Solo travel in New Zealand Solo Travel in New Zealand

Types of Girl about the Globe (GatG)Adventure GatG, Cultural GatG, Nature GatG, Ocean GatG 

Is New Zealand a safe country for women travelling alone? Yes, and below is our guide for New Zealand solo female travel including the best things to do in New Zealand, where to visit in New Zealand as a solo, which tour company to use, where to stay in New Zealand, New Zealand itineraries, and getting around New Zealand. 

Find out how to get from the airports and things to see in New Zealand in each place. All companies included have been recommended by solo female travellers and come with our Solo Female Friendly endorsement. Just choose the relevant section or read the full article to plan your trips to New Zealand. 

NB. By booking through this page you are helping to improve the lives of vulnerable girls about the globe. Thanks for helping x

Contents

Solo travel in New Zealand

Lake Pukaki

Solo Travel in New Zealand

Solo travel in New Zealand is easy. The country is a perfect solo travel destination and is great for the first-timer. That's why I've given it 5 out of 5 stars. It is smaller than Australia, cheaper and really safe to travel around (plus you won’t encounter those strange souls in the outback). If you love the outdoors and adventure sports then this country is for you.

The country is popular for those on a working visa and as part of a round the world ticket combining Asia or the Americas on the way. People are down to earth and it’s so easy to travel New Zealand solo. You can even hitchhike if you get stuck (use your instinct if you do).

To meet others travelling New Zealand alone head to Queenstown, the adventure capital of the country where you'll many others backpacking New Zealand alone.

There are a choice of lodges, hotels, hostels or campsites and adventure tours to hop on hop off, or it’s just as safe to hire a rental car or a motorhome and just drive around the two islands. Do I recommend traveling to New Zealand alone? Most definitely! New Zealand is a wonderful country to explore independently but you may prefer to travel there on a group tour.

Solo travel in New Zealand

Cathedral Cove (photo @ Kate Eastham)

Places To Visit in New Zealand

New Zealand is the perfect place for those who love the outdoors and is a model for eco tourism. With a North and South island to explore, this country has amazing landscapes, volcanic craters, hot springs, Scottish towns and wilderness islands, and plenty for adrenalin junkies. Discover New Zealand must sees and the top things to do in New Zealand for solo travellers below.

solo travel in New Zealand

The skyline of Auckland at night

Auckland

Auckland otherwise known as the ‘City of the Sails,’ is surrounded by volcanic craters and has a magnificent harbour where you can watch the world sail by. Grab a bite to eat at Auckland’s fish market in Jellicoe Avenue, a street with its own rain gardens. If you solo travel in Auckland during the country's summertime, Auckland’s waterfront comes alive with live music and outdoor movies.

Things to do in Auckland include, visiting the country’s first Marine Reserve at Goat Island for underwater life or climb Mount Eden for panoramic views of the city. Another place to see the city from above is the giant Sky Tower, the focal point of the city.

The Sky Tower is one of the New Zealand tourist attractions that you simply have to visit if you're in the capital. It stands 328 metres high and offers the best views of Auckland from above. An admission ticket allows you access to the Sky Deck and the Observation level so you can enjoy the 360 degree panoramic views.

During your Auckland solo travel, there is also the option to dine with a view at the revolving restaurant or stay at ground level and spend an early evening at one of the bars or the theatre instead. If you’re an adrenalin GatG you may feel like walking around the rim of the tallest building in Auckland on a thrilling skywalk instead. 

Solo travel in New Zealand

River Valley (photo @ Kate Eastham)

Bay of Islands

Just north of the city is the Bay of Islands, a group of islands with turquoise coves and a tropical feel. This is one of the best places to visit near Auckland and is a little tropical paradise from the rest of the country. If you have the stamina, climb the top of Waewaetorea Island for a 360 degree view. Make sure you visit Kerikeri a subtropical paradise that you won’t want to leave. You can also take dolphin cruises through the natural arc of the ‘Hole in the Rock.’

Tongariro Alpine Crossing

If you love trekking, you can travel from Auckland to Tongariro National Park, the country’s oldest National Park and a World Heritage Site. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is one of the must do’s in New Zealand for hikers with its alpine and volcanic landscape, and is a popular day trip and hike. The hike is nearly 20 kms so allow at least eight hours to complete it and ensure that you arrange transport for either the beginning or the end of the route. There are companies that offer 3 day hikes.

