10 Things to Know Before Traveling to New Zealand

Here are the 10 things to know in New Zealand before packing your bags to go to one of the worlds most beautiful places. Everything from what time to eat, the slow internet, the bland food and the unpredictable weather patterns.

Limited and sluggish Internet

New Zealand is very rural in most places.  Especially if you travel by camper-van there is limited and slow internet pretty much everywhere, and it can be pricey.  If you need to work while you travel this is hard in New Zealand.  You are better off making it a completely “unplugged” trip immersing yourself in nature’s beauty. Tip: McDonald’s always offers free Wi-Fi.

Unpredictable Weather

New Zealand’s weather can be temperamental and cold, storming one day and sunny the next. Best to plan accordingly and leave a couple days to allow for the activities you really want to do so you can catch it on a nice day.  Also make sure you bring the right clothing so you aren’t caught in the cold.

Everything closes at 6pm

Pretty much everything closes by 6 pm once you travel out of the big cities. There are few options after 6 pm so make sure if you are in a rural area you have gotten your dinner by then!

Alcohol is Expensive

A regular beer or wine at a bar will be between $8 to $10 USD. A hard alcohol mix drink could be anywhere between 8 to 15 dollars.  The good news is that tax and tip are already included in the price! Wine at the grocery store is probably your least expensive bet.

Sheep Everywhere

Watch out for the Sheep, they are EVERYWHERE! There are 6 sheep for every 1 person and almost 30 million sheep all together over both islands.   Also, living in northern California we have grown to see deer as novelty loving when we see them frolic through golf courses or across the foot hills.  What was crazy is in New Zealand there are deer farms all over and while driving you will see fields full of deer totally unaware of their destiny.  Poor Bambi.

Gas is expensive

Gas is expensive in New Zealand so if you plan on driving around make sure you plan for this in your budget. Also there are a lot of points of interest (Milford Sound, Mount Cook) that can only be accessed going in and out on the same road so make sure you consider this when you are budgeting for gas.

Sand Flies

Sand Flies are New Zealand’s tiny mosquito things that bite you and leave itchy bumps for like two weeks!  I only got bites along my ankles that were uncovered and they itched like hell!  Make sure you use a lot of bug spray or keep yourself completely covered!

Dont Drive at Night

Don’t drive at night. The roads are windy and are primarily two lanes.  There also are not many street lamps so it can get dangerous.

Food is bland

The food in New Zealand is super bland especially coming from California. Not many spicy options or hot sauces.  They also love sweet on everything.   Some interesting things we found was chili that tastes like ketchup sauce and ketchup on breakfast sandwiches.  Their sweet chili sauce (not spicy at all) is pretty good on chicken tenders and french fries (which come with most meals).

Keep New Zealand Green

Very clean society so help them keep New Zealand beautiful. It is built in their social norms to preserve the stunning landscape of New Zealand.  Throughout the country they keep it free from trash, recycling heavily and most importantly just keeping this planet healthy.  We have NEVER seen a cleaner country so help them out and pick up you trash and keep it clean while you’re visiting.

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