New Zealand vs. Norway

Making a choice between New Zealand and Norway can be quite the task! Both nations overflow with rich histories and vibrant cultures, not to mention their breathtaking landscapes. Will you be drawn towards the age-old Maori traditions, or will the tales of Viking warriors capture your imagination? From peaceful fjords to the melody of the Haka, which will have the power to call you?
New Zealand vs. Norway

Table of Contents

Deciding on your next travel destination may not be a piece of cake. New Zealand and Norway, each provide unique experiences that are unforgettable. The whispers of ancestral stories, the echoes of cultural richness – it’s all there, just waiting for you to immerse yourself in it. So why not dive in? Keep reading to uncover the treasure troves that these two wonderful countries have to offer.

History & Culture

Stepping into the realm of history and culture, New Zealand and Norway have their own unique tales to tell. They are like two different books in a vast library, each holding its own charm and allure.

New Zealand’s history is deeply rooted in its Maori origins. As you explore, you’ll find that Maori culture has beautifully woven itself into the everyday life of the nation. Think about stories of brave warriors and age-old customs that have survived centuries, still living and breathing in the hearts of the people.

In contrast, Norway offers a journey back into the era of Viking sagas. Imagine longships sailing icy seas, and hardy folks exploring new lands, their courage as vast as the fjords that define the country’s landscape. This Viking legacy permeates every corner of Norwegian society, from its architecture to its robust spirit of exploration and discovery.

However, both nations have evolved significantly from their historic roots. New Zealand, once a British colony, now stands as a symbol of unity in diversity. It proudly celebrates its Maori heritage along with its English influences, creating a unique blend of traditions and practices.

Norway, on the other hand, has grown from its Viking past to become a beacon of peace and prosperity. Its societal values are deeply rooted in a spirit of equality and respect for all, creating a society that is open, accepting, and thriving.

In conclusion, both New Zealand and Norway are jewels in the world’s cultural crown. The Maori traditions of New Zealand and the Viking sagas of Norway offer captivating insights into these nations’ histories. They have transformed over the centuries to become vibrant, diverse societies that treasure their past while moving confidently toward the future. The choice between them? That’s a story yet to be written by you!

Attractions & Activities

When it comes to attractions and activities, both New Zealand and Norway can pack a punch! Each country brings to the table a bouquet of unique experiences that leave you with unforgettable memories.

In New Zealand, nature takes the spotlight. From hiking through the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, one of the world’s top walks, to visiting the Waitomo Glowworm Caves with their magical light display, the adventure never stops. You could also try a thrilling bungee jump from the Kawarau Bridge, or a jet boat ride in Queenstown, both guaranteed to get your adrenaline pumping.

Norway, too, doesn’t skimp on the thrills. You could climb the famous Preikestolen or “Pulpit Rock”, which looms 604 meters (1,982 feet) above the Lysefjord, or visit the stunning Geirangerfjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For history buffs, the Historical Museum in Oslo, with its displays of Viking artifacts, is a must-see.

Of course, both countries also offer plenty of relaxed, serene activities. In New Zealand, you could stroll through the beautifully landscaped gardens of Hamilton or experience the tranquil Waikato River on a gentle river cruise.

Norway offers similar calm and serene experiences, such as a leisurely stroll around the Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo, or a relaxing train ride on the Flam Railway, famous for its beautiful views of Norwegian landscapes.

To sum it up, both New Zealand and Norway offer a wide array of attractions and activities to suit every taste. Whether you’re looking for thrilling adventures or peaceful escapades, these two countries have got you covered.

Eating, Drinking & Nightlife

Every journey is incomplete without indulging in the local cuisine, savoring the unique beverages, and soaking in the nightlife. Both New Zealand and Norway offer an exciting array of gastronomical experiences, distinct drinks, and vibrant after-dark scenes.

New Zealand’s culinary scene is a delightful blend of traditional Maori cooking techniques and contemporary dishes. You might enjoy a traditional hangi, where food is cooked using heated rocks in a pit. Or perhaps, you would prefer a fresh lamb roast or the famous Kiwi fish and chips. For the sweet tooth, there’s hokey pokey ice cream and pavlova, a meringue-based dessert.

In Norway, you can savor the rich flavors of traditional dishes like Klippfisk, salted and dried cod, or Rakfisk, fermented fish. There’s also Fårikål, a hearty mutton and cabbage stew, often called the national dish. Sweet lovers will enjoy Krumkake, a delicate, rolled cookie.

When it comes to drinks, New Zealand is famous for its wines, particularly Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough region. Craft beer is also quite popular, with local breweries dotting the islands.

Norway, on the other hand, is known for its Aquavit, a potato-based spirit flavored with herbs. Also, don’t miss trying a craft beer from one of Norway’s microbreweries.

