If you’re going to travel solo, trust us, New Zealand is the place to do it. You will be hard pressed to find a more beautiful country, with the most welcoming people, and incredible scenery to fill your days traveling alone. In fact, one could say you’ll never be alone in New Zealand. The mountains and green hills; the crystal clear streams and the epic beaches will be your friends. The fresh air will wake you up in the morning, and the lazy sheep will keep you company in the afternoon. As the sun sets, have a roadside pie with a local, and you’ll never have a lonely moment in New Zealand.
With all that said, there are definitely ways to make your solo travel experience the best one possible in New Zealand. Let’s go through some of the best ways to travel solo in this beautiful country and get you out on the road as quickly as possible.
- Road trip
A road trip across NZ is an iconic and must-do, regardless of whether you’re alone or have a possy of people. Grab yourself a van rental and drive across the whole country top to bottom if you can! Honestly, throwing on some road tunes and driving down the windy, green, stunning roads will fill you with more joy than you can handle. Even if you are less inclined to drive solo, we’d recommend at least renting a car a few times for some day trips through mountain passes and rolling hills.
- Find the right accommodation for you (and plan it)
A hostel is an incredible way to meet people and travel relatively cheaply. Remember that the type of crowd staying in a hostel will often be younger (think 18-30 or so), and often keen on filling their days with activities and evenings with fun. A hostel will often be louder and buzzing with activity, which can be fantastic for a solo traveler looking for some new friends to hang out with or go hiking. Try one of these best hostels in NZ to help plan your stays.
If a quieter, budget solo trip is more your style, think about looking into cheap hotels or AirBnb’s. You can still stay within a reasonable budget if you plan out your accommodation and get a bit creative. For example, many campgrounds will also have small cabins available that are typically cheaper than a full service hotel. You might find fairly reasonable Airbnb rooms as well in the larger cities.
You can also live large on your own in NZ. New Zealand lodges are some of the most beautiful places in the world, and worth every penny if you’ve got the budget for it.
- Fill your trip with activities
Imagine helicoptering and landing on top of the most incredible glacier, or soaring high in a glider above mountains covered in snow. New Zealand is known as the adventure capital of the world for a reason. Whether your jam is wild boar hunting trips, or jumping out of a plane 10,000 feet in the air, you’ll find it here.
The best part about traveling alone is that you can choose exactly how to fill your day, and aren’t waiting on anyone else. For this reason, make sure your trip is jam packed with exactly what you want to do. Even if it means sitting in front of a fireplace overlooking the mountains and reading, that’s fine as long as it’s your perfect day. We do recommend getting out and breathing the fresh, NZ air as much as possible, however. Since NZ is the perfect place for hiking (see one of these amazing Great Walks, for example), try and get outdoors as often as possible, weather permitting.
Other activities that require less outdoorsy natures are participating in the great cultural experiences of NZ. Maori culture is something you will absolutely want to experience and learn more about as you travel NZ. Try one of these options for immersing yourself in the culture and learning more about the history of NZ.
- Stay safe
Traveling can be dangerous regardless of the number in your party, but there are some additional things you’ll need to think about when traveling solo. Thankfully, NZ is fairly safe for solo travelers, and exercising normal safety precautions should be sufficient.
However, as a solo traveler, keep in mind that you won’t have a second person to go get help if needed, or be a reliable backup driver. For these reasons, make sure you do the following things:
- Register your walks: The Department of Conservation (DOC), is your go-to source for any walks you’re thinking of doing. Make sure to let them know when you embark on a walk so they are able to find you if anything goes awry. You can also register ahead of time for the Great Walks to book your space.
- Know the emergency numbers: Remember the number 111 for any emergencies while traveling. You should be able to call this even if your phone is out of credit.
- Travel insurance: A must for any traveler, especially those traveling abroad. Losing your bag or having your expensive camera stolen is an absolute downer, so make sure you’ve got yourself covered. Medical expenses can also add up if you don’t have the coverage, so it’s important to find a policy that suits you.
If we haven’t convinced you to come to New Zealand as a solo traveler yet, then it’s probably on us to buy the ticket for you! NZ will truly transform you as you explore the rugged and ever changing landscape from the very tips of the North Island, to the sounds at the bottom of the South Island. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty in this country, and let it change you from the inside, out. Welcome to the land of the long white cloud!