You have this picture in mind of far away New Zealand: freeeeee, wild and empty? Hmmm. It’s not. But it’s for sure a good country for the travel-beginners: very easy and very beautiful.
Why is it (too?) easy?
1. Language: English. Sometimes maybe not the easiest English to understand, but it’s still English. And you can talk with just anybody!: policeman, homeless, lady in the little village and Maori kids (nice change after some Maya villages or Azeri mountains, where we were sometimes using our hands to communicate)…
… you don’t learn new languages.
2. Crazy organised base for travellers: car rentals, caravans, camping grounds, “outdoor” shops, hostels, hotels, in the towns signs where is free toilet and drinking water…
…those colourful caravans “Jucy”, “Wicked” or “Crazy” are simply everywhere! You can not meet a local for a day or two, but you will meet twenty of caravans. It’s more difficult to find a wild place to camp than a clean, cool, wifi connected and even not expensive camp ground (see: DOC Camp Sites Map).
3. Very good roads, not too big distances (easy to cross the whole country), well signed parkings, turns and lookouts…
…sometimes you feel like an idiot, when there are sings “here there is an amazing view”, “turn right and you will see the mountain”, “hot water can be very hot” etc etc.
4. Many and easy to find: petrol stations, shops with everything, internet, ATMs…
…no BUT. Saying that finding a shop with chocolate, after days of looking for it is maybe stupid? On the other hand this is also a beauty of travels, that things don’t come so easily?
5. Many very impressive and easy to access places: at the sea, at the rivers, at the lakes, in the mountains…
…then you meet tons of people watching it with you.
6. A lot of things to “do”: except of just routes to hike, hundreds of jet-boats, kayak rentals, bike trips, bungee jumping, sky diving, 1-hour-tours, 2-hour-tours, 5-hour-tours, 3-week-tours…
…if you like it…
7. Travelling with kids: there are a lot of kids in Kiwi towns, so people are used to them in the shops, bars, beaches, are very friendly, everywhere there are kids seats, kids menus, etc etc…
…we haven’t seen ANY family travelling with kids (except one Polish), all were locals!
8. Kiwi people: are very friendly or at least very polite and helpful. If you ask anybody for the way, he will always look for a map, check his iphone or call somebody else…
…you can be never sure if they really like you and are friendly because of it. “Perfect”, “awesome”, “cool” – they say all the time, always with smile, always “no problem, it’s alllllll right”
9. It’s super safe: you feel safe any time, in any part of the country. Even the police doesn’t wear the guns with them. After Guatemala or south Russia – a nice difference!
10. Wild? Maybe on the pictures. All the country is private owned, so along every road there is a fence. You can get only there, where they allow you to go. There are not many roads, which lead to nowhere, or to some cosy corner of the forest. Free camping is not allowed (but possible;), it’s strange to ask a local if you can stay in his garden if 5km before and 5km after there is a good camping ground…
…it all makes sense, from New Zealand perspective. If you have so many tourists and travellers (2,5mln a year, in compare to 4,5mln citizens…), you have to organise it in some way. But forget about freedom and wildness, if you think about this country.
All in all?
If you think about starting to travel and camp, sleep in the car or in the tent, travel and cook with your even very small kids: New Zealand is perfect for you!
And if you like a bit more challenges, real (not paid) adventures and taste of something “different”: go somewhere else and come back to New Zealand when you are retired ;)
Our first book is out!
We have published our first book (for now just in Polish:) about our Central America Trip.
See, read and order here »