A NZ website with useful travel information is NewZealandAtoZ.com. From travel info to news, its a comprehensive site, and definitely worth a look!
Telling the Time
New Zealand is one of the first places
in the world to see the new day, 12
hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time).
In summer New Zealand uses daylight
saving, with clocks put forward
one hour to GMT+13. Daylight saving
begins on the last Sunday in September
and ends on the first Sunday of the
following April, when clocks are put
back to GMT+12.
The Spoken Word
English is the common and everyday language
of New Zealand. New Zealand is a multi-cultural
society and you may hear many other
languages spoken, including Maori, which
is also an official language of New
When is the best time to visit New Zealand
New Zealand is an extremely popular
summer destination, both for overseas
and domestic visitors. Tourism New Zealand
strongly recommends you book at least
your first two nights accommodation
during the months of January, February
and March to avoid disappointment. It's
a good idea to make contact with the
local i-SITE visitor centre in the region
you are travelling to, and discuss with
them whether late bookings will be available.
and winter temperatures vary by only
about 10ºC over most of the country,
making New Zealand an ideal holiday
destination all year round. New Zealand
has four quite distinct seasons -
Spring (Sept-Nov), Summer (Dec-Feb),
Autumn/Fall (Mar-May) and Winter (June-Aug).
In summer there's plenty of sunshine,
and activities in and around the water
include rafting, snorkelling, diving
and kayaking. You'll find snow on
the mountains in winter and excellent
skiing. Away from the mountains, New
Zealand winters are mild and temperatures
generally do not fall below freezing.
the climate like?
New Zealand's seasons are the reverse
of the Northern Hemisphere. This means
that the warmest months are December,
January and February, while the coldest
are in June, July and August. Don't
let cold months put you off - winters
tend to be short and generally fairly
said, on any given day the weather
and temperature can change unexpectedly
and sometimes dramatically. You should
be prepared for that, particularly
if you are going hiking or doing other
clothes should I take?
Dress is informal and relaxed on most
occasions. Smart casual clothes are
acceptable at most restaurants and
night-spots. Men are generally not
expected to wear suits and ties, except
in a few of the top formal bars and
restaurants in major cities.
summer a jacket and sweater should
be included in your luggage should
the weather turn cooler or you visit
higher altitudes. You can expect some
rain, so also include a light rainproof
jacket or coat. If visiting between
May and September, pack warm winter
garments and layer your clothing.
I need a passport or visa to enter
All visitors to New Zealand must carry
a passport that is valid for at least
three months beyond the date you intend
to leave the country.
visitors who intend to stay for less
than three months do not require a
visa. If you want to stay longer than
three months, or your country of origin
does not have a visa waiver agreement
with New Zealand, then you will need
to apply for a Visitor's Visa.
our Passports and Visas section carefully,
and if you need more information look
at the Immigration New Zealand website
or the New Zealand Embassy website.
I use my credit cards/ATM cards in
All major international credit cards
can be used in New Zealand and Travellers
Cheques are accepted at hotels, banks
and some stores. If your credit card
is encoded with a PIN number you will
be able to withdraw cash from automatic
teller machines (ATMs) situated at
banks and shopping centres throughout
the country. If possible only withdraw
small amounts of cash at a time and
always shield your PIN number.
Credit cards with "Smart Card"
Smart cards are payment cards that
carry an embedded microchip allowing
them to store encrypted, confidential
information, and carry multiple applications
from different industries alongside
debit, credit, or prepaid payment
applications. Please note these cards,
which often have no magnetic strip,
are not accepted everywhere in New
Zealand. You may experience problems
using these cards, and we therefore
recommend you contact you card provider
for further information before arriving
in New Zealand.
there any poisonous animals in New
New Zealand has no snakes or dangerous
wild animals, making it safe for visitors
to enjoy outdoor activities.
it safe to drink the water in New
New Zealand cities and towns have
excellent water supplies and in all
cases tap water is fresh and safe
to drink. Water from rivers and lakes
should be boiled, chemically treated
or filtered before drinking to avoid
is the voltage of electricity supply
in New Zealand? Do I need to take
Electricity is supplied throughout
New Zealand at 230/240 volts (50 hertz),
although most hotels and motels provide
110 volt AC sockets (rated at 20 watts)
for electric razors only. For all
other equipment, an adapter/converter
is necessary, unless the item has
a multi-voltage option. Please note
that power outlets only accept flat
three or two-pin plugs, depending
on whether an earth connection is
rental car agencies are in New Zealand?
The main international companies such
as Avis, Hertz and Budget operate
in New Zealand. There are also local
are the international airports located
in New Zealand?
New Zealand's international airports
are at Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
Some flights from Australia also land
at Hamilton, Palmerston North, Queenstown
and Dunedin. You'll find more information
about New Zealand airports in the
Getting to and Around New Zealand
is the best time to go trekking/hiking
in New Zealand?
Tracks such as the Abel Tasman, Heaphy
and Queen Charlotte Sounds Walkway
located at the top of the South Island
can be walked all year round. However,
those tracks at higher altitudes such
as the world famous Milford Track,
Kepler and Routeburn are closed in
the winter due to snow. You must book
to walk the Milford and Routeburn
tracks, which are open between October
I go on a guided walk or an independent
If you like hot showers and other
home comforts, you should book a guided
walk. But if you don't mind 'roughing
it a bit' then try independent walking,
carrying your own pack and staying
in basic huts or tents. If
you wish to walk the popular Routeburn
and Milford Tracks, you will need
to book through the Department of
Conservation's Great Walks Booking
Office. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
for further information or fax +64
3 2498 515.
types of accommodation are available
in New Zealand?
