Before arriving to New Zealand, I joined a facebook group for New Zealand backpackers. In this group, you can buy and sell converted campervans and find friends to travel with. This is where I met my travel buddies, a German woman and a Slovenian woman. Because so many travelers come in and out of New Zealand, you can pick up most of what you need for low prices at a thrift store. You can also check hostels for things you need, which generally have a free section. By the end of your trip, you will probably resell your vehicle too and leave behind belongings in the hostels' free sections and or thrift stores. It was chilly when I was there, so I bought some sweaters that would only serve me in my time in New Zealand. Food is imported into New Zealand. The price of avocados are like 6 New Zealand dollars. Maybe this is because travellers love avocados and most produce has to be imported. The honey in New Zealand is a prized product.
Hokitika is adorable like much of New Zealand. It's truly a town of artisans. There are lots of cute artisanal shops and museums. In some times in the morning, there are vendors in between the road and the beach. There is supposedly a lot of jade to be found. There is a shop in town that will cut open any rock for you if you suspect there to be jade or anything pretty on the inside. Even if you do not want to drop loads of money on rocks that you do not personally value, it is worth picking up a souvenir. I found that one shop sold leftover cuts of jade for less than $10 depending on the piece.
When I went to the Milford sound, it was raining the whole time. While this obstructed the view and made us very cold, it was still gorgeous as ever. The rain slid down the rock in streams like the moutnain was lined with waterfalls. Bring a rain jacket because it rains frequently here. The Milford sound is a body of water mixed with salt and freshwater. There were some lobster boats and there is scuba diving offered. Unfortunately, I had congestion at the time of visiting so I could not participate in the scuba diving, but I will surely do it if I'm ever in New Zealand again.
My last stop in New Zealand was ChristChurch. From here, I flew out, which included a transfer to Australia as any New Zealand flight would. This was days after the tragic hate crime, the Christchurch shooting. The street was lined with flowers, candles, and letters. Also, I went to the museum with a bunch of creepy installations. It was not even halloween, March of all months. I highly recommend in Christchurch this grocery store called Pika. They are a bulk goods store, but also carry packaged goods. The produce you find here is cheaper, higher quality, and sourced more ethically. They have a system where you can donate empty jars to be reused. They wash them and set them out for free for customers to buy in bulk with.
Q & A
What would you have changed?I would have spent more time at the Milford sound and at Lake Wanaka!
Restaurant recommendations?Buy produce from stands on the side of the road!
Tips you would give a friend?Go to thrift stores like salvation army!
Packing tips?You can get everything you need when you land!
Transportation Tips?Get a vehicle, preferably a self enclosed camper conversion