Hiking Tongariro Alpine Crossing Track, 19 kilometres in one day on the North Island. Photo by Blueromulan.
Why holiday in New Zealand?
Kayaking around Abel Tasman NP on the north coast of the South Island. Photo by Tobias Thiere.
The Kiwi islands are activity heaven, especially for hikers and hyperactive backpackers, with a superb variety and splendour of landscapes from glaciers to subtropical forests hosting – unlike neighbouring Australia – no deadly creatures at all.
NZ is also home to some of the safest, prettiest, best-organized hiking and cycling trails on the planet as the government has supported eco-friendly track development throughout the country, replacing some rail tracks with cycle routes and focusing on spectacular landscapes – this is, of course, home to Lord of the Rings panoramas.
The views are sensational and the roads mostly free of traffic (including buses! ) though not of sheep, so consider a rental car/van for a time-saving way to tour New Zealand easily, stopping off for a stroll or drink or b&b whenever the mood takes you.
The place is also terrific for many lunatic adrenalin activities – much loved by young travellers – but also has many miles of excellent beaches for kayaking, sailing, swimming, fishing, whale watching and more. Beaches on the North Island offer the warmest waters.
New Zealand tourism is easy, safe, inexpensive, English speaking, there’s a lot of budget accommodation available and local people are relaxed and friendly.
You apply for your visa when you arrive in New Zealand by completing an arrival card, which you’ll be given on the flight to New Zealand.
The length of stay is complicated but as a basic non-working visitor 9 months stay is possible.
But, they say, ‘you can be refused entry permission if you don’t meet character requirements; you refuse to let them take your photo, provide them with fingerprints or an iris scan; you’re unable to provide evidence of any onward travel or funds required by the conditions of your visa.