Traveling alone in New Zealand? Hell yes!
Are you thinking about traveling alone in New Zealand, but are you in doubt? Are you afraid that you will not meet other travellers, that you cannot do everything you want, that you cannot use the desired mode of transport or do you have other doubts? Read below why I think New Zealand is very suitable for traveling alone and I give tips.
If you are traveling alone, you are more limited in the type of accommodation where you can and want to stay. For example, hotel rooms on your own are simply very expensive and you will not meet other travellers there. Remote campsites might not be as pleasant either. Yet you still have a lot of choice! Check out the types of accommodation I recommend below.
Hostels are always a great option if you are traveling alone and want to meet people. I do recommend doing some research in which hostels you want to be. There are real party hostels where you can meet a lot of people if you like a party but you will not get a good night’s sleep. Other hostels may be cheap but do not have general rooms such as a living room or garden where you can meet other travellers. Personally, I always think it’s important that there are sturdy bunk beds so that you don’t wake up as soon as the other person turns around. I also check whether I have my own light and socket and a safe (because I always travel with my laptop). I always go for hostels where they organise activities such as walks, eating together or for example game evenings. My favourite hostels are the Haka Lodges, these are located in Auckland, Paihia, Taupo, Queenstown and Christchurch. Read more about hostels in New Zealand here.
Airbnb’s are also a great option if you are traveling alone. There are so many different types, therefore there is always something that suits your needs. There are airbnb’s in beautiful locations but where you will be alone. You also have airbnb’s where you have your own room, but share the house with other travellers. Others focus on contact with local people instead of other travellers. The local people are generally very friendly and helpful, they will definitely have some good tips for you! Find your Airbnb address here.
There are many farms in New Zealand, but did you know you can also spend the night here? Many farming families rent out their extra rooms to travellers. Here you will often be treated as if you are family, you will eat with the residents and you can help them on the farm. This is the perfect way to get a glimpse into the daily life of the residents and get to know the culture better. This is a great experience whether you are traveling alone or with others. But not all farm stays involve you that much, so check carefully before booking. Find the farm stays on booking.com.
Just like with the farm stays, you will be included in the family at some B&Bs. Therefore you can meet both locals and other travellers here. There are a lot of B&Bs in New Zealand, so plenty of choice! Click here for an overview of the different B&Bs in New Zealand.
Do you not want to be alone on remote camping spots, but do you still want to camp? Then you still have a few options. The paid campsites are less remote, and there are not only tents and cars, but also cabins. In addition, you have many hostels, farms and other accommodation where you can camp on lawns or designated areas. In such places you pay an amount per night and you can often use the facilities such as showers, toilets and kitchens. However, these are a bit more difficult to find and I often just call accommodations to see if this is an option.
Are you planning to explore the country by public transport? Then buses are a good option. You can, for example, take the Intercity buses for long and short distances. But in New Zealand you have another option, which is also a very good option for people who travel alone.
Those are the buses from KiwiExperience and StrayTravel. These are hop-on-hop-off buses that run all over the country. You can, for example, buy a bus pass just for the North Island or for both islands. This pass is valid for a certain period of time, you can decide for yourself how you plan the trip and how long you want to stay somewhere. Through these companies you can also book accommodation, activities and other transport such as the ferries. This is a social way to travel. KiwiExperience is known for many parties. The young people who travel with KiwiExperience mainly stay in “party hostels”. StrayTravel is the quieter version, where you stay in nicer hostels or other accommodation. This company is more focused on traveling and taking in as much of the country as possible. I highly recommend StrayTravel!
Traveling through New Zealand with a car or camper is the typical image we have and this is certainly possible if you are traveling alone. Renting a car or camper on your own is a bit more expensive, but offers you much more freedom than public transport. The bus options I mentioned above are great but won’t take you to the uninhabited, undiscovered spots. If you want to share the costs a bit, I recommend putting up a piece of paper in the hostel or airbnb where you are staying asking if someone wants to travel with you. This is very common and they usually chip in for fuel and then you will have a buddy for a day (or a few days). Many hostels have a notice board where you can place these kinds of things. You will also often see people asking for a lift.
If you are going to New Zealand for a longer period of time, it might be a good option to buy a car and then sell it again. Look here for more information about renting / buying a car or camper in New Zealand.
In some countries it is illegal, but in New Zealand it is legal and also very popular. New Zealand is one of the safest countries in the world, which makes it an excellent place to hitchhike, even if you are alone. People often make a sign with the destination where they want to go and they are at random places along the road. I also hitchhiked in New Zealand and I always went to strategic places, such as after the exit, at beautiful viewpoints, gas stations, etc. I also often met people at random places, such as on a ferry, who then offered me a lift. I always told friends or family where I was going (and I even sent the license plate), better safe than sorry!
Advantages of traveling alone (in New Zealand)
I have traveled alone several times, including in New Zealand. That was my first big trip on my own and it was very exciting. In the end I liked it so much that I did it several times afterwards. Read below what I like most about traveling alone.
Make your own choices
That’s really my number one reason. You may not always have the same interests as the person you are traveling with, so you may have to compromise. You don’t have to do that when you are travel alone. You can do whatever you want, decide for yourself how you plan your days, where you will eat, how long you will stay somewhere, it is wonderful!
Meet other travellers
You can think, I can also meet travellers when I travel with someone and that is certainly true. Yet I have noticed that you connect with others more easily when you are alone. I think this is because you don’t have anyone else to fall back on. You will more often get out of your comfort zone and approach strangers, you will stay in accommodation where you can get in touch with others and go to places where you can connect with other solo travellers. New Zealand is a great destination for this, as there are many people who travel alone or who came alone on a working holiday visa.
You get to know yourself
When you cannot rely on anyone and there is no one who makes choices for you, you have to arrange everything yourself and spend a lot of time alone in an unknown country, you will definitely get to know yourself better. You will get to know things about yourself, things you didn’t know you could, or learn more about what you want to do in the future. Because how often do you take the time to just be on your own and think? I personally don’t do it very often.
It is a challenge
It will not always be easy, you will have to make difficult choices and you will not always know what or how to do something. Personally, I really enjoyed taking on this challenge, stepping out of my comfort zone and seeing what I could handle.
Boost your confidence
All these points mentioned above bring me to my last point. It will give you a lot of certainty. I can now say that I can travel to the other side of the world on my own and handle anything that came my way. If I can do that, what can’t I handle?
Hopefully this blog has helped you to get rid of your fear, but if you still have doubts or if there are things that you are unsure about, make sure to send me a message and I can tell you how I experienced it.