New Zealand - FAQ
What is the Weather & Climate like in New Zealand?
Australia’s seasons are opposite to those in the Northern Hemisphere * Spring is September - November * Summer is December - February * Fall is March - May * Winter is June – August.
The north of New Zealand is subtropical and the south temperate. The warmest months are December, January and February, and the coldest June, July and August. In summer, the average maximum temperature ranges between 20-30ºC (70-90ºF) and in winter between 10-15ºC (50-60ºF)
Do I need to have a Passport and 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 the country.
Currently travelers from more than 50 countries, including the USA, do not require a Visitor's Visa for stays less than three months.
You do require in addition to your passport:
An onward or return ticket to a country that you have permission to enter
Sufficient money to support yourself during your stay - approximately NZ$1000 per month per person
What is the customs quarantine procedure like when entering New Zealand?
There are strict laws prohibiting or restricting the entry of drugs, steroids, weapons, firearms, protected wildlife and associated products. If you are unsure about anything declare it to Customs upon arrival.
Can I bring Tax Free/Duty Free items into New Zealand?
Visitors to New Zealand may purchase duty-free goods, which are not subject to local taxes, from airport duty free shops on arrival and departure. Duty-free stores in downtown Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch will deliver purchases to aircraft departure lounges.
Apart from your own personal effects, and as long as you are over 17 years of age, you are allowed the following duty-free concessions:
200 cigarettes or 250 grams of tobacco or 50 cigars, or a mixture of all three weighing no more than 250 grams
4.5 liters of wine or beer (six 750ml bottles) and one 1125ml bottle of spirits, liqueur or other beverages
Goods up to a total of NZ$700 are free of duty and tax, but goods in excess of this may attract both duty and tax.
What is and how much is the Departure tax?
A departure tax of NZ$25 has to be paid at the airport when you leave New Zealand. Please note this tax is not included in your ticket price.
What languages are spoken in New Zealand?
English is the common language of New Zealand. However, as New Zealand is a multicultural society, you may hear other languages spoken including Te Reo Maori, the official language of New Zealand. The vast majority of New Zealand place names are of Maori origin. A Maori phrase you’ll be sure to hear and see is Kia ora which means hello.
What is the time difference between New Zealand and the U.S.?
New Zealand is one of the first places in the world to see the new day, 17 hours ahead of EST or 20 hours ahead of PST. In summer New Zealand uses ‘daylight saving’, with clocks put forward one hour to EST+18/PST+21. Daylight saving begins on the first Sunday in October and ends on the third Sunday of the following March, when clocks are put back to EST+17/PST+20.
What currency is used in New Zealand?
New Zealand's unit of currency is the New Zealand dollar (NZ$). 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.
What Credit Cards can I use in New Zealand?
All major credit cards can be used in New Zealand. Travelers Checks are accepted at hotels, banks and some stores.
International credit cards and ATM cards will work in New Zealand as long as they have a four-digit PIN encoded. Check with your bank before leaving home.
What Taxes are currently in place in New Zealand?
All goods and services are subject to a 12.5% 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.
When and how much should I tip in New Zealand?
New Zealanders do not expect tips for normal service - even in restaurants and bars. However, tipping for extra special service or kindness is at the discretion of the visitor. Hotels and restaurants in New Zealand do not add service charges to their bills.
What electric voltage currency is in use in New Zealand?
230/240 volts, 50 Hz, 3 pin plugs. The power supply is 220/240 volts AC. Sockets accept three-flat-pin plugs so an adaptor is needed. 110v appliances will need a voltage converter.
Do I need insurance when traveling to New Zealand?
Before your visit you should arrange sufficient medical and travel insurance. Ensure the policy is adequate to cover costs for ambulance or helicopter rescue, emergency surgery, or transportation home. Accidents (but not illnesses) are covered by the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC), which ensures that residents and tourists alike are not charged for any medical treatment required as a consequence of an accident suffered in New Zealand. This covers both physical and psychological damage. In cases of minor injuries you may have to contribute to the cost of the initial doctor’s visit. The ACC scheme means you can’t sue anybody for damages.
We offer comprehensive travel insurance policies to cover every eventuality – ask your Aspire Down Under consultant for more details.
Do I need to get any specfic vaccinations before entering New Zealand?
Vaccinations are not required unless you have come from, or visited a yellow fever infected country or zone within six days before arrival. No other health certificate is required to enter New Zealand.
Is all water safe to drink in New Zealand?
It is safe to drink tap water anywhere in New Zealand. Bottled mineral water is available throughout the country.
What precautions should I take to protect myself from the sun/weather in New Zealand?
New Zealand's clear, unpolluted atmosphere and relatively low latitudes produce sunlight stronger than much of Europe or North America, so be prepared to wear hats and sun block if you plan to be out in the sun for more than 15-20 minutes.
Weather conditions in New Zealand alpine areas can change rapidly. Be prepared for cold wet weather if you plan to walk in our National Parks, whatever the time of year
What is the beach safety like in New Zealand?
Beaches with potential hazards are often patrolled by lifeguards, who put up yellow and red flags - Water Safety New Zealand recommend that between these flags is the safest place to swim on these beaches.
What do I need to know about driving in New Zealand?
New Zealanders drive on the left hand side of the road. The steering wheel is on the right hand side of the car. The maximum speed limit in cities and towns is 50 km/h (30 mph) and on country roads and highways, 100 km/h (62mph) unless signs indicate otherwise. Strict drink-driving laws apply. Drivers and passengers must wear seat belts at all times.
Visitors may drive in New Zealand on a valid overseas driver’s license for the same class of vehicle or an International Driving Permit. Licenses must be carried when driving. If the driver's license is not in the English language, the visitor must carry a translation with the permit.
If you have any additional questions about New Zealand vacations that are not listed here, including New Zealand honeymoon packages, please contact us at 877-7ASPIRE.