the best time to visit New Zealand?
You can visit New Zealand at any time of the year. Summer 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, snorkeling, 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.
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
clothes to take to New Zealand?
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.
In summer a light jacket or sweater should be included in your
luggage should the weather turn cooler or you visit the high country.
You can expect some rain, so include a light waterproof jacket
or coat. Pack warm winter clothing if visiting between May and
September. Layer your clothing.
a passport or visa to enter New Zealand?
All visitors to New Zealand must carry a passport that is valid
for at least three months beyond the date you intend to leave
Most 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
If you need more information look at the New Zealand Immigration
Service website or the New Zealand Embassy website.
Credit cards and ATM cards in New Zealand
All major international credit cards can be used in New Zealand
and Traveler's Checks 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 centers throughout the country.
of electricity supply in New Zealand
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 electric
scooters, wheelchairs all other equipment, an adapter/converter
is necessary, New Zealand power outlets only accept flat three
or two-pin plugs.
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.
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 and April.
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.
Farm and homestays are an ideal way to get to meet local people
and experience a slice of New Zealand rural life. Very few farms
are wheelchair accessible or even wheelchair friendly. Discuss
your access needs with your travel planner for more details. Depending
on your light access needs and 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, kiwi fruit harvesting
or whatever else is happening on the farm.
hotel chains operate in New Zealand?
* Accor Group - (Ibis, Mecure Grand, Mecure, Novotel and Sofitel)
* Choice - (Comfort Inns and Quality Inns)
* Grand Chancellor
* InterContinental, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn
* Millennium, Copthorne and Kingsgate
* Stamford Plaza
types of activities are available for children?
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 happy.
New Zealand's parks and large areas of unspoiled 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 centers and zoos are just some of the
If you are visiting the larger centers, you will find a range
of theme attractions including Rainbow's End (Auckland), Splash
Planet (Hastings), Marine Land (Napier) and the International
Antarctic Center (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.
Most 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 and can be found in most main centers.
are School Holidays in New Zealand?
The most up to date details for School Holidays in New Zealand
can be found at www.moe.govt.nz.
New Zealand is situated in the South Pacific ocean, between latitude
34'S and 47'S. The country runs roughly north-south with mountain
ranges down much of its length. Its two main islands (North and
South) cover 266,200 sq km (103,735 sq miles), about the size
of Japan or California and slightly larger than Great Britain.
New Zealand's separation from other land masses about 100 million
years ago allowed many ancient plants and animals to survive and
evolve in isolation. Complementing our unique flora and fauna
is a landscape that contains an unrivaled variety of landforms.
In a couple of days drive it is possible to see everything from
mountain ranges to sandy beaches, lush rainforests, glaciers and
fjords and active volcanoes.
In spite of around 1000 years of native bush clearance by humans,
about a quarter of the country still remains forested - mostly
in high country areas. Most of these remaining areas are protected
from exploitation in national and forest parks, where they can
be enjoyed by all.
The characteristic New Zealand forest is a temperate, evergreen
rain forest with giant tree ferns, vines and epiphytes - looking
a bit like the popular image of a jungle. The giant Kauri, among
the largest trees in the world, is now restricted to relatively
small forest pockets in Northland and on the Coromandel Peninsula.
New Zealand is a land of unique birds. The best known is the flightless
kiwi, New Zealand's unofficial national symbol. Also flightless
are the Weka and the endangered kakapo, the world's largest parrot
which can just scramble up into shrubs and small trees.
Another unique bird, one capable of flight, is the inquisitive
kea (native alpine parrot), which is renowned for its fearlessness
of humans and cheeky personality.
Zealand's Natural Heritage
What makes New Zealand's natural heritage so special?
Underlying New Zealand's physical attractions - its dramatic mountains,
unpolluted beaches and green countryside - is an epic survival
story of unique plants and animals. Cast adrift from the ancient
supercontinent of Gondwanaland, these ancient species evolved
in isolation and struggled to survive in what renowned naturalist
David Bellamy has called 'Moa's Ark' (named after New Zealand's
native, but now extinct, giant flightless bird, the moa).
After only 1000 years of human settlement New Zealand has lost
many native species. But impressive gains have been made in recent
times to protect and enhance what is left. These include removing
introduced pests from island wildlife sanctuaries, the establishment
of 13 national parks, three maritime parks, two world heritage
areas, hundreds of nature reserves and ecological areas, a network
of marine reserves and wetlands, and protection for special rivers
and lakes. In total, around 30 percent of New Zealand's land area
is protected conservation land.
In addition, research and management programs have been introduced
to aid the recovery of rare and endangered species like kakapo,
kokako, kiwi and tuatara. You can learn more about these programs
on the Department of Conservation website.
New Zealand welcomes everyone to experience and discover its unique
and precious natural heritage. We ask only that you make as little
impact as possible, so future generations may also enjoy it as
New Zealand's unit of currency is the New Zealand dollar (NZ$).
Coins have values of 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents, $1 and $2; notes
have values of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100.
There is no restriction on the amount of foreign currency that
can be brought in or taken out of New Zealand. However, every
person who carries more than NZ$10,000 in cash in or out of New
Zealand is required to complete a Border Cash Report.
Foreign currency can easily be exchanged at banks, some hotels
and Bureau de Change kiosks, which are found at international
airports and most city centers.
You can calculate the value of your currency in NZ Dollars
using the newzealand.com currency converter on this page.
The rate you are offered in your home country is likely to differ
slightly. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand provides a monthly online
summary of the New Zealand Dollar's average value against the
US Dollar, the Pound, the Australian Dollar, the Yen and the Euro.
Banks are open from 9.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday. Automated
Teller Machines (ATM) are widely available at banks, along main
shopping streets and in malls. International credit cards and
ATM cards will work as long as they have a four-digit PIN encoded.
Check with your bank before leaving home.
and Services Tax
All goods and services are subject to a 12.5 percent Goods and
Services Tax (GST) included in the displayed price. Visitors cannot
claim this tax back, however when a supplier ships a major purchase
to a visitor's home address the GST will not be charged.
and Service Charges
Tipping in New Zealand is not obligatory, even in restaurants
and bars. However, tipping for good service or kindness is at
the discretion of the visitor. Hotels and restaurants in New Zealand
do not add service charges to their bills.
NZ$ travelers checks are not available for purchase. International
visitors who wish to travel to New Zealand with travelers checks
should bring a major currency type of travelers checks with them
in the future. For travel to our region AUS$ travelers checks
can be purchased.
New Zealand law requires that every new building and major reconstruction
provide reasonable and adequate access for people with disabilities.
Most facilities have wheelchair access, but it's always wise to
check when booking.
for the Disabled
Most urban transport buses are not equipped to cater for the disabled.
Parking concessions are available for people with disabilities
and temporary display cards can be issued for the length of a
visitor's stay. In order to obtain a New Zealand card visitors
should bring their home mobility card or medical certificate as
proof of disability.