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Backpacking in New Zealand

It wasn’t until the Hollywood blockbuster Lord of the Rings was shot in New Zealand that a real hype emerged around the country in the far south. Previously, the Kiwi nation was only known to travel hardcore insiders. Probably also because it is not quite easy and quite cheap to reach the country. Few flights take longer. Kiwi, by the way, not because the New Zealanders grow kiwis (kiwis originate from China), but because of the snipe ostriches, which only occur there and are unable to fly. But when backpacking through the country there are also unusual and quite unique cultural and geographical highlights to discover.

You can trek through dense rainforests and over snow-covered mountain slopes and enjoy the nightlife in the modern metropolises of Wellington and Auckland. Bubbling geysers chase hot water into the sky and then the Maori wait there as well. The native tribe still often shapes the face of the country in the cultural area. In New Zealand, people are proud to be Maori, in contrast to other countries where the indigenous people have a miserable existence.

Nature in New Zealand

Nature in New Zealand

Backpacking in New Zealand also means doing island hopping, because the country consists of the two big islands (North and South Island), the slightly smaller Stewart Island and other small islands. If you want to meet people, you have more chances to see them on the more densely populated North Island. On the South Island, on the other hand, it goes far up. Because there the mighty Southern Alps rise up to 4000 meters into the sky. You can also set out to discover the independent regions of Tokelau, Cook Islands and Niue.

Traveling and backpacking is pretty easy, New Zealand is a highly developed country after all. But that has its drawbacks, because the country is not a cheap travel destination. The backpacker budget needed for survival should be calculated in Central European dimensions. However, there are also possibilities to work for farmers against food and lodging. This saves the travel budget and you get a deeper insight into the life of the locals. You can stay overnight in hostels, or you can camp. The prices here are also on a European level.

The best way to discover the country is to rent a car. If you have two or more people, the rent will pay off in any case. Even if you might have to pay a little more than the bus and train ticket. One should book the rental car already before the start in Germany (see offers in the Internet). The slightly higher price gives you the opportunity to discover much more on your own, independent of bus and train lines.

Make sure you have enough cash when you leave the cities. However, cash supply is not a problem in itself due to the high number of ATMs. If you come from Germany, there are no vaccination regulations to follow.

Culture in New Zealand

Ureinwohner Neuseeland

Natives in New Zealand

The culture is shaped by the Maoris. They are also known as Tangata Whenua, which means indigenous people. 1000 years ago they are said to have come from Polynesia over the sea. The hospitable indigenous people speak Te Reo Maori, the indigenous language, to you for sure. You can even participate in Maori meetings. Whether you do this with organized tours or better on your own is up to you.

Well-known Maori artworks can be found not only in carvings and cuts made of semi-precious stones and exotic woods, but also on your skin. Maoris have tattoo art in their veins. Look forward to some of the best wines in the world at New Zealand backpacking fun and try the original dishes that are still prepared in the traditional Hangi earth ovens.

Backpacker Information about New Zealand

New Zealand is one of the top backpacker countries when it comes to adventure. However, you will need some small change to complete a New Zealand Backpacker Tour over a longer period of time. During the peak New Zealand season, overnight and supply prices may rise sharply in certain regions. Between 40 and 80 Euros per day should be enough to see the most interesting New Zealand highlights and get by moderately to well. Take advantage of the savings offers on national New Zealand travel and transport online sites. Avoid tourist spots in high season.

New Zealand offers backpackers a diverse range of adventures. No matter how you explore the country, you will find endless beaches, dense jungles, snow-capped mountain peaks and volcanoes, fantastic river landscapes and inviting cities. Depending on the season and location, take weatherproof backpacker equipment and clothing with you.

New Zealand has never been a cheap Travelland. Those who travel during the main travel season sometimes have to increase the budget considerably. But also otherwise the traveln is quite expensive with the Kiwis. Stay away from the absolute tourist spots in summer and stay overnight on free or very cheap camping sites or also wildly with the camper.

New Zealand is not Gorumetland, but still has some culinary treats to try. You should have tried Maori cuisine with its special cooking concepts. You can choose between strong New Zealand wines and good beers.

During your backpacker adventure trip through New Zealand, ancient tribal cultures await you with adventurous rough and dirt roads, a geographically diverse country, fantastic beaches, lonely islands, dense jungle and many adventures that you can experience while trekking and hikking. What you should have seen and some worthwhile New Zealand secret tips can be found below.

