Travel safely in New Zealand
It is very unlikely that you will experience any problems whilst you enjoy your time in New Zealand but always remember common sense is your best protection. Let’s go over it quickly.
Do not out yourself or your belongings into situations that you wouldn’t do in your own country. Although New Zealanders are a great bunch, there is always the risk of theft as there is all over the world.
If you are buying a car or a van think about whether your belongings will be visible to preying eyes. Keep your passport and onward travel documents safe at all times. We also recommend saving a digital copy of your important documents online with a digital clouds like Dropbox or Google Drive.
If you lose your passport or suspect it has been stolen, contact the local police and make sure you obtain a police report or reference number and then contact your local consulate or embassy.
In New Zealand to contact the Police, an Ambulance or the Fire services all you need to do is to call 111.
Health requirements and vaccinations to visit New Zealand
No vaccination certificates are required to enter the country. The many public and private hospitals provide a high standard of treatment and care. Medical services are not free to visitors.
Health insurance is a must
On a Working Holiday visa in New Zealand, you must hold medical and comprehensive hospitalisation insurance for the length of your stay. It is a requirement from Immigration New Zealand. Orbit Protect provides a simple and flexible travel solution specially designed for backpackers in New Zealand. Get your cover on!
Sun protection in New Zealand
New Zealand has the second highest rate of skin cancer in the world just after Australia. The hole in the ozone layer is right above Australasia which means the sun is intense in summer and you can burn within 20 minutes.
Try to avoid exposing your skin to direct sunlight for a long period of time or make sure you apply high factor sunscreen. 30+ every two hours should become your normal routine in the height of summer.
Always drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration and heatstroke.
Water awareness in New Zealand
The rivers, lakes and beaches in New Zealand truly are amazing and although they look safe they can be dangerous if you are not familiar with the conditions. Always swim at beaches that are patrolled by surf lifesavers.
Swim between the flags, as these mark the safest part of the beach to swim and are always patrolled by the lifeguards. Never swim alone or enter the water under the influence of drugs or alcohol or after eating a big meal.
If you do get caught in a rip, don’t panic, stay calm and signal for help. Never try to swim against the current. Always pay attention to warning and safety signs.
In winter, you will be tempted to go to one of the many hot snow spots of New Zealand. Make sure that you are well equipped, keep warm and take waterproof clothes with you. These are a must.
Stay in control at all times. Know your ability and be able to stop to avoid other people. The same rules around the world applies:
- People below you have the right of way
- Obey all ski area signage. Signs are there for your safety so keep out of closed areas, except with a well-trained guide.
- Don’t lose what you use, your equipment must be secured while walking or stashing. This goes for rubbish too! Remember to take all your waste with you so it doesn’t become a hazard for others (or the environment)
- If you are involved in or witness an accident, remain at the scene and identify yourself to the ski patrol
Drugs and alcohol in New Zealand
If you are caught using, in possession of or selling any illicit drug then you are breaking the law in New Zealand.
This will potentially end up with a prison sentence or big fine but worse still will probably see you being deported from New Zealand and never being allowed to enter the country again.
The legal age for drinking is 18 years of age
Be prepared to show identification if you look under 25. There are occasionally reports of drink spiking in bars and nightclubs so please always be on guard and never leave your drink unattended or except drinks from people you don’t know.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases in New Zealand
You may be on the holiday of a lifetime, but STD’s and HIV are not! For your own safety, always use protection. Call them what you want: condom, rubber, raincoat, dinger, johnny… just remember to use it!