Zealand is served by Air New Zealand, Qantas, Emirates, Singapore Airlines,
Korean Airlines, Thai International, Air Pacific, Polynesian, Japan
Airlines, Cathy Pacific and some others. These airlines have co-share
flights with most of the international airlines.
New Zealand has an extensive
domestic airline network that services 23 destinations within New
Decimal currency - New Zealand Dollar (NZD/NZ$). Coins are 10c (Copper), 20c
and 50c (silver), NZ$1 and NZ$2 (Gold). Notes are available in NZ$5, NZ$10,
NZ$20, NZ$50 and NZ$100.
NZ Dollar is a floating currency and will vary daily against the major
currencies like - A$, C$, US$, GBP, Euro, etc.
To check the current value of your currency against the
New Zealand has an advance, electronic based banking system. Banks are
open 9:00am until 4:30pm Monday through Friday. Banks do not operate
Saturdays, Sundays or public holidays. Major Credit/Debit Cards (American
Express, Diners Club, Visa, Mastercard, JCB) are accepted throughout New
All Banks provide currency exchange facilities and in addition there are
various Currency Exchange outlets operating (government regulated as to
their operation) through out the country where you can change currency at
the same international rate.
All Banks offer a wide range of telephone and Internet banking services. If
you are going to be in New Zealand for a while it may be convenient to open
a New Zealand bank account and set up a local debit card, to avoid carrying
a lot of cash around.
New Zealanders are amongst the highest users of electronic banking services
in the world. Automatic teller machines (ATMs), locally known as 'the hole
in the wall', are available in just about every town, even those without a
bank. Most shops have EFTPOS (Electronic Funds Transfer at Point Of Sale)
terminals for debit and credit cards transactions, so most purchases can be
made electronically. Credit cards are not accepted by some merchants with
EFTPOS, especially smaller food retailers such as dairies, takeaways and
cafes that do not serve alcohol. Also smaller retailers may often set a
minimum purchase of around NZ$10 when obtaining cash, if they agree to
New Zealand is introducing multiple currency EFTPOS (Electronic Funds
Transfer at Point Of Sale) terminals especially in the major tourist centres
in New Zealand. This means you can select the currency you want to make your
transaction in and the conversion from NZ$ to your currency automatically.
Multiple currency EFTPOS (Electronic Funds Transfer at Point Of Sale)
terminals will be phased in through out New Zealand over the next 2-3 years.
Zealand's climate is an oceanic, temperate one with no close land mass to
modify it. Situated in the westerly wind belt with alternating patterns
moving steadily eastwards, the weather follows a relatively steady 6 to 10
day cycle but with many contrasts throughout the country.
long sun hours and the seasons are reverse to those of the northern
hemisphere - warm October through April, cooler May through September.
Temperatures throughout New Zealand vary due to the diverse nature of the
country, but average North Island Summer temperatures range between 16°C -
26°C and in winter 7°C - 18°C. South island Summer temperatures range
between 12°C - 25°C and in winter 3°C - 12°C.
200 Cigarettes, 1125 ml bottle of spirits plus 6 bottles of wine are
permitted. There is no need to carry this stuff onboard the aircraft as
Duty Free shops are available on your arrival at Auckland, Wellington and
Christchurch airports with some of the lowest Duty Free prices for booze and
cigarettes anywhere in the world.
be tempted to try bringing any Drugs (non-medicinal) into New Zealand. There
are strict Drug and Trafficking laws in New Zealand with major emphasis on
boarder control including drug dogs operating at all International airports.
Our Customs people are generally pretty cool - but this changes rather
dramatically if you have dope stashed in your baggage! And you don't need
drugs here to have a good time.
NZ$25.00 (Depending on airport) is payable (cash or credit/debit card) by
all international passengers upon departure - except same day international
transit passengers (coming from country-1 and departing to
country-3) and children under the age of 11.
New Zealand because of its size, is an easy country to travel around by car.
A few hours drive will take you city to city on either island and there are
many small towns and points of scenic or historic interest in between.