As a German citizen you have to apply for a visa before the New Zealand Backpacker trip. This can also be done virtually on the New Zealand visa page. Make sure that your identification documents are valid for your stay in New Zealand. Problems due to dangerous animals, especially in the water, are possible. In New Zealand you will find first class medical care.

Backpacker Budget in New Zealand

Budget in Neuseeland

Budget in New Zealand

One thing New Zealand is certainly not. It’s a cheap travel destination. Already the journey has it in itself, because except with flights the country is deep in the south on the globe hardly to be reached. Ship passages are certainly not cheaper and take a lot of time. A little more than a 1000-er should be a backpacker adventure in New Zealand for a month. But they are only enough for a very modest lifestyle.

Take a look around and see if you can get a cheap bed in a Halls of Residence or with a host family. Couchsurfing is another alternative. You can improve your cost of living by buying your daily food in the big discounters Pak’n Save, Warehouse or Bunnings. If you want to go out, you should always go to a Bring Your Own Restaurant (BYO). There you can sip your own drinks for a small amount of cork money.

A beer in a supermarket costs similarly as in Germany. Otherwise you have to set Central European standards for your backpacking calculation. Driving the city bus costs about 2 Euro. The taxi starts amazingly with less than 2 Euro. In addition comes the same price per driven kilometer. Renting a car can be worth it. For 30 Euro rental cars are already available. It is best to get one of the different travel passes. For example the Travelpass, the InterCity Flexipass or the Nakedbus Passport are available.

Costs for the bus

Bus travel is besides cycling, walking or hitchhiking the cheapest way to get from A to B in New Zealand. There are several local bus companies operating. You can take the regional and national ones for long distance transport. Check out Atomic Shuttles, InterCity or the backpacker bus companies: KiwiExperience Backpacker Bus, Stray Travel Bus and MagicBus for the latest offers. There are also providers who completely organize multiweek and multi-day trips. Flying Kiwi Adventures is one of them.

Costs for domestic flights

It can be advantageous from a price point of view to use domestic flights to cover longer distances. In many cases these are cheaper than travelling by train. Ok, you will see less. Have a look at the websites of the local airlines Air New Zealand, Virgin Australia, Jetstar, air2there and Sounds Air and pay special attention to the seasonal deals.

Costs for the train

Travelling by train may not be the cheapest way to do backpacking in New Zealand, but it is certainly a very convenient way. And don’t miss anything while driving. Have a look at the website for train offers. You’ll also find ferry offers. Another worthwhile site is You can sometimes spend 230 Euro for a 7-day trip across the two islands.

Backpacker Route in New Zealand

Travelling and backpacking in New Zealand means experience and adventure in many facets. There are cultural highlights as well as geographical ones. You can visit museums in the cities, enjoy the nightlife, live with the farmers in the countryside or visit the almost untouched wild landscapes on the South Island. Whether high up on the snow-capped peaks, in the primeval forests or in the water, there is much to discover at a backpacker New Zealand fun.

Ask yourself why the director Peter Jackson chose New Zealand as the geographical background for his film trilogy “Lord of the Rings”? It’s up to you whether you have to follow a certain backpacker route or whether you have to fight your way through the country or across the different islands. Here are just a few tips you should definitely have on your agenda.

15 -20 Days New Zealand Backpacker Short Trip      

  • 1-2 Days Discover Auckland City
  • 1 day Rotorua experience
  • 1-2 days to enter the Tongariro National Park and explore the rich flora and fauna.
  • 1 day to get to know and photograph the bizarre landscape Craters of the moon
  • 1 day visiting the also bizarre Waitomo Caves
  • 1 day to enjoy the Whangarei Falls and swimming fun
  • 1 day Maitay Bay

20 days to several months

  • 15 -20 Days New Zealand Backpacker Short Trip
  • 1-2 Days Discover Auckland City
  • 1 day Rotorua experience
  • 1-2 days to enter the Tongariro National Park and explore the rich flora and fauna.
  • 1 day to get to know and photograph the bizarre landscape Craters of the moon
  • 1 day visiting the also bizarre Waitomo Caves
  • 1 day to enjoy the Whangarei Falls and swimming fun
  • 1 day Maitay Bay
  • 1-3 days each Stewart Island and the Chatham Islands
  • 1 day Christchurch on the South Island.
  • 1 day Dunedin in the south of the South Island
  • 1 day Gisborne
  • 1-3 days Kauri Forest forests on the North Island
  • 1 day dolphin watching in Kaikoura
  • A few days Abel Tasman National Park
  • Take more time for the Nelson Region, Marlborough, the entire West Coast, Canterbury and the Queenstown Region.

