The Rise of Solo Travel in New Zealand: Taking the Scenic Route on Your Own


4 minute read

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As technology continues to progress and global travel becomes more and more common the world seems to be shrinking, but solo travel is ballooning! Gone are the days when hitting the road alone was solely for the intrepid few. Today, more and more adventurers are discovering the joys of independent exploration, and New Zealand, with its breathtaking landscapes and welcoming spirit, is at the forefront of this global movement.

The Solo Surge Takes the Globe by Storm

Statistics paint a clear picture: solo travel is booming. A 2023 Hostelworld report revealed a 30% increase in solo bookings compared to pre-pandemic levels and here at New Zealand Trails we’ve seen this in real time, with over 1/3 of our guests choosing to travel solo. But why the surge? Factors range from a growing appetite for personal growth and self-discovery to the rise of remote work and flexible lifestyles. Even general consumer habits seem to be changing as we move forward, shifting away from spending on material possessions to prioritising experiences. Whatever the reason, the world is welcoming a new breed of explorer – the solo traveller.

And this growth has not only been seen across the globe but right here in New Zealand, with the number of inbound travellers increasing by an average of 5% per year. So whether you’re a solo travel veteran, or this is your first time, there couldn’t be a better time to shake off those inhibitions and book that trip to New Zealand!

15. Guest enjoying Routeburn track 2

With so much to explore New Zealand is a solo travel paradise.

New Zealand: A Solo Paradise Under the Southern Skies

So, why is New Zealand a magnet for solo travellers? The reasons are as diverse as the country itself:

  • Safety and Ease: New Zealand Ranked number 2 on the Global Peace Index and boasting a well-developed infrastructure, New Zealand offers solo travellers peace of mind and ease of navigation. Our well-maintained roads (though certainly a little wiggly), incredible landscapes, low population, and friendly locals make exploring New Zealand a dream.
  • Adventure Awaits: From bungee jumping in Queenstown to trekking through Tongariro National Park, New Zealand is an outdoor adventure playground. But it's not just for thrill-seekers – geothermal wonders, pristine beaches, breath-taking wilderness and charming towns cater to every travel style.
  • Stunning Scenery: Witnessing glaciers carve their way through mountains, turquoise lakes reflecting snow-capped peaks, and rolling hills cloaked in emerald green – New Zealand's natural beauty is a balm for the soul, perfect for solo reflection and rejuvenation.
  • Community on the Go: While embracing solitude, solo travellers crave connection. New Zealand's vibrant backpacker scene, welcoming locals, and organized group tours like our all-inclusive New Zealand adventures, offer ample opportunities to forge friendships and share experiences.

Joining the Pack: Why Solo Travellers Love Group Tours

Even the most independent traveller appreciates the camaraderie of a group tour. In fact, according to Solo Traveller statistics, 9 out of 10 solo travellers prefer to take tours all or some of the time. Here at New Zealand Trails, our trips are made with the independent traveller in mind and we welcome solo travellers on all of our tours, always having a great mix of like-minded travellers in our groups.  So why is a group tour so appealing to solo travellers and what are the benefits?

  • Sharing Logistics: From navigating public transport to deciphering menus, planning can be overwhelming for solo travellers. Group tours take care of the nitty-gritty, leaving you free to soak in the sights and sounds.
  • Instant Social Circle: Meeting like-minded individuals, sharing stories around campfires, and conquering challenges together foster an instant sense of connection, transforming solo travel into a shared adventure.
  • Local Expertise: Guides unlock hidden gems, share cultural insights, and navigate tricky terrain, ensuring you experience the "real" New Zealand, beyond the regular tourist hotspots. Our 100% New Zealand guides are passionate about sharing their love for New Zealand and can help you learn far more than you ever could from a guidebook. 
10 rocky mountain new zeland hiking tour

Our small group tours welcome like-minded travellers from across the world and from a wide range of interesting backgrounds.

Ready to Fly Solo? Embrace the Freedom

Whether you're a seasoned solo traveller or dipping your toes in the water for the first time, New Zealand is the perfect playground for your independent spirit. Embrace the freedom, the breathtaking scenery, and the unexpected connections that await on your solo adventure. Remember, sometimes the most rewarding journeys are taken one step at a time. So, pack your bags, book your ticket, and let the magic of New Zealand unfold on your solo adventure of a lifetime.

Ready for even more solo inspiration? Here are some additional posts you might enjoy:

Ready to start planning your solo adventure today? You can grab a copy of our New Zealand travel brochure here or get in touch with the team today to start piecing together your trip of a lifetime!


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