Hitchhiking New Zealand? Have you ever thought about hitchhiking across a whole foreign (or your own) country because you wanted to save some money for transportation or get in touch with a couple of local people? I did it (first time) for 3 weeks in New Zealand and it was one of the best experiences I had during my travels so far. Result: I travelled more than 1500km in 3 weeks, met dozens of amazing and interesting people on the road, and saved a lot of money I would have otherwise spent on buses, trains or hiring a car. I never actually planned to do it until I had met Many from rawsafari.com in Northern Thailand who gave me the advice to do so. Now I’m so glad he did – Thank you Many! As New Zealand is a very safe country I think it’s one of the best regions in the world where you can try it.
New Zealand is definitely one of my favourite countries so far! Why?
- There are incredible landscapes in a quite small country. You don’t have to drive distances to see completely new scenery. For example, you can go skiing in the mountains, swim in the sea (beautiful beaches), go to the desert (sand dunes :P), find rainforests and fantastic lakes like Blue Lake AND you can even go to another planet (Tongariro National Park, in my mind, looks like Mars). 😛
- KIWIS (locals) are maybe the most interesting, relaxed and friendliest people I ve met on my journey. I met so many unique personalities with individual stories. Thanks for the lifts guys, thanks for the chats!
- You can travel on budget easily! I had such an unbelievable hitchhiking experience and camped around beautiful countrysides which were definitely worth less than 500 bucks in 3 weeks 😎 … click here to see more photos!
Tongariro National Park.
When I was heading to New Zealand, the Tongariro Crossing (20km hike) at the Tongariro National Park, it was one must do on my list. It is located in the centre of the North Island and is not far from the main road which means: easy for hitchhiking :). Off I went, starting from the South (Wellington), around 350km to go. It took me less than 10mins to get my first lift to the next bigger town. Another two lifts later I was 50km closer to my destination. Then I got a lift offer from other travellers (who had their own car, of course) to go straight to Tangariro National Park. Perfect I thought! The only downside was that their van was reconstructed as a campervan without any back seats. Even more comfortable haha, good for me! Although, I DONT recommend this to anyone. This is NOT safe and NOT legal either. However, you never know when you get your next lift offer .
When I arrived, I did the Tongariro Crossing on the following day. 6hrs, 20km, 20kg backpack and off I went. Its one of the so called “Great Walks of New Zealand” which meant that it was quite touristic but still an awesome, legendary place. Check out yourself:
Hitchhiking to Cape Reinga.
After I had hiked the Tongariro Crossing I had only 5 days left in New Zealand. I decided to head further north to get closer to Auckland from where my next flight was. Near Auckland I messaged my secret guide Lion (a friend from Austria who has been to New Zealand before) and asked him what to do around Auckland. “Dont miss Cape Reinga, it is not far”, he replied. Great! So I pitched my tent 10km north from Auckland and started hitchhiking on the next day. More than 6 hours and 400km later I arrived in one of my favourite parts of New Zealand. It was definitely worth it and everything but not close to Auckland, dear Lion haha. However, I watched a stunning sunset, woke up next to the beach and even made it to the Sand Dunes by accident (I didnt know they exist hahah but thanks for the lift Amelie and Sarah!!)
When I hitchhiked back to Auckland, I pitched up my tent for the very last time (around 1 hour North from Auckland). It was quite dark when I had arrived but I knew already how to do it, literally blindfold and within 5mins only. On the next day I woke up next to … a cow. Seriously, there were cows farming like 3metres next to my tent haha. Then I had brakfast, packed my stuff and walked down to the main road to get the next lift to the town. It took me only 3 lifts until I arrived.
“I will bring you to the airport man. Gas will come and go, good times are forever!” – Mark (a Kiwi I’ve met on my first day in New Zealand)
In Auckland I had only one night which was actually enough for walking through the harbour, going to Mount Eden and having a little reunion with Mark. “I will bring you to the airport man. Gas will come and go, good times are forever!” – Mark replied me on facebook when I rejected his offer to take me to the airport to take the bus instead. I mean, environmentally thinking, it’s stupid but I loved the quote and the way how and when he said that cause he is 100 percent right. Life is now! Thank you and see you soon brother!
I hope this information and photos can give you a little overview and impression about New Zealand. I know already that I’m going to come back soon. However, now it’s your turn to pack your stuff and start 2 travel the world and … maybe see you on the road?
All the best,