Travel times in New Zealand

In New Zealand you will find pleasant weather all year round somewhere. Sure, it is in summer – beware! Summer is in the European winter – generally more pleasant, but winter also has its advantages. Snow-covered mountains can be found all year round.

This means that it gets cold when you climb up. Roughly speaking, the best time to travel is from November to April, provided you like it a little warmer. As a rule, however, the country is known as a holiday destination all year round. On the South Island it gets very cold in winter. The north, which stretches towards the equator, can offer better climatic conditions. By the way, the climate in New Zealand has nothing in common with that in the South Seas.

Backpacker accommodations in New Zealand

Wasserfall in Neuseeland

Waterfall in New Zealand

As far as the accommodation in New Zealand is concerned, there are no limits to the choice. Only Kiwi Land is certainly not one, cheap. You have to reckon with Central European prices no matter in which category you are looking for. Hotels, hostels, campsites, motels – all these types of accommodation offer a certain standard and cost money. Sometimes quite a lot.

Fortunately, there are some inexpensive alternatives for flexible New Zealand backpackers. Try the so-called Halls of Residence. The costs for an accommodation in this way are between 100 and 140 Euros per week. In addition, often a part of the catering is included. You can also try to share a flat in a shared apartment at short notice or use the proven couchsurfing option.

Other overnight alternatives on your New Zealand Backpacking trip are the Home Stay with families or the Farm Stay on farms. Homosexual travelers can also stay in gay stays.

If you want to stay in hotels, it can be worth it if you have two or three people or more. A little more comfort and privacy is worth 20 to 30 Euros to some. However, the motels that are often visited in New Zealand are not as cheap as it seems. On average, many people charge 100 Euros. Better and cheaper are the hostels, of which there are numerous in every region. The prices for a bed in a dorm do not vary particularly in the whole country. According to a price list at hostelworld you have to expect the following costs for a bed in a New Zealand hostel.

  • Auckland €21.30
  • Queenstown €19.73
  • Christchurch €24.19
  • Wellington €15.99
  • Rotorua €17.76
  • Taupo €18.13
  • Nelson €19.83
  • Wanaka €17.80
  • Franz Josef €17.56

It should be noted that these are average prices, which can vary depending on the season.

Camping in New Zealand

Camping is quite popular in the Kiwi nation in the south of the world. There are numerous campsites in different categories close to the most interesting highlights, in the national parks or on the beaches. For a campsite you should estimate at least 12-15 euros. You will get more of the land in a campervan that you can rent or buy. With such a minivan you can partly stay for free at the best places. You will also have your own kitchen with you. An environmentally friendly camping portal with lots of information about country, people and camping is

Backpacker Trips, Tips & Highlights in New Zealand

New Zealand Backpacking offers an incredible variety of adventure and discovery experiences. Whether on the North or South Island or the offshore islands or Tasmania, a multi-faceted cultural and geographical landscape awaits you. Especially outdoor fans will get their money’s worth. Every kind of mountain and water sport is possible.

Between bizarre rock formations you can do canyoning or enjoy rafting fun on raging rivers during Black Water Rafting. Penetrate caves like the Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Other caves you can visit are in Caving Waitomo, and on the South Island West Coast. If you like trout fishing or diving, world famous spots await you. For windgliders Omarama is a total Eldorado. You can do heli trekking at the Fox Glacier.

Ice climbing, hunting or an exclusive “Lord of the Rings Tour” are other highlights you can do yourself or with a guide. A real adventure highlight is a canoe tour in the Abel Tasman Marine Reserve. If that’s not enough, go swimming with seals and dolphins in Kaikoura or the Bay of Islands. You can also sit down with the Maoris and learn more about their culture or learn their language right away.

Backpacker Highlights

A real New Zealand backpacker adventure can be a stay on a farm. You will get to know the real local flair with other farm workers. Board and lodging are available for hard work. A train ride is certainly recommended. You can find the best offers for several days on the website

Book one of the following train trips according to your mood: TranzAlpine, Coastal Pacific or Northern Explorer. Also nice is the route “The Capital Connection”, which connects Palmerston North with Wellingto. During the TranzAlpine Tour you can make a detour to Arthur’s Pass National Park. The two ferry companies Bluebridge and the Interislander offer ferry services through the famous Cook Strait. Or you can ask for boat tours in the ports of Auckland and Wellington.

