New Zealand broken down into three
Updated: Jan 19, 2020
Thinking of traveling solo, but not sure where to go? One of THE MOST solo traveler friendly countries I have ever been to and one that I would recommend to anyone, is
It's no secret that New Zealand has some great landscapes. Being one of the main locations where the movie series The Lord of the Rings was filmed at, the country has so much to offer. There are cities and towns for all types of travelers. Want to go out and party? Go to Auckland or Wellington! Want to ignite that adventurous side of you? Queensland is the place to be! Want to hike a mountain? Go up Mt. Cook!
So if you are thinking about going to New Zealand, here are a few tips that I can share.
New Zealand has some of the best transportation systems I have ever seen. There are bus companies like the Stray, or the Kiwi Experience that allow you to buy a bus pass for the South and/or North Island where you can hop on and hop off along the way. I booked a pass with the Stray, and loved it! They even had an app you could download with suggested accommodations and activities in every town you hop off on. What was even better was the fact that you could book everything right on the app! The bus drivers serve as your tour guide, and they were great at stopping in certain areas to give you time to enjoy the sights and take everything in. It's also a great way for you to meet other travelers. A lot of the people I met on the bus happened to be solo travelers as well, and since the Stray helped us figure out the activities we could do in each location, I always had another fellow traveler do an activity with me.
If you're a little more adventurous, you can rent out a camper van and drive around. I would definitely look into this option if I went back to New Zealand. There were so many camp sites around the island for you to park and stay at. The roads are easy to travel, each town is only a few hours away from the next one. The beauty of renting out a van is you have the chance to pace out your trip however you like. You have more flexibility to choose how long you want to stay in a certain area.
Also, don't worry about traveling between the North to South Island. You can easily take a ferry from Picton (in the South Island) to Wellington (in the North Island). It's about two hours long, you can take your van (if you have one), and they have food options and rooms you can book if you want to rest during the journey. They even have a little theatre where they'll put a movie on.
I booked most of my accommodation with the Stray, but you can also look into other websites for accommodations. I usually look into websites like Hostelworld for hostels, or Expedia for hotels. Keep in mind, a lot of the towns are quite small so you might not be able to find a fancy hotel in each place. New Zealand was the first country I had decided to try and stay in hostels for most of the trip. You can check out my blog post here on an introduction to staying at hostels, but what I like about them is in most hostels, you still have the option of booking a private room if you don't feel like sharing a room with other people. Some places were better than others, so like in any country, make sure you do your research before booking. Read the reviews, see what other travelers have said about the place.
Like I said above, if you're going to rent out a camper van, it's pretty easy to find parking spots along the way. I saw a bunch of campsites, especially by some of the hostels which is great because then you'd have access to their kitchen space, and shower rooms. Do your research ahead of time so you can map it out!
There is so much you can do in New Zealand. I had planned my trip to celebrate my 27th birthday so I wanted to pretty much do everything. I created a separate bucket list of activities that I knew I wanted to, and would be able to accomplish while I was there. You can check out my bucket list below:
If you aren't the adventurous type, don't worry! The scenery in most towns is breathtaking enough for you to feel fulfilled just by sitting outside a coffee shop. There are also a lot of walking trails that you can do on your own. You can find an information centre in every town that has all the information you need. If you're going during the colder months, take advantage of the hot tubs, pools, and spas that places like Franz Josef and Queenstown have to offer.
A bonus tip!
Don't leave New Zealand without trying some of their wine! New Zealand is best known for their Sauvignon Blanc (or white wine for us people that aren't too familiar with wine). If you're in the Marlborough area, be sure to check it out. Go on a wine tour! You won't regret it!