Travelling New Zealand Alone?
We reckon New Zealand has got to be one of the best countries in the world for travelling alone. It ranks highly for safety and is an incredibly easy place to get around.
The Kiwi people are a friendly, open-minded bunch – we’ve always got time for a chat, to give directions or to recommend a nearby restaurant.
Travelling New Zealand alone, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to meet people and make new friends; there’s no need to worry about being lonely. Plus you’ll have time to enjoy getting to know yourself a little more, amidst landscapes so beautiful they’ll take your breath away.
Safety while travelling New Zealand alone
New Zealand is one of the safest places in the world to visit.
We’re always up in the top four or five countries in the world on the Global Peace Index (currently number 4), which ranks nations for their peacefulness.
Our health and safety regulations for tourism operators are world-class, you don't have to try and bribe border officials to get in and our roads and public transport are great.
Random crime in New Zealand is very low and we have an excellent health system which offers free accident care to everyone, including overseas visitors!
We reckon feeling safe and secure when you’re visiting a foreign country alone is key to enjoying yourself.
The Kiwi people
One of the things everyone enjoys most about travelling in New Zealand is meeting the people. Our friendliness is world famous and when you're travelling on your own you'll notice that even more.
Happy, friendly and laid-back, kiwis are known as being easy to approach, and we’ve always got time for a chat.
We’re chufffed you’ve decided to come all the way to New Zealand for your holiday, and want to go out of our way to make sure you’re having a good time in our backyard!
You’ll be blown away by how many locals will want to strike up a conversation with you and just help you out.
And did we mention that we speak English here in New Zealand? There’s often a fair bit of kiwi slang thrown in, but when you’re travelling on your own it’s always good to know that there will be no worries with communication, Marmite anyone?
You'll meet lots of people travelling alone
When you travel New Zealand solo, it’s easy to meet new people – many of whom are also here by themselves. It’s amazing how much you open up to new people when you’re travelling by yourself; and it’s also far more likely that people will approach you.
You may find that travelling in an organized tour is the best way to see New Zealand independently. It’s a great way to meet plenty of like minded people from all over the world, especially if you’re travelling in a smaller group. After spending a week or three with the same handful of folks, you will be lifelong friends with the people you meet!
We have heaps of people travelling by themselves on our small group tours, and everyone says that the friends they made while on tour was one of the highlights of their holiday.
Travelling alone can be a fresh start
Travelling alone is incredibly refreshing. Nobody knows you from a bar of soap, no one has any pre-conceived ideas about what you’re like as a person.
It’s just you, the open road, and the colourful, interesting people you get to meet along the way. Travelling alone allows you to leave the baggage at home and explore an exciting new country with a fresh perspective.
Put yourself first
Solo travel can be deliciously self-indulgent – you’re not influenced by anyone else;s tastes, so you can do things your way.
Enjoy time reading, writing, walking, photography - do whatever you love the most.
If you do choose to travel by tour, make sure the itinerary is nicely paced so you’ve got time to catch your breath and take time out for yourself when you feel like it. It’s also good to make sure the tour has a few ‘free time’ days where nothing is planned, so you can do whatever takes your fancy (a long afternoon walk followed by a glass of kiwi wine – bliss!)
How to prepare for a solo trip to New Zealand
Still feeling a bit overwhelmed by the thought of hopping on a plane by yourself to New Zealand? Think about a little bit of pre-trip ‘prep-work’ to improve your confidence before you leave. Here are a few ideas:
Change your normal daily commute
Drive a different route to work, get off the bus a few stops early, or walk a different way. You’ll get a feel for exploring the unknown (even if it’s still your neighbourhood!) but you’ll also learn how much distance you can comfortably cover on foot.
Take a day trip to a nearby destination by yourself
Enjoy the time to explore the place, people-watch, get familiar with the streets – without another person to consider. It’s a fun way to spend a Saturday or Sunday and you’ll get a taste for what it might feel like when you land in Auckland City.
Ask directions from a random person
It’s a great way to practice starting a conversation. You could ask the directions for a nearby bus stop, or request a recommendation of where to eat. Most people will be happy to help out (we find a big smile always helps!)
Do a tourist activity by yourself in your hometown
Eating out by yourself can feel a bit weird, but you may have to face this situation at some stage during your holiday, so try it once or twice before you leave home. Or you could try going to a movie alone, going on a day hike – anything that puts you a little bit out of your comfort zone.
Get to know New Zealand
You’ll feel heaps more confident if you know a little about New Zealand (and Auckland, where you’ll most likely touch-down) before arriving.
Familiarize yourself with our culture and history, our currency, and on getting around.
Book your airport transfer in advance
It might help to book your transport from the airport to your hotel in advance – it’s easier to look for a whiteboard with your name on it rather than find the taxi stand when your tired from a long flight.
New Zealand is one of the best countries in the world for solo travel
In case we haven’t convinced you yet…Travel + Leisure Magazine recently named New Zealand as one of the best countries in the world for solo travellers.
This was mainly based on two key things – safety, and how ‘happy’ the country is.
While safety is a no-brainer, the ‘happiness’ concept is just as critical – is the country you’re considering travelling to by yourself a happy place? This means being made to feel welcome, being able to chat to the locals and easily connecting with the local culture. Travel + Leisure called kiwis ‘some of the friendliest and most open-minded people in the world’ – thanks guys, we’re pretty stoked with that!
Solo travel on a MoaTrek tour
At MoaTrek, we always have solo travellers on every single trip we do. We reckon it's those guys who have the most fun!
Solo travellers on our trips always tell us what they loved most was making friends with people in their group, meeting Kiwis and getting off the beaten track to see the ‘real’ New Zealand.
Whether you're travelling alone or not, by the first few days of the trip anything you may have been worrying about will be long forgotten.
If you want to see what we mean, take a look at some of our trip galleries here, you'll see solo travellers on every trip, they're the ones with the biggest smiles!
Our small group tours never have more than 18 people on a trip. Big enough to find people who you have lots in common with, but small enough to keep that ‘personal’ feel and get into some special, off the beaten track places!
We always have single travellers on every single tour we do, so you're in good hands!
Read more about solo travel in New Zealand
If you'd like to see exactly what travelling alone in New Zealand looks like, take a look at the following from Susan Mills, a solo traveller from Australia. Susan left the family at home for two weeks and joined one of our small group tours.
She wrote a diary, took lots of photos and even sat down for an interview after the trip.