Travel Feature: New Zealand

New Zealand consists of two islands, North Island and South Island, and is surrounded by ocean. It is one of the most picturesque and serene places. Due to the fact that it is so remote, it was the last county to be found and settled by humans. It is located about 1,500 km from Australia and about 1,000 km from Pacific Islands. Since the population of New Zealand is around 4.5 million people, it is very sparsely settled.
Getting around. There are so many places to see in New Zealand, and the best way to get around would be to rent a car. If you are not comfortable driving yourself, you can either have someone to drive you around or take a bus. If you plan to travel from island to island, there are domestic flights available as well as ferries. Domestic flights are cheaper than taking train or driving. There are also taxi services and they are known to be reliable and trustworthy, but are more expensive.
Places to visit. There are so many things to do and so many adventures to experience, form surfing and glacier hiking to helicopter rides. It is also known for its mountains and glaciers, so some of the must see places are Southern Alps of the South Island and Fiordland National Park, those are the best places where you can see mountains rising above water.


Flickr Creative Commons: Edwin Lee

One of the most beautiful and one of the New Zealand’s famous destinations is Milford Sound. This place is breathtaking! There are so many mountain peaks and waterfalls. You can take boat cruises to enjoy the views and also enjoy kayaking and diving.


Flickr Creative Commons: einalem

There are also several glaciers and you can head to Westland National Park to see some of the biggest ones.


Flickr Creative Commons: Department of Conservation

Also New Zealand has active volcanoes, geysers, and hot springs. The best place to see those is Rotorua with many parks surrounding it. Another great place to visit is Tongariro National Park that has three active volcanoes. You can also go to Whakatane and take a tour to a volcanic island called White island where you can enjoy the views of green crater lake and pohutukawa trees.


Flickr Creative Commons: Phillip Capper

Real Estate. Being that New Zealand has such a relaxed way of life, beautiful landscapes and mountains, great health and education system, it was always appealing for many to buy either a second property or move there permanently. For about 100,000 British pounds (approximately $141,400), you can buy a large 3 bedroom house. For the cities like Auckland and Wellington, the prices will jump to 200,000 British pounds (approximately $282,200).


Flickr Creative Commons: Tom Jankowski (CC BY-ND 2.0)

The best way to find properties for sale is online. The process of buying is fairly easy and quick – it take about three to four weeks to close the deal. Although, it is important to do your due diligence and make sure you know tax, insurance cost, etc.
Things to know before traveling. For US citizens no visa is required to enter the country, just your passport. New Zealand is 19-21 hours ahead of Pacific time and that also depends on the time of year. Make sure to research their times of year since it is very different and can be confusing. Also, keep in mind that it is very remote and you can travel for hours before you see any gas station or store, so it is important to plan ahead. Another thing to be aware of is that the weather can change multiple times during the day, it can go from hot to freezing cold. Also, the have sandflies that might be much worse than mosquitoes, make sure to have repellents or clothes with you.

New Zealand is one of the world’s most beautiful tourist destinations and if you choose to travel there, it can be the trip of a lifetime!

Flickr Creative Commons: Tom Hall (CC BY 2.0)
All photos used under this license.