New Zealand is a perfectly safe place for traveling solo, although I assume that everyone will act with common sense in terms of personal safety and late-night wanderings. (And of course, you won't want to take off on a long trek into the mountains on your own.) Some accommodations charge significantly less for one person than for two. All rates listed in this guide are for doubles, so be sure to ask about single rates if you intend to travel alone.
On package vacations, single travelers are often hit with a "single supplement" to the base price. To avoid it, you can agree to room with other single travelers or find a compatible roommate before you go, from a roommate-locator agency.
Many reputable tour companies offer singles-only trips. Singles Travel International (tel. 877/765-6874; www.singlestravelintl.com) offers singles-only escorted tours to New Zealand.
New Zealand operators like Kiwi Experience (www.kiwiexperience.com) and the Magic Travellers network (www.magicbus.co.nz) have changed the face of singles travel in New Zealand. Their hop-on-and-hop-off bus tours of New Zealand are geared specifically toward backpacker culture, loads of fun, spontaneity, and great deals. Mostly filled with travelers in their 20s and 30s, they're a terrific way to meet people and make new friends as you travel - and isn't that half the fun of travel?
For a small-group experience, Let's Trek Australia (www.letstrekaustralia.com) is a partnership of small group and singles adventure specialists working together throughout Australia and New Zealand. Relaxing Journeys (www.relaxingjourneys.co.nz) specializes in small, escorted tours - including self-drive tours, cruises, and coach trips -- for independent travelers. You can also find information and useful tips at www.independenttraveler.com and www.solotravel.org.