Monday 23 October 2017

Vegan in New Zealand

New Zealand was an interesting travel experience for me. Mine and Nick's preferred travel style is to move slowly, to plan a little in advance but not too much, and to have the option to stick around somewhere if the mood takes us. We did a little of that, an extra night here, another night there, but with our travel budget New Zealand was not the place for that style of travel. If you're under 30 I would seriously recommend looking into working holiday visa's for NZ, Australia, and Canada. Anywhere that will allow you to work. If you don't have ties take these opportunities now because they won't be there forever. If, like me, you're a little older and unable to get the magical visa that lets you earn money whilst experiencing a new culture then you're going to want to plan, book ahead, and scope out deals online because New Zealand is expensive. Australia definitely takes the top spot in terms of pricy places to travel but NZ is a close second. One way that we cut back on costs was by renting a car and working with the great peep's at Hitch Car Rentals for the entirety of our North and South Island road trip.

A whole lot of research led me to Hitch Rentals and they came out on top of my car rental list by miles. They have the cheapest rates, they let you take the car anywhere (no qualms about unsealed roads), and if you have the cash available you can hire an Eco Hitch, aka a gorgeous Prius. There is a one way fee but it isn't too high in comparison to other companies. We rented a Budget Hitch and were surprised at how roomy and comfortable it was, in Europe if you hire a budget car you're usually lucky if you can squeeze your luggage into the boot!

New Zealand is an ideal place for a road trip. It's almost unbelievably gorgeous and I loved having the freedom to stop and snap pictures wherever I pleased - I certainly didn't see the bus pulling over at any lookout points along the way! Bus travel is also quite pricy in NZ and with the amount of stops we were making Hitch's prices worked out much cheaper than bussing everywhere would have done. Our road trip started in Auckland in the north of the north island and we worked our way down the island before hopping onto a ferry and then zig zagging across the south island until we hopped onto a flight out of Christchurch six weeks later.

I'm going to write two separate North and South Island posts with all of my favourite eats and activities from each area as well as a hot springs guide (I am basically in love with the activity of going to hot springs!) but here are some vegan travel tips that will serve you well on both islands.

Pack 'n Save is the best supermarket for bargains, we consistently found the cheapest tofu and burgers there and there were often great deals on fruits and veggies. New World has the best bread by far but you can often find good bread at Pack 'n Save stores in larger cities. Countdown is NZ's other supermarket but there are no discernible benefits to be found from going there other than the fact that there are more of them about so sometimes they're your only option. You can also buy nooch at New World supermarkets which kind of blew my mind, why don't any UK supermarkets sell nooch yet?

These burgers are the best, find them, smother them in sauces and enjoy.

Vegan yoghurts are everywhere! There are soy yoghurts and coconut yoghurts but coconut definitely takes up the biggest space on the shelves. From locally made flavours like these from Raglan Coconut Yoghurt to imported tubs of Coconut Collaborative you're sure to find a fave.

These are the tastiest balls around and you should definitely keep some in the glove compartment on your road trip. Annoyingly there are zero chocolate treats that fall onto the good side of the Food Empowerment Project's list to be found in supermarkets in NZ but there are plenty of other flavours of energy ball to choose from.

It was definitely harder to find grab and go food to take on hikes than it was in Australia (I miss you Soyco Japanese tofu) but we managed just fine with a little pre preparation. Bio Cheese shreds were a lifesaver on a couple of occasions and we ate a lot of PB sandwiches, but overall we found the cost of food worked out cheaper both at the supermarkets and at restaurants.

Lastly you're going to want to buy a jar of New Zealand Marmite (I guess they just call it Marmite?!) as soon as you arrive. I know that Brit's and Aussie's won't like this but it's by far my favourite of the yeast spreads and it makes for an excellent PB&M sandwich.

This post was sponsored by Hitch Car Rentals and as always all words and opinions are my own. Posts like these help me to keep bringing you travel posts from around the globe.


    You can get nooch in many Coles supermarkets here I am pretty sure, it is pretty great! Though I always get mine in bulk from The Green Edge because I use so much.
    Looking forward to reading more about your NZ adventures!

    1. I knew that you'd say that! I suspect you might be biased! Also, bulk nooch is the dream.

  2. YAY! I'm headed (back) to NZ in December and cannot wait for all of your South Island recommendations. We are only doing South Island this time as we only had 4 days there when we were in NZ in 2013. It is the most magical place. We will be in a camper van for 18 days, so any and all recommendations (food, places to go, must do's) are appreciated!

    1. Oh awesome, we really loved the South Island. There are a whole bunch of cool places to check out as well as vegan businesses to eat at and 18 days sounds just about perfect.

  3. NZ Marmite will always be superior to any other yeast spread, no argument.

    Having said that, the company that makes it is wholly-owned by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, which holds some pretty conservative social views and is exempt from paying tax on its profits in NZ and Australia because it operates as a registered charity.

    It's always awkward to point these things out, but you seem like someone who takes corporate ethics pretty seriously and gives thought to where you spend your cash, so thought I'd let you know.

    1. Oh not awkward at all, thank you for letting me know. I really appreciate it. I definitely care where my cash goes (hence my long term boycott of Unilever owned British Marmite) so I'll definitely be reading more about the company who makes NZ Marmite and their views before I pick up another jar.


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