Thinking about visiting me soon? (If not, you should be…)
It’s okay to not know these things. The only unforgivable sin is confusing anything Kiwi with anything Australian. You have been warned.
You may burn to a crisp within minutes
Our ozone layer leaves something to be desired. I’ve not been anywhere else in the world where the sun is so intense. Slather yourself up before stepping outdoors. The worst for burn time is usually between about 10 and 3 during the day, so if you burn easily, try to stay indoors or well covered up during those hours.
UV aside, our climate is really mild
Crazy mild. Parts of New Zealand are subtropical and most don’t see snow. Here in Auckland, expect a variance of maybe 15 degrees between the height of summer and the depths of winter; 10 is cold, 25 hot (here’s more on temperatures throughout the regions). A lot of visitors land in Auckland during summer and find it chilly – it never gets too hot, really (you may not actually feel the intensity of the sun’s rays until you realise at the end of the day that you’ve picked up a ruddy burn). And our winter isn’t too bad as long as you’re inside an insulated building (a harder ask than you might think). We’re spoiled – if it wasn’t for the rain, we’d have the perfect weather. Everywhere else we’ve been would be too cold for me in winter and too hot for us both (especially T) in summer.
Our water is insanely pure
Clean, delicious and free. Enjoy. (In fact, I think we do pretty well on the beverage front. Our milk is unbeatable. And while I don’t do caffeine or booze, I hear our coffee, wine and even some of our beers are excellent – this ain’t Germany, but our well-travelled friends from Vermont reckon they never had a bad beer in New Zealand.)
The roads take some getting used to
Outside of the most built-up areas they tend to be narrow and windy, and the speed limits are fairly low – think Pacific Coast Highway style. Take it easy and always err on the side of caution. (And yes, we drive on the left hand side.)
Like our roads, the sea is rugged
We have good surf beaches, but watch out for rip tides. The human body is no match for the pull of the ocean. Luckily for you, our surf life guards are pretty world-class.