Solo travel in New Zealand

Wineries in New Zealand

New Zealanders seem more refined than their neighbour and enjoy urban living, arts and culinary tastes. They also know their wine and Waiheke Island or ‘wine island’ (known for its countless vineyards) produces some great flavours and is less than a two hour ferry ride away from the city.

This region is definitely one for the wine GatG and on your list of things to do in New Zealand north island should be paying a visit to a winery or two. You can also join food and wine tours from Auckland to sample some of the island's best vineyards (and food).

Visit the oldest wineries in Napier, a city with the most inner-city art deco buildings in the world or Hastings for its orchards and landscaped gardens.

For wine lovers, the South Island does not disappoint, there is a vineyard trail along the Farewell Spit and world class Sauvignon Blanc at Marlborough Sounds.

Solo travel in New Zealand

Huka Falls (photo @ Kate Eastham)

New Zealand North Island

South of Auckland are the Waitomo glowworm caves, a world-cave system which is illuminated by glowworms. Waitomo Caves are millions of years old and are something truly different to see. You can take a boat ride through them or if you're feeling adventurous try black water rafting through this starry wonderland instead. It's definitely one of the unusual things to do in New Zealand.

Rotorua is a natural phenomenon but be prepared for the sulphur smell which is difficult to bear after a few hours. Things to do in Rotoura include seeing spraying geysers and bubbling waters or treating yourself to a mud-bath in the spa.

Solo travel in New Zealand

Hobbiton

Other Places to Visit in New Zealand North Island

If you’ve ever seen the Lord of the Rings trilogy, you may want to visit ‘Middle Earth' and the home of Bilbao Baggins whilst you’re in Rotorua. See how the landscape was transformed into the Hobbiton movie set whilst hearing how the movie was made, at one of New Zealand's most popular tourist attractions. As well as having your photo in front of a Hobbit Hole, you get to have a drink at the Green Dragon Inn. Tours leave from Rotorua. * Check prices and availability for a New Zealand Lord of The Rings Tour

If you want to experience the hot waters for yourself, Hot Water Beach on the Coromandel Peninsula is the place to dig your own spa pool and enjoy the laid back pace that the Coromandel brings.

New Zealand is geared up for the adventure solo traveller and although the South Island is the place for adrenalin junkies, the North island also has its activities. Things to do in Taupo include skydiving over Lake Taupo to magnificent views below, or you could mountain bike around Hastings or take a leisurely kayak ride along the peninsulas.

solo travel in New Zealand

Wellington on the North Island (photo @ Fadhlinas Selamat)

Wellington

Wellington is the country’s capital and lies at the foot of the North Island. Here you will find Cuba Street, the coolest street in New Zealand with a chic bohemian feel and the finest bars around.

Things to do in Wellington include heading to the waterfront to the Te Papa Tongarewa Museum. Inside this cultural history museum you'll learn about Maori culture and New Zealand’s rich and fascinating history.

Wellington is the gateway to the South island which can be reached by a ferry across the Cook Strait but if you suffer from sea sickness beware, as the last part of the journey can be a bit rough.

Solo travel in New Zealand

Mirror Lake at Fiordland National Park (photo @ Chloe Wong)

South Island

Solo travel in New Zealand South island and the scenery will blow you away. It’s a contrast of fjords at Fjordland National Park, glaciers and waterfalls and is ideal for trekking. Things to do in New Zealand south island include, visiting Abel Tasman National Park where the sea meets the countryside.

It may be the country's smallest national park but with golden beaches and a picturesque trek it's the perfect place to kayak, hike along coastal paths or scuba dive. You can stay overnight too.

Milford Sound, a magical area of looming cliffs and waterfalls is a must see in New Zealand. There’s only one way to see the Milford Sound and that’s by boat. Known for its numerous waterfalls this stunning fjord is one of New Zealand's attractions and can be reached from Queenstown. 

Solo travel in New Zealand

Glenorchy

Other Places To Visit in New Zealand South Island

If you prefer to travel on land the Tranz Alpine rail journey runs from Greymouth (on the West Coast) to Christchurch, a quaint English-style city with green rolling hills and botanical gardens where you can punt along the river or sample fudge at the Fudge Cottage – you’ll feel just at home.

