New Zealand is a small country with a big heart. With a unique history, a vibrant culture and there's so much to do – much of it outdoors in our famously beautiful natural scenery. New Zealand has a rich and fascinating history, reflecting a unique mix of Māori and European culture. While New Zealand is still heavily influenced by its colonial heritage, the country now has its own strong sense of identity. While still a member of the British Commonwealth, and maintaining close, friendly relations with the USA, New Zealand now has a far more independent trading and foreign policy. Since the mid-1980s, New Zealand has been a nuclear-free zone, with its armed forces primarily focused on peacekeeping in the Pacific region. Spectacular glaciers, picturesque fiords, rugged mountains, vast plains, rolling hillsides, subtropical forest, volcanic plateau, miles of coastline with gorgeous sandy beaches - it’s all here. No wonder New Zealand is becoming so popular as a location for movies. Lying in the south-west Pacific, New Zealand consists of two main islands - the North Island and the South Island. Stewart Island and many smaller islands lie offshore. The North Island of New Zealand has a 'spine' of mountain ranges running through the middle, with gentle rolling farmland on both sides. The central North Island is dominated by the Volcanic Plateau, an active volcanic and thermal area. The massive Southern Alps form the backbone of the South Island. To the east of the Southern Alps is the rolling farmland of Otago and Southland, and the vast, flat Canterbury Plains.

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DISCOVER NEW ZEALAND

New Zealand Regions

⇒ North Island

  • Auckland & Northland
    • From the cosmopolitan streets of New Zealand’s largest city to the relaxed, friendly towns of the far north, these regions share spectacular coastal scenery, rich history and vibrant culture.
  • Thermal Explorer Highway
    • The heart of the North Island pulses and thrills with powerful Māori culture, adrenaline activities, cinematic scenery and subterranean wonders ranging from glowworms to geysers.
  • Pacific Coast Highway
    • Stretching between Auckland and Hawke’s Bay, these neighbouring regions offer an irresistible blend of sublime coastal scenery, rich history, dreamy beaches and superb food and wine.
  • Western North Island
    • Pretty river valleys, rolling farmland, wild surf and notable mountains are all encountered on explorations of the less-travelled mid-west regions of Taranaki, Whanganui and Manawatu.
  • Wellington & Wairarapa
    • The lower North Island offers visitors a diverse and dynamic mix of rural country, rugged wilderness, dramatic coastlines and colourful, cosmopolitan culture in and around the capital.

⇒ South Island

  • Nelson & Marlborough
    • Great weather, beautiful coastlines and world-class wineries are just some of the reasons the neighbouring Nelson and Marlborough regions are popular with visitors, all year round.
  • Canterbury & The West Coast
    • Separated by the mighty Southern Alps, these two regions highlight the South Island’s contrasts. From the east’s sandy beaches and lush plains to the rainforest, untamed rivers and wild coast in the west.
  • Southern Lakes
    • Landscapes of awe-inspiring grandeur set a backdrop to a dazzling array of outdoor activities. From leisurely to limit-pushing, to the more indulgent pursuits on offer around lively tourist towns and vineyards.
  • Pure Southern Land
    • The southern reaches of New Zealand boast a blend of untouched wilderness, rugged coastlines, pretty rural scenery and some surprising cultural attractions, found in sweet towns.

New Zealand Region Highlights

⇒ Auckland & Northland

  • Urban Auckland
  • Bay of Islands
  • Waiheke Island
  • Rangitoto Island
  • Waitangi Treaty Grounds
  • Waipoua Forest
  • Cape Reinga

⇒ Thermal Explorer Highway

  • Geothermal Reserves
  • Hamilton Gardens
  • Tongariro Alpine Crossing
  • Hot Pools & Health Spas
  • Waitomo Caves
  • Hobbiton™ Movie Set
  • Mt Ruapehu Ski Areas

⇒  Pacific Coast Highway

  • Whakaari/ White Island
  • Mount Maunganui
  • Napier Art Deco
  • Hawke’s Bay Wineries
  • Gisborne Surf Town
  • Cathedral Cove & Hot Water Beach
  • Coromandel Town
  • Cape Kidnappers

⇒  Western North Island

  • Egmont National Park
  • Len Lye Centre
  • Forgotten World Adventures
  • Surf Highway 45
  • Whanganui Journey
  • Sarjeant Gallery

  Wellington & Wairarapa

  • Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
  • Middle of Middle-earth
  • Zealandia
  • Wellington Cable Car
  • Castlepoint
  • Kāpiti Island
  • Wairarapa Wine Touring

South Island

  Nelson & Marlborough

  • Abel Tasman National Park
  • Marlborough Sounds
  • Bike Tasman’s Great Taste Trail
  • Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre
  • World of Wearable Art™ and Classic Cars Museum

