Safety in New Zealand

New Zealand is generally a very safe place to travel. In fact it rank frequently as the safest country in world. It is disease free and doesn’t have animals that can kill you. In fact, there are no deadly animals, unlike New Zealand’s Down Under brother, Australia.

If you do get into bother, there are very capable medical facilities. Crime rates are low too, but it’s always smart to use common sense to look after yourself and your belongings.

Sun protection

New Zealand has one of the highest skin cancer rates in the world, just after Australia. That’s because the hole in the ozone layer is above Australasia, which gives New Zealand some of the strongest levels of ultraviolet (UV) radiation. This means you will start to burn within 15 minutes of being in the strong New Zealand sun.

Apply high factor sun cream (SPF 50+) regularly when exposing your skin to the sun, especially in summer. Even on a cloudy day, that sun can get you! Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration and sunstroke.

Is it safe to hitchhike in New Zealand?

It is generally safe to hitchhike. Like anywhere, there are some untrustworthy individuals you don’t want to get in a car with. However, hitchhiking in New Zealand is legal and, sure, a lot of people do it.

The New Zealand Police recommend that if you do decide to hitchhike, they “strongly advise you do not travel alone.”

Keep belongings safe

New Zealander’s and other backpackers tend to be decent human beings, but there’s a risk of theft. Just use common sense to keep your belongings safe in New Zealand. A few simple ways to do this are:

  • Don’t leave valuable items on display, whether in your car or accommodation
  • Lock bags/backpacks in the boot of your car
  • Don’t leave your bag unattended in a public place
  • Keep your passport and important documents and their copies separate
Safety in the water

Whether you’re going for a swim or taking part in one of New Zealand’s awesome water activities, it’s important not to drown.

Rip currents can pull swimmers and surfers out to sea quickly. If you get caught in a rip, don’t panic and don’t swim against the current. Let the rip carry you until the current lessens, then swim parallel to the beach until you can swim back. If you get tired or panic anyway, put your arm up high out of the water with your fist clenched to signal for help.

Stay safe when hiking

There are so many stunning New Zealand landscapes that can’t be missed! Hiking is a great way to explore the land – and yourself, if you want to get deep about it. But you should always be prepared by taking the right clothing and equipment with you.

Do you need a vaccination to visit New Zealand?

No. However, you must meet the health requirements of your visa. The working holiday visa requires holders to have medical insurance for the duration of their stay in New Zealand.