Oh, the home of adrenaline! Queenstown is known around the world as adventure capital and it does not disappoint. The list of things to do is never-ending. With so many travel and tour companies operating here, there is always a deal to be found. Bungee jumping was an activity I never thought I would try, but I was roped into no pun intended jumping the Nevis. Queenstown is a must do stop when touring the South Island!
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To save a bit of money, try CouchSurfing or stay in Franklin outside of Queenstown and hitchhike in. Drinking and eating in Queenstown can be as cheap or as expensive as your taste makes it. The famous Ferg Burger is a must do while not breaking the bank! Queenstown is not just adrenaline and drunkenness. There are some great walks around here, which will cost nothing but your breath. Ben Lomond is one of highest peaks around Queenstown. It will take you around 7 hours to get up and down, but is so worth it. Book Your Queenstown Hostel Here! Best sunset ever! The tallest mountain in New Zealand is…Mount Cook!
And no, you cannot hike it. This national park is center to the stunning Southern Alps mountain range that defines the South Island of New Zealand. Lake Pukaki is a beautiful blue lake with scenic views of the mountains in the background. The drive into Mount Cook National Park winds along the lake with several viewpoints. Once in the park, there are two valleys to explore, the Hooker Valley and the Tasman Valley. Tasman Lake was once a massive glacier that has receded several kilometers in just the last decade. Glacier melt floats in the lake beneath the craggy peaks of Mount Cook.
For one of the best hikes in New Zealand, head up to Mueller Hut. This popular day hike takes around five hours, or plan and book a night stay in the hut. These are the best views of Mount Cook and staying for sunset to see the last light on the tallest mountain in New Zealand is truly something special. Staying the night in one of the most scenic bright red! It is cold, so come prepared, but staying the night in complete silence mixed with thunderous booms from nearby collapsing glaciers is incredible to experience. There are no hostels around Mount Cook.
Mueller Hut with Mount Cook in the background. An absolute must do while backpacking New Zealand is visiting the stunning Milford Sound. Self-drive down and take in the incredible views, the drive is just as beautiful as the destination.
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If you are not into cruises, try one of the incredible Kayaking trips. Most will offer pick-ups from Te Anau, a small township before Milford Sound. Here you will be spending up to 5hrs or overnight if your budget stretches in the beautiful Milford Sound. Check out the guys at GoOrange Kayaks for great trips onto the Fiord. The hostels are reasonably priced but again I would CouchSurf or camp to save money. The Catlins is a large area on the southern coastline of New Zealand. It is mostly uninhabited with coastal rainforest and rugged beaches.
Several beaches are home to the rare yellow-eyed penguin among other wildlife. Not too far up the road is one of the most scenic coastlines overlooks at Nugget Point. It is an easy minute walk to the lighthouse with incredible views of all the rock formations protruding from the ocean floor. There are no hostels in the Catlins, but there are several free campsites near the Catlins for those with a campervan or tent.
Accommodation is not cheap in New Zealand; even hostels are expensive! Only use hostels when absolutely necessary. CouchSurfing is widely used in New Zealand and a great way to meet new people and locals while backpacking New Zealand. If you are one of the lucky ones with a car, it is possible to sleep in your car in registered campsites with facilities. I worked on a farm in New Zealand for 10 weeks as an Au Pair and farm hand. Not only was my accommodation free but I also had free food thrown in. Plus, my boss gave me access to a car to use when I wanted, which meant I could explore so much more!
If you are open to exploring New Zealand in a van, check out this article by Beanies and Bikinis for inspiration. Need even more inspo? Check out my guide to the 12 best hostels in Nelson! Or better yet, check out my complete guide to the best hostels in New Zealand. You have so many options for hiking in New Zealand. Make sure to visit Mt Cook National Park if you want to go big! This is the country bungee jumping was invented in, after-all.
Plus, this is New Zealand, so really you should feel safest here. This hip, cool and windy city is famous for its amazing food scene more restaurants per head than NYC! All you bikers out there have to get to this area to cycle along the Otago Central Rail Trail through beautiful landscapes and old mining towns. Balance the fitness with numerous historic pub stops or vineyards!
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This part of New Zealand has waterfalls, staggering cliffs and peaks, and dark cobalt waters. Keep your eyes peeled for seals and dolphins! Plus, a van will allow you total freedom in New Zealand and the ability to camp versus stay in more expensive hostels and hotels. Many countries are able to get a year-long work visa for New Zealand. This means you can work for several months, and travel afterward with the money you saved up!
Beautiful nature in New Zealand.
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Below we have covered essential information on New Zealand, including when to travel to New Zealand, how to get around, and what costs you should expect, as well as how to backpack New Zealand on a budget. Not picked the perfect travel backpack yet? The Broke Backpacker team has tried out over thirty backpacks this year! Our favourite carry on backpack is the Nomatic Travel Backpack.
