20 must know sayings before travelling to New Zealand

You have booked your flight, your bag is packed, and your smile is on your face! Your arrival in New Zealand is soon! But what if you don't understand a word the locals say? Don't worry, we've got you covered! Let's practice those words together on the plane so you feel at ease when you land in the country of the long white cloud, New Zealand!

Here are twenty must-know sayings along with their meanings:


  1. Kia ora: This is a Maori greeting equivalent to "hello" or "welcome."
  2. Sweet as: This phrase is commonly used in New Zealand to express agreement or satisfaction, similar to "awesome" or "great."
  3. No worries: Used to reassure someone or to say "it's okay."
  4. Chur: A versatile Kiwi slang term that can mean thank you, cheers, or just an expression of agreement or approval.
  5. Bro: Short for brother, but widely used as a friendly term for anyone, regardless of gender.
  6. Tramping: In New Zealand, hiking or trekking is often referred to as tramping. You might hear locals talking about going tramping in the mountains.
  7. Chilly bin: This is the Kiwi term for a cooler or an ice chest used for keeping drinks and food cold.
  8. Jandals: New Zealanders call flip-flops or sandals "jandals."
  9. Bach: Pronounced "batch," this is a holiday home or beach house.
  10. Heaps: Kiwis use "heaps" to mean a lot or plenty. For example, "There are heaps of sheep in New Zealand."
  11. Ta: Short for "thank you." It's a casual way to express gratitude.
  12. She'll be right: A laid-back Kiwi expression meaning everything will be okay or it will work out in the end.
  13. Kiwi as: Used to describe something quintessentially New Zealand. For example, "That All Blacks jersey is Kiwi as."
  14. Gumboots: Rubber boots or Wellingtons, essential footwear for muddy hikes or farming.
  15. Yeah nah: A colloquial expression used in New Zealand to indicate a nuanced response, often meaning "no" or "not really" despite starting with "yeah." It can convey hesitation or disagreement.
  16. Tog: Short for "togs," which means swimsuit. You might hear someone say, "I'm heading to the beach, gotta grab my tog."
  17. Stoked: Excited or happy. If someone is stoked, they're thrilled about something.
  18. Choice: Excellent or great. If something is choice, it's really good.
  19. Dairy: Corner stores or convenience stores where you can buy snacks, drinks, and other essentials.
  20. Chips: French fries. You'll find them served with everything from fish to burgers in New Zealand.

There are heaps of backpackers like you here already.

Our tip: stay in hostels and meet travellers like yourself, to get in the swing of it. You got this, bro!

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