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New Zealand

Information about New Zealand

Geography
New Zealand is situated in the South Pacific ocean, between latitude 34'S and 47'S. The country runs roughly north-south with mountain ranges down much of its length. Its two main islands cover 266,200 sq km (103,735 sq miles), about the size of Japan or California and slightly larger than Great Britain.

Natural Environment
New Zealand's separation from other land masses for more than 100 million years has allowed many ancient plants and animals to survive and evolve in isolation. Complementing our unique flora and fauna is a landscape that contains an unrivalled variety of landforms. In a couple of days' drive it is possible to see everything from mountain ranges to sandy beaches, lush rainforests, glaciers and fiords and active volcanoes.

Weather
Met OfficeWarmest months are December, January, February and March. The coldest months are June, July and August. In summer the average maximum temperature ranges between 20-30įC and in winter between 10-15įC.

Updated New Zealand Snow Reports click here

Passports
New Zealand Immigration ServiceAll visitors to New Zealand must carry a passport that is valid for at least three months beyond the intended date of Departure. To check for any New Zealand Visa entry requirements - view the New Zealand Immigration Service web site.

Time
New Zealand is the first country in the world to welcome in the new day. Check your watch- it should read 19 hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time or 12 hours ahead of London.

In Summer NZ observes day-light saving time, where clocks are put forward by one hour on the first Sunday of October. Clocks are wound back on the third Sunday of the following March.

Currency

  • New Zealands unit of currency is the New Zealand dollar NZ$, comprising of 100 cents. There are 10c, 20c, 50c, $1 and $2 coins, and $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 notes.
  • Foreign currency can easily be exchanged at most banks and at foreign exchange kiosks, at international airports and in most cities.
  • All major credit cards can be used in New Zealand.
  • Travellers cheques are accepted at hotels, banks and some stores.

Examples of recently issued Bank of New Zealand (indicative) foreign exchange rates:

 Bank of New Zealand
Indicative Exchange Rates
Selected Rates for 10 June 2013 (at 4pm)
 
Cash BUY
Cash SELL
NZD =
Australia
0.867
0.823
NZD =
China
5.421
4.502
NZD =
Euro
0.63
0.583
NZD =
Great Britain
0.536
0.497
NZD =
Japan
81.43
75.54
NZD =
South Africa
8.401
7.729
NZD =
United States
0.83
0.773

Banking
Banks are generally open from 9:30am to 4:30pm, Mondays to Friday. International Airports generally provide 24hr banking services for international departures and arrivals - 7 days a week. Automated teller machines ATM are generally widely available at banks, on main shopping streets and in malls.

Tipping and Service Charges
New Zealanders do not expect tips for normal services - even in restraurants and bars. Tipping for excellent service is appreciated but not expected.

Language
English is the most widely spoken language in New Zealand. The main ethnic make up is mainly European and Maori. The Maori Language is reflected in many of the names of towns and streets in New Zealand.

Airports
There are numerous international flights into New Zealand. Christchurch International Airport is the major hub for the majority of alpine activities in the South Island. The main gateway to the North Island is Auckland. Flights from Australia also operate into Queenstown, Dunedin, Wellington, Palmerston North and Hamilton.

Flight Time

 Flight Times to NZ
Ex. Sydney 3 hrs
Ex. Melbourne 3 hrs 45 mins
Ex. Brisbane 3 hrs 30 mins
Ex. Perth 8 hrs
Ex. Tokyo 11 hrs
Ex. Los Angeles 12 hrs
Ex. New York 17 hrs
Ex. London 23 hrs

Travel Insurance
Don't undervalue the importance of having a good travel insurance policy covering theft, loss and medical problems. Under NZ law you cannot sue for personal injury (other than exemplary damages). The New Zealand Goverments Accident Compensation Corporation administers an accident compensation scheme that provides accident insurance for NZ residents and temporary visitors to the country, regardless of who is at fault. For information about Comprehensive Travel Insurance click here and Nomads Travel Insurance click here

Electricity
Electricity is supplied at 230/240 volts, 50 hertz. Most hotels provide 110 volt ac sockets for electric razors.

Suggested Reading

Lonely Planet: New Zealand (16th Edition) (Sep 2012)  Lonely Planet Publications.
ISBN 9781742200170

Rough Guide to New Zealand (8th Edition) (Sept 2012) Rough Guides : London.
ISBN 9781405390002

Fodorís New Zealand (16th Edition) (April 2012) Fodorís Travel Publications.
ISBN 9780307928405

Listed below are a variety of web sites you may find useful; to learn about New Zealand :

Lonely Planet : Destination New Zealand
One of the best destination guides on New Zealand.

Ancient Celtic New Zealand
Research about Ancient Celtic New Zealand. That this Celtic civilisation endured until recent history when it was overwhelmed and annihilated by the Maori warriors.

New Zealand Maori History
Information about Maori history.

Virtual New Zealand
Explore New Zealand the virtual way.

New Zealand Government Online
The official gateway to the New Zealand Government.

New Zealand Immigration Service
Information about Immigration to New Zealand.

Air New Zealand
New Zealands International airline flying to most major destinations around the world. (Online booking service)

Order of the Boar
The official web page of the 'Order of the Boar' a New Zealand Medieval Jousting (re-enactment) Group. Knights, horses, armour, swords, lances & real jousting hits. Find contact details, links and video clips of it all in action.

 

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