Definative Backpack Experience?
Zealand provides a unique travelling experience for the
thousands of backpackers who visit New Zealand every year
from all parts of the world. We have specialist backpacker
facilities throughout the country, unlike other regions
in which backpackers travel. We have a spectacular, varied,
and accessible natural environment that invites active
participation. We have an excellent array of activities,
facilities and transport to accommodate this exploration.
Why New Zealand?
Backpackers are overwhelmingly positive about their
time in New Zealand. New Zealand is a seen as a pristine,
beautiful natural world to discover, and one that is especially
easy to navigate and explore. Backpackers speak about
New Zealanders as very friendly people, far beyond their
original expectations welcoming and genuinely interested
Backpackers from the Northern Hemisphere tend to split
their travel time between Australia and New Zealand in
a 2/3 to 1/3 ratio based on the countries� relative size.
The perception is that Australia is larger and therefore
will offer more activities to do and places to see. However,
in hindsight some backpackers regret this decision. Although
New Zealand is geographically smaller than Australia,
its compact size means it can offer backpackers more to
do and see within a small area.
"I went on Oz Experience,
then Kiwi, sometimes Oz it was just hours and hours on
the bus, not the best country to travel by land. New Zealand,
everything is within an hour or two."
Backpacking is an inexpensive and adventurous way
to travel independently for a long time. It offers opportunities
to meet new people while learning about other cultures.
It lends itself to the outdoors and outdoor activities.
It provides a sense of freedom and independence that other
forms of travel don�t offer. It allows greater flexibility
and choice in travel. Changing plans is as simple as putting
on a pack and heading in another direction. There are
no bookings to change, no places they need to be.
"When you backpack you
are totally self reliant, can stay anywhere, in a hostel
or camp ground, you can bush walk or take a bus when you
feel like it, you�ve always got a tent for back-up."
Beautiful, Unspoilt, Uncrowded!
Australians see New Zealand as a less exotic location,
low cost and relatively accessible. Some travel to New
Zealand specifically to experience landscapes that Australia
does not have eg, high mountains, ice climbing, glaciers.
Canadians see New Zealand as pleasantly similar to their
homeland, but with much more to see and do within a relatively
small area. They see New Zealand as having a warmer climate
with a more varied and dramatic landscape. New Zealand�s
distance from Canada gives travel an adventurous feel.
North Americans and Europeans tend to see New Zealand
as especially unspoilt and uncrowded, offering a strong
contrast to their homelands as well as having the appeal
of a remote and far away land.
"It�s very far and not
cheap, I don�t mind this now but I had to think about
it before I came".
Who are backpackers?
Many are �first-timers�, young travellers away from
home in a break in study between secondary and tertiary
education. �Older� backpackers (aged 25 to 35) are usually
single and tertiary educated with no dependants. They
have worked for two to three years and have chosen backpacking
as an extended break from working life before settling
down. Backpackers� perceptions of New Zealand as a backpacking
destination vary. For first-timers from the Northern Hemisphere,
backpacking in New Zealand seems exotic while still Western
in culture and a relatively safe place to travel for their
first trip away. Older backpackers see New Zealand as
a less challenging backpacker destination, where they
can relax and enjoy nature without having to struggle
with extreme cultural differences.
"I thought it was a
beautiful place but didn�t know that there was so much
to do here".
The core drive for independence means that backpackers
have more similarities than differences. They generally
prefer travel that meets their needs to physically interact
with the environment, meet new people, seek renewal and
restoration, be exposed to different cultures. Backpackers
seek a destination that offers physical activities that
provide them with a challenge and/or a feeling of excitement,
such as bungy jumping or sky diving. They may also seek
more traditional but challenging activities such as mountain
climbing, tramping or diving.
"I get up in the morning
and know that I am going to do something new, bungy or
skydiving, perfect day, once in a lifetime, I just can�t
wait, feel more alive."
Backpackers also look for social activities that allow
them to feel a general sense of togetherness and sociability,
such as a shared bus trip or the opportunity to join the
party and bar scene. Older travellers tend to prefer a
small group while younger travellers in general prefer
"We rented a car with
others, really fun, just laid back, we got along so well,
the perfect group."
For relaxation backpackers need seek out experiences
that allow them to feel relaxed, restored and reflective,
such as cycling through the scenic South Island, bushwalking,
and kayaking through the Milford Sounds. The ideal backpacking
experience embodies an introspective and calm experience
in a beautiful natural environment.
"We just went all silent,
lost in our own thoughts for hours in our kayaks, thought
about my life and everything."
Backpackers enjoy learning about other cultures, such
as staying at home-stays, being invited into the home
of a New Zealander, undertaking a working holiday and
hitchhiking around the country.
"New Zealand is
easy to get around, is backpacker friendly, has lots of
places to stay, has friendly down-to-earth people who
welcome travellers, is English speaking, familiar, and
safe with a Western culture."
New Zealands Geographical Isolation!
New Zealand�s isolation from the rest of the world
is a real benefit to backpackers who seek a sense of independence,
adventure and escape from home life. Perceptions of the
country�s geographical location relative to Australia
vary considerably, from less than an hour to several hours.
However the two countries� general proximity is well known
and adds further travel options. It means they can travel
to more than just one country, an important part of making
the most of being in the South Pacific.
Overall, backpackers describe the New Zealand landscape
as far surpassing their expectations, especially in the
landscape diversity and proximity of places and activities.
The landscape is described as extraordinarily varied and
remarkably accessible, and exceptionally beautiful.
"Always something new
to see around the corner. Alps and then beautiful beaches,
incredible." "Everything you want to do is in a small
space, climbing and diving, not far away."
Backpack hostels in New Zealand are unlike European
or North American hostels that have a 10pm door close,
and in some instances no kitchen facilities. New Zealand
accommodation offers a wide range of facilities for travellers,
such as kitchens, bars, lounges, televisions and laundries.
Some offers extra facilities such as spa pools and cottages.
Generally, New Zealand hostels cater specifically for
backpackers, unlike hostels overseas which may also host
school groups and families. Camping facilities, also common
in New Zealand, are avaiable to backpackers who want to
keep costs down.
"There is so much too
do, everywhere you go, something to see, dolphins, seals,
bungy jumping sky diving. I just thought there would be
bungy and walks."
Backpackers unanimously agree New Zealand is a very
easy place to backpack.