New Zealand offers a wide range of
accommodation options from top-class
hotels, exclusive lodges, motels,
guest houses, and farm or homestays
to holiday parks and backpacker hostels.
You might also like the freedom to
discover New Zealand at your own pace
in a campervan. Two, four or six berth
vans are available to rent, offering
all the comforts of home including
a shower, refrigerator and microwave.
See our Accommodation section for
I need to pre-book accommodation and
It's a good idea to book at least
your first two nights of accommodation
in advance, especially during the
busy summer period in New Zealand
- from December to February. Booking
transport in advance is also recommended,
especially in summer. Visit the local
Visitor Information Centre to book
is a 'Farmstay'?
Farm and homestays are an ideal way
to get to meet local people and experience
a slice of New Zealand rural life.
Depending on the kind of farm, you
may get the chance to share home cooked
meals with your hosts and join in
with milking cows, shearing sheep,
lambing, kiwifruit harvesting or whatever
else is happening on the farm.
international hotel chains operate
in New Zealand?
A wide range of international hotel
brands operate in New Zealand including;
Group - (Ibis, Mecure Grand, Mecure,
Novotel and Sofitel)
Choice - (Comfort Inns and Quality
InterContinental, Crowne Plaza and
Millennium, Copthorne and Kingsgate
is the capital of New Zealand?
Wellington is the political, banking
and financial centre for New Zealand.
The Parliament building known as the
'Beehive' is one of the city's top
attractions. The National Archives,
National Library and Old Government
Buildings (the second largest wooden
building in the world) are located
nearby and are open to casual visitors
free of charge.
is a 'Kiwi'?
The kiwi, New Zealand's national emblem,
is a flightless bird with hair-like
feathers and a long, slender bill
which it uses to pull worms and insects
out of the ground. Found only in New
Zealand, it is active at night in
the wilderness areas of the country.
Be sure to visit one of the many kiwi
houses where you can watch them under
special 'nocturnal' lighting.
Zealanders often refer to themselves
as Kiwis, and the term is also used
as a short form for the famous kiwifruit.
On the stock exchange, the New Zealand
Dollar is also referred to as 'the
kind of night-life is available in
Lively DJ and band scenes, particularly
in the larger cities, have given New
Zealand's night life a renewed vibrancy.
You will find a variety of night-clubs,
cabarets, pubs, concerts and live
performances to choose from, and there
are also four casinos, in Auckland,
Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown.
types of activities are available
If you are thinking about visiting
with your family, you can be confident
that New Zealand has a wide range
of activities to keep your children
Zealand's parks and large areas of
unspoilt wilderness are ideal places
to expand your children's appreciation
of wildlife and the outdoors. Horse
riding, snow activities, whale watching,
fruit picking and wildlife centres
and zoos are just some of the choices
you are visiting the larger centres,
you will find a range of themed attractions
including Rainbow's End (Auckland),
Splash Planet (Hastings), Marine Land
(Napier) and the International Antarctic
Centre (Christchurch). Te Papa, New
Zealand's interactive national museum,
has a range of activities for the
whole family to enjoy, including Story
Place, a haven for small children.
family restaurants have childrens'
menus and high chairs. Many cafes
also have high chairs, and a toy basket
to amuse babies and toddlers is becoming
increasingly common in both cafes
and shops. Most public gardens have
well equipped play areas for young
children, as do many holiday parks.
Adventure playlands such as Chipmunks
or Lollipop's Playland are always
popular with the very young
these can be found in most main centres.
are School Holidays in New Zealand?
The most up to date details for School
Holidays in New Zealand can be found
Public and private health facilities
have a high standard of treatment
and care. Larger hotels and motels
often have a local doctor on call;
otherwise, doctors and other medical
services are listed in the front of
the telephone directory.
Accident Compensation and
isitors are covered by the Government-run
scheme for personal injury by accident.
Claims may be lodged with the Accident
Compensation and Rehabilitation Insurance
Corporation (ACC) irrespective of
fault. Some medical/hospital expenses
and physical disability compensation
are covered, but not loss of earnings
outside New Zealand. Actions for damages
may not be brought, and personal travel
insurance should therefore cover accidents.
Medical services are not free. Accident
care is subsidised. ACC does not cover
any medical treatment relating to
Pharmaceuticals and Medicines
Available from chemists during normal
shopping hours. Most cities have urgent
dispensaries open outside these hours,
listed in the front of the telephone
book under Hospitals. Chemists also
sell cosmetics and insect and sun
protections. A certificate for Customs
is advised if visitors plan to bring
pharmaceuticals into the country.
Many drugs sold over the counter in
other countries are often not available
without a prescription.
Provisions for Travellers with Special
is best to check availability prior
to arrival, or to contact the Disability
Resource Centre (phone number at the
end of this section), which will have
a list of the accessible facilities
and services at your destination.
Some major carriers have excellent
provision for people with disabilities,
but all prefer advance notice of your
access needs so they may prepare in
If you are a tourist from outside
of New Zealand and propose to acquire
and use a car for your stay, Mobility
Parking Permits are available from
branches of New Zealand CCS, which
are in all the main centres. Addresses
are on their website www.ccs.org.nz.
These permits also allow parking in
other time-limited parking areas for
an extra period that varies with each
local parking authority. These concessions
do not apply in privately owned parking
Under New Zealand law, guide and hearing
dogs may accompany you anywhere there
is public access. Tourists from the
UK, Australia, Sweden, Singapore,
Ireland, Hawaii and Norway do not
have quarantine restrictions on service
dogs. Animals from other countries
must complete up to six months preparation
in the country of origin before arriving
in New Zealand.
Further information can be obtained
from Disability Resource Centres.
Enable New Zealand, National Office:
Ph: 0-6-952 0011 Email: email@example.com
Travel to New Zealand.
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