Exploring New Zealand -
How I would travel New Zealand differently on my second trip
1. Rent a camper van
Renting a camper van has always been a dream of mine, New Zealand is the perfect back drop for exploring the land by camper van. The roads are well maintained, 100km per hour and plenty of scenic spots to stop for a lunch or dinner along the journey. Save your money though, vans can be expensive- probably the biggest reason why we didn't do a camper van is because we are slowly coming to the end of our travel funds. In addition this time of year (New Zealand's summer season) is super popular camper van season for so many travelers from around the world, so do your homework and book your van in advance or you won't have a van at all. There are a number of neat camping apps and websites: campermate (will help you find cheap or free freedom campsites to keep costs low) and also check out transfer.co.nz (rental car companies need cars and camper vans relocate to different regions all the time - there's a good chance you could even score a vehicle for free for a few days, full tank of free gas and maybe even a paid for ferry ride).
NOTE: there are various companies to rent a van from, some vans are decked out with showers and vans which will be spendy but there are also a selection of car-vans built for camping like Spaceship rentals and also Wicked camper vans offering different styles like a sedan with a tent on top or a crappy soccer mom van spray paint with graffiti with a sleeper bench in the back)
2. Probably hitch hike
I wouldn't typically condone an activity like this but there are TONS of backpackers who have traveled all of New Zealand with just their thumb up. We've seen them everywhere here on the South Island of NZ, you can legally hitch hike here so if you plan to visit NZ on a real strict, tight budget you can certainly make it happen. There are a large number of backpacker hostels, cheap places to stay and also as I've mentioned above freedom camp sites (camp for free!!). My sister initially recommend this to us, at first I told her it was a bit crazy but after seeing how normal, and friendly most hitch hikers appear I've warmed up to the idea that it probably is a very economical way to get around and see New Zealand (especially the South Island).
3. Visit during their winter season
Visiting during summer time here has been outstanding: we've seen a wide range of weather from beautiful bright summer days to a week long stretch of crappy grey rainy days but I think New Zealand is a place you must visit twice. I say twice because experiencing these lands in two different seasons would totally transform your adventures and your photography. In addition to visiting twice be sure to plan more than two or three weeks to truly get your money worth out of seeing New Zealand. The South Island alone could take you 6 months to truly capture and explore in it's entirety so giving yourself about two to three weeks is barely enough. In addition the weather that hits these islands can sometimes stick in place for a week at a time before clearing up and onto sun shine so if you pick one week only there's a good chance the weather might be dodgy the entire time your here. Seeing places like Mt. Cook laced in snow and also Mt. Aspiring National Park covered in a fresh blanket of snow would be a totally amazing experience - although you might want 'warm weather' understand that even Summer can be cool, crisp, rainy and see temperatures in the mid 50s very much of the time down here on the South Island of New Zealand.
Thanks for reading here's some images of the things you will see along the way while cruising thru New Zealand's south island... stay tuned for more content coming soon... Follow us on instagram here to stay up with our latest and greatest adventures ~MYT