There is no national network of multi lane freeways, so travel is on
standard 2 lane road network except in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch
and Dunedin, where there is multi lane highway system located in their
Traffic conditions with the exception of the high density population areas
around Auckland, Hamilton, Christchurch, Wellington and Dunedin, is
We drive on the
LEFT side of the road (the
correct way to drive). ie: keep the white line on the right hand
side of the car at all times).
Speed limit on the open main roads is 100kph, 70kph on secondary
roads and in urban areas is 30-50kph. Road speed is rigidly enforced
by New Zealand Police road policing service.
permitted and the penalties are tough so
don't do it.
When driving in New Zealand, allow approximately 5 hours a day of
driving. This allows you to have driving breaks on the way and
plenty of time for sightseeing.
For further information on travel distances and driving in
Almost all major countries are represented in New Zealand.
The electrical zap through the country is 220-240 volts, 50 hertz
and a 3-pin plug (Australia Type 1). Most hotels and motels have
110-volt AC sockets (20 watts) for electric razors only - there is
not enough woomph in them to drive anything else such as hair
dryers etc. Best to borrow a local hair dryer before the big party.
If you're interested, we produce about 36 billion kWh of electricity
each year - mostly from Hydro Dams (water power!). If you're not
interested then just remember the light & plug switches work the
correct way here: Up=Off and Down=On.
Extensive emergency services are in operation throughout New
Zealand. The emergency service telephone number is
(Police, Medical/Ambulance, Fire) and can be dialed free of charge
from ANY telephone (including pay, card and cell phones).
Visa Entry Requirements
All visitors who are not citizens of New Zealand need a passport to
enter. Australian passport holders and current permanent residents
of Australia may enter New Zealand without a visa and stay as long
as they wish without restrictions including on employment. British
passport holders can be granted a visa-free Visitor's Permit for up
to six months on arrival. Citizens of a large number of other
countries can be granted a visa-free visitor's entry for up to three
months on arrival, check the list of Visa Free Countries on
Immigration New Zealand
All these waivers, including the one for
Australians, can be refused. In particular, potential visitors with
criminal records or who have been refused entry to or deported from
any country should check with New Zealand immigration about whether
they need to apply for a visa.
Visitors from countries not in the visa-free
list or those wishing to stay longer than the maximum visa-free period for
their nationality, will need to apply for an appropriate visa. Check Immigration New Zealand
web site for details.
You must also have an onward
or return ticket to a country that you have permission to enter, and
sufficient funds to support your stay (NZD2,000 per month per person).
Visa requirements vary so please check with your travel agent.
Check the NZ Immigration website for the current
list of countries:
Visa's are NOT issued on arrival!
To work in New Zealand you need to be a citizen or current permanent
resident of either New Zealand or Australian, or else have a work
permit or appropriate visa. If you are intending to work in New Zealand you
should obtain a work permit along with any tourist visas you might apply
Immigration New Zealand
website for details.
As an island nation, New Zealand has very strict bio security laws. The
economy is based on agriculture and importing even small quantities of food,
as well as unprocessed animal or plant materials is tightly controlled.
These restrictions are designed to prevent the introduction of foreign
animal and plant diseases and pests.
At ports of international
entry, both the Agriculture and Customs Services may inspect passenger
baggage and confiscate and fine for any prohibited items. There are air-side
amnesty bins available to cater for accidental importation. Items that must
be declared include: any kind of food; any plant material; any animals,
animal material or biological specimens; dirty or soiled sports gear,
footwear, and used camping gear and anything that may have been in contact
with soil, been used on a farm or has been used with animals. If declared,
the owners of dirty items are often required to clean them thoroughly, if
not declared fines are often applied. Expect random inspections by
sniffer-dogs - you may need to have your luggage inspected if you have had
food in it recently that the dogs can smell. If in doubt, ask a Bio Security
or Customs Officer.
processed food is usually allowed through by the Agricultural services, but
you can still be fined if you do not declare them. If you are unsure it is
best to declare any questionable items to a Bio Security or Customs officer
who will be able to tell you if it needs to be cleaned or disposed of before
entry. Some items may be allowable such as wooden souvenirs but be taken for
sterilization or fumigation before being released to you. You may be charged
a fee for this.
