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Travelling in New Zealand in 2020

It has been three long months since borders started closing, obliterating travel (and travel blogging earnings) in the process. Luckily, here in New Zealand, we crushed the curve and now things look and feel much as they did before the world shut down. Local travel is back up and running and my hometown even hosted the first professional rugby game in front of crowds since lockdowns started. Despite all this, international tourists are still some way off being allowed into the country, and people in New Zealand are essentially stuck there until restrictions start easing around the world.

What Was New Zealand Like During the Lockdown?

Lockdown started in New Zealand on the 25th of March, changing the way we lived overnight. We were confined to our homes like much of the world, with cities resembling ghost towns and roads doubling as social-distancing footpaths. It was a weird time, but after five weeks restrictions starting easing. Takeaways were again an option and we could shop online for more than just essential goods.

A few weeks later shops, cafes and restaurants started opening up, as well as museums, swimming pools and gyms. Just a week ago we dropped down to Level 1, meaning life is essentially back to normal except for border restrictions. Of course, a lot of people lost their jobs, so normal might not be the right word!

What was it like for a Travel Blogger?

In the course of a week or two traffic on both my blogs dropped by over 90%. It was quite a shock, and while it has recovered a little bit, it’s still a long way from what it was. It was hard to stay motivated to update blogs that weren’t earning, but I (just) managed to do it.

Travelling New Zealand in Winter 2020

If you’re lucky enough to be in New Zealand you have plenty of options for weekends away, day trips or longer holidays. Flights are back up and running, bars and restaurants are desperate for business and tourism attraction operators are luring locals with big discounts. In the travel sense, it’s a great time to be exploring New Zealand (assuming you have the funds!).

If you’re looking for some places to explore in winter 2020, I’d either go for the mountains of the South Island (assuming you can handle the cold) or some of the more tropical areas of the North Island. The Coromandel Peninsula, Bay of Islands and the beach destinations such as Matapouri in Northland are all great options, but there heaps more.

Winter is a good time to go to places like Queenstown, Wanaka and Te Anau, but the weather can be extreme, so be warned! If you’re a North Islander who rarely sees snow it could a good chance to try skiing or just enjoy the mountain views. Speaking of mountain views, the Southern Alps definitely look best when they’re coated in snow.

Later in the Year

We keep hearing talk of a “Trans-Tasman Bubble”, which would allow travel between New Zealand and Australia without the need for quarantining on arrival. It’d be a huge thing for the tourist industry in both countries and I’m excited for this to happen. I have no idea how any of this will play out though, so I’m just trying to stay positive and not watch too much news!

The Future of This Blog

Despite travel blogging suddenly becoming extremely unlucrative, I have no plans to stop. I’ve got plenty of posts to write from previous trips, both in New Zealand and abroad, and I’ll be ready to travel again as soon as the situation changes. I’m excited for the day when we’re free to move around the world again – hopefully it doesn’t take too long!

Did you spend lockdown in New Zealand, or somewhere else? How was it? Let me know in the comments below!

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Jon Algie

A travel blogger from New Zealand who hates talking about himself in the third person and has no imagination when it comes to naming websites.
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