Things To Avoid In New Zealand

We come across thousand and one suggestions each day on what to do when visiting a popular destination. What is usually ignored, and wrongly so, is what one must avoid while planning that particular trip. Keeping in mind what not to do isn’t about becoming pessimistic; it is about planning wise, and hence, planning better. 

New Zealand, or the Land of the Long White Cloud, has been a tourist magnet for quite some time now. 

It is blessed by nature with the absolute best. From exhilarating hikes to a volcanic island and a volcanic cone, to sailing through tranquil beaches and tasting the most exquisite of wines, New Zealand is an explorer’s delight. To make the trip even more remarkable, there are a few things one can and must avoid. Let us delve into them one by one, shall we?

Here is a list of things to avoid when planning a trip to New Zealand: 

• Over-planning 

• The peak season

• Jetlag

• Misjudging the weather 

• Missing out on an insect repellent 

• Trying to include everything 

• Familiar trails 

• Body oil

• Ordering wine at a restaurant

• Losing out on freebies

• Bargaining 

• Tipping 

• Getting robbed

• Open roads 

• Disrespecting the culture

• Relying on hotspots

• Littering

• Sticking to one particular cuisine 

• Taking speed limits lightly 

1. Over-planning

The one thing to avoid when planning a trip to New Zealand is over-planning. Since the place is gorgeous and has lots to offer, you might want to make changes to your initial plans once you set foot there. Registering for everything in advance will hinder your instincts, thus leaving you with major FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). 

2. The peak season 

The summer months (December to February) are the most sought after for traveling to New Zealand. However, there are downsides to this, such as expensive flights, overbooked hotels, and thronged touristy spots, which you might want to avoid. 

3. Jetlag 

Traveling to New Zealand means traveling to a different hemisphere. Such long flights tend to tire you out and cause jet lag. While you cannot avoid it altogether, you can minimize its effects. Some ways to do so include keeping yourself hydrated, getting good rest while flying, steering clear of alcohol, and regulating your exposure to bright light. 

4. Misjudging the weather 


One of the trickiest things about New Zealand is its weather. The sun here loves playing peak-a-boo, tanning one moment, comforting the next. Spring too is mischievous for hiding rainclouds that might pour on you at any given time. The best thing to do hence, is to be prepared for every occasion. You need not over-pack, but don’t miss out on a few layers, a sunscreen, a pair of sunglasses, and a raincoat.  

5. Missing out on an insect repellent 

One regret common among travellers is forgetting an insect repellent while trekking. Since there are so many hiking spots in New Zealand, and we are sure you will be exploring a few, it is recommended that you carry a repellent with you to keep mosquitoes and sand flies from ruining your New Zealand trip. 

6. Trying to include everything 

New Zealand is made up of two parts – the North Island and the South Island. Though it is suggested that you visit both, for those hard pressed for time and/or money, it is best to choose between the two and explore it well.

7. Familiar trails 

Why go the tried-and-tested way when you could do things differently? While planning your New Zealand trip, avoid roads taken in order to allow new adventures to unfold. Google Maps is always there to bring you ashore in case you are lost.

8. Body oil 

While people who love tanning their skin suggest dabbing some oil for the process to be quicker, we would recommend you swap your oil for sunscreen. The sun in New Zealand can be really cruel, and can cause blisters if you don’t take good care. 

9. Ordering wine at a restaurant 


In New Zealand, like in some other countries, you can bring your own wine to a restaurant. This way, you don’t have to depend on the eatery’s limited collection. It also saves you from spending exorbitantly on wine which are often priced high at restaurants.  

10. Being suspicious of locals 

New Zealanders are shy but very friendly people. You can expect them to respond to hellos and friendly smiles, and help you with directions. Open yourself up a little and you might make a friend for life. 

11. Losing out on freebies

Everyone enjoys freebies once in a while, right? These are especially attractive while traveling. When planning your trip to New Zealand, make a list of places that you can enter without a fee. Some of these include Cape Reinga, Kerosene Creek, Hot Water Beach, and the International Dark Sky Reserve. 

12. Bargaining 

Though it is a natural tendency among people to negotiate prices when traveling to make sure they are not taken for a ride, in New Zealand this trend is not welcomed. Asking for a better price is okay, but haggling is absolutely not. 

13. Tipping 

Unless the service is extraordinary, tipping isn’t the norm in New Zealand. If you are exceptionally impressed and want to tip someone, then you can present it as a courtesy. 

14. Getting robbed 

Though New Zealand is among the safe countries to travel in, it is best to be cautious. Each time you leave your car or hotel room, either keep your documents and valuables under lock and key, or carry them with you. 

15. Open roads 


This tip is for those who are planning to cycle around New Zealand. Biking on motor roads is an offence in New Zealand. Therefore, it is both a matter of safety as well as following the law. Avoid busy roads, but do not avoid wearing your helmet.  

16. Disrespecting the culture 

If you are visiting a marae to interact or watch the Māori tribe (indigenous people of New Zealand), then make sure you are well-versed in their dos and don’ts. You definitely don’t want to dishonour them, that too unknowingly.   

17. Relying on hotspots 

Access to the internet can be an issue in New Zealand though most hostels and hotels have free Wi-Fi. However, this isn’t a bad thing since it allows you to actually disconnect from your devices and connect with the magic of nature. 

18. Littering 

New Zealand prides itself on its cleanliness as it should. When visiting the place, avoid cluttering the parks and/or littering the beaches. Follow the age-old wisdom of leaving the place better than you found it. 

19. Sticking to one particular cuisine 

New Zealand offers a plethora of dishes to its tourists. If you are planning to visit, then make sure you don’t limit yourself. Try different cuisines, both native Māori as well as food from around the world.   

20. Taking speed limits lightly


Make sure you don’t take speed limits lightly because the police won’t. The best way to make sure you don’t get a ticket, is to familiarize yourself with the traffic rules of the place while planning to visit. 

That’s a pretty long list, but not exhaustive at all! In case the list intimidated you and left you wondering if you can in fact plan your trip well, you have nothing to fret about. We, are at your service. Send us your queries, and we will help you plan the best trip to New Zealand. 

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