Christchurch is surrounded by Alpine landscapes and one of the things to do in Christchurch is taking the gondola ride which provides 360 degree views of the city, harbour and the mountains or you can hike for the views and walk to the crater rim.

Solo travel in New Zealand

Go whale watching in Kaikoura

Dunedin

From one English style town to a Scottish one; Dunedin on the East coast is rich in Scottish heritage and has the world’s steepest street (Baldwin Street). This historic university town is the perfect destination to see penguins and albatross on a wildlife eco tour.

Kaikoura

If you prefer the larger mammals, the seaside settlement of Kaikoura is the place for New Zealand activities from the ocean. See giant sperm whales and swim with seals, (if you don't have good sea legs you spot them by helicopter instead).

Solo travel in New Zealand

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (photo @ Chloe Wong)

Adventure in New Zealand

Mount Cook runs along the South Island. It is the highest mountain in the country and home to 8 of New Zealand's glaciers. Aoraki Mount Cook is the place for the active Girl about the Globe and nature lovers. One of the most popular things to do in Mount Cook National Park is hike the Hooker Valley Track, a flat trail that takes you over suspension bridges and its famous boardwalk.

For some adventure solo travel NZ, why not combine a helicopter ride with a climb on one of the South Island’s famous glaciers in a heli-hike? Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier are amongst the best places to visit in New Zealand especially for ice climbing adventures. If you’re not a fan of the cold, try a half-day walk for a taster of the blue ice caves and breathtaking views.

Solo travel in New Zealand

Experience the original bungee jump near Queenstown

Queenstown

If you prefer something to get your heart racing, solo travel to Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand. Every adventure sport you could possibly think of is here from a high-speed jet boat ride to skiing and the original bungee jump, one of the fun things to do in New Zealand if you like an adrenalin rush, but you don’t have to be an adrenalin junkie to find things to do in Queenstown.

You can just sit back and take in the magnificent views of the Remarkables mountain range on a relaxing gondola ride. Queenstown is one of the best places to travel solo in New Zealand as you can meet others and explore hiking trails together such as Ben Lomond, Moke Lake Loop, or Queenstown Hill.

Solo travel in New Zealand

Tongariro National Park (photo @ Fadhlinas Selamat)

Nelson

Art lovers can lose themselves in craftsmen’s studios at Nelson, the artists hub of the country, where you can watch glassblowers creating beautiful pieces then purchase them to take home.

Invercargill

Invercargill is the southernmost point of the country and although there’s not really much here, you can visit Stewart Island for an ever slower pace of life amongst rainforest and sweeping sands. It's one of those places to go in New Zealand if you are planning to return a second time or you have seen the best places in New Zealand and are looking for somewhere less known.

New Zealand is practically made up of National Parks and everywhere you turn will offer something new. It’s no wonder that this country was chosen as the iconic setting for the Lord of the Rings trilogy. With a country as beautiful as this, it’s not called 100% pure for nothing. Solo travel to New Zealand for breathtaking scenery, movie star landscapes and plenty of adventure.

starVisit Kaikoura from October to August for the sperm whales December to March for Orca.

Solo travel in New Zealand

New Zealand Tours

Tour Companies

G Adventures New Zealand

If you feel more comfortable in a group for either part of your trip to New Zealand or the whole duration, G Adventures is a responsible tour company that offers some of the best New Zealand tours for solo travellers and caters mainly towards budget travellers. Most are small group tours with an average of 12 people and there is no upper age limit.

Once you book your trip you pay extra for any excursions you want to do when you’re there. G Adventures New Zealand tours range from a 4 day Bay of Islands trip to a 24 day G Adventures best of New Zealand trip encompassing most of New Zealand. Taking a tour is the best way to travel around New Zealand when you want to travel with company. I have personally used G Adventures and recommend them as a solo female friendly company. 

* Click here for G Adventures NZ itineraries, prices, and start dates

Intrepid Travel New Zealand

Intrepid Travel is similar to G Adventures with an average of 12 people on their tours of New Zealand. Over 50% of people using their trips are solo travellers. They tend to use hotels instead of hostels and have a more comfortable style of accommodation hence the trips can appear a bit more costly than G Adventures.

