Travelling to New Zealand – Helpful Information

TRAVELLING TO NEW ZEALAND

Travelling to New Zealand? Here is some helpful information.

Bay of Plenty

Explore our FAQs to find answers to common questions, including Visas and Passports, weather & climate, getting around as well as some interesting facts about our country. Getting here is easy, but how do you get around once you’re in New Zealand? We’ve heard the questions and put together some answers to help you make the most of your trip to New Zealand.

Entry Requirements

Do I need a passport or visa to travel to New Zealand?

A current and valid passport is required and maybe a visa depending on your country of origin and purpose for travelling to New Zealand. Some visitors and transit passengers can travel to New Zealand without a visa if they get an NZeTA (New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority) before they travel. For information in regards to visas and the NZeTA click here.

New Zealand facts

Population

As at May 2022 New Zealand’s resident population was estimated at 5,127,100 (Stats NZ).

Language

English and Māori are the official languages of New Zealand with English predominantly spoken.

Ethnicity

New Zealand is a multicultural country with the main groups being European, Māori, Pacific peoples, Asian, Middle Eastern/Latin American/ African and Other Ethnicity.

Time Zone

New Zealand Standard Time. Time zone in Wellington (GMT+12). To find out the time in New Zealand click here.

New Zealand Public Holidays

New Zealand has 11 public holidays a year. Click here for upcoming dates.

New Zealand School Holidays

Schools in New Zealand have 4 terms. Click here for upcoming dates.

Daylight Saving

Daylight saving starts each year at 2 am on the last Sunday in September, and ends at 3 am on the first Sunday in April. During the daylight saving months, we are on ‘New Zealand daylight time’, which is 1 hour ahead of New Zealand standard time. For upcoming dates click here.

Tipping

Tipping is not customary in New Zealand however if you feel you have had excellent service you are more than welcome to acknowledge it.

Electricity

New Zealand’s electricity supply runs at 230/240 volts and uses angled two or three-pin plugs (the same as Australia).

Telecommunications

You can buy a sim card and credit to get a local phone number – the two main providers are Spark, Vodafone, 2degrees and Skinny. Most smartphones will work with a local sim however check with your provider in your country before travelling to New Zealand. Internet is readily available, and many places have a wifi hotspot, and some of New Zealand’s accommodation providers provide free WiFi for guests or have internet in rooms that you can purchase. There are internet cafe’s around too.

Water

All water in New Zealand is safe to drink from the tap.

Metric System

New Zealand uses the Metric scale for distance and the Celsius scale for temperature.

Money in New Zealand

New Zealand Currency

The New Zealand dollar ($) is the currency of New Zealand. Bank notes: $100, $50, $20, $10, $5. Coins: $2, $1. Cents (c): 10c, 20c, 50c.

Purchases made in New Zealand are subject to “rounding” of amounts either up or down. Under this system, prices ending in 1 to 4 cents will be rounded down and prices ending in 6 to 9 cents will be rounded up. Click here to convert New Zealand dollar currency.

Foreign Exchange

https://www.travelex.co.nz
Find a currency exchange store
https://www.travelex.co.nz/stores/

Tax 

GST (Goods & Services Tax) is a 15% tax added to the price of most goods and services. It is usually already included in displayed prices or fees.

Credit cards

All major credit cards are widely accepted with Visa and MasterCard more accepted than American Express or Diners Card.

Banks

Banks are generally open Monday to Friday during business hours with some also open on a weekend if they are located in shopping centres.

ATM

ATMs (Automated Teller Machines) are widely available throughout New Zealand in the main streets and shopping centres. Some are free of charge whereas others may incur a small transaction charge.

Travelling in New Zealand

What side of the road do they drive on in New Zealand?

New Zealanders drive on the left-hand side of the road. For more information on the road code click here.

Do I need a Driving Licence?

You can legally drive in New Zealand for up to twelve months if you have either a current and valid driver’s licence from your own country or an International Driving Permit (IDP). For more information click here.

What are the Medical Facilities?

Medical and dental services are available as well as Accident & Emergency (A&E) Clinics where urgent or out of hours medical assistance can be sought. New Zealand has no poisonous animals or insects

What is the Emergency phone number in New Zealand?

In an emergency call 111 for police, ambulance or fire assistance.

Is there a New Zealand domestic airline?

Domestic flights are operated by Air New Zealand and Jetstar with frequent scheduled flights around both the North and South Islands. For domestic flight schedules please visit www.airnewzealand.co.nz or www.jetstar.com/nz/

Is there a ferry service between the North Island and the South Island?

Travel between the North and South Islands can be undertaken via a 3-hour ferry ride. The InterIslander and Bluebridge Ferries offer this service. Booking in advance at peak times is essential. For schedules please visit https://www.greatjourneysofnz.co.nz/interislander/ or https://www.bluebridge.co.nz

Can I Freedom camp in New Zealand?

Yes, however, Freedom camping is when you camp on public land that isn’t a recognised camping ground or holiday park. Click here for more information.

Is there good public transport in New Zealand?

Yes, All New Zealand regions have buses but are not as extensive as that of the larger cities. Auckland and Wellington have rail services. Outside of the big cities, people tend to rely on their cars for getting around. Check here for regional public transport timetables and fares.

New Zealand Weather

New Zealand Climate & Seasons

Spring September to November
Average daytime temperature: 16 – 19C (61 – 66F)

Summer December to February
Average daytime temperature: 20 – 26C (68 – 77F)

Autumn March to May
Average daytime temperature: 17 – 21 C (62 – 70 F)

Winter June to August
Average daytime temperature: 12 – 16 C (53 – 61 F)

More Information:
https://www.timeanddate.com/weather/new-zealand/auckland/climate

https://about.metservice.com/our-company/learning-centre/new-zealand-climate/

New Zealand Temperatures & Weather

For daily and long-range regional weather forecasts click here.

Want to explore places in New Zealand?