I have met a lot people now who are traveling on a shoestring budget, these are the tips I have picked up for New Zealand (most are generic to any country).
Flights– this is going to be a big cost, I don’t know a way around it, sorry. It can be reduced by using Apps like skyscanner to find the cheapest flight.
Travel– A few options here: hitchhike; New Zealanders are very good at stopping for travelers. Rent a car; this can later reduce accommodation and activity costs. Bus; intercity is the big company but manabus is often cheaper (look at different days/times as the prices vary considerably).
Accommodation– A few options here: take a tent and camp. If you have a car sleep in it-also for a small cost some hostels let you park and use their facilities. Hostels, especially dorm rooms are pretty cheap- top tip here would be to look at discount cards like BBH (the discounts soon add up). Another option for Hostels is to see if they have work to stay e.g. you clean etc in the morning to stay at the hostel for free.
Food– Unless you really want to eat out cook at the hostel or a portable stove if camping. If you are staying in Hostels its worth checking out the free foods (food left by guests-if you don’t take it someone else will) before going shopping. Also go to supermarkets near closing to get reduced foods.
Activities– The great thing about New Zealand is so much is free (you just need to get there), my articles on the places I visited will have everything I did for free. For activities that aren’t free, before booking look at bookme and ask the hostel if they have a discount.
Last tip– Check out visa options and if possible get a working visa so if you are short on cash you can try and get some work.
As you guessed from the title I loved my time at Paihia. Waking up to the beautiful sunrise over the dock (picture above) was so serene. It makes you feel so at peace.
So after the beautiful sunrise what do you do in Paihia? Well lets start with the free stuff- You can hike to Haruru waterfall, Opua Forest (which has wild Kiwi’s), and/or the Waitangi National Reserve. There are also a number of beautiful beaches (just don’t go to the one near the dock as the water isn’t very nice).
What’s good and cheap– Kayaking around the bay is so good, I personally went to one of the little islands- you can also get to Haruru waterfall. Take a very reasonable priced ferry to Russell to see the oldest church in New Zealand and chill on the long beach.
What’s great and needs some money- Spend the money, trust me, and do one the sail boat trips around the various islands. I personally did She’s a Lady which was awesome- I got to sail the ship, see tiny penguins in the middle of the sea (sometimes you see Dolphins) and visit a number of the little Island’s.
Recommendations– A friend, Josh, recommended a tour to the 90 mile beach and Cape Reinga because he loved it. Also the captain of She’s a Lady recommended an overnight boat hostel-can’t say much about it so be sure to look it up.
Mt Taranaki, New Zealand, is in the national park of Egmont; south of New Plymouth (if you stay here try the Ducks and Drakes it was the best hostel so far). So the real question is it worth visiting?
Hopefully the picture I took near the top will answer that. For those who want a description Mt Taranaki is beautiful, breath taking, exhausting, frustrating, adrenaline inducing, remote, has a gentle calmness, a pain to go down and a bloody awesome day.
Just a word of warning have a good pair of mountain boots, be prepared and if you get out of breath going up a hill don’t to this (the gradient at some points are insane).
Its true I am anti-city because I love New Zealand Countryside/Seaside so much. However I have really enjoyed my time in Wellington, despite the rain.
What’s good? Lets start with the free stuff. Mt Victoria-get up early for sunrise (walk it as you see so much on the way up)-the views of the docks and city are amazing. There are a number of really good free museums. The must one is the museum of New Zealand (it rivals my favourite museum the V&A in London)- it tells the story of New Zealand from its creation to Modern life interactively and its FREE.
When in New Zealand you have to do something Lord of the Rings and I wasn’t feeling hobbiton-so instead a LOTR tour, which I really enjoyed. If you don’t want to do this at least visit WETA caves, its a really good tour of movie props/visual effects.
Eating/drinking: I went to a number of really good places to eat-but as I’m not a local I don’t want to recommend. Instead check out these streets: Cuba St, Dixon St and Courtenay St.
Interesting but true: The Kiwi fruit in New Zealand came from China, its called the Chinese Gooseberry. Over 300 houses can only be accessed by cable cart in Wellington.