Check out this post to read our full review! Get your copy here. Get to the heart of New Zealand with the Lonely Planet. A must read for a nature lover backpacking New Zealand. Find out about the history of New Zealand. An intriguing read. Crime rates are extremely low, and hitchhiking here is extremely safe!
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Always wear a hat and sunscreen. Check out Backpacker Safety for tips and tricks to stay safe whilst backpacking New Zealand and other destinations. Whether you need to purify the water from a hostel sink in Kathmandu or a stream trickle in the Andes, the Geopress has got you covered. Check out our full review here for more convincing. For tips on how to stay safe whilst getting fucked up, check out Blazed Backpackers I highly recommend World Nomads Travel Insurance.
This is a regular looking belt with a concealed pocket on the inside — you can hide up to twenty notes inside and wear it through airport scanners without it setting them off. This is hands down the best way to hide your cash. AR bottle are tough, lightweight and maintain the temperature of your beverage — so you can enjoy a cold red bull, or a hot coffee, no matter where you are.
Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be. Even if you only end up using it once, a decent head torch could save your life. If you want to explore caves, unlit temples or simply find your way to the bathroom during a blackout, a headtorch is a must. December to February marks high season and summer in New Zealand. These are the busiest months for the beaches, hiking, and outdoor exploration. There are plenty of festivals and events going on too. This is also the most expensive time to travel to New Zealand.
Your best bet for backpacking New Zealand on a budget is to visit during shoulder season, so March to May, and September to November. Outside of the ski towns, winter in New Zealand is a cheap time to visit as well, though the beach towns will be cold and sleepy. This app is definitely for you.
My favourite offline maps app, download your map and route before you venture out to keep you on track while backpacking New Zealand, especially out on the trail. It is a great help while calculating expenses. This particular VPN allows for up to five connections which is handy for keeping all your devices connected without having to purchase multiple VPN packages. It has information on every campsite, costs, and user comments. There is also heaps of additional information such as public restrooms, free showers, supermarkets, and petrol stations.
The app is free for IOS and Android users. There are more sheep than people in New Zealand. Careful for the sheep on the road! The two easiest airports to fly into are Auckland on the north island and Christchurch on the south island. Since New Zealand is an island well two you will have to fly here! I told you New Zealand was easy right?
Entering as a visitor, you must have proof of onward travel exiting the country and you may even be asked for proof of funds to support yourself while you are here — the good thing is credit cards count as proof of sufficient funds! The cost of a Visitor Visa you ask? If you are a UK citizen absolutely nothing! And you can stay for up to 6 months. Want to stay longer? Many nationalities have access to a Working Holiday Visa.
Best of all, you can legally find work, which is very handy if you find yourself needing to replenish your backpacking funds. There are multiple rental companies within New Zealand. Depending on your budget, there are endless options in regards to the type of vehicle you can rent. A lot of the places you will want to visit are not accessible by bus: national parks, starting points for hiking, small surf towns etc. You can book a rental car before you arrive so that it is waiting for you at the airport.
Easy as! Booking ahead is crucial to ensuring you get the lowest price and your choice of vehicle. A campervan is even more convenient than a car, but this comes with a higher upfront price tag. Buying a car or campervan in New Zealand has its benefits, but also comes with risks. If you are backpacking in New Zealand for a while, it makes sense to buy a vehicle. There are several important steps to take to make sure you do not get ripped off.
The last thing you want is a hunk of crap and several thousands of dollars down the toilet bowl! If you are planning to use buses, Intercity often have the best prices for point-to-point journeys and super friendly bus drivers! You can check schedules for any given destination using Directferries. Here are some popular routes in New Zealand: Wellington — Picton. Backpacker cars and vans are seasonal. Likewise, just before winter, backpackers are trying to offload their vehicles, sometimes finding themselves without a buyer, and begging for a quarter of the price they purchased it for.
When you are buying a car or campervan, your best option is finding a car on TradeMe. Facebook groups and backpacker forums have tons of cars, but finding a good one is like finding a needle in a haystack. While a campervan is more comfortable for sleeping, a station wagon is a great alternative. They are fuel efficient and have a much higher resale value because Kiwis want them too! Make sure to get a vehicle pre-inspection, ensure it has a valid WOF, and run a vehicle history report to make sure it is not stolen or money is owed.
Lastly, unless you plan to relocate to New Zealand and live in your car forever, you will need to sell it one day. Take good pictures when the car is clean, and before you show the vehicle to someone, clean it again. You would be surprised by what a good cleaning can do to help sell your car. A huge part of the attraction of backpacking New Zealand is exploring the truly gorgeous roads and making spontaneous stops. The companies need the cars transferred back to the busiest hubs and why pay someone when backpackers will do it for free! If you are short on time or just want to make an epic few week road trip around New Zealand, you can hire a campervan.
A New Zealand road trip in a campervan is bound to be one of the best experiences of your life! Trust me! I strongly recommend going with Wicked Campers. They have the reputation of being one of the lowest-price campervan rental companies in NZ. Check them out!