On the spot fines of $200 are
issued for not declaring controlled items. The law provides for deliberate
breaches to receive a fine of up to NZ$100,000 or a prison term of up to
five years. Either declare items as required or dump them in the amnesty
bins before you reach customs. If you have difficulty with the arrival card,
most airline staff are able to assist you, there are also officials at the
major airports air-side who can assist.
In addition, importation or
possession of most recreational drugs, including cannabis, is illegal and
results in arrest. If found guilty, you would be subject to a range of
penalties from; hefty fines for minor offences to lengthy imprisonment for
larger offences, after which you would be deported and prohibited from
New Zealand is a major producer of pasture-fed lamb (little sheep),
venison and beef. Our seas yield a variety of fish, rock lobsters
(crayfish), oysters and scallops. Fruit and vegetables are locally grown,
fresh and tasty. Heaps of restaurants (both fully licensed and BYO) in the
cities and towns, with quite a few out in the county as well, offer a wide
range of local and international cuisine. Prices obviously vary but if you
have $20-30 you can get a good two course meal and for an extra $12 get
sloshed on a reasonable bottle of wine. For $60 you can have a really really
If you are on the cheap, many fast food outlets abound
throughout New Zealand from the local corner 'Take Aways' (burgers, fish,
chips, oriental etc) to the big names like McDonalds, Burger King, Wendys,
KFC etc (yep, there is no escaping - and we also make Coke and Pepsi).
Goods and Service Tax (GST)
To help the government make money, a 15% Goods and Service Tax (GST) is
payable on everything you buy. Generally this is included in the advertised
price but if it starts to make things look too expensive, there will be a
note on the price tag, brochure or menu that states GST is additional. On
all receipts issued, the GST content must be shown as a separate item (ie
Condoms $12, GST $1.80, Total $13.80 - or the words GST Content $1.80).
Zealand is free of health hazards - biological and animal (no snakes, wild
bears, lions or tigers except in the Zoo's). Nothing dangerous will leap out
at you in the middle of the night, except if a tiger escapes from the zoo or
your partner gets aroused. No vaccination certificates are required.
The most dangerous things we have are goats (they tend to "bunt" a lot),
some Pitt Bull Terriers (don't open the gate),
New Zealand has a very high level of ultraviolet radiation and skin
cancer, around 40% more intense than you will find in the Mediterranean
during the summer. Sunglasses and sunscreen are highly recommended,
especially if you are of European descent.
New Zealand provides a high standard of medical treatment and care, both
public and private facilities. Please note that medical services are
not free to visitors (Except of Australia or
British citizens) or non-residents - except as a result of an accident (and
you don't want to go around having those all the time). It is strongly
recommended that you carry adequate medical insurance.
doctor will cost about NZ$70 and may vary between practices and localities.
The New Zealand public hospital system is free of charge to Australian,
British and New Zealand citizens but will charge other nationals for
treatment received. An exception to this is in the case of any accident when
the Accident Compensation Commission (ACC) will pick up the tab. Travel
insurance is highly recommended.
New Zealand has high and equitable standards
of professional health care comparable with Sweden or Australia.
Maori and New Zealand Sign Language are the official
languages of New Zealand. English is universal, and is written with
Commonwealth (British) spelling.
New Zealand English is one of
the major varieties of English and is different enough from other forms to
justify the publication of the Oxford New Zealand English dictionary.
Word usage may also differ
occasionally, in potentially embarrassing ways for the traveller. Several
words that Americans may consider offensive, or have euphemisms for, are
considered acceptable usage. For example: A New Zealand bathroom
refers to a room containing a bath while the other facilities
that an American might refer to as a bathroom or washroom are
known as a toilet. The American habit of "bleeping" swear words from
broadcasts is considered quaint and rarely done in local programming. The
New Zealand broadcasting media are unusually tolerant of swear words when
used in context.
