It can be easy to hang with other backpackers when traveling but if you're going to really experience a new country, it's more fun to find natives to show you around. Many of my outings around Auckland consisted of checking out all the local surf spots with these two charmers.
Scott would check the surf reports and we'd cruise around in Cam's van, frequenting Te Arai Point, Maori Bay and Piha (I never surfed Piha...Piha would eat me alive. I'd read The Department of Speculation and work on my tan at Piha).
Cam could always point out the local floral and fauna while Scott showed me how to paddle out the back without "looking like a bloody jelly fish". Eventually, I got the hang of changing into a wetsuit in a parking lot and even grew some surf muscles.