Read on for a list of frequently asked questions about New Zealand travel.
The questions and answers below endeavour to answer a range of frequently asked questions regarding New Zealand. If you have specific questions relating to a tour you are interested in, please use the enquiry form to the right of the particular tour you are interested in.
Frequently Asked Questions on New Zealand Travel
When is the best time to book a tour to New Zealand?
What is included in the tour price?
When is the best time to visit New Zealand?
What’s the climate like?
What clothes should I take?
Do I need a passport or visa to enter New Zealand?
Can I use my credit cards/ATM cards in New Zealand?
Are there any poisonous animals in New Zealand?
Is it safe to drink the water in New Zealand?
What is the voltage of electricity supply in New Zealand?
Where are the international airports located in New Zealand?
When is the best time to go trekking/hiking in New Zealand?
Where is the capital of New Zealand?
What is a Kiwi?
What kind of night-life is available in New Zealand?
Which types of activities are available for children?
When are school holidays in New Zealand?
Select from the list above or read on for full answers to each of these frequently asked questions.
Frequently Asked Questions
The short answer is – as early as possible. New Zealand Travel Organiser offer the advertised discounts for those visitors that book early. These discounts offer significant savings even over peak period travel.
Another factor to take into account is that accommodation and rental cars sell out well in advance over key periods for example from mid December to after Easter and also during key events such as Chinese New Year and sporting evening. We always recommend to book well in advance to avoid disappointment.
Every tour on our site has its own package/tour inclusions list outlining all inclusions. For self drive tours this includes all of your accommodation, rental vehicle inclusive of full vehicle insurance (zero excess), and also your must do activities. Guided tours include all of your accommodation, must do activities, a premium vehicle, a top New Zealand tour guide and fuel/petrol. There are no hidden extras. Travel insurance and flights to New Zealand are not included.
You can visit New Zealand at any time of the year. Summer and winter temperatures vary by only about 10ºC over most of the country, making New Zealand an ideal holiday destination all year round.
New Zealand’s seasons are the reverse of the Northern Hemisphere. This means that the warmest months are December, January and February, while the coldest are in June, July and August. Don’t let cold months put you off – winters tend to be short and generally fairly mild.
Dress is informal and relaxed on most occasions. Smart casual clothes are acceptable at most restaurants and -night-spots. Men are generally not expected to wear suits and ties, except in a few of the top formal bars and restaurants in major cities.
In summer a light jacket or sweater should be included in your luggage should the weather turn cooler or you visit the high country. You can expect some rain, so include a light waterproof jacket or coat. Pack warm winter clothing if visiting between May and September. Layer your clothing.
All visitors to New Zealand must carry a passport that is valid for at least three months beyond the date you intend to leave the country.
Most visitors who intend to stay for less than three months do not require a visa. If you want to stay longer than three months, or your country of origin does not have a visa waiver agreement with New Zealand, then you will need to apply for a Visitor’s Visa. If you need more information look at the New Zealand Immigration Service website or the New Zealand Embassy website.
All major international credit cards can be used in New Zealand and Travellers Cheque’s are accepted at hotels, banks and some stores. If your credit card is encoded with a PIN number you will be able to withdraw cash from automatic teller machines (ATMs) situated at banks and shopping centres throughout the country. You can pay for your tour online using Visa or MasterCard via our secure online form.
New Zealand has no snakes or dangerous wild animals, making it safe for visitors to enjoy outdoor activities.
New Zealand cities and towns have excellent water supplies and in all cases tap water is fresh and safe to drink. Water from rivers and lakes should be boiled, chemically treated or filtered before drinking to avoid stomach upsets.
Electricity is supplied throughout New Zealand at 230/240 volts (50 hertz), although most hotels and motels provide 110 volt AC sockets (rated at 20 watts) for electric razors only. For all other equipment, an adapter/converter is necessary, unless the item has a multi-voltage option. Please note that power outlets only accept flat three or two-pin plugs, depending on whether an earth connection is fitted.
New Zealand’s international airports are at Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown. Some flights from Australia also land at Rotorua, Hamilton, Palmerston North and Dunedin.
Tracks such as the Abel Tasman, Heaphy and Queen Charlotte Sounds Walkway located at the top of the South Island can be walked all year round. However, those tracks at higher altitudes such as the world famous Milford Track, Kepler and Routeburn are closed in the winter due to snow. You must book to walk the Milford and Routeburn tracks, which are open between October and April.
Wellington is the political, banking and financial centre for New Zealand. The Parliament building known as the ‘Beehive’ is one of the city’s top attractions. The National Archives, National Library and Old Government Buildings (the second largest wooden building in the world) are located nearby and are open to casual visitors free of charge.
The kiwi, New Zealand’s national emblem, is a flightless bird with hair-like feathers and a long, slender bill which it uses to pull worms and insects out of the ground. Found only in New Zealand, it is active at night in the wilderness areas of the country. Be sure to visit one of the many kiwi houses where you can watch them under special ‘nocturnal’ lighting.
New Zealanders often refer to themselves as Kiwis, and the term is also used as a short form for the famous kiwifruit. On the stock exchange, the New Zealand Dollar is also referred to as ’the kiwi’.
Lively DJ and band scenes, particularly in the larger cities, have given New Zealand’s night life a renewed vibrancy. You will find a variety of night-clubs, cabarets, pubs, concerts and live performances to choose from, and there are also four casinos, in Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown.
If you are thinking about visiting with your family, you can be confident that New Zealand has a wide range of activities to keep your children happy. New Zealand’s parks and large areas of unspoilt wilderness are ideal places to expand your children’s appreciation of wildlife and the outdoors. Horse riding, snow activities, whale watching, fruit picking and wildlife centres and zoos are just some of the choices available.
If you are visiting the larger centres, you will find a range of themed attractions including Rainbow’s End (Auckland), Splash Planet (Hastings), Marine Land (Napier) and the International Antarctic Centre (Christchurch). Te Papa, New Zealand’s interactive national museum, has a range of activities for the whole family to enjoy, including Story Place, a haven for small children.
Most family restaurants have childrens’ menus and high chairs. Many cafes also have high chairs, and a toy basket to amuse babies and toddlers is becoming increasingly common in both cafes and shops. Most public gardens have well equipped play areas for young children, as do many holiday parks. Adventure playlands such as Chipmunks or Lollipop’s Playland are always popular with the very young — these can be found in most main centres.
Visitor Information Centres are a good source of information about activities that are fun for the whole family.
Upcoming School Holidays
- 14 December 2019 Secondary School Summer Break Commences
- 21 December 2019 Primary School Summer Break Commences
- 27 January 2020 – 09 April 2020
- 28 April 2020 – 03 July 2020
- 20 July 2020 – 25 September 2020
- 12 October 2020 – 16/18 December 2020
Have a question we haven’t covered?
If you have any general questions about New Zealand that are not covered in this list of frequently asked questions, please email us for more information.