Join others on an Intrepid Travel NZ 11 day tour exploring glaciers on the New Zealand South Island Explorer or take a 12 day Kiwi adventure with the New Zealand North Island Explorer. Each New Zealand tour itinerary is packed with things to see and do. With two islands to choose from there are tours for any level of New Zealand activity. Read our Intrepid Travel Reviews

* Click here for the full itineraries, prices, and start dates

Stray Travel NZ – More for the adventurous GatG, Stray Travel also offers New Zealand tours for solo travellers. They are a hop on hop off bus tour offering bus passes around New Zealand and as well as going to the iconic hotspots you can also go off the beaten track and see areas of the country that others don't visit. It's flexible and you decide which parts of NZ you want to travel to on your pass.

I travelled with Stray Travel New Zealand for a month and found it amazing for a solo traveller. It allowed me to hop-on hop-off in New Zealand, I met many others solo backpacking New Zealand, tried new activities such as black-water rafting and saw most of New Zealand at the same time. Prices start from $110NZD. If you visit during the peak season you may need to pre-book all sections of your trip before you go. 

* Check prices, dates and passes and Stray passes

Adventure South – New Zealand cycling and walking specialists and perfect for the outdoors solo from 4 days to 27 days.

Kiwi Experience – If you’ve been to Australia you may be familiar with the Oz Experience. The Kiwi Experience is geared more for the young, party traveller. You can travel around New Zealand on a group bus tour and have company as you go. 

Day Tours

Get Your Guide – Get Your Guide helps you to find top-rated activities and day tours in worldwide destinations including New Zealand. Choose from a whale watching cruise in Kaikoura, a guided tour to the Hobbiton movie set, an afternoon wine tour in Napier, or a gondola ticket on the Skyline Gondola in Queenstown. There are many to choose from including New Zealand tours from Auckland, and other day trips, and it’s really simple to use. Just check the reviews, price and availability then book online.

* Check all tours, prices and availability for New Zealand

solo travel in New Zealand

Accommodation in New Zealand

The best way to see New Zealand is by renting a motorhome and driving around the country. Is New Zealand safe to travel alone? Yes, and camping alone as a woman is safe and easy to do with many camping facilities on both islands. Alongside its many campsites there is a variety of accommodation from hotels in New Zealand to luxury accommodation, and motels in New Zealand especially in Dunedin, or suites and apartments in Queenstown and Wellington.

There are plenty of nice places to stay in New Zealand. If you are backpacking around New Zealand there are plenty of backpacker hostels on both islands. But if you’re not on a budget, treat yourself to a 5 star hotel in Auckland.

If you prefer to stay with a local during your solo travel to New Zealand, Airbnb New Zealand connects you to locals in the country and isn’t just limited to staying in their spare room either. Get $20 off your first stay.

All of the accommodation below have been recommended by solo female travellers from our Girls about the Globe community and come with our Solo Female Friendly endorsement. Below are our favourite hotels in New Zealand for those looking for comfort, followed by the budget options. For all other New Zealand hotels including New Zealand luxury accommodations and other accommodation options, click on the link below.

Queenstown – Sherwood

On a hillside overlooking Lake Wakatipu and the mountains, this eco-friendly accommodation in Queenstown offers organic food, and stylish rooms made from recycled materials. Prices from £74 p/n. Find out more…

Auckland – SkyCity Hotel

Situated next to the huge Sky Tower, SkyCity Hotel is our comfort choice for accommodation in Auckland, New Zealand. It is in the perfect place for exploring this amazing city, and is only a 10 minute walk from buses and trains. Prices from £92 p/n. Find out more…

Wellington – QT Wellington

If you love art then you’ll love this New Zealand hotel on Wellington’s waterfront with stunning views. The interior features a collection of contemporary art from the country. Prices from £125 p/n. Find out more…

If you are looking for cheap accommodation in New Zealand and the opportunity to meet others within a hostel environment, we have listed our favourites beneath. For other New Zealand accommodations search through the link below.

Accommodation in New Zealand, Metro Adventurer Backpackers

Auckland – Metro Adventurer Backpackers ($)

You can’t get a better location for exploring the city with this backpackers only being a short walk to the nightlife and the SKYCITY. The hostel is really clean with modern showers and there’s a kitchen if you choose to cook instead of eat out and a communal lounge to hang out in. The beds are really comfortable and there is a choice of a 4, 8 or 10 bed mixed dorm, or a private room for one.

