You've dreamed of this trip for a long time, and that's it, you're there! The landscapes are splendid, the weather perfect, the food delicious, the locals are nice and smiling ... Well were nice and smiling! You don’t know why, but suddenly they seem insulted or even angry, it's true that you don’t speak the language, but who cares ? You are experts in mime ! Maybe the problem comes from that ?
In some countries, gestures that are familiar, friendly, even sympathetic to us, may mean something else in a foreign country! To avoid hurting and shocking the local populations of the countries you visit, it is better to always learn before leaving on the customs and habits of the country, but also the laws, in order to know the behavior to adopt once there. Even if it is only through clumsiness, it is better to avoid finding yourself in an embarrassing situation that could turn against you for lack of information. The status of a foreigner does not necessarily confer a pass, so it is better to pay attention to a successful trip !
How to behave in New-Zealand ?
To respect the environment. Well, it's a normal thing and especially not exclusive to New Zealand, but you should know that this country pays particular attention to its environment. As long as you walk around in nature, there are some rules to follow (disinfect your shoes at the place at the entrance of the ride, do not throw trash, etc.). Upon arrival at the airport, there is a strict control to fight against the proliferation of foreign organisms.
To respect the Maori culture. In addition to being respectful as any traveler should be, this is about being vigilant about the places you visit. Some places like Cape Reinga are sacred and you can’t do everything you want. Be sure to inform yourself about the place, often you can’t drink or eat for example.
Read also : Cape Reinga, where spirits and oceans meet
To respect the authorized areas to sleep. Whether in a van or tent, New Zealand is full of places to sleep in nature. To avoid the deterioration of the environment, the country has planned places free or not to stay legally. Pay attention to the signs on the spot to find out if you can sleep there. Be aware that if you rent a van in New Zealand, a self container will allow you to sleep in more places.
Read also : How to rent a vehicle in New-Zealand ? (Comming soon !)
Keep calm. You will quickly realize that Kiwis are not nervous and angry people. That's why they often misinterpret the screaming (even if you just speak loudly), and they will come to see you, thinking that you are arguing or that you have a problem.
Don’t smoke anywhere. New Zealand fights a lot against tobacco (its goal being to become a non-smoking country). In addition to the price of the cigarette pack that hurts the eyes and the wallet (between 12 and 15 €), there are certain areas where it is forbidden to smoke, such as near schools, parks, etc.
Don’t drink alcohol anywhere. This is especially true for public places where the fine can be up to 12000 €. In addition, if you want to buy strong liquor, you must go to Liquors Shop, you will not find elsewhere.
Don’t buy or use drugs. New Zealand is not kidding with this subject. Indeed, the majority of dealers are young (not always major), who sell drugs to tourists. The problem is that if they get caught, they go to jail or correctional house if they are minors. So you understand why the government is fighting this.
Don’t fly your drone anywhere. The scenery is beautiful there, and all we want to do is let go of our drone to immortalize everything. However, be careful where you are flying and make sure you have permission. Many areas are overflown by helicopters, and are therefore forbidden to drones. Pay attention to the signs around and stick to them !
Don’t leave your things visible in the car. It's a classic, but it’s not bad to remember it. Even though crime is fairly low in New Zealand, theft remains something present. So if you leave your car in a car park, do not forget to take your precious things with you and hide the rest.