New Zealand is a multifaceted country and a unique place to explore. Visitors appreciate New Zealand for completely different things. Some are keen on going into incredible untouched terrains remote yet easily approachable. The others prefer to conquer rugged mountains or submerge into the beauty of a quantity of dreamlike parks and luxuriant, green forests. Lots of travelers come to New Zealand to admire its wilderness. Some are willing to find enjoyment in the landscapes all around the country.
Due to its friendly citizens, high health standards and a very low crime rate, New Zealand is considered to be a very safe place to travel. Being the second-safest country in the world, New Zealand still demands your wariness. Especially in tourist areas, where theft still exists. Thus, a great way to protect yourself is to rent a car, for instance a 10 seater van hire Auckland. Doing this you’ll not have to use public transport and take risks to be robbed.
Besides, the newcomers can be surprised by an unfamiliar natural environment and climate, which are quite different from what you’re used to.
Here are several important tips to help you stay safe visiting the country and make your first experiences memorable. These tips will prepare you for all possible surprises beforehand and make your trip unforgettable for all of the right reasons!
Here are Top 10 Tips for Staying Safe Outdoors in New Zealand
Be Prepared for Extreme Weather
Weather conditions in New Zealand are unpredictable. Being a small island in the middle of a large ocean New Zealand is exposed to constant and rapid weather changes. Its climate is unstable unlike most continental countries.
It’s very common that the weather changes rapidly. You see the sunny day one moment, and the next moment the strong wind brings the heavy rain causing extensive damage.
Prepare for the snowstorms, damp and cold weather all year round, frequent heavy rains causing floods and landslides.
Remember, that weather is one of the most important things, which can make or break your trip. So, preparing for the trip, check the forecast and consider the option to change your plans if needed. Because, no matter what the forecast is, the weather will definitely affect your trip.
To keep yourself safe and protected traveling in New Zealand is not as hard as it may seem at first sight. You don’t need to worry about predators, poisonous snakes or plants when you’re hiking.
Be Careful of the Sunburn
New Zealand has a clear, unpolluted atmosphere and thus a very high rate of ultraviolet radiation, which may cause skin cancer. Here the ozone layer is positioned in close proximity to the earth’s surface, which makes the sun’s influence stronger, so don’t forget to use sunscreens.
Being a popular country for skiing and mountaineering, New Zealand has another significant risk – hypothermia. This potentially fatal condition is at high altitudes all year-round, especially in winter. Extremely cold temperatures, strong winds, especially in wet conditions produce a high chill factor, when the body temperature drops rapidly. If you or anyone in your group experiences such symptoms as shivering, clumsiness, lethargy or feels too cold and tired, behaves irrational, you shouldn’t ignore these symptoms. The first aid in such a situation is finding shelter, drinking warm, sweet drinks and changing into dry clothes.
Mind the Possibility of the Earthquakes
Laying on the boundary between the Australian and the Pacific Plates New Zealand suffers from frequent earthquakes (nearly 100 each year). So, coming here one must know and follow the main steps of staying safe during the earthquakes, as the locals do.
- Try to stay indoors.
- Drop and take a position on all fours.
- Protect your head and neck covering under a sturdy piece of furniture.
- Stay in your shelter until the shaking stops.
The Quality of Drinking water
Mind that drinking water must be of “appropriate quality” and the water available in rivers, lakes, streams, ponds and other waterways in New Zealand may be unsafe and unreliable.
People who drink untreated water in New Zealand may suffer from various parasites. If you accidentally swallow such water, you may get a serious stomach illness, caused for example by Giardia, a common parasite for that area.
Roads and Driving
To explore the country better, you can rent a van. But mind that New Zealand’s rural roads and highways may be quite challenging for newcomers. Outside the urban areas drivers face different obstacles. There are sheep or cattle blocking your path, one-lane bridges, the narrow, windy, curvy routes. All of them can be deceptively dangerous. For driving safely and comfortably outside of the urban areas, think of van rental New Zealand.
To preparefor any possible accidental damage while traveling, you need to look for travel insurance. The rental vehicle insurance and cheap vans for rent will help you save money.
Plan your route ahead
Talk to the locals and find out the main peculiarities of the chosen route and the approximate amount of time you can expect your trip to take.
What to pack
Going hiking, make sure you take sufficient supplies and appropriate means of communication. The Mountain Safety Council recommends you take enough food and water, clothing and quality solid footwear. Also, take emergency rations equipment and a small survival kit for the worst-case scenario.
Share your plans with someone
Before going on any route make sure to share your plans with someone. Tell when you are leaving and coming back and discuss a date for raising the alarm in case you haven’t returned on time.
Be aware of your limits
Before you go outdoors, get familiar with a selected walk or hike, make sure that’s suitable for you and people traveling with you. Do not challenge yourself over your physical limits and experience. If you’re not sure about this, try to find something suitable.