So you’re off to the Land of the Long White Cloud? How exciting! You’re going to have a ball, I bet! But have you wondered about the things a kiwi wants you know about New Zealand? What are kiwis like when it comes to tourists? Have you wondered about what you should and shouldn’t do while in Aotearoa? Well fear not, friend! Here are 5 Things a Kiwi wants you to know about New Zealand!
1. We love compliments.
We love hearing people are having a good time in New Zealand. Kiwis want to know where you’re going, what your favourite part has been so far, and if you’re having fun. We like hearing how pretty the scenery is. So when you’re here next, don’t be afraid to tell us where you’re going next or ask for any suggestions. We will love that you are telling us and we didn’t have to ask you the same question we cannot but help ask every traveller we come across, “So what do you like about New Zealand so far?”
2. Please don’t freedom camp.
I have come across a few posts talking about how easy it is to ‘freedom camp’. I am hoping that by freedom camping these people mean they have a self-contained campervan/bus. Because otherwise ewww.
In New Zealand, freedom camping means you are travelling in a campervan or car with no toilet. Which means unless you’re parking up at sites with bathrooms, you are doing your business in the forest/ in a bush/ on the side of the road/ and in one instance, on the side of a busy main street.
While freedom camping is not illegal, there are laws you need to consider. For more information visit the Department of Conservation website.
3. Make your own travel decisions.
While it can be good to get a local perspective on where to go and what to see, many New Zealanders are pretty biased to their own slice of Kiwiland. For instance, North Islanders will probably tell you not to bother with the South Island because “there’s nothing down there and it’s cold”.
Well excuse you.
Milford Sound, Fiordland, the West Coast, Wanaka, the Morakai Boulders, and pretty much all of Nelson are all beautiful sites in the South Island. And the opposite is true. South Islanders will tell you not to bother with the North Island but the North Island has far more opportunities to learn about Maori culture and they also have some pretty good scenery too. I guess (can you tell which Island I’m from?).
4. Drive carefully.
For the love of pineapple lumps, drive carefully.
We drive on the left. For the majority of you, that is the opposite of what you are used to. At the moment in New Zealand, people are pretty divided on whether tourists should even be allowed to self-drive in New Zealand due to the high number of fatal accidents involving tourists. Crossing the centre line, driving off the road because they were too busy looking at the scenery, and my personal favourite, stopping in the middle of a road on a blind corner to take a photo. I promise, there are plenty of rest stops and other designated places to pull over and take that photo. Just please, please, please pay attention to what you are doing.
5. We are called Kiwis.
As in the bird.
Not the fruit.
Some people are sometimes confused as to why our national nickname is a piece of fruit. Awkward. It’s not. The Kiwi is a beautiful but flawed bird native to New Zealand and only found in New Zealand. Back in the good old days, the kiwi had no predators so thought “what do I need these wings for? Bugger that flying shit, all the good food is on the forest floor anyway.”
They forgot how to fly.
Unfortunately now (thanks to humans, man we suck) the kiwi has predators in the form of stoats, wild cats, and dogs not on leashes. Boo. If you want to read more about the kiwi fruit kiwi bird confusion you check out ‘Why you should NEVER eat a Kiwi…’ by Exploring Kiwis. You’ll love it. If you are wanting to see a Kiwi (the bird) during your time in New Zealand, head to a wildlife sanctuary. Your chances of seeing a Kiwi in the wild are very slim as they are endangered. Head to Backpacker Guide NZ for a comprehensive list of where to see the Kiwi both in the wild and in sanctuaries. And if you want to see a kiwi (the fruit) head to a supermarket.
So there you have it. 5 things a Kiwi wants you to know before your next adventure to Aotearoa. I hope you enjoyed the read!
Do you agree with these things? Do you have anything to add?
What are five things you wish people knew about your country?
Let me know in the comments and don’t forget to subscribe!
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Thank you and much love,