New Zealand is truly an amazing country. Being slightly larger in size than the UK, it is packed with a spectacular landscape: primeval forests, vast tussock grassland, snow-capped mountains, windswept beaches, craggy coastlines and bubbling volcanic pools. Besides its unparalleled scenery, it also offers unlimited activities for those who know how to enjoy life on the quiet, as well as for those who seek the thrill.
The seemingly endless possibilities in this country are overwhelming and you can easily lose track of what’s going on. So, it’s crucial to plan your trip roughly before setting off. New Zealand might appear small on a map, but the distances in reality are considerably long and may fool many. Therefore, allow yourself at least five weeks for the whole trip in order to cover all the main sights and gain a reasonable insight into this unique culture.
Having made up your mind concerning the time you’d like to spend in New Zealand, it is also important to decide how you want to discover this country. There are several bus companies which offer guided tours all around the two islands and you are free to hop on or off at most of the places (if you feel like spending more time somewhere). This kind of travelling might be especially suitable for backpackers with a smaller budget or for those who want to meet a lot of new, like-minded people.
Discovering New Zealand with a car, though, doesn’t restrict you at all and gives you a feeling of complete freedom. This freedom, on the other hand, has certainly its price, yet it’s worth digging deep in your pocket since a lot of stunning areas are lying hidden off the beaten track.
Once you are on the road, don’t get too carried away and spend all your money at one place. It would be a shame to miss out on a hike on Fox glacier or a kayak trip in the Abel Tasman National Park, for example. Bear your financial situation in mind and spend your money wisely.
All in all, no matter how long you’d like to stay in New Zealand, nor how you want to travel around, this country will please you in every aspect. Not without reason do the Kiwis call their country “Godzone” (God’s own country).
Story contributed by by Mirjam Schnarwiler, a CPE student at Languages International Auckland