The New Zealand accent is
somewhat nasalised with flattened vowel sounds and vowel shifting. New
Zealanders consider their accent to be markedly different from the
Australian one and are often mildly offended when mistaken for or confused
with Australians. New Zealand terminology and slang are also different from
Australian usage. Americans find New Zealand accents easy to understand, so
do Australians and British. Some European dialects find it slightly harder
and Asians may find it rather hard to understand; New Zealanders are quite
happy however to repeat what they just said if necessary.
Offensive language in a
public place is not too smart and you could end up staying with the local
police. The police dress in blue and wear blue/white chequered caps - most
generally looking quite cool.
While difficult to make international comparisons, the level of crime in New
Zealand is similar to many other western countries. Dishonesty offences,
such as theft, are by far the most frequent type of crime. Travellers should
take simple, sensible precautions such as putting valuables away out of
sight or in a secure place and locking doors of vehicles, even in remote
locations, as much of this crime is opportunistic in nature.
Violent crime in public
places is generally associated with alcohol or illicit drug consumption.
Rowdy bars or drunken crowds in city centres, or groups of youths in the
suburbs, are best avoided, especially late at night and in the early
morning. New Zealanders can be somewhat lacking in a sense of humour when
their country or their sporting teams are mocked by loud or drinking
There are occasional
disturbing high profile media reports of tourists being targeted in random
violent robberies and/or sexual crimes. These crimes tend to happen in more
isolated places, where the chances of the offender being observed by other
people are low. The chance of falling victim to such misfortune is still
Law enforcement is by New
Zealand Police - the national police force. Police officers are
generally polite and helpful and are unarmed but are trained to handle
firearms. Police officers carry only batons and offender control
pepper spray. Tasers are currently being introduced in Wellington and
Auckland. However, first response patrols will generally have recourse to
firearms locked in their vehicle and will used if a situation requires such
weapons, such as an armed offender.
we have one of those. The Government of New Zealand is a party approach to
politics (in more ways than one) with an independent judiciary. New Zealand
is a constitutional monarchy, the Head of State - Her Majesty, Queen
Elizabeth II - is represented within the country by a resident Governor
General. Most of us ignore the whole thing and just get on with living.
Christian - predominantly Church of England and Roman Catholic. Almost every
other religion is also represented. If you don't have a religion that is not
a problem either.
cultural experiences are popular tourist attractions enjoyed by many, but as
with any two cultures encountering one another, there is room for
misunderstanding. Some tourists have found themselves more confronted than
they expected by ceremonial challenges and welcomes. These are serious
occasions, and chatter and laughing during rituals is not recommended.
People have been attacked by their entertainers to date for appearing to not
treat it with the highest sacredness. You'd best have jokes and laughs
later. There will be plenty of time to relax later when the hangi is lifted.
Maori and Pakeha New
Zealanders are generally on good terms, but from time to time there have
been frayed relationships between the two. Enter discussion about this with
politeness and caution, or, of course, not at all.
Remember also, that New
Zealand is still a very young nation by many standards and its identity is
still being formulated. Commenting that New Zealand is subservient to the
United Kingdom is sometimes admired and other times despised, and although
New Zealand coinage is adorned with British royal figures New Zealand is an
independent member of the Commonwealth and saying that New Zealand is almost
identical can be offensive to some.
While Australia and New Zealand
have close foreign policy ties, considerable inter-immigration, and cultures
that overlap, saying New Zealanders are basically Australians will not gain
you any New Zealander or Aussie friends. Although Australians and New
Zealanders may seem the same to you they do not consider themselves the
same. It is pretty much the same relationship as with Canadians and people
from the United States or Irish and British. Some Australians may joke about
New Zealand being another state of Australia, but that does not make it one.
In many ways Australia and New Zealand have a similar outlook towards the
other, with the same cliched jokes being made.
Despite the jokes about New
Zealand, many Australians have a genuine affection for the New Zealanders.
This can be traced back to ANZAC, Australia and New Zealand Army Corp,
participation in two world wars, particularly the Gallipoli campaign, Korea,
Viet Nam, the Malaya Crisis, Timor, Solomon Islands, etc.
