There are so many reasons why New Zealand is considered the backpacking capital of the world.
To help you better understand why New Zealand is considered the best backpacking country, below are some of the specific reasons that led to the Kiwi country winning this crown.
Unlike its next-door neighbour, Australia, where it seems everything in the wild is trying to kill you, New Zealand is very safe. No predators, venomous creatures or insects lurk in the outdoors to bite, sting or eat you – no snakes is a real bonus. You can fall asleep in the New Zealand outdoors without any worries. But, naturally, even though it’s safe out, it still pays to be sensible.
Many mind-blowing landscapes to explore
In New Zealand, every hiking trail offers a magnificent view as a reward for your hard work. Whether you are hiking through forests, glaciers, or a volcanic island, there are multiple picturesque views to discover that will send your selfie finger into a frenzy.
The beautiful landscapes extend from the mighty snowy mountains of South Island to the lush and rolling greens of North Island. Every point in between both extremes also offers a unique blend of beautiful countryside for you to explore on foot. Before you know it, your camera’s storage space will be full as you try to capture every strange rock formation, paradise beach, awning mountain peak, glacier, that you come across.
There’s so much to see that taking the same trail multiple times is wonderful, and yet there are so many different backpacking trails to discover.
In between your backpacking trips, there are numerous adventure activities to try out, and each one offers something exhilarating. There’s skydiving in Queenstown, bungy jumping, caving, tubing, zorbing, white and/or black water rafting, jet boating and much more. By the way, did you know bungy jumping was invented in New Zealand?
You can even mix your backpacking with an exhilarating adventure by going glacier hiking onFranz Joseph Glacier or Fox Glacier. The whole of New Zealand offers you the perfect opportunity to experience a free spirited, outdoorsy lifestyle.
You don’t have to pay for all your fun
How many backpacking countries can proudly say they offer their backpackers a good time for free? Well, New Zealand can. Here, you can save money while travelling by spending less to have a good time.
Walking and hiking is free as long as you don’t hire a tour guide. Just grab a map and some provisions and you’re good to go – head on out and immerse yourself in New Zealand’s safe wilderness. A lot of the walking tracks are easy to follow because they are well kept by the Department of Conservation. All of New Zealand’s 9 Great Walks can be enjoyed for free and if you are a backpacking enthusiast, we recommend you try at least one.
Aside from backpacking, there are also museums and natural hot pools you can access for free. Check out other free things you can do in Paihia, Auckland, Rotorua, and Queenstown.
Solid backpacker hostel network
If you are looking for it, cheap accommodation isn’t hard for backpackers to find in New Zealand. It’s one of the reasons you can comfortably travel the whole country on a budget. Besides being affordable, from NZ$20-35 per night, a backpacker hostel is a great way to meet interesting people from all over the world.
Among New Zealand’s network of backpacker hostels, you will find popular names such as Nomads, Base, and YHA. There are also a bunch of independent hostels and each one has its own unique personality with a different experience to offer. The hostels are scattered all across the country, so you can always find a warm and cosy bed while backpacking.
Lots of work opportunities
You can budget as much as you want for a backpacking adventure, but the fact remains that the more money you have, the better. Fortunately, New Zealand offers a working holiday visa that lets you have fun and legally earn some cash at the same time. There are entry-level jobs aplenty, as well as jobs that require no experience or specialised skills. For instance, you could get a seasonal job such as working on a farm or ski field, or even fruit picking.
There’s also the option of WWOOFing and working for accommodation. WWOOF or Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms makes it possible for you to live with a New Zealand family and earn your keep with a few hours’ work per day. Think of it as a cultural exchange programme wherein they learn something about you and you learn something about the life and times of a real Kiwi family
Moving around is easy
There are transport links in New Zealand that were built with backpackers in mind. These include the hop-on and hop-off buses. These buses provide a flexible bus network which allows you to get on the bus from anywhere along its route and get off anywhere. When you are ready for another bus ride, you can always hop on the next bus with no fuss. You will find lots of backpackers using the buses, so you don’t have to worry about looking out of place.
If you have got the cash, nothing stops you from renting a car for the duration of your stay. You could even buy one and resell it before you leave.
So, do you now see that New Zealand is the ultimate destination for backpackers? One important factor never to forget when planning your backpacking adventure is insurance. It’s wise to have adequate and comprehensive travel insurance cover that covers backpacking: Not all policies do so do check.
If you’ve backpacked through the country before, please share your unique experiences in the comments.