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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW WHEN TRAVELLING TO NEW ZEALAND
New Zealand is home to a temperate climate with high sunshine hours and moderate rainfall. Much of the country lies near the coast, which means mild temperatures. The average temperature decreases as you travel south; January and February are the warmest months with July being the coldest month of the year
The currency of New Zealand is the New Zealand Dollar.
Notes come in $100, $50, $20, $10 or $5 denominations.
There is no limit to the amount of personal funds you may take into New Zealand, but please ensure that you observe the local currency exchange control regulations for the export of funds from South Africa.
Most major credit cards are accepted in most hotels, restaurants and some shops. Check with your credit card company for details of merchant acceptability and services available.
Banks are generally open from 09h30-16h30 Mon-Fri.
It is recommended to buy bottled water.
TIPPING / PORTERAGE
Restaurant workers do not work only for tips in New Zealand, so do not feel obliged to leave a tip when paying your check. If the service was excellent, leaving a 10% gratuity is more than generous and your waiter or waitress will certainly appreciate it.
Tipping taxi drivers in New Zealand is not a common practice. If you attempt to tip your driver, it may even be refused. It is common to leave your change for the driver, if for no other reason than making the paying process easier. If you insist on tipping the driver, 10% or less is reasonable, but do not be surprised if they refuse to accept your tip.
Tipping is customary at hotels in New Zealand, so tipping $1-$2 per bag carried and $1-$5 for room/maid service is viewed as a nice gesture. If the concierge does you a favor or provides you with excellent service, tipping $10-$15 is more than acceptable.
Tipping tour guides in New Zealand is common as their services are aimed at tourists. While gratuities are not necessary, if you feel your tour guide did an exceptional job, tipping a few dollars will likely not be refused
Learn a few words of the local language so you know what’s considered polite in terms of eating, greeting and local values.
Appropriate behaviours by travellers helps ensure local communities continue to be hospital and friendly.
Respect other people’s cultures and avoid imposing your beliefs.
Adhere to the hotel’s water or energy conservation policies.
Buy locally made crafts and support local skills. Buy them preferably from the craftsman himself to ensure your money goes to the artist and not the middle man.
Lock valuables away while travelling and always be vigilant of your belongings. Never leave them unattended.
English is the official language, Te Reo Maori and New Zealand sign language are the official languages
South African passport holders do require a visa.
Smoking is allowed in designated outdoor areas; however, it is prohibited in indoor public areas.
Electricity supply runs at 230/240 volts
No vaccinations required
Beware of pick pockets in markets.
Don’t trust beach hawkers selling excursions; these are not safe. Rather arrange sightseeing through your hotel or from Thompsons.