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New Zealand Information for Inbound Visitors

Our New Zealand Information pages are written by New Zealanders, especially for those who are planning to visit our country. All your questions and concerns will be answered below.

Accommodation in New Zealand is just as you would expect in other developed nations. You can find a little bit of everything here, ranging from cheap backpackers to luxury lodges. Book early for the best rates, especially in the peak periods for the region you plan to travel to.

Airports are in found in every substantially sized town and city. International airports are in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch. From here, you can catch another flight in smaller towns such as Queenstown, Hamilton, and Palmerston North.

Alcohol can be bought by anyone over 18, with appropriate identification (ID). This can be drivers licence, passport, birth certificate etc. If you look under 25, it is standard to be asked for ID. Beer, wine, and cider can be bought from all supermarkets seven days a week.

Banks are common in all tourist areas, as are automatic teller machines (ATMS). All major credit cards are accepted in New Zealand. Bank branches are open weekdays during normal business hours, and some are open for shortened hours on weekends.

The Climate in New Zealand is temperate; meaning the changes between winter and summer are relatively moderate, rather than extreme hot or cold. However read our in depth info on climate to get a better idea about your destinations whether, in the month you are planning to visit.

Clothing to bring to New Zealand depends largely on the theme of your holiday. Bring swimwear as beaches, pools, and spas will no doubt be nearby. New Zealanders commonly dress casually in summer with shorts, skirts, and t-shirts being the norm. Layering clothing in winter is important, as piercing wind and cold can penetrate clothing easily. Always be prepared for a sudden change in weather, as it is possible to switch from sun to rain and back again in one day.

Currency in New Zealand is the New Zealand dollar ($NZD). The NZD is made up of five different coin values, and five different note values. These range from 10 cent coins to $100 notes. All major credit cards will be accepted in New Zealand, cash can be withdrawn at ATMs, and travellers cheques are accepted at hotels and banks.

Disabled Access is available are the majority of hotels and tourist attractions, although check before hand for certainty.

Duty Free Shopping stores are at all main airports, and offer competitive rates on purchases such as alcohol, fragrances, tobacco, and technology.  Duty free stores can also be found in the larger cities and tourism town which will deliver to the airport.

Electricity in NZ is provided through flat two or three pin plugs. Most airports and travel stores will sell universal adaptors to allow you to charge devices in New Zealand.

The Environment is very important to many New Zealanders, who wish for it is stay pure as depicted in all tourism media! Kiwis often say “take only photos, leave only footprints” which is important to remember when hiking or walking in conservation reserves.

The Geography in New Zealand is made up of two main islands, the North Island and the South Island. There are also numerous smaller islands such as Stewart Island and the Chatham Islands. New Zealand lies in the south pacific, south east of Australia. We are bordered by the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea.

There is a Goods and Services Tax (GST) on all goods and services purchased in New Zealand. This is 15%, as is automatically deducted from each transaction. Prices in stores are 99% of the time displayed with GST included in the price. Products bought from duty free stores are exempt from GST, hence the good savings!

Health and Safety in New Zealand is of no major concern if a few basic tips are followed. Take care in the water and watch for rips, and wear sunscreen when out in the sun. Even if you don’t get burnt in your home country, you may in New Zealand! Generally it is save to walk late at night, although do take care. All emergency services can be contacted on the phone number 111 – from which an operator will ask if you would like to talk to Fire, Police, or Ambulance.

Insurance on your travels to New Zealand is important. Check before leaving if your home country policy or credit card covers you while in NZ. All rental cars will have insurance, although with a large excess. At most rental car agencies, you can opt to reduce this excess at the time of booking.

Internet is widely available at acceptable speeds throughout New Zealand. Internet can be found at cafes (as staff for WIFI password), public libraries, and most accommodation will provide some form of internet access. If you are travelling for an extended period, you may consider a WIFI usb stick from companies such as Telecom, 2Degrees or Vodafone – New Zealand’s leading telecommunication companies.

The main Language in New Zealand is English. Maori is the second official language, although is only spoken by a small number of Maori and New Zealanders.

New Zealands Population is approximately 4.4million people. New Zealand is a multicultural country with people of Asian and Pacific Island decent becoming a large proportion of society. New Zealand’s indigenous people, the Maori, make up approximately 13% of the population. Auckland is where high concentrations of Asians, Pacific Islanders, and Indians are becoming established.

Public Holidays in New Zealand number approximately 10 annually. Banks are generally closed on public holidays so prepare for this beforehand. There are also trading restrictions on certain holidays, such as Christmas Day and Easter Sunday. For a full list of public holidays read our detailed section here.

Religion isn’t visibly widespread in New Zealand, and you shouldn’t be affected by anyone’s beliefs in your day to day interactions. Churches are however a common site, with the main religion in New Zealand being Christianity.

Shopping in New Zealand’s presents you with the opportunity to buy many fine NZ made products. Sheepskins and carvings are common in the many souvenir shops that line the streets. Do check however, that the souvenir you choose to purchase is made in New Zealand. Shops are generally open 9am to 5pm, although in tourist areas you may find shops stay open later, or remain open late on particular days such as Thursday or Friday.

The Time Zone is UTC+12:00. New Zealand is the first country to see the light of each day, and is therefore pretty much always in the future. If you want to talk to the future, call someone in New Zealand.

Tipping in New Zealand is not expected, although tip jars are often seen at counters of cafe and restaurants if you wish to empty your wallet or purse of a few loose coins. It is not considered rude not to tip, but they will be appreciated if you choose to do so.

There are no Vaccinations required to enter New Zealand. There is no disease or bugs here you should be overly concerned about. We left all the poisonous bugs in Australia.

Water out of any tap in New Zealand is safe to drink. No boiling is required. Water from rivers or lakes is recommended to be treated or boiled before drinking.

NZ Key Facts

Population

Driving in New Zealand

Banks & Currencies, and Tipping

New Zealand Public Holidays

NZ History

Treaty Of Waitangi

New Zealand Immigration

Early New Zealand Settlement

New Zealand Colonisation

New Zealand Culture

Moari Culture

The People of New Zealand

Arts

Kiwiana

Fashion

Film & Television

Food & Wine

New Zealand Based Education

English Language Schools

High Schools / Secondary Schools

Universitys

Polytechnics

New Zealand Nature

Natural Heritage

Wildlife

Plants

Geography

Weather, Climate, and Seasons

New Zealand Sport & Recreation

Cricket

Cycling

Fishing

Golf

Rugby

Sailing

Snow Sports

Walking / Hiking

Surfing

NZ in the Movies

Movies shot in NZ

Shot Locations

NZ movie industry

NZ Farming

Baaa

New Zealand Webcams

Beach

City

Mountain

Bush

Other

New Zealand Events

Annual

One-off Events

New Zealand Media

TV

Newspapers

Magazines & Books

Radio

New Zealand Weather

Weather, Climate, and Seasons