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New Zealand General Tourist Information

Driving licences

Reciprocal driving rights exist between New Zealand and most other countries. Most rental car companies will ask for an International Driver’s Licence. The driver must be 21 years of age.

Postal services

Most Post Offices are open Monday to Friday 8.30am - 5.00pm, Saturday 9.00am - 4.00pm (Sunday closed). A full national and international postal service is available.

Email and facsimile services

Most hotels offer these services. There are also internet cafes and business service centres in many NZ major towns and cities.


Refer to telephone calling codes


Electricity throughout New Zealand is supplied at 230 volts, 50 htz. Hotels and motels provide 100 volt 20 watt sockets for electric razors only. Most power sockets in use in New Zealand accept three-pin plugs.


All New Zealand cities and towns have excellent public water supplies; tap water is fresh and safe to drink.


New Zealand is close to the International Date Line and is 12 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time. Daylight Saving Time – clocks are advanced 1 hour in summer - is observed from early October to late March.


New Zealand has a population of 4.1 million. Around 13% of the population is Maori.

Size of Country

New Zealand is similar in geographic size to the State of Victoria in Australia, California in the U.S.A. and Britain.


English is the native language of New Zealanders.


Every person arriving in New Zealand must complete an arrival card.


Passports are required for all visitors to New Zealand and must be valid for at least three months after the date the visitor intends to leave New Zealand.


Most nationalities do not require visas to visit New Zealand. Check with the New Zealand Immigration Service, PO Box 3705, Wellington or www.immigration.govt.nz

Customs allowances

A detailed leaflet, "Customs Guide for Travellers", is available from New Zealand Embassies and Consulates or from the Controller of Customs, PO Box 11-746, Wellington, New Zealand or www.customs.govt.nz

Agricultural restrictions

New Zealand is free from many animal and plant diseases. Restrictions are imposed on the importation of some animal and plant materials to maintain this situation. A declaration will need to be filled out before arrival in New Zealand. Detailed information is available from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF), PO Box 2526, Wellington.

Air transport

International flights into Queenstown are made by: Air New Zealand and Qantas Airways. International flights into Christchurch and Auckland connect to Queenstown through domestic airlines Air New Zealand National, Origin Pacific and Qantas New Zealand.


New Zealand has decimal currency - NZ dollars. Banks: Trading hours for banks are Monday - Friday 9.00am to 4.30pm. Bureaux de Change are open 7 days a week, 9.00am to 9.00pm. Banking facilities at international airports provide foreign exchange services for international arrivals and departures, including weekends (occasionally closed for late night departures).

Credit Cards

Payment by credit card is widely accepted throughout New Zealand. Common cards include Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club and JCB.

Travellers Cheques

Travellers Cheques can be changed at trading banks, hotels and many other trading establishments.


A Goods and Services Tax (GST) in New Zealand is applied: rate is 12.5% Goods and Services Tax (GST). Departure Tax: An airport departure fee of between $20 and $25 is levied when departing New Zealand.

What to wear

New Zealand's relaxed lifestyle lends itself to an informal style of dress. Even in restaurants and nightclubs, casual clothes are acceptable.

Medical and emergency services

All emergency services can be contacted throughout New Zealand by dialling 111. New Zealand's medical and hospital services are both public and private. Please note - medical services are not free to visitors. It is strongly recommended that visitors purchase health insurance.

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