New Zealand is a destination on most traveller's bucket lists. With a diverse range of activities, cultures and landscapes, there is something for everybody. As locals ourselves, here at Yourdrive, we're experts on all things New Zealand. Here, we share our 7 top tips for getting more out of your New Zealand travels. You've come all this way so, you'd better make the most of it!
1. Travel off peak for more choice and better prices
December to February is peak season for tourists in New Zealand. This means super low availability and up to 300% higher prices on accommodation and transportation than during winter! The best time to travel is during spring (Sept-Nov) or autumn (Mar-May). During these months it’s still fairly warm, but you’ll find availability and prices are better, and popular attractions are less crowded.
2. Pay with a credit card for convenience and savings
Forget the old cash is king rule when travelling New Zealand. Pretty much everywhere accepts credit cards so, don’t worry about converting your own currency into NZ dollars before your trip. If you can, use a credit card rather than a debit / eftpos card as typically these don’t incur currency conversion fees and you can rack up rewards as you spend. Using a credit card for spending instead of cash also means you forgo ATM withdrawal charges and don’t have to carry cash around.
3. Rent a car or campervan from a friendly local
Kiwis are well known to be super friendly. If you’re ever wanting some assistance or recommendations, just ask and they’ll usually be more than happy to help! A great way to meet a local is through peer-to-peer sharing.
On Yourdrive, you can rent cars, vans and campervans directly from real people throughout New Zealand. By renting from residents you'll find a wider range of better-value vehicles and more pick-up locations than traditional car rental companies. You'll also get travel tips and advice from a friendly local, and it’s better for the environment. See the bottom of this post for how to get $20 credit you can use on your first rental.
4. Find and stay at unique campsites with these apps
There are loads of stunning spots hidden out of sight on private property all across New Zealand. Find and stay at these campsites, without being served a trespass notice, through Campable. The online platform enables trusted property owners to share their space with travellers looking for a unique place to stay in a tent or a campervan. Another must-have app for NZ travel is Campermate. Their free app provides information about every campsite in the country including reviews, so it’s dead handy for finding, comparing and booking campsites before and during your trip.
5. Book in advance so you don't miss out
As mentioned in our first tip, peak season is busy and there is high demand for just about everything! We recommend you make your plans as early as possible and lock them in. Book your accommodation, transportation and any important activities early and directly through the company’s own website (where possible) to get the best prices and avoid missing out.
6. Book in advance so you don't miss out!
This is not a misprint! We’ve put this twice to really hammer home the importance of this point. If you don’t do this, you will be caught out, guaranteed.
7. Blaze your own trail to see the real New Zealand
Embrace the kiwi attitude and DIY your adventure. The cost of popular tour passes and activity tickets can really add up. We’d recommend passing on typical tourist attractions in favour of going au natural. New Zealand is best known for its stunning nature so, get out there and explore the wilderness for free! Hike an epic track, relax on the beach or take a refreshing dip in a lake. Check out the Yourdrive blogs for some awesome travel itineraries and trip tips.
Join Yourdrive now for free below, and get $20 off your first rental!
Yourdrive is Aotearoa's car sharing platform, with over 600 privately owned cars and vans available to rent from locals.