Kiwi Savvy Blog

... where you can find out how and why Kiwis do the things we do!

Five questions Kiwis might ask you about your travels

Five questions Kiwis might ask you about your travels

Travelling in New Zealand means you’ll experience some pretty cool stuff. And hopefully, that’ll include conversations with Kiwis who want to know more about you and your travels. So, here’s 5 common questions Kiwis might ask you. They seem simple, but can easily cause confusion – especially with New Zealand pronunciation thrown in!

1. Whereabouts are you from?  (Where are you from?)
It’s a standard question, but Kiwis might sneak the 'abouts' bit on the end of 'where'. This might cause a moment of confusion before you answer!  But now you know, you’ll be prepared if you hear it. The stressed (more strongly pronounced) words are 'whereabouts' and 'from'.

2. How long are you here for?  (How much time will you spend in NZ?)
Even the best English speakers can get this one wrong. We're asking you how long your entire stay in New Zealand will be. The question form and tense are important. People often incorrectly answer, ‘we arrived here two weeks ago’, which answers the question, ‘how long have you been here for?’. For example:

If today is 1 February:


Q: How long are you here for? 
A: Three months.
Present Simple tense 

Q: How long have you been here for? 
A: One month.
Present Perfect tense

3. How are you getting around?  (What method of transport are you using?)
Kiwis can use many questions to find out your method of transport, but this is a common one. Short answers start with 'by'; by car, by bus, by bike. Or you can extend your answer with, ‘we’ve got a campervan’, ‘we’ve hired a car’, ‘we’re flying between cities and towns’, etc.  

4. Are you heading down/up/over to ...?  (Are you going to …?)
Instead of using the verb go, we often use the phrasal verb head up/down/over/around, etc. Kiwis will be genuinely interested in where you’re heading in New Zealand. South Islanders might ask if you’re going North, and vice versa. You might receive some useful advice or tips on what to do and where to go, so try and extend this conversation. Look out for our soon-to-be-released head up/down/off/over lesson to see how to use this phrasal verb.

5. What do you think of NZ?  Are you enjoying it?  (no translation – it is what it is!)
Flutter your eyelashes, clap your hands and say, ‘it’s amazing!’. Well, only if you want to! No, you should say what you think – if it’s rained too much, say it. If the roads are not what you expected, say it. If you love the place, say it! Just remember, diplomacy is always a good thing 😉

So, you now have 5 questions you’ll be prepared for. Let that conversation flow and you’ll soon have heaps more questions to practise answering.

Happy travels! (and chats)