Backpacking in New Zealand
New Zealand Backpacking Destinations
New Zealand is full of amazing natural landscapes. We could make an endless list of gorgeous locations for you, but here are just a few of the highlights:
- On Cape Reinga you will find the broad and seemingly endless 90 Mile Beach, which you can even drive on with your car.
- The Coromandel Peninsula is a beloved holiday destination for New Zealanders. Here, you will find mystical rainforests, untouched white sand beaches, and hidden areas such as Cathedral Cove.
- In Raglan you can give surfing a try – great waves, pretty beaches, and an alternative lifestyle make this a popular place to stop.
- If you are drawn into the fascinating Tongariro National Park, the best place to start is Taupo. From here, you can head for Tongariro Crossing, a real adventure!
- The must-see list also includes Abel Tasman National Park with its incredible sports opportunities, glacier-hiking, and Fiordland.
In order to plan your work and travel in New Zealand, we and our partner organisation on location are happy to help you further.
Backpacking in New Zealand - get the hobbit feeling!
Follow in the footsteps of Frodo the hobbit, Gandalf the wizard, and Legolas the elf on their journeys through Middle Earth - as a backpacker in New Zealand! The magical beauty of New Zealand has become famous worldwide, especially since the "Lord of the Rings" series was filmed there. The country’s film scene locations now attract backpackers and film buffs from around the world.
On New Zealand's North Island, you will find Hobbiton, the slopes of Mount Doom (Tongariro National Park with volcanoes, a World Heritage site), and Rivendell (Kaitoke Regional Park, north of Wellington). On the South Island you'll find Pelennor Fields, the woods of Lothlorien, and the Fort of Bruinen (in the region surrounding Queenstown).
Backpacking in New Zealand, you're bound to come across some extreme adventure sports. Want to fall headlong into a ravine? We recommend bungee jumping. You’d prefer to race through floods, soaking wet and screaming? White water rafting is your cup of tea. Enjoy a bird’s eye view? Go paragliding! Fancy dropping out of a plane from 3km above the ground? Try parachuting! However you want to experience a thrill, New Zealand’s got the sport for you. By the way, just ask in a local pub how horizontal bungee jumping works!
Thanks to its position on a headland, Wellington, the southernmost capital city in the world, is the target of strong wind streams, which have lent the city its nickname, "Windy Wellington". Home to 370,000 inhabitants, Wellington is the political and cultural centre of the country, as well as the central focus of the New Zealand film and theatre industry.
The town’s landmark is Mount Victoria, which is also the perfect vantage point for the backpacker in New Zealand to view the Wellington cityscape. The following buildings are definitely worth a visit:
- The Parliament building,
- The Botanical Gardens and
- The National Museum of New Zealand
Students and backpackers alike love the relaxed, multicultural flair of the university, which offers a diverse nightlife with many bars, clubs, and cafés.
TravelWorks tip: Plan an evening with your backpacker friends in the district of Te Aro!
Tips from past backpackers in New Zealand:
- You should bring warm clothing with you. Even if it’s hot in summer, you’ll freeze to death at night!
- It’s better to take too much rather than too little money with you. Expect to spend about NZ$ 50 each day.
- Take as little luggage with you as possible! You will have to carry everything with you! You can wash and dry clothing anywhere you go.
- I had 12 kg of luggage for one year and that was more than enough.
- Skydiving is a must for people who enjoy extreme activities. A day’s tour around a glacier and a surfing course are also highly recommended.
Rotorua: Maori art, geysers, and boiling mud
Rotorua is the most popular tourist region in the North Island. The town and its surroundings offer loads of things for the backpacker in New Zealand to see. Rotorua is a place:
- where geysers shoot out of the earth.
- where boiling mud bubbles.
- where there are sulphurous lakes in many colours.
In some locations, you’d really believe you’ve landed on a different planet. In Rotorua, you don’t need an expensive hotel to enjoy a whirlpool bath – a backpacker hostel with its own heated springs is perfectly adequate!
The centre of Maori culture
The region is not just considered outstanding for its natural beauty; it's also a true centre of Maori culture. If you want to visit a Maori art school or admire Maori dancing, you've come to the right place. And if you think you've seen it all by day, wait until you experience the nightlife!