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  • Tips for your first time in New Zealand

Tips for your first time in New Zealand

Tips for your first time in New Zealand

Anchorage Bay Photo taken by: Emily Gillingham (Flying Kiwi Traveller)

Tips for your first time in New Zealand

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Are you coming to New Zealand in summer? Did you book your tour and now you are unsure about what to expect? The experience is going to be amazing! Keep reading for a few little tips & tricks on what to expect on your first time in New Zealand

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Wear Sunblock

Although we are not as hot as our friends over in Australia, our sun is pretty intense! We probably have an average of about 26 degrees with anything 30 degrees or above being described as “pretty darn hot”. New Zealand actually sits underneath a hole in the ozone layer which makes the sun's UV rays more intense. Our summer is generally quite dry too, especially in the South.

So unless you’re keen to look like a lobster, I would suggest taking precaution. The common message around here is slip, slop, slap and wrap: slip on a shirt, slop on the sun cream, slap on a hat and wrap around some sunnies. There's a lot of sense in that.

Choose your sun screen for New Zealand sun wisely, find here some recommendations.


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The Beaches are Magical

Depending on which areas you are visiting, there’s always going to be a beach not too far away, in fact, the furthest away you can ever be from the coast in NZ is 119km. Only 119km! Amazing! So North Island, you're getting white sand beaches on the East with world renowned diving spots and good fishing. On the West, a lot of good surf and generally black sand or stone beaches. Top of the South Island, the Abel Tasman & Marlborough Sounds. Golden sand beaches, turquoise waters, no surf – perfect for paddle boarding & kayaking. East Coast of the South, a mixture of stone beaches and white sand with again, some great surf spots. And the West Coast, beautiful rugged coastline that's great to look at but not too ideal for swimming.

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it sometimes still rains

When you think of “summer” and the definition that it holds we think of ice cream, swimming, bikinis, the smell of sunblock, sandy feet, salty hair, sunsets, and long warm days, and that is what it is! But unfortunately, and we wish we could have it different, it sometimes does rain – who would have thought! Yes, if you are coming to New Zealand it is vital that you bring a rain coat. Now I know the rain can sometimes put a bit of a damper on your mood but here in New Zealand we charge on and don’t let it stop us! Think about it, would Fiordland National Park be as lush green as it is without rain? No. Our country would not hold the beauty it possesses today if we didn’t have the rain. So go on, get among it!

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sunniest places

We are home to the 2nd bluest sky in the world. Yes, it’s true. Coming in 2nd after Rio De Janeiro, is our very own sunny Bay Of Islands for the 2nd bluest sky in the world – bet you didn’t know that. We’ve got the small city of Nelson, situated at the top of the South Island as the sunniest place in the Country! Nelson has the highest average of sunshine hours for the year, and we loving having Nelson as our HQ for this very reason. 

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our rivers, lakes & oceans are so clear & so blue

You will get to see some of the clearest water you've ever laid eyes upon. Most of this may be glacial water, hence why it is so clear – it’s running straight off a glacier, which we encourage you to go for swims in any way! It has actually become a bit of a tradition here at Flying Kiwi to get the whole crew into the beautiful Lake Pukaki for a swim! Lake Pukaki isn’t clear as it has what we call ‘Glacial Flour’ suspended in the water, but what this does do for the lake is reflect the sun light and gives off this awesome, stunning turquoise blue colour. For clear we are talking Blue Pools, Waikato river, Cathedral Cove and Lake Wakatipu for some examples… you will have to visit to see the rest!

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it can get cold even though its summer

It is important when travelling to New Zealand to be prepared for all weather, especially if you plan on going into the Mountains or you are travelling to the South Island. Being the most southern Country it's a no brainier that the further South you go it’s going to get a little colder. If the Country gets a good Southerly coming over it’s still possible for It to snow on the mountains even in January, which is the middle of summer! Don’t get me wrong though the days are still hot – Queenstown, central Otago and Canterbury can bring in scorcher days of 30 degrees, it’s the nights we are generally talking about – especially when it's clear. So if you are camping or plan to hang out after dark make sure you've got some thermals and extra layers with you.

Make sure to check the forecast for New Zealand weather during your stay.

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we have good ice cream

New Zealand has a lot of fruit farming around the country. In particular the area of Cromwell - Central Otago and Motueka – Tasman Bay. When driving through these areas, it is a must that one stops off at a fruit stall for a “real fruit ice-cream”. This delicious substance is a mixture of frozen fruit of your choice and then blended with either vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt into a waffle cone. And yes, it is as delicious as it sounds! A personal favorite would be banana and raspberry with frozen yogurt, yummy!!


new zealand is big

When you look at a map of the World, there we are, right in the corner looking tiny and minuscule especially in comparison to our neighbors, Australia. But don’t let that fool you. We may look small but we are actually quite big. New Zealand is very spread out, and we consist of 2 Islands. We are very hilly and our roads are very windy so it takes a little longer to get to some places. To see the whole Country in 1 month involves a bit of travel, so be prepared for that. 1 month is probably the perfect time to get a taster of New Zealand, to see the lifestyle we live, the ‘must do’ destinations and tick off those ‘I have to go here’ landmarks. If you’ve got longer that’s great, but most the time it’s hard enough getting your boss to give you 4 weeks off let alone more!

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you will fall in love

We just want to prepare your heart before you make the trip that you will fall in love when you're here. Whether it's with the people, the Mountains, the Lakes, the beaches, the Coffee, it will happen. And you most probably will want to return one day to this amazing destination. New Zealand is a place that whenever I leave I am always so happy to return, a place where I tell people where I am from and they tell me how lucky I am. It’s just a place like no other, and you need to see it to believe it.

Check out the Flying Kiwi tours: Ultimate Explorer TourReverse Traverse TourSummer Blast TourWild West Tour, and more.