Frequently Asked Questions
What is New Zealand?s smoking policy?
What is a Kiwi?
What is the capital of New Zealand?
What rental car agencies operate in New Zealand?
What is the voltage of electricity supply in New Zealand? Do I need to take a converter?
What are the public holidays in New Zealand?
What languages are spoken in New Zealand?
Are there any dangerous animals in New Zealand?
I heard the New Zealand sun is very harsh and you can get sunburnt easily is this true?
Is the water in New Zealand Safe to Drink?
What is the New Zealand Currency?
What are the exchange rate office opening hours?
What are the Bank opening Times in New Zealand?
Does New Zealand have Standard ATM machines?
Are credit cards accepted in New Zealand?
What should I bring with me?
Do I need a Passport and Visa?
Do I need travel insurance?
Do I need to bring medication or have any immunizations/vaccines done before coming to New Zealand?
When is the Best time to visit New Zealand?
What is the weather like in New Zealand?
What are the international airports located in New Zealand?
What types of accomodation are availble in New Zealand?
Do I need to pre-book accomodation?
What international hotel chains operate in New Zealand?
Recently the law changed to make all indoor workplaces smoke free including bars, clubs, cafes and restaurants. New Zealand?s smoking policy is to protect people from the health effects of passive smoke. Smoking in all hospitality venues, including bars, restaurants, cafes, and casinos, is prohibited in New Zealand.
Common question asked by everyone is the kiwi, New Zealand?s national symbol. A kiwi is a small flightless bird only found in New Zealand. It has hair-like feathers and a long, slender bill which it uses to pull worms and insects out of the ground. Kiwi are only active at night in the wilderness areas of the country and it?s very difficult to spot one. You can visit one of the many kiwi houses where you can watch them under special night-time lighting.
Kiwi is also used to refer to New Zealanders and the term is also used as a short form for the famous kiwifruit.
Wellington is the capital and New Zealands second largest city. It is also the political, cultural, commercial and financial centre for New Zealand. The Parliament building known as the ?Beehive? is one of the city?s top attractions. Other top attractions in Wellington is the National Archives, National Library and Old Government Buildings which is also the second largest wooden building in the world. These attractions are open to visitors free of charge. For more information about Wellington – the ?windy? city click here
There are many to choose from however the main international companies are Avis, Hertz and Budget. There are also many local rental companies. For further information you can check out our car rental listings by clicking here
Electricity is supplied throughout New Zealand at 230/240 volts (50 hertz), however bear in mind that most hotels and motels over here only provide 110 volt AC sockets (rated at 20 watts) for electric razors only. For all other equipment, an adapter/converter is required, unless the item has a multi-voltage option. Power outlets will only accept flat three or two-pin plugs, depending on whether an earth connection is fitted.
Public holidays include:
New Year?s Day and the following day ? January 1st & 2nd;
Waitangi Day (or New Zealand Day) ? February 6th;
Good Friday through Easter Monday ? Late March / early April;
Anzac Day ? April 25th;
Queen?s Birthday ? 1st Monday in June
Labour Day ? 4th Monday in October;
Christmas Day & Boxing Day ? 25th & 26th December.
By far the most common language spoken is English however; Maori is also an official language in New Zealand and many radio and television channels will promote their programs in Maori, and you will also find in New Zealand that the Place names are in Maori, particularly in the North Island for example Manukau City, Rakiura National Park etc.
Unlike Australia, New Zealand has no dangerous animals or snakes, however does have a dangerous spider called the Katipo which are usually found on black iron sandy beaches. The female Katipo are more dangerous, they can be identified by their shiny black body, about 6,, long and they have a bright red patch at the rear of their abdomen. They are very rare and almost extinct. If you are bitten it can make you sick but is unlikely to kill you. If in the worse case scenario you are bitten then you should seek medical attention immediately. Anti venom is available in most hospitals and is effective for up to 3 days after the bite.
Yes it is true and there is still debate as to weather its due to the fact that the ozone layer is thinner above New Zealand. You have to be careful as you can get sunburnt pretty quickly over here as the sun is very harsh. Most weather forecasts include a ?burn time? rating as well as the days temperature highs in summer. Take a look at some of the weather websites for this information. It is highly recommended you protect yourself against sunburn by: wearing a sun hat that covers your face, ears and neck; a long sleeved cotton shirt a good sunscreen and sunglasses Parents should also make sure that children are kept well protected from the sun.
New Zealand cities and towns have excellent water supplies and therefore water is clean, fresh and safe to drink straight from the tap and in most areas it tastes great. However, if you prefer you can buy bottled water from the supermarkets or convenience stores. Most places such as hospitals, supermarkets and malls have water coolers too.
