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Questions & Answers
Questions & AnswersThe following information will be helpful in planning your visit to New Zealand.
Do I need a Passport and Visa?
All visitors require a passport that is valid for at least 3 months after their intended departure. A visa is not required for most visitors traveling to New Zealand for a stay of less than 3 months. You should check with your local New Zealand embassy or consulate for the latest information.
What is the climate like?
New Zealand is in the southern hemisphere, so the seasons are the opposite to those in the northern hemisphere. Summer is December to February whilst winter is June to August. Average summer temperature is 22° Celcius (72° Farenheit) and winter 9° Celcius (48° Farenheit).
What clothing should I take?
In keeping with New Zealand's relaxed lifestyle, dress is informal on most occasions. A jacket is recommended only for those intending to visit a better restaurant or evening show. A waterproof jacket and umbrella is advisable.
What is the local currency?
New Zealand Dollars (NZ$). Current exchange rate is approximately 1USD =NZ$1.38 (as at 03 March 2005). Please check with your bank for current exchange rates or online at this website. Travelers cheques and most major international credit cards are accepted.
What are the banking and business hours?
Many businesses and all banks operate only Monday to Friday. Banking hours are 9.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday and are closed on public holidays. Increasingly, stores in major cities are extending their hours through to Saturday and Sunday. Those stores catering largely to visitors are open every day, often with extended hours. Most petrol stations are open every day.
What local taxes are there?
All goods and services purchased in New Zealand are subject to 12.5% Goods and Services tax. This is usually included in the price, although some hotels and restaurants may quote prices excluding GST.
When is the best time to travel?
Whilst you can visit New Zealand year round, most people visit between September to April (Spring/Summer/Fall).
When is the best skiing?
During New Zealand's winter - July to September. Skiing is available in both the North and South Islands.
Can I use my electrical appliances?
Electricity is supplied throughout New Zealand at 240 volts via a slant 3 pin outlet. Hotels often provide a 110 volt socket for electric shavers only. For all other equipment, an adaptor and a voltage converter are necessary.
What are the Medical and Emergency Facilities?
Medical and emergency services are available but not free to visitors. Please arrange for insurance coverage before your departure. Comprehensive travel insurance is recommended.
What are the Road Rules?
New Zealand road rules follow international standards. New Zealand drives on the left side of the road (the same as in the UK and Japan, and opposite to the USA and Europe). See Driving Tips.
What price is Gasoline?
Averages around $NZ1.18 per litre (as at 03 March 2005) throughout New Zealand.
Do I have to tip?
New Zealanders do not depend on tips for their income and tips are not expected for normal service, however you may wish to show your appreciation for extra special attention.
Do I have to pay a Departure Tax?
A departure tax of approximately NZ$25 is payable by anyone (over the age of 12) departing via the three international airports. This fee can be paid by credit card and varies depending on your departure airport.
What are the Customs Allowances and Quarantine Regulations?
Please check with your airline for current information about what restrictions apply. As New Zealand is free of most diseases and pests, restrictions are placed on the passengers' importation of food, in particular fresh or unprocessed food. No vaccinations are required.
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