5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Going to New Zealand

New Zealand | Mon, 12 Oct 2009 | 7921 views | No Comments

Kia Ora, welcome to New Zealand! You’ve just landed in Auckland and passed the rigorous customs screening (do NOT bring any fruits, meats, soils, seeds unless you want a huge fine), but now what?

New Zealand is a developed country so there shouldn’t be much to worry about, right? Whether a country is super developed or developing there are always hazards travellers face along the way, we asked a few of our friends in the travel industry what tips they would give travelers going to Aotearoa.

Photo courtesy of Flickr.com, by [PhillipC]

1. Practice sun safety.

The sun is surprisingly strong, especially at high altitudes and in the North Island, so always wear sun block even if it’s a cloudy day. Josh Steinitz, NileGuide 

WorldNomads: You may think NZ is in the deep southern hemisphere, but Auckland is on the 36th parallel south of the equator. So when thinking about the sun and weather, think of cities on the 36th parallel north of the equator, places you're probably more familiar with, such as Malaga in Spain, Tunis the Tunisian capital, and San Luis Obispo in California.

2. Bring bug spray.

The west coast of the South Island can have bad sand flies in places like Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound. Make sure to bring plenty of strong bug spray. Christina Tunnah, WorldNomads

3. Look both ways!

Remember to look right before crossing the street! In big cities like Auckland there are handy reminders on the curb reminding tourists that traffic is coming from the opposite direction that most are used to, but in case the sign isn’t there to save you, look right! Alexia Nestora, VoluntourismGal

4. Know the numbers.

The emergency telephone number in New Zealand is 111. It is a free phone call. If you have an emergency and need a quick response from the Police, the Fire Service, Ambulance or Search and Rescue, dial 111. Ted Martens, Sustainable Travel International

5. Watch out for water hazards. 

Given New Zealand's subtropical climate, it is no surprise that New Zealanders like to spend so much of their leisure time in the water. However water can conceal hazards. We recommend that you visit the Water Safety New Zealand website, for advice on how to stay safe on New Zealand's beaches and waterways. NewZealand.com

WorldNomads: there are some pretty rugged mountain roads too.

The one thing all of our adventure travel friends recommend is, if you have a chance, go see an All Black game where they’ll do a ‘haka’. Check out this video for an exciting preview of a tribal tradition and all around cool spectacle.

Learn some Maori, the locals will be glad you learned some of their history and culture.

Kia Ora – Welcome

Aotearoa – Land of the Long White Cloud, New Zealand

Kai – Food

Marae – Maori religious and meeting place

Pakeha - New Zealander of non-Māori descent, usually European

Whanau – Family

Kauri – Large Native Tree

Haka – Tribal dance

Read more stories from WorldNomads.com to help keep you travelling safely. WorldNomads.com - an essential part of every adventurous traveller's journey.

Want to know more? Ask a question on Answers and see what toher travellers have to say about New Zealand.

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What did you learn in New Zealand and wish you knew before you went?  Leave us a comment...


Tags: 5 things, new zealand, oceania, travel-safety, travel-tips

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