Accommodation in New Zealand, JUCY Snooze

Christchurch – JUCY Snooze ($)

With a funky interior to match its funky name. JUCY Snooze is the perfect accommodation in New Zealand if you are flying in or out of Christchurch as it’s close to the airport. The beds are comfy and you can check in and out 24/7 at a self-service kiosk making it an ideal choice if you are arriving late.

There’s a kitchen, luggage storage and also a laundry so you can catch up on your washing before or after leaving. Staff are friendly and knowledgable, and there is a free shuttle to the airport. Choose from a pod in a 8 bed mixed room or a female only dorm (with 8 beds). There is also the choice of a queens or twin room with your own private bathroom.

  • Prices start from £17 per night for a pod in a mixed or female-only dorm
  • To book, check prices or availability for JUCY Snooze

Accommodation in New Zealand - Kiwis Nest Backpackers and Budget Accommodation

Dunedin – Kiwis Nest Backpackers and Budget Accommodation ($)

This backpackers accommodation NZ is just a quick walk from the bars and restaurants within this Scottish-sounding city. It is more of a big house than a hostel and feels like a home away from home especially with the welcoming staff. There’s a log fire for the cold nights and a BBQ area for the warm ones. You can book your tours with reception and they also offer an airport shuttle too.

Choose from a 4 or 6 mixed dorm or a bed in a 6 bed female-only dorm. There is also the option of a single or double room with a shared or private bathroom, or a deluxe studio if you’re feeling flush.

Accommodation in New Zealand, Oamaru Backpackers

Oamaru – Oamaru Backpackers ($)

This backpackers gets our thumbs up for places to stay in New Zealand. There’s everything you need in walking distance such as bars, restaurants and the beach, and you get breakfast included. There are large communal areas to meet other travellers and even a garden where you can pick your own vegetables. The views are stunning too and the single room comes with a sea view.

Each bed has its own curtain, private light and charging point. Choose from a 6 bed mixed dormitory, a single room or a double room.

  • Prices start from £16 per night for a 6 bed mixed dorm
  • To book, check prices or availability for Oamaru Backpackers

Accommodation in New Zealand, Sir Cedrics Tahuna Pod Hostel

Queenstown – Sir Cedrics Tahuna Pod Hostel ($)

This Queenstown hostel is just amazing. Close to downtown, this hostel has such a cool Mauri interior and a relaxed atmosphere, where everything is completely thought through. There’s an outdoors area and bbq where you can see over the city and sofas in each room.

The pod beds have their own curtains so you can feel separate from everyone else. And as well as free breakfast you also get free soup for dinner too. Bonus! If you are looking for budget accommodation Queenstown NZ, this is one to choose!

Choose from a single pod in a 4, 6 or 12 bed mixed dorm. If you need more space you can opt for a double pod in each mixed dorm or a double room with a shared bathroom.

  • Prices start from £22 per night for a single pod in a 12 bed mixed dorm
  • To book, check prices or availability for Sir Cedrics Tahuna Pod Hostel
solo travel in New Zealand

The streets of Wellington (photo @ Fadhlinas Selamat)

Travelling Around New Zealand

Hiring a car is the best way to travel New Zealand alone. New Zealand is geared up for car hire and motorhome travel with a great road network, campgrounds and holiday parks so it's great for a road trip experience. Juts be careful of farm animals on the road when driving at night. Companies such as Juicy offer you the chance to travel around New Zealand in a campervan, and a small van is ideal for one person. * Check prices for car rental

Transfercar offer free one-way rentals for relocations cars and camper vans so you can drive a car to another location for free, which can work out the cheapest way to travel around New Zealand if you want to drive yourself. 

If you are wondering how to get around New Zealand without a car, there is public transport. Trains run through the central part of the North Island and also to the Southern Alps. The TransAlpine runs the route from Greymouth to Christchurch and is said to be New Zealand’s best train journey.

Intercity bus New Zealand run throughout the country as well as local shuttles and bus services between the towns but they don't operate everywhere.

Naked Bus is a good alternative for solo travelling New Zealand, and offer bus tours and multi-bus passes depending on the number of trips you want to take. You get all the freedom of independent travel with the benefits of meeting people en route.

