New Zealand

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New Zealand

  • Should You Go?
  • Top Places To Visit
  • Itineraries
  • Need To Know Basics
  • Entry
  • Getting Around
  • Accommodation
  • Food And Health
  • Weather And Time To Go
  • Communications
  • Dangers And Considerations
  • Respecting Culture

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    Oceania

    Area - 8,525,989 sq km

    Population - 36,659,000

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    Oceania Recommended Vaccinations

    Always consult your doctor before travelling. The information below is only a guide. Vaccination requirements can change.

    Routine Boosters (MMR, DPT and Polio).

    Hepatitis A (Papua New Guinea).

    Hepatitis B (optional).

    Japanese Encephalitis (Papua New Guinea, Far North Australia and Torres Strait Islands).

    Rabies (optional).

    Typhoid (West and South Pacific).



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    new zealand destination

    Left: Abel Tasman National Park. Centre: Lake Matheson. Right: Champagne Pool at Waiotapu, Rotorua.


    The newest and one of the most scenic countries in the world. Larger than the United Kingdom, but with a population of just over 4.5 million it's mostly untouched.

    From beautiful beaches and active volcanoes in the North to towering mountains and crystal clear lakes in the South, New Zealand is a must visit for nature lovers.


    Go To New Zealand For...

    Scenery

    Milford Sound

    Milford Sound

    New Zealand is largely unspoilt. The many mountains and lakes provide spectacular scenery wherever you go.

    Hiking

    Roy's Peak

    Roy's Peak Track

    New Zealand offers some of the best walking tracks in the world - from half day strolls to 5 day tramps.

    Marine Life

    Kaikoura Dolphins

    Swimming with Kaikoura's famous dusky dolphins

    New Zealand’s oceans are rich with life - why not try fishing, or swimming with dolphins. If you prefer to take a back seat go on a whale, seal and even penguin watching tour.

    Geothermal Activity

    Kerosene Creek

    Kerosene Creek - one of the many hot water creeks around Rotorua

    Hot springs, geysers and volcanoes - New Zealand has them all in abundance.

    Adrenaline

    White Water Rafting NZ

    White Water Rafting on the Kaituna River

    There are plenty of activities available in New Zealand to get your heart pumping.

    Safety And Minimal Culture Shock

    Wanaka

    Wanaka

    New Zealand is one of safest and friendliest countries in the world.


    Consider Going Elsewhere If You...

    Have A Small Budget

    New Zealand is expensive to get to and can be to travel as well.

    Like Things Lively

    New Zealand is very quiet and peaceful which most people find nice. However you can often find hostels being virtually empty, particularly in off season. Cities and towns may seem quiet and devoid of people, after all New Zealand’s total population is about half the size of London.


    Top Places To Visit In New Zealand


    Suggested Itineraries



    New Zealand Need To Know

    Basics

      Language: English
      Capital: Wellington
      Currency: New Zealand Dollar
      Dial Code: 64
      International Access Code: 00
      Emergency Services Number: 111
      Time Difference: GMT +12

    Entry

    Passport holders of most countries (including all EU countries) are allowed to stay in New Zealand without applying for a visa for 3 months, with the expectation of British Citizens who are permitted to stay for 6 months. Australian Residents can stay in New Zealand indefinitely. Check your passport stamp upon entry to confirm the date you are allowed to remain in New Zealand.

    If entering as a visitor you must have a return ticket or be able to show a ticket to an onward destination, otherwise you will be refused entry.

    Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 1 month from the date of exit from New Zealand.

    New Zealand has very strict bio-security regulations. It is illegal to import most foodstuffs; your bags will be x-rayed on entry.

    New Zealand offers a work and holiday scheme for young people. For more information click here

    For official visitor information go to immigration.govt.nz

    Getting Around

    Buses are popular for getting around and there are many to chose from. Intercity and The Naked Bus are the cheapest options, both offer discounted travel passes.

    KiwiExperience and Stray are hop-on/hop-off backpacker bus companies that are much more expensive. They are good for people who are unorganised or have no idea where to visit. Most people on these buses are under 21 and are looking to party.

    Train travel in New Zealand isn't the quickest method of transport, but it can be the most scenic. The Northern Explorer runs between Auckland and Wellington and The TranzAlpine (from Christchurch to Greymouth) is regarded as one of the world's great train journeys. Auckland and Wellington also have commuter rail services.

