The dos and don’ts of travelling abroad: Backpacking in New Zealand

Backpacking in New Zealand

So you’ve decided to travel to New Zealand for a backpacking experience of a lifetime? Great!

New Zealand really is the adventure capital of the world. It’s a popular place among backpackers and those with round the world tickets, as tourism in New Zealand really caters to the budget and backpacker minded.

NZ loves international travellers, so here are a few tips that will help you get the most out of your trip:


  • Smile! Kiwis are generally a friendly bunch and appreciate good manners and a great attitude.
  • Help support the locals: Buy local products.
  • Take a range of clothing. New Zealand is renowned for its temperature change and really can have four seasons in one day. Oh…and if you plan on visiting in summer, take sandals for the West Coast beaches (black sand will burn your feet), and loads of sun block!
  • Take an eco-bottle or reusable water bottle. The water is safe to drink so you can refill your bottle rather than adding to the overload of plastic in the environment.
  • Don’t litter! Take your rubbish with you or use the bins provided. Oh…and please recycle!
  • Look for non smoking signs. Many public places in New Zealand are now smoke free zones.


  • Putting your knife and fork together after a meal is good manners and announces to the waiting staff you have finished eating.Backpacking in the south island of new zealand
  • Eat with your mouth closed and it’s generally considered bad manners to talk with a mouth full of food.
  • If you need assistance at a restaurant just gently wave the waiter/waitress over. Yelling at them will not get you a good response.
  • Buy from the farmers’ markets. The produce is much fresher and often organic.  This will help you enjoy the area more because you are truly eating the local fare.


  • If you are in a rental or relocation campervan or motorhome, you can sleep on the side of the road in many places (freedom camping) but check with the Department of Conservation (DOC) website for where, as you may get a hefty fine otherwise.
  • Accommodation in New Zealand is easy to come by and rarely booked out, so just do your research and find something that suits your style and budget.


  • If you drive like a nanna, please pull over to the side of the road if you see multiple vehicles behind you, especially on winding roads.
  • If you plan on hiring a vehicle, or using a vehicle relocation service such as Transfercar, take an international licence as, even though many companies will allow you to hire a vehicle just with your regular licence (translated legally into English if it is foreign), many also require that you have an international driving permit.
  • Always take note of ferry fees and consider renting a GPS to guide you through our lovely county to save time.

Multiple road signs in New ZealandSpeed limits are:

  • 40kms when passing schools
  • 50kms in the cities and towns
  • 80 – 100ms on motorways

In general the Kiwis are a laid back bunch so relax and enjoy your vacation. There will be plenty to do so plan you time well and as transport in New Zealand is easy to come by, chose the right mode of travel to suit your budget.

If you’re already here and keen to take a free relocation car or campervan check us out!

Also, remember to ‘Like’ our social media pages so you can find out what’s new on Transfercar!


Happy free travelling!

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