To fly, both Air New Zealand and Jetstar have New Zealand domestic flights and there are several domestic airports if you’re short on time.

Check New Zealand Tours section for group bus tour companies through the country.

Some rental companies won’t allow you to take your car between the islands so make sure you pre-book your vehicle to pick up on the other side.

New Zealand Itinerary 

Three weeks is enough time for a New Zealand holiday and to explore the country but if you prefer travelling at a slower pace, look at staying for at least a month. The south island is the most scenic so you could spend one week exploring the north island then two weeks for the south. Below are examples of a New Zealand solo travel itinerary.

New Zealand Itinerary 7 Days:

North Island: Auckland – 2 nights, (optional – Bay of Islands – 1 night), Rotorua – 1 night. Lake Taupo – 1 night, Wellington – 2 nights.

New Zealand Itinerary South Island: (optional – Nelson 1 night), Abel Tasman – 1 night, Kaikoura – 1 night, Christchurch – 2 nights, Queenstown – 3 nights.

For a New Zealand itinerary 2 weeks, combine both the north and south island. I spent a month travelling alone in New Zealand and also saw Milford Sound, Fox Glacier, Dunedin, and Invercargill.

New Zealand Travel Guide

If you need a guide book for your New Zealand vacation, we recommend Rough Guides. Covering where to go in New Zealand, when to go, New Zealand vacation spots, things not to miss, the best way to get around New Zealand, festivals and events, history, and maps, they are the amongst the most comprehensive guides on the market. 

The Rough Guide To New Zealand

To help you plan your New Zealand solo trip, the Rough Guide to New Zealand covers all destinations in New Zealand and topics such as: book your trip, facts, accommodation, getting there, getting around, food and drink, sports and outdoor, and travel essentials. They also include recommended itineraries for both the North and South Islands so you can maximise your time and know exactly which route to take. They have everything you need to visit New Zealand. * Check prices and availability on Amazon

* If you prefer Lonely Planet click here for all New Zealand guides

Travel accessories for Australia

Travel Accessories For NZ

If you’re unsure what to pack for your trip to new Zealand, we have created a guide of our favourite solo travel products to help you decide what to pack. Our favourite travel accessories for NZ are these clothes from Patagonia.

Travel Tips – If you are planning on travelling during the winter or hiking in New Zealand then you’ll need clothes that will keep you warm. Find out why we love these below and click on the link to discover all of our favourite travel products:

Click here for all of our recommended travel accessories for solos

Patagonia wear

Patagonia Fleece Pullover

Patagonia support Grassroots organisations to find solutions to the environmental crisis. Their Worn Wear collection are recrafted clothes made from other clothes so you’re doing your bit for the environment too. As well as these fleece pullovers they also offer merino socks, jackets, base layers and so much more…

Shop all Patagonia clothing

Best time to go to New Zealand

Best Time To Go To New Zealand

December to February are the best months to experience summer in New Zealand. There are plenty of things to do in New Zealand in December. If you visit from March to May you’ll be there for the autumn when the weather is still great and you can still wear summer clothes. It’s cheaper too.

Below is a chart of the weather in Wellington. The yearly chart is from January to December.

solo travel in New Zealand

Travel insurance for New Zealand

Travel Insurance For New Zealand

New Zealand is a safe country but travel insurance is always recommended for New Zealand trips, especially if you are taking part in adrenalinefuelled activities in New Zealand, climbing glaciers or hiking some of their stunning famous treks.

For solo female travel New Zealand, I recommend True Traveller for UK and European residents, and World Nomads for U.S. and worldwide citizens. Both companies allow you to buy insurance when you are already on the road, and offer different plans depending on your coverage needs including additional adventure and extreme packs.

From the Airport

New Zealand Airports

Auckland – Airbus express departs the airport every 10/15 minutes until 7pm and take an hour into the city.

Wellington – The Airport Flyer Bus runs from the airport every 20 minutes and takes 15 minutes to the centre of Wellington.

Christchurch – Three bus routes connect the 7 mile route from the airport to the city centre and depart from the northern end of the International Arrivals Hall.

Check Rome2Rio for times and prices to and from each airport.

star

Feel more confident on your solo trip to New Zealand with someone waiting for you at the airport when you pre-book a transfer with Hoppa, a reliable and safe service for solo females.