Backpacker insider tips

Neuseeland Strauss

New Zealand Strauss

After Lord of the Rings, are there any New Zealand backpacker insider tips? Surely no more, which have not been committed yet, but still some, which only a few take part or visit. On few other visitors you meet with high probability in the Aorangi Forest Park in Wairarapa. Visit once in the Bay of Islands the Cape Brett and enjoy the breathtaking view to the sea and the offshore islands.

Similarly spectacular is the view from the Cape Palliser lighthouse at Cape Palliser. In the Mt Aspiring National Park you can do a great trekking tour to the glacial lake Crucible Lake. Penguin colonies await you in Curio Bay. Or you can take the Driving Creek Railway from Coromandel across the Coromande Peninsula. The hobbits are or were also at home at the Earnslaw Burn Glacier. Worth a visit in any case.

You stand on sand? Lots of sand? Then you have to go to the Farewell Spit on the South Island. Around the small coastal town Karamea there are wonderful hikes. Adventurers and survival fans will get their money’s worth at Lake Sumner, about 100 km from Christchurch. If you follow Nelson Creek, you will follow in the footsteps of former gold seekers and knights of fortune.

Food & Drinks in New Zealand

New Zealand cuisine is not exactly known as gourmet cuisine. This is probably due to the fact that a large part of the basic cuisine consists of English and Scottish cuisine. And these two do not exactly occupy the first places in the worldwide gourmet ranking. In addition, there are far more sheep and cows than people in the country.

As a result, a lot of beef and sheep meat is used in various recipes. Fortunately, the indigine Māori cuisine gives national cuisine an exotic touch. In the cities and international hotels, the connoisseur can also enjoy the high art of cooking in restaurants. Those who want to try the local specialities can try the small restaurants with local flair up and down the menu.

All about food

If you’re one of those New Zealand backpackers who don’t want to get involved in a taste adventure, you can choose from the Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut, Homestead and McDonald’s branches, all of which settled in the country in the 1970s. If you are looking for a special culinary treat, you should look around where the traditional Maori cooking technique is offered. The local dishes are then prepared in so-called hangis.

This is a kind of earth oven in which meat and leaves are wrapped on hot stones. Friends of lamb meat get their money’s worth with backpacker fun in New Zealand. In a nutshell, the various lamb specialities can be described as delicious and inexpensive. And there are still the oysters to mention. There is supposed to be no better worldwide. However, the catch and harvest time is very short. What bockwurst with French fries is in Germany is fish and chips in New Zealand. The British immigrants have left their traces of the “high” culinary art here.

Nature in New Zealand

Nature in New Zealand

What to drink there

Drinking alcohol is the order of the day in New Zealand, albeit in other dimensions than in Europe. On the one hand this may depend on the expensive prices and on the other hand on the beers, which are not very tasty. Then you’ll have to dig a little deeper into your pocket and supply yourself with imported beers. If you want to swallow harder stuff, you’ll have to look into Liquor Shops for it. You won’t find it in normal supermarkets.

Oh yes, you should know. You should know that consuming alcohol in public is forbidden. It’s worth noting that New Zealanders like to step on the gas on Tuesdays, Thursdays and weekends. If you want to drink good beer, then pay attention to pubs with their own microbrewery. By the way, the cider made from fruit is also delicious. A New Zealand anti-alcoholic speciality is Lemon & Paeroa.

Backpacker Visa and Vaccinations in New Zealand

As a German citizen you do not need a Work and Travel Visa. Everything you need to know to enter Germany can be found at If you want to work or stay longer, it’s best to search online again. During the backpacker trip in New Zealand make sure that your identity papers are complete and up to date. According to the German Foreign Office, you will need the following entry documents to enter New Zealand without any problems. German nationals can enter New Zealand with the following documents:

  • Passport: Yes
  • Provisional Passport: Yes
  • Identity card: No
  • Temporary identity card: No
  • Child Passport: Yes
  • Comments: Each child needs their own ID document.


As a German citizen you do not need a special visa for New Zealand.

Medical Information & Vaccinations

For all backpackers and nature park campaigns, the obligatory “Outdoor Safety Code” of the New Zealand nature conservation authority DOC must be observed. If you come directly from Germany, there are no vaccination regulations. Due to its geographical location, New Zealand has to contend with tropical diseases and viruses. In addition it can come to momentous contacts with poisonous and aggressive animals. In the event of an illness or travel accident during your backpacker trip you can hope for good medical help throughout New Zealand. Remember that your vaccination pass is complete and up to date.