New Zealand Flight Deals
New Zealand Hotel Deals
Travel Guides: New Zealand
New Zealand, 'Land of the Long White Cloud', is a small, sparsely populated country consisting of two major islands, North and South Island, and a scattering of smaller ones. Despite its small size it is crammed with magnificent natural beauty and has an incredible amount to offer; the only complaint travellers have is that they haven't allowed enough time in the country. Fresh air, breathtaking scenery and outdoor activities are the main attractions of New Zealand, with a tremendously friendly, honest and helpful population, colloquially nicknamed after their country's distinct symbol, the unusual but amiable flightless kiwi bird.
The two islands have surprisingly different characters. The North Island has dramatic volcanic landscapes and highly active thermal areas, long stretches of beautiful beaches and excellent sailing, ancient indigenous forests and a strong Maori cultural influence. The South Island has a slower pace of life dominated by a magnificent spine of mountains, the snow-covered Southern Alps, and the spectacular scenery of the southern waterways of the fjord lands, with glaciers, deep lakes and verdant forests.
The signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 was New Zealand's founding document, an attempt to settle disputes between the European settlers and the Maoris, conceding the country to British rule while guaranteeing the Maori people possession of their land and cultural identity. Today, integration has been replaced by a policy of upholding two different cultures alongside each other. Their shared love of sport, most notably the revered national sport of rugby union, and their enthusiasm for adventure and the outdoors is the unifying factor among the whole population.
New Zealand offers a huge variety of action-packed and laid back activities, from bungee jumping to skiing, swimming with dolphins, scenic flights and boat cruises on the fjords, as well as several world famous walking trails with unrivalled scenery. Alternatively visitors can immerse themselves in culture at the museums and galleries of the country's main cities - Auckland and the capital Wellington in the North, and Christchurch in the south.
New Zealand is an easy and compact place in which to travel and its spectacularly dramatic landscape alone, famous for its setting for the 'The Lord of the Rings' film trilogy, makes the long trip to these southern islands more than worthwhile.
The weather in New Zealand is changeable throughout the year, however the climate in New Zealand is fairly temperate. The North Island has mild winters and warm and humid summers, the South Island has lower temperatures with cold winters and extensive snowfields and glaciers. Snow falls on all the mountains in winter, and the west coast receives the most rain. The summer months in New Zealand are from November to April.
Local currency is the New Zealand Dollar (NZD), divided into 100 cents. Most businesses accept MasterCard and Visa, and while Diners Club and American Express are also widely accepted in the main tourist centres, they might have limited acceptance elsewhere. Travellers cheques and foreign currency can be exchanged at banks, bureaux de change and some hotels. ATMs can be found in all towns and cities.
All foreign passengers to New Zealand must hold return/onward tickets, the necessary travel documentation for their next destination, and proof of sufficient funds to cover their expenses while in the country (usually NZD 1,000 per month, or NZD 400 if accommodation has been prepaid). Note that all visitors must obtain a permit to enter Tokelau from the Tokelau Apia Liason Office in Apia, at least two weeks prior to travel. NOTE: It is highly recommended that your passport has at least six months validity remaining after your intended date of departure from your travel destination. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.
Entry Requirements & Embassy Consulates
Irish citizens must have a passport that is valid for at least one month beyond the period of intended stay in New Zealand. No visa is required, for stays of up to three months.
Honorary Consul General of Ireland, Auckland: +64 (0)9 977 2252.
British citizens holding a passport endorsed British Citizen, or a passport containing a Certificate of Entitlement to the Right of Abode issued by the United Kingdom (and accompanied by documents that further establish their right of abode in the UK), do not require a visa to enter New Zealand for a stay of up to six months. British citizens with passports endorsed British National (Overseas) may stay for up to three months without a visa. In all other cases, a visa is required.
British High Commission, Wellington: +64 (0)4 924 2888.
US citizens must have a passport that is valid for at least one month beyond the period of intended stay in New Zealand. No visa is required, for stays of up to three months.
