Nowadays, self-traveling is very popular. Is it very difficult to travel in New Zealand? If you are brave and you can speak a little English, it's not a problem!

Should I go with a tourism group or myself?

If you are young, you can handle long time walking or very tired journey, you can try self-traveling. If you are not so young and you don't like to worry about your schedule, you should go with a tourism group. They arrange your hotel, meals, all you have to do is enjoy your trip. But one thing different, you have to follow their schedule. If you want to stay one more day at some places, you can't. New Zealand is famous for the exciting activities. If you go with a group, you don't have chance to experience it (Such as Bungy jump, glacier on). So before your trip, make sure what you really want.

Should I go with a partner?

If you can go with a partner, it's very good. Because you can share the job in your trip. You can handle problems together. And the most important thing is can share the cost in your trip!!

How to make my plan?

Basically, the most difficult part for self-traveling is how to make your schedule. If you go with a tourism group, you don't have to worry about it. But if you go by yourself, you should make your plan first. Then you will find it becomes easier. You have a idea about what you have to do everyday.

If you have plenty of time, I recommend you travel around all New Zealand for a month. You will love New Zealand. If you have 10-20 days, you can travel around the North and the South Island. But if you only have 8-10 days, you should choose one. I suggest the South Island is better.

Before you make your plan, check the map of New Zealand, driving distance and time list and activities you can do first. It will help you to make your plan. You also can read I diary, I think it helps.

What should I bring with?

What should I bring in my trip? Traveling with a big backpack is very common( but it's very expensive). Sometimes you need a sleeping bag, because some backpackers don't support blankets. (You have to pay extra cost to rent one. But now most backpackers have.) If you want to cook, you need oil and salt....Other things, like sun glasses, sun burn protection lotion, glovers, mats and water protect jacket. If you want to drive, remember your International Driving License and passport.

Where can I stay

There are many different level hotels in New Zealand. From backpackers to hotels.

Backpackers: The cheapest price. Usually for young traveler. They have toilet, kitchen, shower room, TV room and laundry. The cheapest price is dorm room. Usually there are six to eight people in a room, you have to stay with persons you don't know. If you don't care about that, it's a good way to make friends from different countries. But if you meet a roommate with a bad habit, you will feel terrible. Share/ Family room usually four people in a room. Share room is a room with four single beds. Family room usually has a double bed. Twin/ Double room are two people in a room. Double room has a bed, twin room has two single beds. The price is about NZ$16-26.

YHA: In New Zealand, there are many YHA in cities. Especially in big cities, the YHA ratio is very good. There is one benefit to stay in YHA - the equipments are good. They have many different pans in the kitchen. Washing machines are new and the rooms are very clean. And the staffs can help you to book any activities, buses or your next stop's YHA. The price is about NZ$ 20-30.

Motel: Generally, motels are very nice. They have TV, toilet in the room. Some rooms also have kitchen. The price is about NZ$50-80.

B&B: Bed and breakfast. Better than motels, and they have including breakfast. The price is about NZ$70-110.

Hotel: The best one. Usually the tourism group stay at hotels.

Should I pre-book my hotels and activities?

I think you don't need pre-book. You just have to pre-book the first two days' accommodations, and others you can book on your trip. You can book at the Information Center everywhere. There are many accommodations in New Zealand, so you don't have to worry about full. (But I heard in Queenstown at sky season, you should pre-book. In case, it's all occupied.)

You don't have to worry about activities. It's all right, if you book 30 minutes before the activities departure.

Driving? or By Buses?

If you can drive, you can drive, then you can save more money. If you think it's very tired to drive for a long distance, they have many tourism buses service.

First one is like Kiwi Experience, Magic Bus. The bus driver will introduce on the trip. And they have many photo stops or short scene walk stops. You can practice your English by listening the introduction or talking to other travelers. They also can help you to book your accommodations and activities. You can get special discount.

If you don't like the noise on the trip, you can choose the shuttle buses, like InterCity or Automic Shuttle. They have at least one bus service between cities per day. On the road, they only have toilet or food stop. They don't have any introduction. But they also support accommodations drop-off service.

If you need take an air flight in your trip. You should pre-book as earlier as possible. Air New Zealand support special deal seats, if you pre-book, you can get the cheapest price. (Sometimes they have NZ$100 difference.) Air New Zealand Website.

Where can I eat?

In New Zealand, it's not cheap. The normal price is NZ$8. You have to eat three meals in your trip, so the total cost is not cheap. And usually, you have no idea what you want to eat. So it's very difficult to make your mind to decide which restaurant.

If you want to save money, you can cook by yourself. You can cook easy meals like pasta, pizza, sausages or noodles. The average cost is about NZ$10 (Eating outside usually costs about NZ$ 24 above.). If you stay in backpackers or YHA, you will find almost everyone cook by themselves. At the dinner time, it's very busy in the kitchen. Sometimes you can talk to other people.

What can I do if I get a problem in my trip?

In New Zealand, there are Information Center everywhere. They will locate at city center, you can find it very easy. If you have any problem, just go to Information Center and ask them. They will help you to solve it. You also can book your accommodations, rent a car, buses, activities...., you can get the map of the city. If you stay in YHA, the staffs also can help you to arrange all of it, and sometimes you can get special discount~~

Which guide book is good?

There are many guide books about New Zealand in Taiwan. But in my opinion, I think they are not enough. I think the best one is "New Zealand" published by Lonely Planet. They have many details( Accommodations, activities, price....). If you go with a tourism group, the magazines published by Mook are enough. Because they have introduction of big cities and they also talk about the history of New Zealand.


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