The ‘Land of the Kiwis‘ is a neighbouring country of the country of Australia. The best part about visiting New Zealand is that it remains largely untouched by time. It is quietly tucked away into the most unexplored part of the earth. With a hoard of geothermal spas and splendid places for stargazing, nature unfolds itself in a very unique way in New Zealand. Many people visit these two countries together whenever they plan their vacation to the continent. But before you plan a visit to this country, it is important to keep in mind a few useful tips. This guide provides you with some of those tips which will probably be a lifesaver when you plan your vacation to New Zealand.
Safety and what to do ICE
Safety is an important aspect of any vacation and you should always remember that you are in a different country. Every country has its own rules and it is important to make a note of them before you travel to any location which is unexplored. Although New Zealand is an extremely safe country to travel to, avoid carrying too many valuables whenever you venture out. Even after taking your own precautions, if you happen to fall into an emergency situation, fret not. You can always dial 111 and get in touch with ambulance services, the police and the fire department.
Planning and accommodation
A lot of effort should always go into the effective planning of a vacation. New Zealand has elongated coastlines and lush greenery, making it the ideal summer destination. If you are someone who likes to indulge in winter sports and skiing, the winter months would be ideal. It is best to avoid visiting New Zealand during the autumn because the gusty winds would not allow you to enjoy your vacation to the fullest. Budget-friendly accommodations get sold out in a jiffy in New Zealand. If you are someone with budget constraints, try booking your accommodation in backpacking hostels which are cheaper when compared to luxury hotels.
Getting around New Zealand
Choosing a particular kind of transport will either make or break your vacation. In most cases, people prefer to take self-drive cars in New Zealand. This is probably one of the best ways to explore the country. But if you are not someone who likes to indulge in an adventurous road trip, you can always opt for the seat in coach transport. There are many bus services that operate within the country and take you to the prominent attractions. If you wish to travel from the North Island to the South Island there are regular ferry services between the two. Make sure you inform your car rental company in advance that you will be indulging in inter-island travel.
Should you tip the service providers?
Tipping is not mandatory in New Zealand. You can just do it as a goodwill gesture. Unless and until you receive impeccable service from any service provider, you need not necessarily tip them. If you would personally like to tip the waiter in a restaurant, 10% of the total value would be deemed the ideal amount. You can also tip your taxi drivers if you prefer probably by paying slightly more than the total bill value. You will be getting a glimpse of the hospitality industry at large, and tipping outside this industry is generally not heard of. It is totally up to your discretion as to whether you would like to tip a service provider or not.
Pay respect to the Maori culture
The culture of any place is extremely sacred. The same goes for the Maori culture which is followed in all of New Zealand. It involves the worship of Polynesian gods and you should keep the religious etiquette in mind. The place of worship for a Maori is a ‘Marae’ where you will get exposed to the customs and traditions. You will be expected to remove your footwear before you enter a Marae. There are other etiquettes like not sitting in the place where you would place food and the like. If you want to experience the Maori culture to the fullest, the perfect way to do so would be by paying respect to it.
Driving or Biking
The Kiwis have made it a point to not hinder nature while constructing their roadways. You will have to be prepared for winding paths as you drive. This is the reason why they have been reports of multiple accidents on the Highways as most drivers are not used to driving in such conditions. Do keep in mind that the New Zealanders drive on the left. If you are used to driving on the right, make sure you train yourself to drive on the opposite side. If you are into cycling, remember that cyclists are not allowed on motorways or roads with heavy traffic. Nevertheless, bikers will also have to follow the basic traffic rules and mandatorily wear a helmet.
Make use of the i-SITES
i-SITES are a common sight in New Zealand. It precisely refers to visitor information centres and are available at different places in New Zealand. Important details about different places in New Zealand, maps and tourist brochures will be available at the i-SITES. Intercity buses also stop at these major points for tourist who would like to embark or disembark from the bus. If you would like to plan a visit to another city, you can also book tickets at the i-SITE. This initiative has been taken by the Kiwis in order to increase their tourism fraternity and help people navigate better within the country.
New Zealand undoubtedly one of the best countries to visit in the world. Apart from all the safety tips, you can always reach out to the local people who will be more than happy to help you. Above all, a vacation should be smooth and these tips should definitely come in handy. Speaking of vacations, we at Pickyourtrail always strive to ensure that you have a great vacation. Have a look at some of the New Zealand tour packages and let us help you with planning a memorable vacation!