New Zealand Info

A few basics....

New Zealand is one country that is separated into two main islands; the North Island and the South Island. The two main islands are separated by the Cook Straight a stretch of water connecting the Tasman Sea on the northwest with the Pacific Ocean on the southeast. Stewart Island/Rakiura is the third-largest island of New Zealand.

There are two main methods to travel between the North Island and the South Island, you can catch the passenger/car ferry from the capital city, Wellington on the North Island to Picton on the South Island which takes around 3 hours. Alternatively you can fly, the flight between Wellington and Picton takes around 25 minutes. Domestic flights are a common form of transport throughout New Zealand. Check other domestic flights and destinations here.

New Zealand is situated in the South Pacific ocean and one of it's closest neighbours is Australia. The shortest flights from Australia to New Zealand would be from Sydney (3 hours)  and Brisbane (4 hours) both positioned on the easten side of Australia whereas a flight to New Zealand from Perth positioned on the west side of Australia and furthest away from New Zealand, would take approximately 7.5 hours if you fly direct and longer if you need to change flights.

International flights arrive and depart New Zealand from Auckland International Airport (AKL) on the North Island and Christchurch International Airport (CHC) on the South Island. Wellington Airport and a few of the larger domestic airports in New Zealand also provide international flights to Australia and the Pacific Islands.

There is no getting around the fact that for many, traveling to New Zealand will include a long haul flight and possibly at least 1 stop en-route. Depending on the length of your flight you can either split the journey up and include a 'stop over' staying one night or more in another country on the way or just travel straight through only stopping for a few hours at an airport before departing again. The choice of 'stop over' countries will vary depending on what country you are traveling from and the company you are flying with as their routes all vary.

What ever length of time it takes to get here, it is time well spent, New Zealand is often a place that many people put on their 'to do' list being much more than just a holiday, it's an experience and an achievement, one you'll proably remember forever.

Ferry Information - Inter Islander or Blue Bridge

Domestic Flights  - Air New Zealand    Webjet    Jetstar    Pacific Blue

Travel tools    -      Distance Chart     Driving/Traveling in NZ    Car Hire   Taxi    Coach/Bus    Trains    Visas    

TRAVEL TIPS - if you are intending on traveling the whole of the country, consider flying into Auckland then depart from Christchurch or vice versa, if your airline travels into both, it won't cost you much but will save heaps of time.

DRIVING TIPS - driving is on the left side the road, cars parked on the side of the road should face the same way as the flow of the traffic. For more information select the Driving/Traveling in NZ option above.

Customs - Be aware that customs control into New Zealand are sensitive regarding potential risks that may threaten the agriculture, horticulture and forestry.  More Info

Money in New Zealand - is the NZ dollar.  A large percentage of payments are made using EFTPOS (electronic funds transfer at Point of Sale)  by residents with a New Zealand personal or business bank account. so if you are asked if you want to pay by EFTPOS or credit, unless you live in New Zealand, the chances are you will probably be paying by credit (credit card) or cash.

TIP - you should inform your bank that you are going to be traveling abroad and supply them with details of the places you intend visiting, this should help when making payments in other countries.

EMERGENCY SERVICES - Dial 111 for police, ambulance and fire services.

Calls to New Zealand from overseas  =  0064 + area code + telephone number (example 0064 3 1234567)

The area code has a 0 infront of the area number when making calls in New Zealand (example - 03 1234567) 

Area codes in New Zealand

AreaWithin  NZFrom Overseas
Auckland     09        9
Christchurch     03        3
Dunedin     03        3
Hamilton     07        7
Hastings     06        6
Invercargill     02        2
Napier     06        6
Nelson     03        3
New Plymouth     06        6
Palmerston North     06        6
Rotorua     07        7
Tauranga     07        7
Timaru     03        3
Wanganui     04        4
Wellington     04        4
Whangarei     09        9


Electricity is supplied at 230/240 volts (50 hertz), if your country of origin uses a different supply you will need to use an adapter, these are often cheaper to buy in the country that you live in than when you are away.

Weather/Climate - generally during the day, if it isn't cloudy or raining, it can still be warm regardless of the time of year but do be prepared for the temperature to drop once the sun sets or if it clouds over. 


New Zealand Seasons


Sun Protection - the saying ' slip, slop, slap and wrap is referred to regarding protection from the sun.  It's worth remembering, the UV rays here are strong so taking some simple precautions may save you a lot of discomfort. The majority of suntan lotions in New Zealand are around 30 - 40SPF or higher. If it's summer and you are out for the day at the beach without shade for a while, a long sleeved thin cotton shirt with a collar over your swim suit works wonders with a hat.

Clothing, the best advice would be to wear layers!  It can be cooler first thing in the morning, warms up significantly during the day and cools down again when the sun goes down.  It does sound obvious but there can be quite an extreme range in temperatures throughout the course of the day so with layers you can add or take off what you need to be comfortable.

Cigarettes & Alcohol - the legal age for purchasing and smoking cigarettes, tobacco and alcohol is 18. You may be asked to produce ID.  Most supermarkets sell wine, beer, cigarettes and tobacco, spirits can be purchased from a liquor/bottle store.

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