New Zealand is increasingly becoming one of the hottest destinations in the world, particularly for those who love the outdoor life and adrenaline sports.
The country’s lively cities such as Auckland and Wellington also attract foreign visitors, including English language teachers who are able to take advantage of the country’s multicultural dynamic.
On this page you will find a selection of guides to various aspects of life in the country, including the differences between the North and South Island, things to do in Auckland during your stay and a range of amazing activities you will only find in New Zealand.
New Zealand is a popular destination for international visitors, particularly with those who enjoy exploring stunning natural environments and taking part in exhilarating outdoor pursuits.
Nature inspired activities such as whale watching and hiking through national parks are extremely popular, as are adrenaline fueled sports including bungee-jumping, skydiving, rock climbing and mountain biking.
Across the country you will find many reasons why people flock here from all over the world, including crystal clean air, beautiful scenery, pristine beaches, ancient woodland and snow-capped mountains.
As well as pointing out the country’s most popular destinations, this handy guide to New Zealand also includes a few useful tips on the local language, food and culture.
Auckland is the most populous city in New Zealand and the entry point for nearly three quarters of all international visitors to the country.
Whether you prefer outdoor activities including mountain biking, kayaking and mini golf, or more sedate pastimes such as exploring the local markets, hanging out in the park or eating fish and chips picnic style, you should find something here for you.
As the majority of visitors to New Zealand spend at least some time in the city, this great guide to non-touristy things to do in Auckland is a must-read for anyone planning a trip.
You will also find some great ideas for exploring the area by scooter or 4x4 vehicle.
New Zealand consists of two main islands, North Island and South Island, and there are some significant differences between the two.
There is also a considerable difference in the population of each island, with the North being home to over three times as many people as the South.
Check out this fun infographic for more comparisons between New Zealand’s two island rivals.
As the North Island is closer to the equator it is generally a bit warmer than the South Island.
Due to the contrasting climates the North Island is generally the most popular for hanging out on the beach, while the South Island is the clear winner when it comes to winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding.
If you find yourself in New Zealand for a short visit or for a longer period of time you are unlikely to be short of exciting adventures to fill your days.
Other unique options include skydiving over the site of the world’s largest ever volcanic eruption in Taupo and underground rafting at Waitomo in the North Island.
You can choose a classic adrenalin activity such as bungee jumping at the site of the very first commercial jump in Queenstown or rolling down a hill in a plastic orb in Rotorua where the sport of Zorbing was born.
For those who prefer more peaceful pastimes there is always the option of swimming with dolphins in Kaikoura or gazing at the stars in Tekapo the home of the world’s largest dark sky reserve.
Although relatively small in area and population, New Zealand’s reputation as a top tourist destination has soared in recent years.
Due to its long and narrow geography you are never more than 128 km from the coast making it a great place for beach lovers.
The country is also famous for its love of unusual sports such as bungee jumping and Zorbing which were both invented here.
If it is on your radar then here are a few quirky facts about the country that you may not be aware of.
New Zealand is well known for its lamb and wool products but did you know that there are 9 sheep for every person?
If New Zealand sounds like your kind of place, read on for more fun facts about this beautiful country.
Located on the west coast of the South Island, the Franz Josef Glacier is one of New Zealand’s most popular tourist destinations.
One of the main reasons for its huge popularity is that the terminus of the glacier is only 300 meters above sea level making it easily accessible by car and on foot from the nearest town.
250,000 people per year visit the glacier to marvel at the natural beauty of the area and to enjoy a range of activities such as trekking, ice climbing, glacier walks and scenic flights.
While you are in the area you should also check out a few other amazing places including Fox Glacier, Mount Cook, Westland National Park and Lake Mapourika.
Due to long distances between attractions, a lack of public transport in sparsely populated areas and the sheer beauty of the scenery on offer, self-driving is one of the most popular ways of traveling around New Zealand.
Among the things you need to know are basics such as the speed limit, the laws on cell phone use and child seats, as well as more specific rules regarding overseas driving licenses and the alcohol limit for legal driving.
If you plan on buying or hiring a vehicle while in the country it is important that you are aware of the local rules and regulations.
Before heading off on a driving adventure across the country take a look at this informative infographic.