Keen to visit Aotearoa New Zealand? We’ve got 13 reasons why you shouldn’t

New Zealand is awesome…

But sometimes you need a reason not to go somewhere.

Perhaps you’re sticking to a budget so don’t have the funds for a vacation halfway across the globe?

Maybe your passport expired and you’re keen to ease the pain?

Whatever the reason, we’re here to help you with all the reasons you shouldn’t travel to Aotearoa New Zealand.

We must admit though, while brainstorming this guide, we found ourselves in a bit of a pickle.

Every reason not to visit turned out to be a reason we love NZ – we just couldn’t help it!

So, we embraced the irony, listing all the incredible experiences that could ‘ruin’ you for the mundane back home.

Are you ready to discover why you absolutely shouldn’t fall in love with New Zealand?

Because this is the once-in-a-lifetime destination that will draw you back time and time again… and we make no apologies for that.

The calm waters of Lake Pukaki and Mount Cook Glacier Mountain Range.
Lake Pukaki at Mount Cook.

Reasons to never visit New Zealand – a tongue-in-cheek guide to our shortcomings

1. New Zealand is so serene, you might actually relax on vacation

Picture yourself lounging by a turquoise lake, distracted only by the sound of birds, the breeze and water lapping gently on the shore. Far from bustling city streets and honking horns.

You might stumble upon a secluded beach or a quiet walking track, where the unhurried pace of life becomes your own.

It’s dangerous territory if you’re used to the adrenaline of a nine-to-five hustle.

Here, the days stretch endlessly, leaving you with no choice but to unwind.

And before you know it, you’ll sink into nature’s rhythm, which we’re sure you’ll agree, doesn’t sound half bad.

But how will you manage to get anything else done?

Two people walking along a golden sand beach with a catamaran in the water.
Enjoy a slower pace of life in the Bay of Islands. Photo: Miles Holden

2. The perils of excessive beauty when you’re on the road

Driving through New Zealand could extend your travel time immeasurably – there’s just too much to see and do!

Every bend in the road presents a new temptation – a hidden waterfall, a scenic lookout just begging for a photo or a vineyard offering tastings.

You’ll want to stop everywhere, turning a two-hour journey into an all-day affair.

Don’t believe us? We know first-hand from our extensive adventures in Aotearoa, and from the feedback of hundreds of members in our Facebook group.

We guarantee, your itinerary will become a wild wish list of detours and “must-sees”.

New Zealand’s splendour does not believe in straight lines or a race to the finish.

Portrait of a young woman in a car looking at a map for directions.
Be prepared to detour in New Zealand… it’s bound to happen!

3. Your perfect snaps could become a real problem

New Zealand is a total photo trap.

Each snap of our picturesque landscape will turn your whānau (friends and family) green with envy – a double-edged sword for your social media feed.

And that’s not to mention the pressure…

After countless photos of mirror-reflection lakes and majestic mountains, finding a backdrop that isn’t outrageously beautiful becomes a legitimate challenge.

How will you keep up?

Consider yourself warned… visiting New Zealand could leave you with a gallery of memories so vivid, you risk outshining every other holiday album and alienating your mates.

It could be worth it though!

Young male photographer wearing green cap taking photo in Redwood forest (Whakarewarewa Forest) near Rotorua city in North Island, New Zealand

4. New Zealanders are so nice, you might start believing in humanity again

Kiwi are good sorts – their friendliness is infectious.

Wiith our genuine smiles and ‘kia ora’s, we’ll leave you unequipped for the less cordial corners of the world.

When we ask you ‘how ya going?’ it’s because we actually care – isn’t that novel?

Before you know it, you too will find yourself on a first-name basis with the barista, the bus driver, and the person you met five minutes ago on a walk.

You’ll be waving at strangers, sharing stories with locals and receiving travel tips from people you’ve just met in no time!

Are you ready to head home with more new friends than souvenirs?

Two Kiwi kids fresh from river swimming and having a photo op with one of them wrapping his hand on the younger kid while the trees and river shows in the background.
There’s something special about a Kiwi smile.

5. Half our birds can’t fly. Are they even trying?

New Zealand is short of native animals but we punch above our weight when it comes to quirky, memorable birdlife.

You haven’t lived until you’ve encountered a curious kiwi rooting about the undergrowth or observed a cheeky kea in the wild.

These unique birds, many unbothered by the need to take flight, meander through forests and grasslands or soar high above, owning the land and air as their ancient ancestors did.

They might just charm you into standing there, watching them for hours, lost in their world.

So, if you’re prepared for wildlife encounters that are anything but run-of-the-mill, and stories that sound like they’ve hopped right out of a wildlife documentary – well, you’ve come to the right place.

A rare Kākāpo bird with its moss green feather mottled with yellow and black colours, black eyes, and grey beak looking at the camera.
A rare kākāpo. Photo credit: Jake Osborne.

6. Our fresh, clean air will spoil you for life

If you’re used to being enveloped in a smoggy embrace, New Zealand will knock you for a six.

As you stroll our native forests and check out expansive, sheep-dotted fields, you’ll notice how fresh our air is.

Without doubt, you’ll lament the day you have to swap this for the familiar blanket of exhaust fumes and industrial stink.

So, if you plan to visit, prepare for the dilemma of a lifetime; once you’ve inhaled our ridiculously-fresh air, how will you ever settle for less?

