Do Something NEW New Zealand...
Updated: Dec 10, 2020
Ok Aotearoa - our border is closed to outsiders. We can still travel overseas (to some countries) but who would want to? Now you can use the money you would normally spend for an overseas holiday on something practical like home renovations, you could just blow it shopping for things you don’t really need but I reckon you should have an amazing “stay-cation” right here in Godzone!
MY TOP TEN REASONS FOR HAVING AN NZ STAY-CATION THIS SUMMER
1. You don’t have to exchange currencies
Who cares how good or bad the NZ Dollar is doing? You don’t have to convert prices or tip. There are no fees to exchange money or withdraw cash from a foreign ATM. You can use your loyalty petrol and grocery shopping cards for discounts and points at all the usual stores you are familiar with while buying all the brands you know and love.
2. No time-zone changes/jetlag
Hit the ground running everyday that you are travelling. No taking meds to help you adjust to different time zones. No fighting your internal timekeeper. Your circadian rhythms are already synced!
3. Your phone still works
You won’t receive any surprise roaming bills when you get home. You don’t have to find free or good wifi in remote foreign locations just to check your emails or get on social media. There are still blackout spots in NZ where your phone won’t work but maybe you need to put your phone down a bit more anyway.
4. Short(er) travel times
Spend more time doing what you love and less time sitting on a plane eating airline food. You will also minimise your carbon footprint by avoiding mid or long haul flights.
5. You speak the language(s)
No having to familiarise yourself with another language or feeling unable to communicate. You get bonus points from me if you speak te reo or can pronounce the Maori place names correctly! Since you’re a local you don’t need an international driver’s license. Drive on the same side of the road that you always do and even drive your own car! The road rules and street signs will all be familiar to you and maybe even the directions if you are returning to fave places you’ve been to before.
6. NZ needs your business
Your money stays right here in our struggling tourism and hospitality industries. You also don’t need to buy health insurance for a stay-cation!
7. NZ is safe
Your risk of being harmed from violence or being the target of a crime is minimal - and at Level One it is highly unlikely that you will catch Covid-19. Here's hoping we can all enjoy a Covid-free Xmas and New Years!
8. Manaakitanga Our unique NZ hospitality - manaakitanga means looking after our visitors, ourselves and each other. This is the best place in the world for authentic Māori awesomeness! The locals are mostly friendly and you can see people you know everywhere - though maybe you don’t want to? The holidays are about being together and it’s a great time to be with your loved ones and catch up with old friends. Even if it is an ex you run into randomly at the petrol station or standing in line for ice cream! Or is that just me?
9. We have EVERYTHING right here!
Great walks, stunning scenery, delicious food, friendly locals and fun adventures. Fish n chips, coffee, wine, meat pies, cheese, cheese rolls, and real fruit ice cream! You can drink the water from the tap and the food is familiar and shouldn’t make you sick. I joke that I get paid the big bucks as a tour guide because I know where all the clean toilets are all over the country. You won’t always find that information online but if you have ever had to pay to use a public toilet overseas or have seen the state of public toilets in some countries, you really will appreciate it.
9b. What we don’t have, we don’t want: No snakes, poisonous spiders (except Katipō), fairly well managed guns, less shark attacks than over the ditch, no stone fish or other weird things in the water, no nukes, not many corrupt cops (bit racist though but that’s for another blog), most locals will help out if you get into any trouble and we have no scorpions or murder hornets!
10. No quarantines or lockdowns.
It goes without saying that we are at Covid Alert Level One and are currently able to enjoy sporting events (Go the Black Caps and White Ferns!), summer festivals, parties and gatherings with no need for social distancing or having to endure quarantine or managed isolation on arrival at your destination.
For the first time in a long time, there’s no pressure to go overseas for a holiday.
Settle in. If you can afford it, join a tour! We tour guides are very good at what we do. I’ve honed my guiding skills sharing our country with visitors who used to come from all over the world to experience what many of us took for granted. Now it’s your turn to appreciate our own backyard.
I’ve got a 20-day Legendary Haka Tour leaving Auckland on December 21st covering all the best stops in the North and South Islands. Enjoy a pre-Xmas hangi near Rotorua, celebrate Christmas in Taupō and ring in the new year in Tāhuna/Queenstown. I know all the best spots and you won’t have to stress about planning the trip or driving. The South Island leg is full but we still have a few spots on the North Island part of the tour. Get 15% off if you sign up through me. All I ask of my guests is to keep an open mind, bring a good attitude and your spirit of adventure and I can create Māori magic! Get on my Haka Tour bus and off we go! Karawhiua! Glorious Aotearoa awaits…
Thanks to NZ twitter for great ideas when I was writing my list - esp. @nheazlewood! Images taken by me on previous tours except the epic Tiki Tour shot by Ruth Ashby (it's a magnet placed on a Coromandel beach!)