Kia Ora, Ao Tearoa!

New Zealand, the land so far east that you can’t even see it on some maps. Sometimes because you don’t look that far to the right, sometimes because the pseudo-cartographers forgot about it.

I was enchanted by these lands. There was still a sense of mystery, an air of exploration while backpacking throughout it.

It’s a young country. Sparse. A vast land, most of which untouched by the settlers – both the old and the new.

Especially the South Island, Te Waipounamu, reminded me so much of the days I spent in the Scottish Highlands, surrounded by the mountains and so few people that everybody knows everybody.

My 2 weeks and a bit in New Zealand were a journey to get from Queenstown to Auckland. But they were also a challenge to understand why thousands sailed for over 6 months to migrate to the end of the world.

New land, no opportunities, fresh start. That’s what brought them.

Pristine nature, stunning fjords, geothermal wonders, Pacific beauty. That’s what made them stay.

Backpacking Profile

PricesVery expensive
Does Revolut work?Yes
ATM with no feesBNZ Bank
Cash or card?Card
Public transportAverage
AccommodationHostels, hotels, camping
Other backpackersMany
Days needed15-50
Best time to travelDecember to March
Locals speaking EnglishAll
Main languagesEnglish, Maori