Border Crossings

Travelling Onwards (check visas before you travel)

When you're traveling New Zealand alone, you may want to combine your trip with neighbouring countries. It's really easy to fly to Fiji from here and also Australia. Below are some examples of countries to add on to your solo trip in New Zealand.

To Australia – fly from any of the domestic airports or take a cruise.
To Fiji – fly from Auckland.
To the Pacific Islands – fly from Auckland.

Where can I go from here?

planelistAustralia – 5.5 hours

planelistFiji – 3.5 hours

planelistTonga – 3.5 hours

How To Be a Conscious Traveller in New Zealand

As well as the general ways to be a conscious traveller, here are our recommendations for being a conscious traveller in New Zealand.

  • Respect the Maori culture and ask permission before taking any photos of people or their traditional ceremonies. Buy traditional crafts from them to help sustain their livelihoods.
  • If you plan to go dolphin or whale watching, check that your tour operator has a commercial marine mammal viewing permit (which is supplied by the Department of Conservation). This is to minimise the impact on their population. Don’t touch or feed the dolphins during your excursion.
  • If you are camping, make sure to dispose of what you don’t need properly and rent a camper van with a toilet or use camping facilities.
  • When trekking keep to the marked trails and established tracks to prevent disturbing any wildlife habitats.

Social Impact Projects

There are several social enterprises in New Zealand that help give back to the community. Dine at Everybody Eats in Gemmayze Street and for every $10 they make they provide meals for people in need. For every lunch you buy from Eat My Lunch they give one away to a child in need, or you can cook up your own feast at one of Bellyful’s cookathons and deliver it to families in need.

Instead of dining to make an impact, you can volunteer for the day at Cure Kids or Auckland City Mission to help make a difference to an elderly person who is isolated or someone who is homeless. Find out more about Auckland’s social impact projects here.

Volunteering in New Zealand

Habitat For Humanity – Help build homes through Habitat For Humanity. As a volunteer you’ll be landscaping, putting up walls, painting and much more, and you don’t need any prior experience. All you need is some enthusiasm to volunteer.

Conservation Volunteers – If you’re a nature GatG, help with the conservation of New Zealand by planting trees, collecting seeds, and constructing walking trails. Volunteering is free and you can volunteer every week of the year without any prior skills or experience. 

Stay Eco

Woodlyn Park

For the nature GatG, head to Woodlyn Park in the North Island for an eco lodge in New Zealand. Located in the Waitomo Caves area you can spend a night in a hobbit motel, a train from the steam train era, an old navy boat or a former war plane! All their motels are built from recycled and natural materials. It’s definitely a unique way to spend an evening. 

  • Prices start from $190 NZD a night
  • To book, check prices or availability for Woodlyn Park

Hapuku Lodge & Tree Houses 

Stay in a luxury tree house for views of Kaikoura and the ocean. Up in the trees, your accommodation comes with a balcony, a fireplace and a rain shower and spa bath so you can soak in your surroundings in comfort.

A delicious breakfast and evening meal is also included in the price so you never have to leave but if you do decide to venture outside, you can explore the area for free with the bicycles provided, or enjoy some hiking instead. Prices start from £458 p/n. 

Vulnerable Girls in New Zealand

Children in the Maori community are in the minority in New Zealand and many do not have access to the normal education system. It has been reported that after Maori families collapsed due to the communities being uprooted, some of the children suffer from abuse and domestic violence from their fathers, others have been taken into state care, and other face trafficking and abduction.

Oranga Tamariki is a Ministry for children helping to create safer lives for at risk children.  Read more about issues facing vulnerable girls in New Zealand… 

(N.b. book through this page and you’re helping to improve the lives of vulnerable girls about the globe)

FAQ's

Frequently Asked Questions about New Zealand

  • Can I drink the water? Yes but you may prefer to take a water filter with you.
  • Is tipping expected? No, it’s optional.
  • Fixed price or barter? Fixed Price.
  • Any ATM’s? Yes, everywhere.
  • Which side of the road do they drive? Left.
  • Good for vegetarians? Yes.
  • Any seven wonders of the world? No.