Shops are mostly open 9am to 5:30pm Monday to Friday. Also in most areas 9am
to 4pm Saturdays and 10am-4pm Sundays. Late night shopping in the main
centres is Friday until 9pm. In some areas, particularly in the suburbs,
late night shopping is on Thursdays until 9pm. Shopping hours are now quite
flexible and some shops remain open longer - particularly in the tourist
areas (we need your money). It is also expected that you pay for items you
want, we are not a free country!
Telephones and Internet
New Zealand is isolated geographically so we have a heavy requirement for
telecommunications to connect us to the world via satellite, fibre optic,
digital and analog circuits. All the modern stuff is here and well used.
There are about 4000 payphones in NZ which can be easily identified by their
yellow and blue colours. All of them accept major credit cards and a variety
of phone cards available from retailers. You may have to look harder for a
payphone that accepts coins.
New Zealand uses the British Telecom
BT600 phone plug (if that information helps!).
If you have a world
traveling capable bat-phone (Mobile phone) it should work here OK, as long
as it is GSM (2G & 3G) digital. Mobile phones are also available for hire by
rental car/campervan operators or you can purchase prepaid GSM Sim cards
that can operate of one of three major mobile carriers in New Zealand
- Vodafone, Telecom, and 2degrees.
A prepaid Sim card connection pack from Telecom or Vodafone costs around
NZ$30.00 and a prepaid Sim cards from 2degrees costs NZ$2.00. Telecom has
broader coverage even in remote areas away from major cities compared to
Vodafone and 2degrees but both operators are upgrading their networks to
full 3G networks.
Mobile telephone coverage is effectively national
in near urban areas although the mountainous terrain means that outside the
urban areas, and especially away from the main highway system, coverage does
have dead patches. Do not rely on mobile phones in hilly or mountainous
terrain. Mobile telephone users can call *555
only to report Non-emergency Traffic Safety incidents,
such as a breakdown, road hazard or non-injury car crash, to the Police.
Telecom and Vodafone offer nationwide 3G/4G data network for your laptop as
long as you have a 3G/4G USB stick.
Some hotels offer plug-in-the-wall
sockets for laptop connection so you can hook into your email and pick up
messages from friends and lovers.
Very few cafes, motels, etc include
free Wi-Fi, although it may be available for a charge. Internet access is
available in cyber cafes and there are generally many of these in major
Be warned that some cyber
cafes may not be maintained properly, but there are places around that
maintain a high level of security when it comes to their systems. If you
have your own laptop, many cyber cafes allow wired & wireless access. It is
slowly becoming more common to allow tourists to use their own laptops to
access the Internet. It's not recommended to travel between cyber cafes
without using a trusted & reliable AntiVirus application. Firewall software
is not needed as cyber cafes should have their own firewall in-place.
Many public libraries have
public Internet access. There may be a charge although that is changing. The
Auckland City Public Library allows for two 15minute sessions a day at no
charge. Hourly rates for are usually in the range of $4 to $8, with cheaper
rates of around $2 to $4 at cyber cafes within the main city centres. Some
providers, such as the Christchurch City Library network offer free access
to some sites, usually ones of interest such as Google, BBC and CNN and
those in the .nz top level domain.
Zealand is almost right on the International date line and is 12 hours ahead
of GMT Mid-MAR through Early-OCT, and 13 hours ahead of GMT Early-OCTOBER
through Mid-MARCH (NZ Daylight Saving Time).
Persons employed in New Zealand do not depend upon tips or gratuities for
their income, and tips are not expected for normal service. However, when
you get good restaurant service or if the waiter is real spunky - give them
a tip. It is accepted and will make you feel good!
comprehensive network of scheduled
coach and bus,
air transportation services operates throughout New
motorhome hire and taxi services are
New Zealand cities and towns have excellent public water supplies. In all
cases, tap water is fresh and is safe to drink - unless you are allergic to
fresh water without whiskey in it. Ice Cubes in drinks are SAFE to chew on
or let melt. In most country places there are usually 'filters' over the
water inlet pipes to prevent dead possums (fury things similar to cats - but
with sharper claws & teeth) getting into the water supply - so the water is