New Zealand, practical travel information


What to do and what to see in New Zealand in just 15 days, how to get around, rent a camper or a car, where to sleep and what not to miss in this magical land, all the practical information here.

I recently realized a dream, I took a trip to New Zealand. I'm sure this destination tickles many of you who read. New Zealand is a beautiful, varied, in some ways primitive land, which deserves to be explored far and wide for the vastness of the landscapes and the natural beauty. Here is some practical information on how to organize your trip, divided by points that seem to me to be salient.



New Zealand, practical travel information

When to leave for New Zealand

New Zealand is in thesouthern hemisphere, with seasons reversed compared to us. The two islands that make up the country have different and varied landscapes, from the chain of Alps to almost tropical beaches. So the choice of the season also depends on what you want to do when you are there: beach life, winter sports, trekking? I went in August, which is the end of winter. I've found temperatures ranging from a few degrees above freezing to over 20 degrees.



New Zealand, practical travel information

The beauty of winter is that there are few tourists around, the accommodation facilities are open and free, perhaps even cheaper. The people met on the spot and the guides on the market say that in the summer certain tourist resorts are really taken by storm.

How to get to New Zealand

The choice is obligatory, given the distance: by plane. New Zealand is practically the antipodes and it takes two days of travel to go, while to return you gain a calendar day. I flew with Emirates, from Madrid: for such a long journey I wanted a good level of comfort and in fact I had it. Emirates above all, it has an impeccable service on board. The route I took was this: Malpensa-Dubai-Sydney-Christchurch outward; Auckland-Dubai-Malpensa on the way back. The choice of stopover is linked to where you plan to start the tour. I think it is worthwhile, however, to avoid the stopover in Australia to move more easily with internal flights Air New Zealand o Jet Star. There are airports everywhere, but the main ones are in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Queenstown.

New Zealand, practical travel information

Travel itinerary in New Zealand

New Zealand extends over two islands: South Island e North Island. You will still have to think about taking a ride, starting from one point and returning away from another unless you have more than a month available. Traveling both islands takes time. I left Christchurch, South Island, to go up north, cross the strait that divides the two islands and then continue the exploration of the North, leaving for Italy from Auckland. To cross the strait it is necessary to board a ferry Interislanders which takes three and a half hours in the crossing, the cost is about 200 NZD (New Zealand dollars). The ferry connects Wellington (the capital, North Island) with Picton (South Island).



New Zealand, practical travel information
New Zealand, practical travel information

Getting around in New Zealand

Here are various options; camper, auto for hire or bus line, while railways are in short supply in this country. I rented a camper, which is the most "kiwi" way to get around. After the shock of driving on the left, this option seems advisable to me: it offers great freedom of movement, you save considerably by managing your meals independently and the town is well equipped to accommodate campers with free parking areas equipped with toilets and water. The important thing is that the camper is "self contained", ie it has a toilet inside and does not drain outside.

New Zealand, practical travel information

Of course also i campgrounds are widespread, both those managed by individuals and those managed by the DOC (Department of Conservation). For the rental of the camper I recommend the company Jucy which has colorful and compact means, at affordable prices (100 NZD per day). The camper I rented belonged to the company Maui / Britz, larger, more comfortable and more expensive.
In winter also the car rental option plus overnight stay in one of the popular motel or in the cabin of a campsite is feasible without any type of reservation, precisely because there are few tourists.
As I have already said, you drive on the left, on state or provincial roads in the middle of the countryside or climbing the mountains. The motorways are very few. The roads, even if they are sometimes narrow, are in excellent condition and more nothing is ever spent on tolls; certainly the times of the journeys must be calculated well (you cannot exceed 100kmh and in some places it is not really possible to go so fast). A peculiarity: there are many rivers, therefore many bridges, and almost all of them with a single carriageway. The right of way is regulated by road signs, never by traffic lights: after all, the streets are quite empty and there are never queues.



New Zealand, practical travel information

New Zealand, how long to stay?

This variable is also personal. Many will say “at least a month” but personally I didn't have such a long vacation period available; I was able to be alone 15 days, moving a lot, seeing a lot but logically having to make choices. It was worth it anyway. In my experience, three weeks is the optimal time to see the most significant places more calmly. Then, of course, being able to afford it a month or even two allows you to have a more complete vision of New Zealand.

New Zealand, practical travel information
New Zealand, practical travel information

What to see in New Zealand

Not wanting to replace the tourist guides and the numerous websites that talk about the country (among all the official site www.newzealand.com) I can tell my impressions.

Auckland is a big city with a bustling center, Queenstown has the charm of the sports center, Nelson it is a placid marina dotted with art galleries, but the cities are certainly not the strong point of this destination. What dominates the traveller's emotion is the nature, with its wonders. Snow-capped mountains, active volcanoes, low-altitude glaciers; rainforests, alpine lakes, rushing rivers, natural parks everywhere.

New Zealand, practical travel information

There are fjords like in Norway, green countryside like in Ireland, fir woods like in Austria, the ocean coast like in Brittany, Caribbean beaches, geothermal phenomena and sulphates like in Pozzuoli, every 20/30 km you you seem to recognize a place that you have already seen but which is different and changes immediately. In New Zealand you go to see and look for this, nature in its pure state, with many animals still present and that you happen to meet, are sheep, whale, sea ​​lion, Penguins o Kiwi. No, I'll be honest, I haven't seen kiwi.

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