    Domestic air travel can be cheaper than other methods of travel, particular between the North and South Island. Be aware that flights to and from Wellington Airport are prone to the effects of high wind - often flights can be cancelled or delayed for several hours and the approach can be very unnerving, even for frequent flyers.

    Driving is on the left and is relatively safe and easy. Overseas licenses are valid for driving in New Zealand for up to a year, but if your licence is not in English an International Driving License may be required. To rent a car you must be over 20 years old - buying and then selling may be a cheaper option (just give yourself plenty of time to sell). Car insurance is not a legal requirement in New Zealand.

    Ferries run between the North (Wellington) and South (Picton) Islands – the two ferry operators are Bluebridge and Interislander.

    New Zealand is one of the easiest and safest countries in the world to hitchhike and so is a very common method of travel for backpackers. Beware though it is illegal to hitchhike on motorways.

    Accommodation

    New Zealand has a wide variety of hostels and you should never have any problem finding one.

    The average price of a hostel is NZ$20-30 a night.

    It is highly recommended you purchase a BBH card for discounted hostel rates - the majority of hostels in New Zealand are BBH members. The card can also be used to get deals and discounts on activities and transport.

    YHA, Base and Nomads are other popular chains of hostels – all offer discounts for multiple stays. New Zealand has some of the best hostels in the world - most of the good ones tend to be independently run, as a lot more care and attention from the owner goes into them.

    All hostels in New Zealand will provide linen, cooking and bathroom facilities. Usually there will be internet facilities as well as common and laundry rooms.

    Read more about Living In Hostels here

    Hotels are probably out of most backpackers price range in New Zealand – starting at about NZ$60 per night.

    Camping is extremly popular in New Zealand because unless it is stated you are free to camp anywhere, so long as it is safe to do so. Private campgrounds with facilities are widespread (even some hostels have pitches for tents and campervans) usually around NZ$10-20 per night.

    WWOOFing is very common - where you help out as volunteers on farms and receive food and accommodation in exchange for your time.

    Couchsurfing is also popular in New Zealand.

    Read more about When You Get There here

    Food And Health

    There are no more precautions for food safety in New Zealand than when in your home country.

    Food is expensive, you should cook for yourself in hostels and rarely eat out. The three major supermarkets in New Zealand are New World, Pak'nSave and Countdown (Woolworths).

    Water is completely safe to drink from all kitchen taps in New Zealand, unless stated.

    Make sure you arrange comprehensive medical insurance before you travel.

    Research has shown that asthma sufferers may be more at risk of an attack in New Zealand and sufferers should be suitably prepared.

    Many countries have a reciprocal healthcare arrangement with New Zealand entitling visitors to subsidised health services for medically necessary treatment while visiting. Visit here for more details on the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement

    Always contact your GP around 8 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures. Visit here for recommended vaccinations.

    Weather & Time To Go

    New Zealand has a temperate climate and there is never a bad time to go.

    The South Island is slightly cooler than the North by a few degrees celsius. The average summer temperature is around 23°C, and winter is around 13°C. Obviously when at altitude the temperature will be much colder.

    Summer is the best time to go for beaches and activities. Winter is best for scenery as most mountains aren't snow capped until then.

    Communications

    Internet and wifi is widespread and accessible in most hostels free of charge (usually very slow). Local pay-as-you-go SIM cards for your mobile phone and international calling cards are cheaply available.

    Mobile phone networks generally works well in cities and large towns but coverage elsewhere can be very limited or non-existent.

    Dangers And Considerations

    Crime levels in New Zealand are generally low, however thefts from unattended vehicles, especially hire cars and camper vans in major tourist areas are common.

    Sun burn is common in New Zealand (even when cloudy) due to ozone depletion, therefore unsure to wear sun cream everyday.

    New Zealand is located in a seismic zone and is subject to earthquakes, there are also a number of active volcanoes. Follow the advice of the local authorities and emergency services in the event of a natural disaster.

    Dangers constantly change. Always check with your foreign office (British Foreign Office webpage) or travel advice bureau for the latest information regarding your destinations safety.

    Read more about Safety And Security here

    Respecting Culture

    Māoris are generally on good terms and are treated equalled with European settlers of New Zealand.

    Some Australians joke about New Zealand being another "state" of Australia, but assuming New Zealand is like or has anything to do with Australia will not make you popular with New Zealanders.

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