United States Embassy, Wellington: +64 (0)4 462 6000.
Canadian citizens must have a passport that is valid for at least one month beyond the period of intended stay in New Zealand. No visa is required, for stays of up to three months.
Canadian High Commission, Wellington: +64 (0)4 473 9577.
South African citizens must have a passport that is valid for at least one month beyond the period of intended stay in New Zealand. No visa is required, for stays of up to three months.
Honorary Consulate of South Africa, Wellington: +64 (0)4 815 8484.
Australian citizens must have a passport that is valid upon their arrival in New Zealand. No visa is required.
Australian High Commission, Wellington: +64 (0)4 473 6411.
There are no health risks associated with travel to New Zealand. New Zealand's accident compensation scheme (ACC) covers emergency treatment for visitors, but health insurance is recommended to cover any additional charges and for those not entitled to free emergency treatment. Those intending to participate in adventure activities, such as bungee jumping, white water rafting, etc should ensure that their travel insurance covers these types of activities.
New Zealand has a reputation as one of the safest destinations in the world, however sensible precautions against petty theft are still advised.
Ranked an unbelievable 3rd in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business rankings, those looking to do business in New Zealand are sure to find that the corporate atmosphere of the country is well-suited to their ambitions. The business culture of New Zealand conforms to a typically British model - being formal, reserved, and conservative. However, New Zealand's corporate culture distinguishes itself from the metropole with its characteristically Antipodean warmth and friendliness, creating a relaxed, yet professional atmosphere, in which rewarding personal relationships may be developed among associates.
The general approach to management in New Zealand is hierarchical, with decisions being made by senior-level executives - though ideas, input and collaboration, from all members of the organisation, are also highly valued in the New Zealand workplace. Business etiquette in New Zealand will be familiar to those who've worked in western corporate environments before. Use titles, until instructed not to do so, and maintain eye contact when speaking to your associates. New Zealand businessmen tend to favour forthrightness, honesty and hard work over self-aggrandisement and empty promises - they will be far more interested in what you actuallydo, than what you merely sayyou can do.
Business meetings should be scheduled at least a week in advance, and then confirmed a few days before they are due to take place. When raising an idea or responding to someone else's, present your point directly, and back it up with facts and figures - while a relaxed, human-orientated atmosphere is prized in the New Zealand workplace, business decisions remain unemotional, and motivated by the business' best interests. The dress code for business in New Zealand is difficult to pin down, though you should always appear well-groomed and presentable. For a first meeting, men should stick to a dark suit, worn with a tie; and women, should wear a smart dress/business suit/pants suit, and limited accessories. The official language of business in New Zealand is English, and business hours are generally from 8.30am (or 9am) to 5pm, Monday to Friday; and 9am to 12.30pm on Saturdays.
The international access code for New Zealand is +64. The outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0061 for Australia). City/area codes are in use, e.g. (0)9 for Auckland and (0)4 for the Wellington region. Vodafone offers GSM 900 coverage in and around the main cities and popular holiday areas. Internet cafes are widely available.
Travellers to New Zealand over 17 years do not have to pay duty on 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250g tobacco, or a proportionate mix of these; 1.125 litres or 1 litre spirits or liqueurs, and 4.5 litres wine, port or sherry, or 4.5 litres beer. Goods exceeding the allowances must be declared. Personal effects not dutiable include items such as jewellery, binoculars, portable radios, prams, camping equipment, cameras and video cameras. Prohibited items include concealed firearms, foodstuffs, animals, plants and plant products. It is forbidden to export Greenstone, Maori antiquities and Paua shells (unless they are products manufactured from such shells). Prescription medications need to be accompanied by a doctor's letter and the original prescription, they should not amount to more than three months worth of the medication. Food, plants, animals (alive or dead), equipment used with animals, biological specimens and equipment such as used camping gear, used bicycles and golf clubs all need to be declared in the Customs Biosecurity/Quarantine section.