Is New Zealand a safe place to travel?
Absolutely! New Zealand is generally a very safe place to travel, and with no deadly animals that can kill you, it is the perfect location for spending time in the great outdoors. Should you come to any harm, medical facilities are excellent. Crime rates are low, however it is always best to use common sense to look after yourself and your belongings. Like everywhere else in the world, crime does exist and you do need to be cautious. Do not be afraid to visit New Zealand, but don’t be negligent either.
Hiking/Tramping Safety Tips
If you are planning on doing some unguided hiking, make sure you are prepared with the right equipment and clothing for your excursion. The weather can change very quickly, and it will sometimes feel like four seasons in one day. Essentials include good comfortable footwear, a sun hat and waterproof jacket. Having warm layers of clothing that you can remove will help you stay comfortable. Make sure you have selected a walk which is at a suitable level and duration for your group, and if in doubt check in at the local Department of Conservation office. Make sure you have enough food and take plenty of water; if you are going for a full day 2L per person is a good place to start, as you may not get the opportunity to refill your bottle. If you are planning on a multi day hike check out the Outdoor Safety Code here: https://www.adventuresmart.nz/land/tramping-walking-hiking/
The New Zealand Sun
The sun can be very harsh in New Zealand, due to the hole in the ozone layer over Australasia. Sunburn can occur in as little as 15 minutes. New Zealand has one of the highest skin cancer rates in the world, after Australia. When exposing your skin to the sun, make sure to apply sun-cream regularly. Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration and sunstroke. Always check the weather before you go! https://www.metservice.com/national/home
New Zealand has some stunning beaches, and many of them are patrolled by lifeguards in the summer, so you can swim between the flags. Be aware of rip currents, and if you do get caught in a rip, don’t panic or swim against the current. Let the rip carry you until the current becomes weak, then swim parallel to the beach until you can swim back in. To signal for help raise one arm above the water with a clenched fist. There are also some great opportunities for a river swimming in New Zealand, however it is important to choose your spot carefully and never underestimate the power of the current. If jumping, make sure you check the depth first, and never go swimming alone.
Taking Care of Your Belongings
Most accommodation providers have a lock-box for your passport and any important documents. Take sensible precautions such as not leaving any valuable items on display in a vehicle. Don't leave your bag unattended in a public place, and if you have the unfortunate event of having something lost or stolen report it to the nearest police station.
In New Zealand, the emergency phone number to contact the Police, Ambulance and Fire services is 111.
New Zealand is a gorgeous country for outdoor adventure, take care and have fun!