Take a look at my ultimate guide to campervanning in New Zealand here. New Zealand is arguably the best place in the world to cruise around in a campervan. Log in to get trip updates and message other travelers. Profile Join. Log in Join. Air New Zealand flight thats "operated by" United - thoughts. Watch this Topic. Browse forums All Browse by destination. Air Travel forums. All forums. Level Contributor. Report inappropriate content. Re: Air New Zealand flight thats "operated by" United - thoughts.
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PO 10, forum posts. Swissdiver 5, forum posts. This is the home of the civilized Robinson Crusoe. Le Taha'a private Island and Spa. This property has single handedly put Taha'a on the international map. This is a larger property spread around a great Lagoon. For the Food lovers, the hotel has one of my 2 favorite restaurants in FP the Ohiri.
The signature Foie gras with Vanilla is a must. You would find me there before sunset walking past the bungalow 49 towards the end of the property to a closed off beach that has the million dollar view of the sunset behind Bora Bora. The activity desk is also very creative there. You would find there a more pristine French Polynesia. The Te Tiare Resort awaits. The trip there is a bit of an adventure set in the most incredible decor. Transfer from the airport by minibus to the pier, boat to the resort.
Great gardens with Banana trees, traveler trees and tropical flowers. Incredible views at sunset of Raiatea and Taha'a. This property is also among the most generous for their Long stay policy. Huahine offers a score of more budget minded properties like the Relais Mahana and Pension Mauarii both located on the best beach of Huahine. Near the airport in fare, the owners are from mainland France, they will put you at ease with the horses if you are a beginner. Superb horses from the Marquesas known for their sense of balance will take you along the beaches and coconut grove on the motu near the airport.
Spending Christmas in Tahiti | Atlas & Boots
Suggested wear of long pants with shoes, bathing suit and bring a towel. Located about an hour due North east of Tahiti, these atolls offer a different scenery than the rest of FP. Among the most incredible clear turquoise waters on earth, yards visibility under water, great marine life Dolphins, Sharks, Manta Rays and in Season Humpback whales. The lack of mountains also allows for the weather if any to pass quickly. You will find also there among the most varied and colorful palette of colors of sands White, yellow, pink.
Kia Ora is the " main-Land" property, resort like with a great variety of categories of rooms, bungalows and villas. Great access to the best dive clubs.. The Kia Ora Sauvage. The closest to be stranded on the proverbial island in the South pacific. No electricity Great service offered by the Tahitian couple there. The Haumana Cruises. Best Local Welcome and most creative activities and sorties for the or seven day cruise a great add on to a land package. Wonderful cuisine aboard and so sailing on the turquoise crystal waters. The hotels and pensions either have or can arrange lagoon excursions by boat.
One favorite destination is the Lagon Bleu Blue Lagoon , a small lagoon within the big lagoon on the far eastern side of the island. It's full of colorful corals and plentiful sea life. Close to home, snorkelers and scuba divers can "ride the rip" tide through the passes, one of the most exhilarating waterborne experiences French Polynesia has to offer. The best scuba diving here is from December to March, when huge hammerhead sharks gather off Ohotu Pass for their mating season, and when the manta rays look for mates between July and October. You can see gray and black-tipped sharks all year.
Be aware that dives here are deep and long compared to American standards, so bring a buddy and be prepared to stretch the limits of the dive tables in order to see the magnificent sea life. Divers must be certified in advance and bring their medical certificates. The best operators are Blue Dolphins tel.
Other operators here include The Six Passengers tel. Rangiroa Paradive tel. Night dives are more expensive. The Pearl resorts of Tikehau and Manihi. Lesser known islands, great value for these 2 smaller properties. True Tahitian flavor in the architecture and cuisine. Better value comparing over water bungalows at the Pearl Tikehau where the suites are huge and at the fraction of the cost of the similar properties on Bora Bora. Fakarava, the Pension Raimiti www. A recent visit to the sister property of the Linareva of Moorea offered the true escape from the modern world.
Simple yet comfortable, Great cuisine, superb locations for the excursions : pink sand beach walks, drift snorkeling with visits to Jojo, the 3 ft long Napoleon fish. Fishing, Kayaking and walks under the canopy of stars. Pure Island Bliss. I have taken my absolute best photos there. Bora Bora, the crown jewel of French Polynesia. I have placed it at the bottom of the list to let you contemplate the other options first. Most of the hotels are located on the outer coral reef that offer incredible views of the volcano. The down side is the commute time by boat to go to the mainland to dine out or shop by example.
Each property offers one thing that would make it your choice Size, Spa, Dive center, restaurant, Lagoonarium, Beach, Butler service, Entertainment system in the room, cappuccino machine, Pool on the deck of your over water bungalow or the fifteen thousand Dollar per night Villa. Many guests choose to return to the classic Hotel Bora Bora for the smaller size, incredible beach on 3 sides of the property with hammocks waiting for you.
The hotel offers some wonderful old growth plants and trees on the grounds. Make sure to say Hi to the Manta rays at the pontoon at night feeding on the plankton attracted by the underwater lights.