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Six ways to be a tourist in your own backyard this summer

Posted on 06/12/2016 by
Get a group of friends together and "play tourists" in your own backyard this summer; New Zealand is beautiful and you'll never run out of new places to explore.

Get a group of friends together and “play tourists” in your own backyard this summer.

One of the best ways to learn about tourism in New Zealand (other than studying at ITC, of course!) is to get out there and experience the industry for yourself.

Here are six ways to be a tourist in your own backyard this summer.

1. Visit your local i-SITE

Pop into your nearest i-SITE to get a tourist map of your town or region and pick up some brochures. Tell the friendly staff that you’re keen to check out the local tourist hot spots and they’ll point you in the right direction.

From the moment you step in the door, try to put yourself in a tourist’s shoes. Imagine that you only have one or two days to explore the area. What would you do first?

2. Get lost in a city

Head to the nearest large town or city and “get lost” for a day. Lace up your walking shoes and wander the streets and see what you stumble across. Make a point to stop at shops, cafes, and attractions that catch your eye.

Don’t forget to stay hydrated, take plenty of photos, and let someone know where you’re going.

3. Join an organised tour

If you have the budget – and feel like treating yourself to an authentic tourism experience – pay for a ticket on a tour bus and get shown around by a tour guide. Not only will you see your town/city in a whole new light, you’ll also get to observe a tour guide in action. Who knows, maybe this career path could be your calling?

If you feel strange joining a tour in your own city, join one in a neighbouring region, instead. And remember – there’s nothing wrong with being a tourist in your own backyard.

4. Meet some tourists

Over summer, try to find an opportunity to chat with some visitors. If you see travellers at your local supermarket or your favourite restaurant, don’t hurry past. Instead, stop, say hello, and ask how they’re enjoying New Zealand. Chances are they’ll be stoked to chat with a local! Plus you’ll be doing wonders for New Zealand’s reputation as a friendly country.

5. Go on a hike

Did you know that New Zealand is renowned for its beautiful hiking tracks? Many travellers come all the way to our country just to go hiking. See what all the fuss is about by completing a day hike or overnight tramp. Visit to find a track near you.

As with idea #2, remember to carry plenty of water and tell someone where you’re going and what time you’re expected to return. Ideally, do the hike with a group of friends, especially if you haven’t hiked before. It’s also important to pick a track that’s suited to your fitness and experience level.

6. Drive somewhere you’ve never been before

Think you’ve been everywhere in your region? We’re willing to bet that you haven’t. If you look at a map, you’ll find at least one beach, forest, mountain or town that you haven’t visited. Set aside a day for a road trip, load the car with snacks, put on some good tunes and pretend you’re on holiday. You’ll be surprised at how much fun you might have.

Do you have any ideas for how to be a tourist in your own backyard? Share your tips in the comments below.

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