Best Travel Tips

Whether you are planning to visit New Zealand for a couple of days or for an extended trip, you need to do research beforehand. While New Zealand may not be the biggest country in the world, I think it is one of the best. Let me help you plan your trip!

There are all kinds of tours, which can get you real value for your money. You can choose from a variety of activities and find something really fun. Look online for tour sites and you will be all set. Be sure to check reviews to confirm that the company has satisfied guests. We have lots of tour companies, big and small. We used Active Earth and they have a helpful website if you are interested: https://activeearthadventures.com. You can also try http://www.tourism.net.nz/tours/private-guides-and-personal-service#tab-locations to get a guide based on where you will be.

You can pick a good place to go based on your interests. I will give you a couple of ideas, which will make your internet searches easier. Many people who like water sports and water recreation will enjoy the Bay of Islands. For the wine connoisseur, I recommend visiting Waiheke Island, where there are many fantastic vineyards. If you like cities, then you will love everything about Auckland or Christchurch. All the convenience of modern life but you can still experience the great beauty of New Zealand’s landscape. For the adventurer, Queenstown is second to none. There is bungee jumping, jet boating, skiing, and even cliff jumping. But if you really want to get a good cultural experience, please consider Te Puia, the Maori Arts and Crafts Institute. Here you will experience some of the great aspects of the Maori culture, including a “steambox” meal and a dance performance.

No matter where you go, you can find something to do and have a wonderful time doing it. The internet is a good way to research these places, and you can find lots more information at http://www.newzealand.com

When it comes time to rest your head, never fear. You can live like a local in a rented bach (vacation home), camp under the starry skies at one of our holiday parks, or pamper yourself at one of our luxury hotels with a high Qualmark rating. You have lots of options for lodging and will be sure to find something that fits your budget. Check out regular sites like Airbnb too.

Traveling is easy. You’ll find just about every kind of transport. We have cars, motorcycles, and motorhomes you can rent: ferries and water taxis that can take you to other locations: busses, trains, and even airport shuttles. There is some detailed information on the New Zealand Tourism Guide website in the transportation section to really help you out.

One last thing to mention: there really is not a bad time to visit. The more south you go, the warmer it will be, but in general the weather stays between 16° – 25° C. July is the coldest month, and Summer is typically from December through February. Weather.com will have more information.

If you have any questions about visiting, please let me know!

Info for Those Wanting to Move Here

Deciding to pack up your life and move somewhere else is not an easy decision. Or maybe it is and the execution of the decision is the hard part. And New Zealand being an island makes it a little more challenging to move to from elsewhere. There are some things that you should know before you make the decision to move, and some things that you should know as you’re moving.

First, expect things to take a while. Finding a job ahead of time will help, especially if you have skills that companies here are looking for. It will help you get a Skilled Migrant or a Long Term Skill Shortage visa. You can also come as a student or to start a new business. There is a website (https://www.immigration.govt.nz/new-zealand-visas) that will explain it all to you and you can even apply online. If you are in the computer field, as I am, you have a good chance. The vast majority of visas are accepted in around a month, so you should be OK.

I recommend getting temporary housing that has the essentials already there, like some basic furniture and cooking items. Rent a furnished flat if you can. Prices are usually by the week to make it easier. Depending on where you are starting from, your stuff can take quite some time to get to you.

Speaking of which, getting your stuff to New Zealand can be a pain. Your stuff has to be cleared by Customs and Quarantine. They want to be sure you are not bringing any non-native pests to the island that can destroy the ecosystem. You may have to pay to get it fumigated or steam cleaned. If you want to bring your car over, it also has to pass inspection with the New Zealand Transport Agency. I recommend hiring movers who are experienced with this process. You can try getting a quote here: https://www.newzealandmovers.co.nz/moving-overseas/moving-to-new-zealand. Be prepared, it might hurt to look at the figures.

I don’t recommend tossing your stuff and just buying it all new when you arrive, though. The cost of living here is probably more than you are used to (unless you are coming from Australia and then it might be a relief). If you’re coming from somewhere like the US, you might be happy to know that healthcare is cheaper. If you’ve got certain types of visa, you get health care for free or at a really low cost. And there is the Accident Compensation Corporation, which takes some getting used to. If you get hurt, even if it is your own stupid fault, your medical and recovery costs are covered by this ACC. Emergency treatment is free, too.

You can bring your pets as long as they are approved breeds and from approved origins. The easiest way is to hire a pet exporter, like the ones you find here: https://www.mpi.govt.nz/news-and-resources/resources/registers-and-lists/pet-exporters/. They know what they are doing and it will be easier for everyone this way. It takes at least 10 days for your pet to clear quarantine before you can bring them to their new home.

If I’ve bummed you out or discouraged you in any way, I’m sorry. Read this, https://www.newzealandnow.govt.nz/why-choose-nz, and you’ll be back on track. Good luck and let me know in the comments if you have questions.

Sports Sites and Teams

There is a variety of sport here in NZ for you to play or follow. Like the rest of the world, we like rugby and football. Also cricket, sailing, basketball, netball, and others. The climate of New Zealand makes it easy to play most sports year round. If you want to join a team, it should not be too hard! There are also plenty of good teams to root for if you are not so great at playing on your own.

First, I will talk about one of the biggest sports here: rugby! We play both rugby and rugby league. There are professional teams, college teams, and then different groups can field their own teams. If you are interested in playing or learning more about the teams, you should start with http://www.nzrugby.co.nz/. You can find different leagues there as well as tips and other stuff you might want to know. If you want to get your kids on a team, check out https://www.smallblacks.com/ for a lot of good information. My favorite team is our national union team, the All Blacks. They are amazing! The lowest they have ever been ranked is 3rd, and that was over a decade ago. They are fantastic to watch and are always winning.

Football is another popular sport here. There are recreational leagues for us average players and pro teams for us to cheer on. There’s the Championship League, Northern Region, Central Premiere, Mainland Premier, FootballSouth Premier, and the National Team (The All Whites). While I like the national team, personally my favorite is Waitakere United. If you don’t already have a team to root for, I recommend checking them out. If football is your thing, there are a lot of great sites out there for scores and stuff, but I have found to be the FIFA website https://www.fifa.com/live-scores/nationalleagues/nationalleague=new-zealand-premiership-2000000123/standings/index.html to be most helpful if you need to know who is winning or where your team stands.

There are lots of other great sports here, but those are my two favorites!

If you’re into surfing, there are some good places to go. Raglan is the best. You can get detailed surf reports from Magicseaweed.com before you head out there. For skiers, I have good news and bad news. The good news is that skiing in New Zealand is beautiful and lots of fun. The bad news is that since our country itself is on the smaller side, so are our ski fields. However, we think they’re better than the European alps. Try Treble Cone or Whakapapa for some great skiing surrounded by some amazing scenery! Onthesnow.com has good reports on ski conditions and even some cameras so you can check things out.

Whatever sport you like, the best place to catch up on sports news for me has always been https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/sport. They do a good job of getting information and posting it quickly.

Do you have any go-to sites for your sports info? Let me know in the comments.