⇒  Canterbury & the West Coast

  • Christchurch City
  • Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park
  • Kaikoura Wildlife Tours
  • Franz Josef & Fox Glaciers
  • Lake Tekapo
  • Arthur’s Pass National Park
  • Punakaiki

⇒  Southern Lakes

  • Queenstown
  • Milford & Doubtful Sounds
  • Snow Sports
  • Wanaka
  • Central Otago Wineries
  • Arrowtown

  Pure Southern Land

  • Dunedin
  • Otago Peninsula
  • Otago Central Rail Trail
  • Stewart Island
  • Oamaru
  • Museums & Galleries

Things To Do

  • Nature and wildlife
  • Aquatic and Coastal Experiences
  • Food and wine
  • Explore the Maori culture
  • Adventure Sports  

Seasons

⇒ Spring: September - November

  • During spring, New Zealand bursts with new life. Colourful blooms, baby wildlife and ‘waterfall season’ make this an inspiring time of year to visit.

  • Temperatures range from 4.5 - 18 degrees Celsius (40 - 65F).

⇒ Summer: December - February

  • New Zealand’s many beaches and lakes are perfect to cool off during the summer months. Summer activities tend to make the most of the sun, sea and sand.
  • Temperatures range from 21 - 32 degrees Celsius (70 - 90F). 

⇒ Autumn/ Fall: March-May

  • In autumn, New Zealand enjoys some of the most settled weather of the whole year. Soak up long, sunny days and golden leaves with hiking, cycling or kayaking.
  • Temperatures range from 7 - 21 degrees Celsius (45 - 70F).

⇒ Winter: June - August

  • The winter months bring snow blanketing soaring mountains in certain parts of the country and clear, crisp days that awaken the senses. Hit the ski slopes, visit a winery or two or head along to one of the many winter festivals.  
  • Temperatures range from 1.5 - 15.5 degrees Celsius (35 - 60F).

Travel Facts

⇒ Bringing cash into New Zealand

  • There is no restriction on the amount of foreign currency that can be brought in or taken out of New Zealand. However, every person who carries more than NZ$10,000 in cash in or out of New Zealand is required to complete a Border Cash Report.

⇒ Currency exchange

  • Foreign currency can easily be exchanged at banks, some hotels and Bureau de Change kiosks, which are found at international airports and most city centres. New Zealand’s currency is the dollar (NZ$). Visa and MasterCard the most widely accepted credit cards, although other major credit cards are also accepted. ATMs are widespread in cities and most towns, with currency exchange also available at international airports, as well as bank and bureaus in major centres.

⇒ Goods and Services Tax

  • All goods and services are subject to a 15 per cent Goods and Services Tax (GST) included in the displayed price. Visitors cannot claim this tax back, however, when a supplier ships a major purchase to a visitor's home address the GST will not be charged.

⇒ Healthcare

  • New Zealand’s public and private medical and hospital facilities provide a high standard of treatment and care. While there are reciprocal healthcare arrangements with some countries, generally, medical services are not free to visitors, therefore travel and health insurance are recommended. No vaccination certificates are required. New Zealand has no snakes or dangerous wild animals.

⇒ Electricity

  • New Zealand’s electricity supply runs at 230/240 volts, 50Hz and uses angled, two or three pin plugs (the same as Australia).

⇒ Tipping and Service Charges

  • Tipping in New Zealand is not obligatory, even in restaurants and bars. However, tipping for good service or kindness is at the discretion of the visitor. Hotels and restaurants in New Zealand do not add service charges to their bills.

Visitor Visas And Passports

 You do not need a visa to visit New Zealand if you are:

  • A New Zealand or Australian citizen or resident,
  • A UK citizen and/or passport holder (you can stay up to six months), or
  • A citizen of a country which has a visa waiver agreement with New Zealand (you can stay up to three months).

If you don’t meet the above, then you’ll need a visitor visa, which allows you to holiday in New Zealand for up to nine months. The fastest and easiest way to apply for a visitor visa is online. Before travelling to New Zealand, you need to make sure your passport is valid for at least three months longer than your expected departure date. If you come from countries that need to apply for a New Zealand visa to enter, please be sure to apply for a visa in advance.
If you have a biometric ordinary passport (or electronic passport) and are over 12-years-old, you may be able to use New Zealand Customs eGate service. This allows you to complete your Customs and IM Allowances and duty-free concessions.
As a visitor to New Zealand, you may be entitled to various concessions and duty-free entries on some of your goods. If you are 17 years or older, you are entitled to allowances for alcohol, cigarettes and tobacco. Migration checks faster so you can get on with enjoying your visit to New Zealand.