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Nz waiheke island drone water 2 joshua mccormack friends header

Fun things to know before travelling to New Zealand

New Zealand cannot wait to welcome you!

The feeling of excitement after you have booked a big trip is not to be missed. It is a large part of the journey, waiting and wondering in anticipation. Telling everyone that you know! Learning more about each place you are going to visit before you go. Deciding what to pack. Having plenty of time to pre-arrange passports and visas. Perhaps, buying yourself the perfect travel bag? And of course, really enjoying those pre-travel butterflies in the belly!

Here are some things to know before you embark on your dream journey to New Zealand.

Sea lion on the Otago Peninsula | New Zealand wildlife
The friendly locals are looking forward to welcoming you
© TravelEssence
Are you ready to embark on the trip of a lifetime?

New Zealand lingo

Before you head to New Zealand, it is nice to become more familiar with the local language. Yes, New Zealanders speak English but they have many interesting and quirky ways of saying things. There are also plenty of interesting Māori phrases to learn too.

Here are a few phrases to get you started:

Kei te pēhea koe? - How are you?

Tino pai te rangi, nē rā? - Lovely day isn't it

Ka kite anō - See you again

Nau mai, haere mai - Welcome

Spot a Kiwi | New Zealand wildlife
Did you know? The kiwi fruit is not native to New Zealand. It’s actually from China, but it was named after the kiwi bird
© TravelEssence

New Zealand movies to watch before you travel

While you are counting down the days till you leave for your holiday, what better way to get to know the country than watch a few of the best New Zealand movies! New Zealand is relatively new to the film industry but they still established a force to be reckoned with. There a plenty of great New Zealand movies to watch to keep you occupied till you leave for your big trip.

A river with green trees and fields and small Hobbit houses
The real Hobbit Village can be found in Matamata, New Zealand
© TravelEssence

Quirky facts about New Zealand

New Zealand’s land area is approximately 270,000 square kilometres, only slightly larger than the United Kingdom, and has the ninth longest coastline in the world, with a length of 15,134 kilometres. World-renowned for its astounding natural beauty, the country also has many weird and wonderful things to discover. From the steepest street in the world, the clearest lake in the world, active volcanos, and the planet's southernmost national capital, Wellington. There is a world of wonder to uncover in New Zealand.

Watch out for penguins on the Otago Peninsula!
New Zealand's South Island ranks 12th in the world's largest islands

Unique New Zealand wildlife

New Zealand has no less than 13 national parks. Highlighting more than 30,000 square kilometres of the most pristine nature in the world. Kiwis are proud of their country and are passionate about preserving it for future generations.

It is without a doubt that one of the most memorable parts of your trip to New Zealand will be enjoying the incredible nature. This includes the unique range of wildlife found in the country. Are you a bird watcher? New Zealand is the land of birds and features a diverse range of over 300 species. Before you embark on your New Zealand adventure, learn more about the interesting assortment of wildlife that you may encounter.

Kapiti Island is a protected haven for birds, including over 1,200 of the Little Spotted Kiwi
© TravelEssence
The Royal albatross is one of the largest seabirds in the world

New Zealand cuisine

New Zealand burst into the culinary scene with a fusion of local produce, innovation, and flair. A multicultural country that blends flavours from all over the world. New Zealand has some of the best oysters in the world - Bluff Oysters, and don’t forget to indulge in fresh whitebait fritters.

To blend in as a local, enjoy fish and chips with a side of tomato sauce or a mince and cheese pie is a popular choice. Experience a traditional Maori Hangi, a process of cooking in a steamed pit with heated stones. Or are you more interested in wine? The top 5 wine regions are Marlborough, Hawke’s Bay, Central Otago, Gisborne, and Canterbury.

What better way to get to know New Zealand before you leave than to learn more about the local cuisine.

Do you enjoy cooking?

Here are 5 classic recipes to try before you travel to New Zealand.

1. Kiwi Pavlova - There is a long-running argument between Australia and New Zealand about who invented the pavlova!

2. Hokey Pokey - Try New Zealand's most popular ice cream flavour as a slice.

3. Afghan biscuits - A traditional New Zealand biscuit also known as milk chocolate roughs.

4. Kiwi fish burger - The fusion of a burger with seafood and Asian flavours.

5. New Zealand- style beef steak and cheddar cheese pie - Kiwis love to eat pie - is it the same style as in the UK?

Fresh oysters in Bluff | New Zealand holiday
Be sure to try fresh bluff oysters!
© TravelEssence
Two people sitting on a bench near a food truck with a view of the ocean
If you are visiting Kaikoura, Nin bins is a must-do!

Tips for driving in New Zealand

Iconic hotel along the Crown Range Road | New Zealand holiday
Local tip: When travelling the South Island, be sure to stop by one of New Zealand's oldest pubs for a beer
© Dmitri Kotelevski
Are you ready to experience New Zealand's stunning scenery?

Discover more

Travelling Down Under

Frequently asked questions

New Zealand travel guide

Practical information

Are you searching for practical information ahead of your travels to New Zealand? It may not be the most exciting… read more

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Do you have a question about your upcoming trip to New Zealand? We would be more than happy to answer any questions or concerns that you may have.