Common Mistakes for your New Zealand Holiday
Though we love to take the some time out (above!); we are pretty busy at Roundabout NZ, putting people’s dream holidays together. They are all different – that’s one of the many lovely things about our work and also what’s special for you – you are an individual and your holiday is your holiday – we are not slightly tweaking and then repeating the holiday we have prepared for the last client.
However, there are some common themes and there are also some common mistakes…..It’s worth thinking about them, so you can avoid them, so your trip to New Zealand is the best holiday you have ever had.
Trying to see too much
When you look at a map of the world, New Zealand looks quite small, especially sitting next Australia. Some have the feeling that you can get round it in a couple of weeks. You can. But please don’t! It is a beautiful and constantly varying country – volcanic areas, wine regions, national parks, cities, towns, wildlife, rainforests, glaciers, mountains, glaciers, scenic train trips, Maori culture, bike rides, walking, adrenalin activities – it goes on. A well-planned itinerary will certainly enable you to see and do a lot, but your trip will be none the poorer if you don’t do everything. Be specific and come back another time!
The one and only trip
More often than not, when people are planning their trip to New Zealand, they are thinking that this is their one and only trip. Do remember we are a hospitable bunch – you’re more than welcome to pay a return visit! We’ll have you back! So bear that in mind in your planning. We have had several clients who have gone for single island itineraries and have been delighted – sure there are things they haven’t seen or done, but equally they have enjoyed the less frenetic pace and a bit more time to soak up an area, revisit a beach, bar, restaurant….
Driving too far
On the same theme – New Zealand may look small on the map, but it takes longer to get from A to B than you might imagine. Our roads are excellent but they are not 6 lane highways (thank goodness) – they don’t need to be, we are sparsely populated nation. We also have an excellent network of domestic flights – these can be a great alternative to some of the long drives.
Don’t just focus on the cities
Our cities are great – Auckland regularly features in “the world’s most liveable cities” rankings, but don’t forget it is the bits in between that make your New Zealand holiday – the scenery, the wildlife, the beaches, the walking, the wine, the rivers etc
Not getting off the beaten track
Don’t do it all mainstream – it is a combination of the major iconic sites and little things that you find all by yourself which make your holiday – a chance encounter with a farmer driving his sheep along the road, a country café or pub where the majority of the patrons are the locals, following a well used but unmarked track down to the river and coming across the locals’ swimming holes – there is much more likelihood of this happening if you stay a little longer in an area and explore a little further.
Trying to do it all yourself
There are some great tours, whether it is a guided kayak or walking trip, a wildlife tour or a day tour to Milford Sound – do make sure you intersperse your self drive holiday with some of these. These guides, as well as being great kiwi characters who will look after you well; know these areas better than any of us. They will share those hidden gems, they may be able to take you to places not accessible to the public, they will massively increase your chances of wildlife encounters, they will teach you about the wildlife, flora, history, they will make these areas come alive, answer your questions, tell you other things about New Zealand – you will gain so much from interacting with them and your fellow travellers. And you can take a rest from driving, a rest from the map and relax.
And on the practical side of things – don’t bring too much – endlessly lugging bags in and out of the car is really tiring – you can easily buy things if you need to. And finally, please make sure you give yourself enough time when you arrive in New Zealand to get over your jetlag and have a couple of good nights’ sleep before you start driving. Stay safe. Happy travels.