airfares are a bargain.
- Given how long it takes to drive anywhere here, plus petrol
costing around three times US gas prices, it’s almost always
worth flying at least some of the longer junkets. For example, flying
from Nelson to Wellington costs just about the same as the bus+ferry
but takes about 4 hours less time.
- Outside of peak season, you can often find availability on
notice since most routes have at least some competition with Air New
Zealand. Still, try to plan ahead a little.
The easy-on-easy-off bus tickets cater to very specific audiences.
- The Flexipass
packages for standard coach lines are very different from the many
self-guided tour bus company tickets such as Magic Bus or KiwiExperience.
- Research very carefully to avoid spending your vacation in
rolling frat party when you were just expecting an easy way to get to
all of the remote wilderness areas. Get first hand reviews to ensure
you get what you want.
NZ is over a thousand miles top to bottom, but it’s narrow
that you are almost always in fast-changing maritime conditions.
- Parts of the north island are variously famous for wind or
or sun, or combinations thereof. Make sure you have contingency plans
for any excursion.
- The south island is closer to Antarctica than to the
thus cooler than the postcard-perfect beaches appear. The summer
weather is fine for active outdoor adventures, just don’t
lots of sunbathing.
It’s a bird-lover’s paradise.
- Most native wildlife is winged, so those who assume all
and forests should team with monkeys and snakes and bears and frogs can
end up slightly disappointed.
- Beyond kiwi birds and penguins, some fun native birds you
will likely see include:
Green is in the eye of the beholder.
- NZ tourism with its “100% Pure” slogan
an eco-conscious reputation, not always wholly truthfully. Expect to
see clear-cutting along the roadways, minimal public transportation,
un-insulated lodging, gleeful destruction of non-native plants and
animals, and some very eco-suspect wilderness tourism.
- Kiwis do try to save electricity, though, so
don’t be too
surprised to find the stove switched off at the wall or indoor
temperatures on a cool day suitable for an ice rink.
Take your shoes off and chat awhile.
- This might be considered a western nation, but Kiwis
wear shoes in the house. If you see shoes by the door, plan to remove
yours or at least ask if it’s okay to keep them on.
- There’s just enough Pacific Islands to the
allowing some time for social chatting in a business transaction can
open amazing opportunities. By contrast, rushing and being blunt might
even be punished.