New Zealand is a great country in a variety of ways. It’s also conveniently small, which makes it a cinch to travel around in a fairly reasonable amount of time. This is in stark contrast to its neighbour – and friendly rival in, well, everything really – to the west, Australia, in which you can fly across from coast to coast for six hours and not reach the other side.
So, New Zealand is the perfect size for that epic roady, and everyone has a vague notion of what they’re going to see – e.g. small hobbit holes set into banks, saw-tooth mountain ranges covered in pure white snow, pristine beaches and quiet, sleepy towns where no one wears shoes.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
The kind of people you meet, though, that can be a bit of a mystery. To help solve this puzzle, read this tongue-in-cheek guide, and discover some of the enigmatic people you might just run into.
The bogan comes in a few slightly different iterations depending on where the traveller finds himself. The two most common garden-variety bogans are of the heavy-metal genus, and the boy-racer genus. Boy-racers are the easiest to spot, as you can hear their two-dollar exhaust systems coming from a mile away. They typically do circuits of the main street very, very slowly in old, lowered cars with body-kits they’ve won in cereal packets.
Men or women of the weathered cast, with dirt under the finger nails and oily clothing. They’re a salt of the earth bunch, roughly spoken with hearts of gold. They’re commonly found leaning against fence-posts, looking out at the cows / sheep, with a soggy roll-up in the corner of their mouths. After reaching a certain age their flesh turns to teak, so when they slap you in a friendly fashion on the back you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d just been hit in the spine with a table.
Similar in many ways to The Farmer, tradies are up with the sun to take advantage of every bit of sunlight to get their jobs completed. You won’t find harder working people, or hear more inappropriate jokes or such colourful language. Keep your eyes peeled for fluorescent clothing and particularly small shorts (stubbies) around bakeries at lunchtime. A tradie can typically smell a fresh mince and cheese pie, or a recently opened energy drink, in the same way a shark can sense a drop of blood in water.
The Alternative / Wellingtonian
Easily distinguishable by their attire, the alty / alternative / scenester / Wellingtonian is sometimes mistaken for having painted their clothing on. This is a common misconception. Their apparel is made of conventional materials and weaves. Where they differ is having the clothing sown so tightly to their bodies that they have to be cut free at the end of the day. They regularly congregate outside of independent cafes, where they wrap themselves around drip-fed skinny soy extra-shot eco lattes.
This one puts Kiwi men to shame (bar the Farmers and Tradies) with her mechanical skills. She’s able to fix anything with an engine and is quite capable of covering several kilometres with a dead pig slung over her back.
The Classic Jolly Maori Cuz
These Maori and Polynesian blokes never fail to bolster the spirits of those around them. They’re all big smiles and contagious laughter. Of course, it’s almost impossible to decipher anything they say through all the chuckling and merry laughter. The keen of hearing will occasionally make out a, “Chur, cuz!” or a “Kia ora, my bro.” This will most likely be followed by a handshake of some kind and a hug. It’s a good time.
These laid-back, tanned and (usually) athletic individuals are obviously usually found by the ocean. They are an affable lot who live by the ‘no worries’ mantra. Things can get a little sticky when they start talking about A-frames, grommets, floaters, pits and kooks, if you’re unfamiliar with surf lingo. They can be cut-off with a simple point out to sea yelling that the wind has turned and it’s off-shore.
In a nutshell: Just Another F*cking Aucklander. A label of cynical contempt directed towards those living in or from Auckland by all other Kiwis living outside of it. The common consensus being that all Aucklanders are no good, no matter how much they must contribute to New Zealand as a whole.
Normally large and fit. The forwards are very similar in appearance to The Farmers – having mostly come from Otago, Taranaki and Hamilton themselves. You might think that these gentlemen are carved from bacon, but that is just solid Kiwi genes. As scary as some of these individuals look, they’re usually very genial, funny and humble. As professional athletes they are some of the most relatable in the world. Falling over dead drunk in the middle of the street or shouting a whole bar a round of the fruitiest drinks on the menu is par for the course for many after an important victory. We appreciate the clip underneath is of an Australian, but it encapsulates exactly what we mean when it comes to the rugby-head.
The Fiercely Independent Chick
This woman needs nobody – especially no man, thank you verymuch – to help her achieve her goals. She follows in the footsteps of great New Zealand women like Helen Clark, who courted controversy when she met the queen wearing trousers. Take that, your Royal Majesty.
The Ingenuity Kiwi
No matter what the situation, these blindly optimistic Kiwis will never say die and always endeavor to help you out of the hole that you – or they – have dug. Whether they’ve accidentally set your kitchen on fire because they told you that of course they’ve used a deep-fryer before, or borrowed your car to nip down to the shop, neglected to engage the handbrake and had said vehicle roll into the sea, they’re always there with a comforting word and a masterful plan.
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meet our Local Insider
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It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
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I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.