In terms of nightlife, New Zealand offers an array of experiences, from stylish bars and clubs in Auckland and Wellington to laid-back pubs in smaller towns. Live music is big here, reflecting the country’s vibrant arts scene.

Norway also has a lively nightlife, especially in cities like Oslo and Bergen. You can enjoy a night at a sophisticated cocktail bar, dance the night away in a club, or enjoy a relaxed evening in a traditional pub.

In essence, whether it’s savoring delicious food, enjoying local drinks, or experiencing the nightlife, both New Zealand and Norway promise unforgettable experiences that are sure to delight your senses.


The joy of discovering local markets, boutique stores, and shopping centers is part and parcel of every travel experience. Let’s delve into the shopping delights that New Zealand and Norway have in store.

In New Zealand, shopping is an exciting mix of high-end brands and local crafts. Auckland is a shopping hotspot, where you’ll find international labels at Queen Street, while Parnell and Ponsonby are famous for their local designers and boutiques.

You can also explore artisanal crafts at the Otara Market in South Auckland, where local Maori and Pacific Island artists showcase their work.

Norway, too, offers a unique shopping experience. Oslo’s Karl Johans Gate is the main shopping street, hosting a variety of international brands. For a more local flavor, the Grünerløkka area has numerous independent boutiques selling everything from vintage clothes to Norwegian design items.

In addition, make sure to visit a Christmas market if you’re there in winter, as they’re known for selling traditional crafts and food.

Whether you’re a bargain hunter or a lover of luxury, both countries offer a range of shopping experiences to suit your needs. So, whether it’s the cosmopolitan streets of New Zealand’s cities or the charming boutiques of Norway, your shopping adventure awaits!


Finding the right place to stay is a crucial part of your journey. Let’s compare the accommodation options in New Zealand and Norway.

In New Zealand, there’s a wide variety of accommodations to suit different needs and budgets. You can find luxury hotels in major cities like Auckland and Wellington, with stunning views and top-notch service. For those who love the outdoors, holiday parks and campgrounds are popular options, many offering cabins and campsites in picturesque settings.

Norway also offers diverse accommodation choices. In cities like Oslo and Bergen, you’ll find a mix of luxury hotels, budget-friendly hostels, and quaint bed and breakfasts. For a uniquely Norwegian experience, consider staying in a traditional wooden cabin, or “hytte”, often found in the countryside or near fjords.

Both countries also offer unique accommodation experiences. In New Zealand, you can stay in a Maori marae, a traditional communal meeting place. In Norway, there’s the option to stay in an ice hotel in the far north during winter.

In conclusion, whether you’re seeking luxury, budget-friendly options, or something uniquely local, both New Zealand and Norway offer accommodation choices that will enhance your travel experience.

Family-Friendliness & Children’s Activities

Traveling with family, especially with children, requires careful planning. Thankfully, both New Zealand and Norway are renowned for being family-friendly destinations with lots of activities for children.

In New Zealand, kids will love exploring the country’s numerous parks and reserves. There are also several wildlife centers where children can learn about the country’s unique fauna. In addition, many museums, like Wellington’s Te Papa Museum, offer interactive exhibits for children.

In Norway, children’s activities are often nature-based. For instance, they can enjoy dog sledding in winter or take a family-friendly hike in one of the country’s many national parks. Museums like the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo and the Science Center in Trondheim also provide engaging and educational experiences for children.

Both countries are known for their safety, clean environments, and friendly locals, making them excellent choices for family holidays. Whether your family prefers outdoor adventures or educational activities, New Zealand and Norway have got you covered.

Getting There & Getting Around

How you get to and around your destination plays a significant role in shaping your travel experience. Let’s take a look at the transportation options in New Zealand and Norway.

To get to New Zealand from the United States, you’ll typically take a direct flight to Auckland, with a flight duration of approximately 13 to 16 hours, depending on your point of departure. From Europe, a one-stop flight is more common, usually taking around 24 hours.

On the other hand, getting to Norway is generally quicker from Europe, with direct flights to Oslo taking around 2 hours from London. From the United States, direct flights to Oslo take around 7 to 9 hours.

Once you’re in New Zealand, you can get around by domestic flights, buses, trains, or rental cars. The country also has an extensive ferry network, especially in the Marlborough Sounds and between the North and South Islands.

In Norway, domestic flights are a quick way to travel long distances. The country also boasts an extensive rail network, offering scenic train rides. For shorter distances, buses and trams are commonly used. Norway is also known for its ‘Hurtigruten’ coastal ferry service, which travels along the country’s west coast.

In essence, both New Zealand and Norway offer efficient transportation options, making it easy to explore the scenic landscapes and vibrant cities that these countries are known for.


Understanding the weather is key when planning your travels. So, let’s take a closer look at the climates of New Zealand and Norway.

