Five Things You Should Not Do On Your Self Drive Holiday In NZ

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You know the usual rules about backpacking road trips? Well, travelling in New Zealand is all about breaking many of them!

A self drive holiday in New Zealand will take you places you wouldn’t believe existed and make you do things that you didn’t know were possible. You just need to get out of the comfort zone and be willing to try… Here’s our guide of what you should NOT be doing to make the most of your Kiwi summer roadie.

1. Don’t follow the tourist trail

Visiting places that are top of everyone’s list is fun – because they truly are great spots and experiences. But, getting away from them is even more fun. There is so much to be seen here that no guidebook (or blog post) will ever point you in all the right directions. So when in New Zealand, take it slow, make some wrong turns, start conversations with the locals, and get to know this country for what it is – one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Self drive holiday New Zealand

Enjoy doing things you can’t do on other holidays!

2. Don’t be afraid to talk to strangers

Leave visions of Wolf Creek and Hitchhikers on the border. New Zealanders are a friendly lot and you’re bound to have some interesting chats with locals. Brush up on the Kiwi slang before you arrive though. Knowing your ‘bros’ from your ‘cuzzies’, your hot chips from your chippies, and your jandals from your thongs is going to be pretty important.

3. Don’t stick to food you know

Ever heard of huhu bugs or whitebait fritters, washed down with L&P (?!). One of the best parts about travelling in New Zealand is discovering new food. So when visiting New Zealand, get a little adventurous and try something different. Don’t worry it’s not all bugs and slimy white fish (whitebait), we have other lesser known delights like the pavlova, lamingonton, sausage rolls, feijoas, hangi and jaffas. When you’ve had enough of these, get to our popular delicacies like lamb, crayfish, green-lipped mussels and every kind of seafood imaginable. Bon appetite!

Self drive holiday New Zealand

Enjoy a meal made in a traditional kiwi hangi

4. Don’t try and do too much

The most difficult part of your New Zealand trip will be planning what to do. Why? Because, there is so much to see and do that you possibly can’t do it all. Unless, you’re committed to being here for a few months. One of the biggest mistakes travellers make when coming to New Zealand is trying to do too much in too little a time.

Self drive holiday New Zealand

New Zealand’s beautiful scenery means you won’t have time to be bored on your drive!

5. Don’t forget the hiking boots

Walking on one is an iconic New Zealand experience and one that you should definitely have while you’re here, especially in summer when the days are long and warm. You can walk on a glacier, hike up alpine tracks, go deep into the bush (without fear of attached by wild animals!) and walk on miles long sandy beaches with not a soul in sight.

Other essentials you absolutely cannot forget on a summer self drive in New Zealand are your togs (swimwear), jandals and sunscreen.



  • Review of: Cath Hagan
    If you havent already been white-water rafting then this is the BEST place in the world to have a go!
  • Review of: Sarah H
    Be prepared for an adventure, the views are stunning, and the sense of awe and accomplishment at the end was amazing.
  • Review of: Tristan P
    A must do! Our guides Cam & Curtis were amazing and really funny. Definitely the highlight of the month.
  • Review of: Caradis A
    What an amazing time! We had so much rafting fun, even though at first I was terrified. Will recommend this to everyone.
  • Review of: Te-Aroha P
    Such an exhilarating experience. We loved all the waterfalls and rapids, but we always felt safe with an awesome safety crew.
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