holiday destination New Zealand – Backpacking Tips

Holiday destination New Zealand

Your holiday destination is New Zealand? And then? Do you already have the question asked yourself what do you want to do? Have you already collected ideas for your travel to New Zealand? If no, I have collected some thoughts on it.



When I flew to New Zealand, I knew nothing, almost nothing about New Zealand. I only knew that it should be beautiful landscape and that I can speak English over there. I had not gathered more information before my travel. After all, I have looked at the flight then in my New Zealand guide book and wrote down everything that sounded interesting on the South Island.

Nevertheless, I have to admit that maybe this was not the ideal start to see as much as possible of New Zealand. But it was a fun way to be open for everything visiting New Zealand.


So hopefully with some more preparation, I'll make it easier for you to become clearer about what you want to do while visiting New Zealand. New Zealand is so big and beautiful that you can spend months or how many Americans can travel all over New Zealand in 3 weeks. Everything has its advantages and disadvantages.


Ask yourself the following questions:

  • South Island (Christchurch) or North Island (Auckland) or both?
  • Experience nature or Adrenaline and Kicks?
  • Package tour or Self-sufficiency?
  • Car rental or car/minivan buy (especially for longer stays)
  • hiking or driving
  • Hostels, campsites or hotels, where do you want to stay?
  • Comfort vacation or easy and as cheap as possible?


view on the surround lake and mountains

View of the Istmus Hiking Track

Questions, questions and questions

I did not ask myself all these questions and luckily I can post them afterwards
answer. So you can do it better than I did.


I was interested in the beautiful nature and of course an adrenaline kick, but the focus was clearly on nature.

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Package holiday was not planned and therefore I was completely satisfied with minivan and self-catering and also significantly cheaper way.

Minivan for 25 days to buy would actually not have been necessary, luckily I knew someone on site and so could easily fall back on a car in which could be slept.


Due to the fact that I wanted to come as cheap as possible through New Zealand the choice was easy, as many DOC campsites, once a week on a better equipped campsite or in a hostel to do laundry and sometimes to enjoy the comfort of a normal bed.


The last question was actually more likely to be one ahead. Comfort holidays meant for me not only where to sleep but rather how much stress I would like to do.


I met Americans who wanted to rip off both islands in 21 days, comfortable and relaxed and spontaneous for a surprise but then not in there. I circumnavigated the entire south island in 25 days, but I also had time to spend 1-2 days in the same place. Of course I could not see everything and could not walk as much as I wanted. But that’s a good reason to come back in the next years.


How much time to spend where

I think ideally you can spend 2 months on the South Island, if you want to spend a lot of time in nature and hiking. Adrenaline kicks can be found in Queenstown, Wanaka and near the glaciers Franz Josef and Fox. By the way, in Franz Josef you can make the highest skydive in New Zealand (19000ft).


What impressed me the most was the South Island around Milford Sound, as well as the loneliness and vastness of the mountains surrounding. Take the time to hike up a mountain, in good weather you usually have an absolutely brilliant view and depending on where you walk you will not see so many people and tourists. Of course there are always some other people at the hotspots, but you do not always have to do the tourist mainstream program.

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My recommendation is just to be spontaneous and to stop where it is beautiful and you like to stop. Of course, you still have to have a little bit of time in mind so that you are back when your way back home is due.


Leave us a comment

Have fun planning and maybe you have something else that I should bring here, please write it in the comments.


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