New Zealand, the tiny archipelago situated in the southwestern Pacific, is known for many things.
For some, the country is synonymous with mythical Middle Earth, playing host to Peter Jackson’s epics, “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” film series. For others still, New Zealand is home to the spine-tingling haka, an ancient Māori war dance and one of the most famous pre-match rugby rituals by the all-conquering All Blacks.
New Zealand’s incredible scenery, from sublime forests to its coastal regions, collude together to create the ultimate adventure escape. The people are warm and inviting. The abundance of seafood and its world-class culinary scene are not to be missed.
But for most who travel to this archipelago, they seek the thrills and adventures impossible to find elsewhere. New Zealand may be a tiny country, but it boasts one of the biggest playgrounds for adventure anywhere in the world.
For those who seek thrills and adrenaline-pumping adventures, a pilgrimage to New Zealand is a must. From land, sea, and air, a plethora of daredevil activities is on offer.
While an extreme sports holiday may make up a large part of the country’s tourism industry, seeking the ultimate thrill can be a dangerous exercise. For those who crave the outdoor pursuits that New Zealand has to offer, these few safety tips will ensure you find the perfect balance between thrill-seeking and safety.
Etiquette and customs
Learning the customs and culture of other people is an important part of travel. Kiwis’ cultural and ethical diversity means that during your adventure travels, you will meet a diverse group Asians, Pacific Islanders, Europeans, and Māori. But as any traveler can attest, when we leave home, moral clarity can become blurred.
When traveling throughout New Zealand, be respectful of the country’s rich diversity. Learning about the different cultures that inhabit this tiny archipelago can go a long way in ensuring your adventures are remain a pleasant thrill-seeking experience for everyone involved.
But even the best-informed, best-intentioned traveler can make a mistake. Things go wrong. All countries have different backdrops regarding shared attitudes. While it may be difficult to understand all the different customs and etiquette, remember, good manners make a difference in any setting. Monumentally more so when you are traveling.
Be open to learning new things. Meet the locals. Talk to them and engage with the culture and customs. But most importantly, keep an open attitude, because more often than not, things may not go the way you would like them to.
Any form of travel involves a certain degree of risk. This degree of risk is easily amplified for those who seek adrenaline-pumping adventures.
There is nothing worse than finding yourself in a completely isolated part of the world and experiencing an unfortunate mishap. Whether it’s lost luggage or a travel emergency, accidents do happen. And while it’s completely impossible to predict how your trip may unfold, it pays to be prepared.
Having comprehensive travel insurance protects you if your adventure goes belly up. Before leaving, do your research and determine which travel insurance policies best fit with your travel plans. Not all travel insurance is created equal, so it’s important that you take time to find an insurance policy that fits your travel lifestyle.
Doing background checks if you use a travel agent
Much like researching travel insurance policies, it’s important to research adventure travel companies in advance. With high demand from seasoned thrill-seekers and novices alike, the adventure travel tourism industry has been booming.
But while adventure travel is more common these days, not all companies have the adequate experience to provide a safe and worry-free vacation.
Compile a list of outdoor pursuits you would like to participate in and research the companies that provide those experiences. Always ask for referrals from past guests of travel adventure companies. A good adventure travel company will provide credible online reviews and testimonials. But the most important thing that can help you be safe during an adventure trip is to listen and trust your gut feeling.
It may be merely precautionary, but when you feel absolutely comfortable with your chosen travel company, you can experience a truly fun and safe holiday.
Any seasoned traveler will tell you that to experience the most out of a local culture, you should be up-to-date with your routine vaccinations. The risk to your health while traveling can appear in a variety of ways.
Before traveling to New Zealand, it is recommended that you speak to your physician regarding routine immunizations to prevent contracting preventable diseases. While you may not need any immunizations to visit New Zealand, traveling is the perfect time to update your vaccination history. This may include tetanus boosters, flu immunizations, and other routine vaccines such as MMR and Hepatitis A & B. The most common diseases you may encounter while holidaying in New Zealand are Hepatitis A & B.
Your physician can advise you on the necessary vaccines you should ideally get to minimize the risk of illness. Many doctors will also advise you on health-related items to pack for your trip.
Be aware of your surroundings
Adrift in the South Pacific, New Zealand’s beautiful landscapes are eagerly waiting to be enjoyed. Whether you are discovering the world-class surf or hiking through the rollings hills, be aware of your surroundings.
Most seasoned adventurers understand the dangers of being so close to nature. But for those novice thrill-seekers, New Zealand’s natural beauty deserves to be treated with respect and a hint of caution. Underestimating the risks of being active outdoors can lead to a disastrous end to your adventure holiday.
Know and understand the classifications of poisonous plants populating New Zealand. Seek advice from local guides and tour operators who can best advise you on poisonous indigenous trees and plants.
If you seek adventure through New Zealand’s coastal regions, be aware of rip currents. They are unassumingly fast and can easily sweep you out into the open ocean. Observe the waters before taking a dip or surf and understand the indicators of where rip currents lie. Tidal currents are also prominent in New Zealand’s river estuaries and harbors.
As New Zealand has been known to experience severe earthquakes, always travel with caution and be mindful of your surroundings.
Share your plans with a friend
Time flies when you’re having fun. This is especially true during adventure-fueled holidays.
If you are traveling alone and want to explore New Zealand’s vast landscapes, always inform someone of where you will be traveling. Share your travel itinerary and contact details with friends and family alike. Kiwis are warm and receptive people, so even if you do get lost, they will gladly assist you.
Do not rely solely on mobile phones if you do get lost or are in trouble. Most remote regions of New Zealand carry no reception. Instead, keep lines of communication open and as previously mentioned, discuss your travel plans with someone before you leave.
Despite being a tiny country, New Zealand is uncrowded and peaceful. Those seeking the ultimate adrenaline rush are spoiled for choice in New Zealand. The once-in-a-lifetime experiences that it offers makes it one of the world’s greatest tourist destinations.
But any travel destination carries a certain degree of risk. For those in the pursuit of thrills, knowing the dangers ahead of time can make a fun and safe travel experience.
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