Map of New Zealand

Plan a Trip To New Zealand

If you are ready to plan a solo trip to New Zealand here are some useful links such as airlines which fly there, vaccinations and plugs required, and events and festivals to prepare you to travel New Zealand alone. 

fcologo

Budget Rating – £40 a day

Current Time in Wellington

Facts

Capital – Wellington

Population – 4.3 million

Language spoken – English, Maori.

Local Currency – New Zealand Dollar

Do I need a Visa?  On a British passport you can stay in NZ for up to 6 months but you need to apply for a New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA). You can apply for a visa through here.

Vaccinations Required

Useful Info

Airlines to New Zealand

Best Time to Go – Dec to Feb

Which Plug Do I Need?

UNESCO Sites in New Zealand

Events and Festivals in New Zealand

Local Cost Guide

Local Customs & Etiquette

Maori Culture

 

Did you know? Wellington has one of the world’s best quality of life.

Mind Body & Soul

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Stay at a Yoga Retreat

Stay at a Meditation Retreat

Spa Treatments at Tamara Spa

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14 thoughts on “Solo Travel in New Zealand

  1. Carrie

    Would you recommend travelling New Zealand via backpacking buses such as Kiwi Experience? Or do you think more organised tours such as G-Adventure would be more advisable for a solo traveler?

    Reply
  2. Diana

    Hi,

    Thanks for your blog! Very helpful.

    I am planning a three weeks solo trip in February. I am thinking of renting a car, in general I don’t like buses and would love the freedom.

    I am thinking of staying in hostels or even getting a small tent and sleep on DOC. Do you know anything about it?
    Would love to rent a camper van to sleep inside but as a solo traveler might be incredibly expensive and also not very good to meet people. Any thoughts? Did you meet solo travelers traveling by car?

    Thank you!

    Diana

    Reply
    1. Girl about the Globe Post author

      Your trip sounds great. You could take tours to meet people. Queenstown is a really sociable place so it will be easy to meet others in the bars there. I took the Stray hop on hop off bus so I always had company. Maybe you could self-drive on one of the islands and use a hop-on hop-off service for the other island? You can also meet people through Couchsurfing just for a coffee if you put your dates on there x

      Reply
  3. Ciara

    Hi, love all the tips and info on your site!

    I’m heading to New Zealand for six months on a solo trip and I can’t decide if I should book a bus tour or buy a car. Both would be good for getting to the major tourist sights, but I don’t know which would be best/make most financial sense.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Reply
    1. Girl about the Globe Post author

      Thanks Ciara. Six months in New Zealand sounds amazing! A bus tour would probably be the cheapest option or you could look at hiring a small motorhome which would save you money on accommodation too. Have a look at Stray, and Kiwi Experience and compare the prices for hiring a car. If you’re not already a member, join our Facebook community to post the same question. Here’s the link to join x https://www.facebook.com/groups/369115206621307/

      Reply
  4. Francesca

    Hi,

    Your blog is really interesting, thank you very much for all the information.

    I am planning 7 weeks to New Zealand. I was thinking to strat from Queenstown because as a solo traveller it seems to be the easiest place where to find people. Do you agree or does it make more sense to do the trip from Auckland to the South?

    I have read different opinion about the costs, how much would you more or less suggest as a possible cost per day? Just to get an idea.

    Thank you very much,
    Francesca

    Reply
  5. catherine

    hello! this blog is super helpful. In February I’ll be traveling to the south island alone, probably for about 1-2 weeks. I’ll be on a tight budget as I will be headed to Australia afterwards. I’m trying to pick and choose the best things to do in NZ. If I’m unable to join a tour group, where do you suggest spending most of my time? It seems like Queenstown is a good base location, but will there be plenty to do and see near there for 1-2 weeks? I’m in the early stages of planning, and I hope to be pushed in the right direction. Thanks!!

    Reply
    1. Girl about the Globe Post author

      Thanks for your kind words Catherine. The south island is a great place to spend most of your time. If you did want to see Auckland you could spend 2 nights there then travel to Wellington before taking the ferry to Picton. I would definitely suggest Queenstown as it’s amazing. You could maybe base yourself there for 5 days then also stay in Christchurch and Abel Tasman? x

      Reply
  6. Amber

    I know I’m a bit late to this post, but thank you so much for this. Heading to NZ next week and have been having a lot of anxiety around being a solo female traveller. Your post has helped with that anxiety so much and I’m even more excited for my trip now.
    Thanks love x

    Reply

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