get you a discount and save you hundreds of dollars as a repeat customer.
GET FREE WIFI
Libraries, Starbucks, McDonald’s and some of the popular cities like Queenstown have free wi-fi that you can use. Don’t eat their food, seriously! Just get the free wifi and go!
WORK FOR YOUR ROOM
Many hostels offer travelers the chance to work for their accommodation. In exchange for a few hours a day of cleaning, you get a free bed. Commitments vary, but most hostels ask you to stay at least a week.
WWOOFing is a great way to work for your accommodation and food. In return for working on a farm or B&B, you get free food and board. You can do it for a few days or a few months. Keep in mind, most farms will require you to have some experience, as too many inexperienced workers have caused trouble in the past.
(New Zealand does not offer a gay nightlife offer worth of creating gay city guides, this is not a place you come to party, but hey! Maybe you meet the man of your dreams hiking the highest pick of a mountain. Aukland and Wellington are the only cities with small gay bars.)