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New Zealand Travel GuideSome information and tips about New Zealand
Banking and Currency
New Zealand’s unit of currency is the dollar (NZ$). All major credit cards can be used in New Zealand, with Visa and MasterCard accepted most widely, followed by American Express and Diners Club.
New Zealand banks are open from 9.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday. Some are also during weekends. .
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.
Travel, Transport and Getting Around
With so many things to do and spectacular places to see, choosing how you travel around New Zealand is as important as choosing where you want to go.
Your choice of transport will depend on how quickly you want to get from A to B. Plane, train, bus, boat, car or caravan – you could even cycle if you’re feeling adventurous. In most cases getting there is all part of the fun so hire a motor home to see the sights at your own pace, or jump on a train for a scenic tour through remote areas often inaccessible by road.
For travel between New Zealand’s islands, hop on a plane or ferry. Daily flights are available between domestic airports. Several passenger and vehicle ferries offer services between the North, South and other islands.
Food, Drink and Cuisine Advice
The cuisine in New Zealand is very seasonal and relies heavily on local produce. As the islands are very agricultural there is a wide variety of fresh foods always available. The influences are largely British although there are Asian influences creeping in and takeaways are becoming more popular.
New Zealand is an island nation with its waters containing a large variety of fish and seafood. Despite this, until recently shellfish hasn’t played an important part in the diet of New Zealanders. The consumption of fish has traditionally been low as meat has been the main preference for meals. Having said this, fish and seafood has always been significant in the Maori diet and you will notice that the names of many of them are still used today in Maori.
Climate and Weather
New Zealand has a largely temperate climate. While the far north has subtropical weather during summer, and inland alpine areas of the South Island can be as cold as – 10°C in winter, most of the country lies close to the coast, which means mild temperatures, moderate rainfall, and abundant sunshine.
Because New Zealand lies in the Southern Hemisphere, the average temperature decreases as you travel south. The far north of the country has an average temperature of about 15°C, while the deep south has a cooler 9°C average. January and February are the warmest months of the year, and July is the coldest.
Clothing and Dress Recommendations
New Zealand is typically an informal place so pack casually for comfort.
Famous for having four seasons in one day; our advice if you are traveling even in the summer is to pack a light jacket or pashmina shawl just in case the weather turns cooler or if you’re visiting higher altitudes. You can also expect some rain, so include a light raincoat.
Smart casual clothes are acceptable at most restaurants and night-spots.
New Zealand is renowned for its outdoor activities, so make sure you take swimming gear, hiking shoes, trekking pants/shorts, sunhat and sunglasses, as well as plenty of sunscreen
If you plan to do much walking then lightweight walking shoes or sneakers are fine.
Chances are that you’re arriving in New Zealand with a mobile phone, tablet or laptop – or a mixture of all three. If you’re looking to stay connected to the internet everywhere you go, it’s recommended that you purchase a plan from one of New Zealand’s main networks. Free Wi-Fi hotspots are generally found in main cities only and can be sporadic throughout the rest of the country. Purchasing a plan from a network will allow you to have access to a mix of data, calling and texting throughout your trip to suit your communication and connection needs.
Electricity and Plug Standards
New Zealand’s electricity supply runs at 230/240 volts, and we use angled two or three pin plugs (the same as Australia). Most hotels and motels provide 110 volt ac sockets (rated at 20 watts) for electric razors only.
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