New Zealand’s weather varies greatly across its two islands. Summers (December to February) are generally warm with temperatures ranging between 70-90°F (20-30°C), while winters (June to August) are cooler, with temperatures between 35-60°F (2-15°C). You can expect rainfall throughout the year, with the west coast of the South Island receiving the most precipitation.

Norway’s climate, on the other hand, is more extreme due to its high latitude. In the south, summer (June to August) temperatures can reach 70-80°F (20-27°C), while in the far north, they hover around 50°F (10°C). Winter (December to February) is cold throughout the country, with temperatures often dropping below freezing. The northernmost parts of Norway experience polar nights in winter when the sun doesn’t rise above the horizon.

In summary, while New Zealand offers a more temperate climate, Norway gives you the chance to experience extreme weather conditions, such as the midnight sun or polar night, adding a unique element to your travel experience.


Safety is an important consideration when choosing your next travel destination. Both New Zealand and Norway are considered safe countries, but let’s dive into specifics.

New Zealand is widely known as a safe destination, with low crime rates. Like anywhere, petty theft can occur, particularly in larger cities like Auckland and Wellington, so always keep an eye on your belongings.

Norway also boasts a safe environment for travelers. Minor crimes like pickpocketing can occur, particularly in tourist-heavy areas of Oslo. However, such instances are relatively rare.

Both countries are known for their strong emphasis on outdoor safety. Whether you’re hiking in New Zealand’s national parks or skiing in Norway’s mountains, there are extensive safety guidelines and resources available to ensure your outdoor adventures are safe.

In conclusion, while common sense and precautions are necessary wherever you travel, you can feel at ease in both New Zealand and Norway given their high safety standards and low crime rates.


Travel costs are a big part of planning your trip. Comparing New Zealand and Norway, let’s see how your travel budget might fare in these countries.

New Zealand, overall, can be a moderately priced destination. You can expect to pay around NZ$15-20 (US$10-14) for a meal at an inexpensive restaurant. Accommodation varies, with hostels starting around NZ$30 (US$20) per night, and hotels averaging NZ$150-200 (US$100-140) per night. Transportation costs also vary, with local buses around NZ$4 (US$3), and a liter of petrol about NZ$2.30 (US$1.60).

In comparison, Norway is known to be one of the most expensive countries in the world. A meal at an inexpensive restaurant might cost you around NOK 200 (US$23), and a night at a budget hotel typically starts from NOK 800 (US$92). Public transportation is efficient but can be pricey, with a single local transport ticket costing around NOK 36 (US$4).

In conclusion, while Norway may require a larger budget, both countries offer a range of options for food, accommodation, and transportation, allowing you to tailor your trip to your financial needs.

Which Is Better – New Zealand or Norway?

Bringing our journey to a close, it’s time to reflect on our exploration of both New Zealand and Norway. Your ideal choice hinges on what you’re looking for in a travel destination.

From a historical and cultural perspective, New Zealand and Norway are both uniquely fascinating. The rich indigenous history of New Zealand’s Maori and the gripping tales of Norwegian Vikings bring an intriguing depth to your travels.

If your journey is geared towards exploring indigenous cultures, New Zealand might be the better choice. If you’re captivated by the era of the Vikings and medieval history, Norway could be the ideal destination for you.

When it comes to attractions and activities, both countries offer an abundance of outdoor adventures. New Zealand’s awe-inspiring scenery and adventurous activities like bungee jumping and skydiving might appeal to adrenaline junkies.

Norway, with its stunning fjords and opportunity to witness the Northern Lights, is perfect for nature lovers and those seeking a serene and picturesque environment.

In terms of beaches, New Zealand outshines Norway, boasting a vast array of beautiful and accessible sandy shores. Norway, while home to some unique coastal landscapes, can’t match New Zealand’s temperate climate for beach-going.

Looking at food, drink, and nightlife, both countries have their own unique offerings. New Zealand is known for its excellent wines and laid-back pub culture, while Norway is renowned for its seafood and vibrant nightlife in cities like Oslo. If you’re a foodie who loves seafood, Norway might tip the scales for you, but wine enthusiasts might lean toward New Zealand.

Both countries offer a wide range of shopping and accommodation options to suit various budgets, with Norway being generally more expensive. Family-friendliness and children’s activities are abundant in both destinations, making them both good options for family vacations.

When it comes to getting there and getting around, Norway’s superior public transportation system offers ease of travel, while New Zealand’s natural beauty is best explored with a rented vehicle. The weather in New Zealand is generally more moderate year-round, but Norway offers the unique experience of the midnight sun in summer and polar nights in winter.

Both countries rank high for safety. However, travel costs are considerably lower in New Zealand, making it a more budget-friendly option compared to Norway.

In conclusion, your choice between New Zealand and Norway really depends on your personal preferences, interests, and budget. Both countries offer their own unique and unforgettable experiences, ensuring you’ll have a remarkable journey no matter which destination you choose.