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Visit New Zealand – Travel Diaries, with Manuela

Published on October 4, 2017 by Maliha Javed

We at Startupbnb got the chance to connect and interview our new friend Manuela who recently just returned from a year of traveling across the globe. We took the opportunity to learn from her experience and get the best firsthand insight and advises from her when it came to traveling.

Manuela initiated her story by telling us how her journey began, “On the 18th of October 2016, more precisely on my 39th birthday, I started my trip around the world. Of all the places I’ve visited the one I fell in love with was undoubtedly New Zealand.”  

Of course, New Zealand is a great country but what could possibly stand out so much for a traveler like Manuela that made her fall in love with this country? Well according to her;

“New Zealand is like Wanderland, nature is unbelievably stunning, the government is great, people are always kind, you can free-camp everywhere and the public services are great.
It’s a new country, with a very limited history, but you can see Maori people all over the places, which means the integration process between Europeans and indigenous worked perfectly.
I’m Italian and I’m from Milan, I’ve spent all my life in an overpopulated city, this is the main reason why I appreciated the silence and the open spaces of such a beautiful remote place.

Curious to know for our readers who are eager to travel and of course for ourselves too, we asked Manuela how expensive New Zealand really is at the moment? And where should one be precautious when it comes to spending?

“New Zealand is not more expensive than Italy if you pay in Euro (exchange rate is 1eu=1.5nzd), and we all know that Italy is not cheap at all.
So be careful with your budget! Fuel is super expensive, but you don’t need to pay highways, supermarket  prices are kind of ok but you’ll need to check for special offers or sign up for fidelity cards.”

So for all of you travelers out there planning to visit New Zealand anytime soon, make sure to keep in mind the fuel costs if you’re deciding on renting a car! Other than that, we asked Manuela how she dealt with arrangements for food and accommodation. She answered,

“Being a backpacker I didn’t really have any dinner or lunch at the restaurant, I used to buy and cook my food according to what I liked. Whereas accommodation was concerned, during my trip I alternatively used bnb and Hostels. Hostels were great to meet other travelers and to get tips about the next destinations or how to save money (So important!).”

Tell us one negative aspect about it?

“Unfortunately not all of them may be clean or quiet at night. I hate when people come back to the room in the middle of the night completely drunk or when people forget to pack up before going to bed and instead do it at 4 am just before the day tour. It can be quite annoying!”

For all you digital nomads reading this, our dear friend has one very helpful tip if you’re looking forward to visiting New Zealand anytime soon.

“If you are a digital nomad, you’ll find a good internet connection in the big cities (Queenstown, Auckland, Hamilton etc) but on the way from one to the other you may struggle a lot to find a good signal, especially in the southern island.”

We further asked what is something one must do if they are in New Zealand, and what sites would you recommend to other travelers that need to be definitely seen?

“Well I decided to spend some of my time at Farmstays (because I love cows and sheep… I know… I’m weird…) but it’s certainly a Must Do in NZ, you can’t miss it! And if I have to list my favorite sites in NZ, I would say Queenstown, Lake Tekapo and Lake Pukaki, Abel Tasman Park, Rotorua, Paihia area and Auckland. But you know, traveling is all about the people you meet more than the places you see since I met a Spanish girl in Australia, she and I decided to travel together in NZ.”


To conclude our interview with Manuela, we asked her what made New Zealand ‘Wanderland’ for her and here’s what she had to say…

“I’ve seen other amazing places around the world, like Cusco in Peru or Queensland in Australia, but I have never never never felt as safe as in NZ in my entire life, and if you are a solo female traveler like I am then that makes ALL the difference really. I’m now back to Milan, but I’m planning my new adventure and who knows, maybe one day I’ll be a proper digital nomad working on my travel blog and giving lessons of Italian cuisine all over the world fingers crossed!”

Thankful for Manuela’s time, tips and advice, we now know some basic information to keep in mind if we’re planning a trip to New Zealand. You can always keep up with our friend and her travels on her social media mentioned below.



Stay tuned for more stories, lessons, tips, and experiences from real life travelers and digital nomads across the globe. Got a story to share? Let us know.





Follow Manuela on:

Instagram @manugoesrtw

Facebook @manugoesrtw