New Zealand Travel Information
When staying in hostels, or “backpackers” you can expect to pay between NZ$25 and NZ$45 per person, per night for a bed in a dorm room. Generally you will find that the bigger the dorm, the cheaper the price. Private rooms (a room to yourself) start from NZ$85 per room, per night and go up from here. Most of these rooms will have shared bathroom facilities, however you can ask for a private bathroom if they are available (expect to pay more).
Accommodation available ranges from campgrounds right through to 5 Star hotels. There is something for everyone, although in some locations there is not always 5 Star accommodation if this is your preference. We will always be able to help you locate the best accommodation available to suit your needs.
Alcohol, Tobacco and Drugs
The legal age to consume alcohol is 18 years old. If purchasing alcohol from liquor stores or supermarkets you will need to produce your passport as identification - do not be offended if you are over 18 years of age and your identification is requested, in fact, take it as a compliment!
Tobacco is available at most supermarkets and convenience stores. It is illegal to smoke indoors at public places (such as pubs, movie theatres, etc). There are also many sports grounds, pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes which do not allow smoking at all, whether you are inside or outside. The appropriate signage will be in place so you are aware of the protocol in regards to smoking.
Drugs - Marijuana is not yet legal in New Zealand. It is an offence under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 to use, possess, cultivate or traffic (deal) in illegal drugs. For more information Click Here to see more information on the NZ Police website.
Currency and Payment Cards
The currency of New Zealand is the New Zealand Dollar. New Zealand does not accept the Australian currency.
Visa and Mastercard are the most common credit cards accepted in New Zealand, however you will find some places will accept American Express, Diners and JCB. If you are not sure, ask before you purchase something.
There are multiple ways to exchange currency - all airports have facilities to do this, visit the local city/town bank or visit the currency conversion stores (found in larger cities).
It is a good idea to carry a light-weight rain jacket with you, as it can rain without very much warning!
A small torch is a handy tool to have with you at night, especially if you are staying in a dorm share room at a hostel or plan to go on a night-time walk.
Health & Wellbeing
Doctor Surgeries are in each town and accept "walk-in" patients. Make sure you get a receipt so you can claim using your Travel Insurance - you can expect a visit to cost anywhere between NZ$50-80.
English is the most commonly spoken language in New Zealand and is one of the official languages of New Zealand.
Maori is also an official language of New Zealand. While you will not hear Maori spoken as widely as you do English, you will see alot of Maori everyday - whether it is the town's name you are visiting, a street sign, a police car, translated documents and signs. Click Here to help you with your pronunciation of Maori words and names.
In our travels and within our time in the tourism industry we have heard often from our visitors that they find New Zealanders, or “Kiwis”, often speak quickly and can also tend to mumble a little – so please ask us to slow down if you are having trouble keeping up!
New Zealander’s use a lot of slang words, refer to our page “Kiwi Slang”
You will most likely need a power plug adaptor when travelling in New Zealand. Our power voltage is 240V. A basic use adaptor can easily be purchased within the first day of being in New Zealand for approximately NZ$10.00.
New Zealanders love sport! Particularly rugby. We are extremely patriotic and love to win!! Ask us what sports tournaments are on when you are in New Zealand – hopefully you’ll get to see a rugby or cricket game.
Supermarkets and Stores
Generally you will find most stores being open from 9am to 5pm. Supermarkets are open to as late as midnight depending on which town/city you are in.
The Metric System
New Zealand uses the metric system, so expect to hear us talking about kilometres, kilograms and litres.
1 Litre = 0.26 Gallons
1 Kilogram = 2.2 Pounds
1 Kilometre = 0.62 Miles
Sunscreen is an essential when you are travel in New Zealand. The sun in New Zealand is extremely strong, so why it may feel nice and warm you could potentially be doing some major damage to your skin. New Zealand has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world. So as we like to say “Slip, Slop, Slap and Wrap!” which is: SLIP on some clothes , SLOP on some sunscreen, SLAP on a hat and WRAP on some sunglasses. We have seen some nasty sunburnt people before and hope it won’t be you!
New Zealand uses 'Degrees Celsius" for it's temperatures. A quick way to convert this to 'Degrees Fahrenheit' is to:
Multiple Degrees C by 1.8
Add 32 to the total
e.g, 30 Degrees C is: 30 x 1.8 = 54 + 32 = 86 Degrees F
Most accommodation providers offer free WiFi while you stay with them. For some this can be capped data. but for many it is now unlimited. If you require WiFi during your travels with us, please let us know so we can ensure that the accommodation providers we book suit your needs.