New Zealand has a reputation as a peaceful country, and this – together with its beauty, fascinating Maori culture, and welcoming people – means that it has long proved a popular destination for backpackers and holidaymakers alike. However, recent events, including the tragic terrorist attacks that took place at two mosques in Christchurch in March 2019, have prompted more prospective travelers to ask what steps they can take to ensure their safety whilst exploring this beautiful country.
It never hurts to be prepared, so here are our top tips so that you can be sure you have everything you need to keep yourself covered for all eventualities and to provide you with peace of mind.
Use Common Sense!
The most obvious tip, but one that is easy to forget, is to use your common sense! Whilst New Zealand is statistically a very safe place, crime does occur and you should use the same precautions that you would anywhere else.
Try to avoid walking alone late at night, don’t carry valuables around unnecessarily, and make sure to lock any important possessions or documents in your hotel or hostel safe.
If you’re heading out for a day trip, particularly in the mountains, tell someone where you are going and roughly when you expect to be back – and if you do choose to head out for a solo hike, study the route before you go and bring a map. There’s no need to worry too much, just make sure you have all your essentials in order and you’ll be good to go.
Check out these 27 amazing things to do in New Zealand South Island!
Respect The Elements
New Zealand has a fairly temperate climate, but being an island nation the weather can change quickly so make sure you take adequate cold-weather gear and rain protection, and keep an eye on the forecast whilst you’re out there.
Particularly on some of the more challenging mountain hikes, you could encounter treacherous conditions which may not be apparent from lower ground. Follow the lead of locals and don’t try and complete a hike or activity against advice.
Finally, New Zealand has a famously high risk of earthquakes due to the various fault lines running through the country. The nature of these events is that they are unpredictable, so again, don’t worry unnecessarily, but it’s worth being familiar with earthquake safety guidance.
If indoors, drop down and find a place to shelter where nothing will fall on you, such as beneath a door frame. If outdoors, find a clear spot away from buildings, trees, and power lines, and drop low to the ground.
Choose Your Adrenaline Activities Carefully
New Zealand attracts adrenaline junkies from all over the world. The home of bungee jumping and known as a destination of choice for climbers, skydivers, and other adventure-sport enthusiasts, there’s plenty of choice for thrill-seekers.
Sadly, these activities do carry risks and accidents have happened. That said, safety standards in New Zealand are high, so do your homework and use a reputable provider and you’re sure to have a great time.
Wrapping It Up
You’re bound to love exploring New Zealand, so follow our top safety tips and make sure you have a safe and happy trip! Check out this 10 days New Zealand South Island itinerary!