The New Zealand currency is the dollar (NZ$), which is divided into 100 Cents (c). The coins are in denominations of 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, NZ$1 AND NZ$2. It?s worth noting that as of July 2006 the 5c coin will be taken out and new 10, 20 and 50c coins will be introduced. Notes comes in NZ$5, NZ$10, NZ$20, NZ$50 AND NZ$100.
Exchange offices such as Thomas Cook and Americal Express may have longer opening hours, and sometimes stay open until 9pm in the cities
Bank opening hours are Monday to Friday 9-4:30 and some city branches are also open on Saturday until 12:30pm.
ATM?s are widely available in New Zealand in almost all towns. The major banks in New Zealand are ANZ National Bank, ASB Bank, Westpac, TSB Bank, Kiwibank and Bank of New Zealand.
All major credit cards (visa, Mastercard, JCB, Diners, Amex) are widely accepted throughout New Zealand. In general New Zealand operates an EFTPOS (Electronic funds Transfer at Point of Sale) system, which means that you will find mini-ATM at points of sale throughout the country. Most Hotels, shops, fuel stations have these. Debit and credit cards may also be used with pin numbers where accepted.
New Zealand is a well developed country and everything you are likely to need you can buy from New Zealand or rent. If you are going to be backpacking then do bring a good sleeping bag and a bed sheet and blankets. Other things to consider are a compatible electrical adapter plug, sunscreen, mosquito repellent, sunglasses, any hay fever medication especially if you are coming in Summer and sunhat.
All visitors to New Zealand must be in procession of a passport that is valid for 3 months beyond the date of expected departure. In regards to visa?s Australian citizens or holders of an Australia returning resident visa do not need a visitors visa and can stay in New Zealand indefinitely. Visitors coming from the UK do not need a visa either and will be automatically issued with a 6 month visitor permit on arrival to New Zealand at immigration. Visitors coming from other countries would need a visitor visa which entitles them to a visitors permit. To read more about New Zealand Working Holiday visa click here.
For detailed visa information you can visit the New Zealand Information Service website (NZIS). Their web address is www.immigration.govt.nz
As with any overseas travelling, full travel insurance is recommended which would cover medical and personal care. The New Zealand Accident compensation Scheme covers visitors to New Zealand for personal injury caused by accident. They are a 24hr service. For more information you can visit there website at www. Acc.co.nz
Visitors can also call Healthline free on 0800 6111160800 611116 which is a 24hr service and they can advice you on how to best access the New Zealand health system.
It?s a good idea to research carefully and find out about the different policies and which is best for you so you can choose the right one. Check what the policy covers for example ambulance, helicopter rescue or emergency flights home.
In general, no special immunizations or medications are necessary for entry into New Zealand. Legally it?s not required as New Zealand is safe and a well developed country. However Hepatitis A and B as well as tetanus is recommended but not essential.
New Zealand is beautiful no matter what time of the year you visit so you can visit New Zealand at any time of the year. Summer and winter temperatures vary by only about 10?C over most of the country, making New Zealand an ideal holiday destination all year round. The warmest months of the year are from September – April. December, January and February are the 3 hottest months of the year (Summer). Spring is from September – November. Autumn starts from March – May and Winter from June – August.
Generally January and Febraury are New Zealands warmest months and July the coldest. The months of February and March are late summer and early fall in New Zealand, where the seasons are reversed from the northern hemisphere. Temperatures can range from 17?C to 30?C in Summer especially in the eastern and inland regions. The north tends to get most of the sunny climate compared with the South with Nelson in particular getting more sun than any other place in New Zealand. Summers here can get very hot and you will find shorts and t-shirts the most comfortable option especially if your travelling around by car most days. It is also wise to bring with you a light jacket as the evenings can get chilly sometimes. An Umbrella too might be something you want to slip in your suitcase as New Zealand weather is unpredictable for its showers and rain that can come sometimes with no warning. For more information about Weather in new Zealand and latest observations and forecasts go to http://www.metvuw.com/ for a weather and climate service.
New Zealand’s international airports are at Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
New Zealand offers a wide selection of excellent Hotel accommodation that caters for all levels of expectation and tariff rates.Our No1nz Guide provides extensive accommodation information within New Zealand and covers a broad range of places to stay ? from motel accommodation to Luxury New Zealand Hotels and Lodges. We have a comprehensive database of accommodation in North Island and South Island including accommodation in New Zealand localities such as the Auckland, Wellington, Dunedin and Christchurch providing full details including pictures, maps, pricing and the ability to book accommodation online.
It’s a good idea to book at least your first two nights in advance, especially during the busy summer period in New Zealand – from December to February.
Flag, Ibis, Quality, Rydges and Novotel are found in the main centres and resort areas. Room rates range from NZ$200 to NZ$1000+ per night.