Planning a New Zealand road trip
Jul 05, 2023 By Juliana Daniel

Traveling to New Zealand is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and can be one of the most rewarding and stimulating trips you'll ever take. From its pristine landscapes to its national parks, it has so much to offer travelers from all around the globe.

While there are many great attractions for you to explore, this country has certain rules and precautions that should not be taken lightly; we want your journey here in New Zealand to be as memorable as possible!

To help make sure your journey runs smoothly, I am here today as a local Kiwi who knows the ins and outs of traveling in this beautiful land. In this blog post, I will discuss some common mistakes tourists usually make when coming here – which could easily taint what was supposed to be an incredible vacation experience - and how you can avoid them.

Only Visiting During Winter

Traveling to New Zealand during winter can be a great way to experience this beautiful country. From its snow-capped mountains and glaciers to its lakes and forests, it's sure to give you an unforgettable experience.

However, there are some precautions you should take when traveling around during winter - especially in the southern regions where temperatures can drop lower than in other parts of the country.

Pack clothes and watch the weather forecast and conditions before you set off. Be aware that tourist attractions can be closed during this time of year, too - so check ahead and make sure you plan your journey accordingly! You can enjoy a wonderful winter trip to New Zealand with careful planning.

Not Renting a Car

New Zealand has some of the best driving roads in the world, with spectacular views and an unbeatable sense of freedom. However, there might be better ideas than renting a car while visiting.

Public transport is easily accessible, and buses are often cheaper than renting your car - plus, you won't have to worry about navigating unfamiliar roads and getting lost.

Check the rental company's policies to avoid hidden fees or extra charges if you rent a car. Planning your route is also a good idea to take advantage of all stops.

Overlooking the North Island

The North Island of New Zealand is known for its picturesque landscapes, rolling hills, and stunning beaches. It is filled with natural wonders not found anywhere else in the world.

From the Waitomo Caves to the hot springs of Rotorua, you can explore many unique sites on your journey through this beautiful land.

Hike through lush forests and enjoy the views of volcanic mountains. Visit one of the many vineyards and sample some of the finest wines in the country. From kayaking on Lake Taupo to treks through Tongariro National Park, there's something for everyone to enjoy in this stunning north island destination.

Take advantage of opportunities to swim with dolphins, meet Maori locals at cultural centers, or cruise around the Bay of Islands. With so much to offer, the North Island is noticed during your visit to New Zealand.

Packing Mainly Casual Clothes

When visiting New Zealand, it's important to pack clothes that are comfortable and suitable for the weather. It would be best to mainly pack casual clothes such as jeans, t-shirts, shorts, and sandals. Layers are essential, so add some sweaters or jackets to your luggage.

It's also a good idea to bring a rain jacket and good walking shoes. New Zealand can get windy, so add some light scarves, hats, or gloves for warmth. If you plan on visiting cultural attractions or national parks, bring along something appropriate - such as longer shorts or skirts for women and collared shirts for men.

Staying Within Your Comfort Zone

New Zealand is a stunning country with much to explore, but staying within your comfort zone while traveling is important. Respect the customs and culture of the locals, and be aware of any potential dangers in unfamiliar areas.

Respect the environment around you - follow all safety protocols and leave no trace behind when camping or hiking. Ensure you have enough food, water, and cash to travel.

Don't be afraid to try something new and explore the unknown - but remember to stay within your limits and never venture too far from safety. New Zealand is a place of stunning beauty that can be enjoyed in comfort and security.

Not Planning Your Itinerary in Advance

Planning your New Zealand itinerary is essential for a successful and enjoyable trip. Not planning can lead to missed opportunities, lack of preparation, and exhaustion - not to mention costly mistakes!

Start by researching the attractions and activities you're interested in. Decide how long you want to stay in each place to take advantage of everything important. Ensure you have the necessary permits and visas to travel where you want to go and any booking fees that may apply.

Look for affordable flights and accommodation to keep your budget in proportion. Remember to factor in time for rest days, too! Most importantly, reserve ample time to explore the great outdoors and enjoy New Zealand's stunning scenery.

Planning your itinerary will allow you to maximize your time in this spectacular country and ensure a truly unique experience. With the right preparation, you can make the most of your journey here!

Not Buying a Local Sim Card

When traveling to New Zealand, it's important to stay connected. Not buying a local sim card can leave you at risk of being unable to access maps and directions, contact emergency services if needed, or even keep in touch with your loved ones back home.

A local sim card will give you better coverage than an international plan and help you save on data and roaming charges. You can choose from various prepaid or postpaid plans depending on your needs.

You'll also have access to local offers and discounts you may not find with international providers. Additionally, it's important to ensure your phone is unlocked before purchasing a sim card - so make sure this is handled beforehand! You can easily stay connected and explore New Zealand with a local sim card.

So remember to buy a local sim card when planning your trip to New Zealand - it could make all the difference! With the right preparation, your journey here will be spectacular. Enjoy every moment of it!

All these are great tips for a fantastic trip to New Zealand. Planning is key, so make sure you take the time to prepare for your journey and reap the full rewards this country has to offer. With these tips, you can enjoy an unforgettable New Zealand experience!


What should be avoided while traveling to New Zealand?

Knowing the local laws and customs is important when traveling to New Zealand. It is illegal to consume alcohol in public places and possess and consume drugs.

What can I carry to New Zealand?

When arriving in New Zealand, you must declare any food items, plants, and animals. Carrying weapons is illegal and prohibited.

What food items are not allowed in New Zealand?

Food not imported into New Zealand includes raw fruits and vegetables, certain dairy products, eggs and honey, and some meats. Any food item brought into the country must be declared when entering.


A trip to New Zealand can be an incredible experience if you plan and stay within your comfort zone. Avoid only visiting in the winter, not renting a car, overlooking the North Island, packing mainly casual clothes, not planning your itinerary, and not buying a local sim card. Knowing what to expect and being prepared for all possibilities is important when traveling abroad.

After reading this blog post, you should better understand how to best prepare for your trip to New Zealand. So if you're ready for your next adventure – start packing and don't forget Mistakes To Avoid on Your Trip to New Zealand – According to a Local!