The Kiwi native land has attracted many tourists, filmmakers and adventurers for many decades, and there are many reasons why New Zealand is such an interesting destination. There is a lot to do and see in a land where skyscrapers blend with the most beautiful nature you can find on Earth. It’s hard not to be fascinated by the way New Zealanders incorporate all the benefits of the modern era while still making sure that their natural wonders stay intact.
You will notice shortly upon your arrival that you’re facing a completely unique culture with a specific way of life, which is why you should inform yourself in advance. We have listed some useful dos and don’ts that you can rarely read on Trip Advisor, but are crucial for making your visit a truly unforgettable one.
DON’T be generous with tips
Tipping in restaurants and bars differs from culture to culture. In some states, tipping is prescribed by law, while in others, it’s a matter of unspoken social codes. When it comes to New Zealand, the social code is not to tip, no matter how generous you feel. It’s not customary to tip, even if you’ve just had the best service of your life. Waiters will kindly decline the tip when offered, but they will still be offended by the offer. Although it’s not considered rude to offer tips, it would be best if you keep this habit at bay during your visit.
DO pick the right car
There are many ways to travel around New Zealand, but it would be best to have a car so that you can easily move around the island on your own time schedule. It’s quite obvious that traveling to New Zealand by car isn’t the most convenient option, but luckily, you can rely on a cheap car rental service that offers a range of cars for all your needs. If you are planning some adventurous off-roading, you might need an SUV, but for most of New Zealand, a regular city car will do just fine. For those of you traveling to New Zealand during winter, you should keep an eye out for possible swollen creeks that you might come across. There’s no car that could take you to Mt. Aspiring National Park in Wanaka if there have been a few rainy days, so be sure to check the roads before you go for a drive.
DO take New Zealand’s roads seriously
Creeks are just one of the possible problems you might face on New Zealand roads. The best few words to describe these roads are crooked, winding, gnarly and unforgiving. You will find no big medians or dividers here to help you stay on the right track, but you have to focus on the dotted lines. Luckily, there might be a mountain between the two sides of the road sometimes, so that can make things easier. However, nothing can help you with the fact that the roads are incredibly winding, except that the highest speed limit is 100 kph (63 mph). Of course, this is also of no use if you forget to drive on the left side of the road. Sheep, hitchhikers and landslides are also possible road hazards on New Zealand roads. Hopefully, this is enough information for you to understand why these roads shouldn’t be underestimated.
DO immerse in the Maori culture
Maybe the most interesting thing about New Zealand is the Maori way of life. If you might have seen videos of their rugby teams dancing the haka, you might have an idea of how different their culture is from the typical Western way of life. People of New Zealand truly care for their cultural heritage, which is why some of the most attractive tourist destinations can be found in ancient Maori villages, such as the Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings. Make sure you also get the taste of the famous Maori hangi, which is a dish they are especially proud of. You will also be surprised how the locals are mostly kind and friendly, except when you start talking about rugby. Despite their welcoming attitude, rugby is the one thing they don’t like foreigners interfering with. However, visiting a local game can be an interesting experience, and it might just help you see why they take this sport so seriously.
Whatever you decide to do in New Zealand, just make sure to make some contacts and stay in touch with the locals. It would be best to have a local guide as a friend by your side during your next visit, because you will surely want to come back to this magical land.