New Zealand is one of the world’s ultimate destinations. That’s because few countries can beat New Zealand when it comes to breathtaking scenery and things to do.
But how do you choose what to see and do first? We admit, it’s not an easy choice to make. However, everyone agrees that the adventures below are bucket-list worthy!
1. See the Southern Lights
While seeing the Northern Lights in person is a bucket list item for many travellers, the Southern Hemisphere’s Southern Lights is no less spectacular. This night-time light show in nearly all the colours of the rainbow is best appreciated against New Zealand’s clear dark skies. The best places to see the Lights are in the Otago region, just outside of Dunedin, as well as the night skies above Lake Tekapo and Mt Cook.
2. Cruise, raft and go spelunking in the Waitomo Glowworm Caves
New Zealand’s Glowworm Caves are unlike anything else you’ve ever seen! Here the pitch black caves are lit up by thousands of glowworms that have made these limestone caves their home.
To explore the caves, you can opt for a gentle boat cruise or choose to raft the caves on rubber tubes. You’ll also get the chance to jump into cascading waterfalls and climb through the caves. You can add abseiling to the experience to make it even more of an adventure!
3. Get up close to the Franz Josef Glacier
Franz Josef Glacier is one of New Zealand’s most spectacular sights. To experience it, you’ll have to book a helicopter ride as it’s the only way to reach the glacier. You can either go straight to the top of Franz Josef or challenge yourself with up to four hours of guided ice-climbing.
However you explore the glacier, you’ll enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and get to warm yourself in the glacier hot pools. Not that you’ll be as cold you imagine perhaps. The Glacier’s day time temperatures only dip to between 5C and 15C.
4. Hike the Tongariro Alpine Crossing
The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is New Zealand’s most famous day hike. The 19.4km route takes about nine hours to complete and reveal incredible scenery along the way. You’ll encounter steaming vents, glacial valleys, ancient lava flows, alpine vegetation and colourful crater lakes, all with breathtaking views.
This hike is not necessarily for everyone though. You should have a good level of fitness and ideally have hiking experience. The hike can become treacherous during winter when there is snow and ice on the ground.
5. Visit Milford Sound
This list would not have been complete without adding Milford Sound. Milford Sound is in Fiordland National Park and one of the most spectacular places on Earth. Here majestic peaks tower over crystal-clear lakes. You can explore the area by hiking through the forested landscapes or cruising along the water to see the hundreds of cascading waterfalls up close.
In the 2017/2018 financial year, more than 5,000 South Africans left for New Zealand. Our guess is that their reasons to move from South Africa to New Zealand, while unique to each person, shared some distinct similarities.
Today, we’ll discuss these similarities, which range from the countries sharing a similar culture to the high standard of education children receive in New Zealand.
1. New Zealand is familiar
South Africa and New Zealand are alike in many ways. The culture is similar, many values are shared, and both countries have good weather and a great love for the outdoors. New Zealand can also match South Africa when it comes to breathtaking scenery.
It also helps that English is spoken in New Zealand, so South Africans going over won’t have problems communicating with locals. It is much harder to adapt to life in a new country when you can’t speak the local language!
2. It is one of the safest countries in the world
No country is without crime, but New Zealand does much better than South Africa in safety indexes. For instance, in the 2018 Global Peace Index, New Zealand came in second after only Iceland.
In comparison South Africa slipped down one spot in 2018 to sit at number 125 out of 163 countries.
3. New Zealand’s economy is doing well
This good growth, although lower than originally forecasted, stimulate the job market. New Zealand’s unemployment rate at the end of 2018 was only 4.3%, while South Africa was struggling with an unemployment rate of 27.1%.
4. Plenty of job opportunities
South Africans are known as hard workers and sought-after employees the world over. If you have the right skills, qualifications and experience, you are bound to find a job in New Zealand.
5. Access to excellent healthcare
New Zealand’s healthcare is among the best in the world. The public healthcare system ensures that all residents have access to free or heavily-subsidised hospital care. According to the OECD Better Life Index, New Zealanders have a life expectancy of 82 years, which is two years above the OECD average.
Please note: in order to access public healthcare, migrants must have New Zealand residency status.
6. Children get a world-class education
In 2017, New Zealand was ranked the best in the world for ‘preparing students for the future’. New Zealand also fares well in the OECD’s Better Life Index with the average student scoring 506 in reading literacy, maths and sciences. This is above the OECD average of 486.
Parents agree that New Zealand’s education standards are exceptional. Expats ranked New Zealand’s school quality at number 10 out of 31 countries in the latest Expat Explorer Survey. South Africa came in at number 21.
7. It’s not as expensive as you might think
While it’s true that New Zealand is not the cheapest place to live in the world, it’s not as expensive as many people think. In fact, the cost of living in New Zealand is dropping relative to many other countries.
In the 2018 Mercer Cost of Living Index, Auckland dropped to number 81 on the list while Wellington dropped to number 101. This makes it more affordable cities to live in than Berlin, at number 71, and London, at number 19.
Keep in mind that even though the cost of living might be more expensive than in South Africa, you get to live in a beautiful country with good public services. New Zealanders are also known for favouring a healthy work-life balance, so it’s safe to say that life will be good in the Land of the Long White Cloud.
Eager to explore your chances of working and living in New Zealand? Book your consultation call with our licensed advisor today!