Mans standing at the end of the tunnel at Tunnel Beach in Dunedin, looking out to the water with large rocks in the foreground.
Ahhhh, fresh air everywhere. Photo: Roady – Tunnel Beach, Dunedin.

7. Avoid our cafes: coffee here is so good, you’ll never look at a cup of joe the same way

This little nation takes its coffee very seriously – so much so that a morning flat white could leave you questioning every coffee choice you’ve ever made.

You’ll find yourself in a café, perhaps after a morning stroll on a pebbly beach, sipping a latte made with a barista’s undivided attention.

In your hands is a masterpiece of rich, silky smoothness – joy in every sip.

You’ll be so charmed by our coffee culture that returning to your old coffee haunts might feel like a bitter letdown – in more ways than one.

Person pouring frothy milk into a late cup filled with coffee, making a flower shape in the milk.

8. Adventure Overload: Our activities might just give you a heart attack.

Our adventure activities are world-class – so much so, that they’ll make all your future vacations seem dull.

From bungy jumping in Queenstown to black water rafting in Waitomo, your adrenaline will hit levels you didn’t know existed!

Where else can you spend a morning ziplining through ancient forests and an afternoon surfing or snowboarding?

Skydiving, heli hiking, deepsea fishing – check!

How about rafting the tallest commercially rafted waterfall in the world? Yep, you’ll find it in Rotorua.

If there’s something crazy you want to do, Aotearoa is the place to do it.

But if you’re not careful, you’ll leave with expectations for excitement that no other place can match.

Proceed at your own thrill-seeking risk.

A man holding his camera on a selfie stick while bungy diving.

9. No Thanks, Middle-Earth: Who needs New Zealand’s epic scenery and movie fame, anyway?

Our stunning scenery will ruin you.

Soon, sunsets over rolling hills or misty fjords reflecting soft dawn light won’t just be beautiful; they’ll be expected.

Taking a casual drive can morph into a cinematic experience, each turn unveiling vistas that seem crafted by special effects rather than mother nature.

There’s a reason we’ve provided the backdrop to some of the best feature films ever made.

And let’s not forget our lakes. Ahhh our lakes. From the deepest sapphire to the clearest aquamarine, there’s a hue for every mood.

If you’re not ready for every future landscape to pale in comparison, proceed with caution.

We’ll recalibrate your sense of wonder – and you might even like it.

Looking out from a Hobbit Hole at Hobbiton, towards NZ's countryside.
Hobbiton is just the tip of the movie-magic iceberg. Photo: Miles Holden.

10. The Irresistible Charm of New Zealand’s Four-Legged Locals

Welcome to Aotearoa – Land of the Long White Cloud… or should we say Land of the Long White Sheep?

Here, sheep outnumber people five-fold, and their woolly presence is a backdrop you won’t soon forget.

You’ll also pass paddocks dotted with cows, horses and deer, all grazing under an endless sky. It’s like something out of a storybook.

Our farm animals are not just part of our landscape, they’re heart-stealers on four legs.

Just don’t blame us if you go home with a newfound desire to start your own farm…

Photo: Shellie Evans, NZTT member.

11. Discover the Rich Tapestry of Māori Traditions – and forever compare cultural experiences in other destinations

Prepare to be captivated by Māori culture and people.

Immerse yourself in the powerful haka, appreciate intricate carvings, soak up beautiful waiata (song) and learn about rich oral histories and traditions that might make other cultural experience seem a touch less vibrant.

The warmth of a Māori greeting and the stories woven into each song and dance will connect you to a history that’s both proud and living.

Are you ready for a cultural journey so profound it resonates deep within you?

It is a unique taonga (treasure) that needs to be felt to be believed.

A shirtless and tattooed native man going nose to nose with a woman tourist.
Te Puia in Rotorua. Photo: Fraser Clements.

12. You’ll need to punch another hole or two in your belt

Brace yourself; our culinary scene could ruin your appetite for the mundane.

We have so much delicious kai (food) in Aotearoa.

Aghan biscuits, lolly cake, Whittaker’s chocolate, ice cream, fresh-caught fish and chips, savoury pies, mouthwatering lamb, fresh seafood… we barely know where to start.

And we haven’t even mentioned the wine that we’re so well known for!

Seriously, your taste buds could well protest when you take them home at the end of your travels.

And yep, you’ll definitely need to let your belt out a little… we reckon it’s worth it though.

Don’t you agree?

Three glasses of wine beside three saucers of food.

13. We have the best Facebook group. How will you travel anywhere else without NZTT to help?

Diving into our Facebook group is a slippery slope; you’ll be so well-informed you’ll be spoilt for future travels.

If we do say so ourselves, our group is a treasure trove, with locals and past visitors generously dishing out insider information.

You’ll get advice on everything from hidden hot springs to the best pie shop in any given town.

Imagine, with a few keystrokes, unlocking secrets that even some locals don’t know!

And that’s not to mention the huge number of discounts!

After NZTT’s wisdom and insight, wandering without such a knowledgeable crew in your corner elsewhere might just feel like navigating without a compass.

How will you handle travelling any other way after this?

Did you know? We have a few other groups including Global Travel Tips, South Pacific Travel Tips and Australia Travel Tips – so there’s actually no need to venture abroad without our help!

And there you have it – 13 reasons you shouldn’t visit New Zealand…

Or, are they 13 reasons why you can’t miss New Zealand?

We’ll leave that to you to decide…

Inspiring, informative & helpful…

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