New Zealand is a country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, comprising two main islands, both marked by volcanoes and glaciation. In the capital Wellington on the North Island is the sprawling Te Papa Tongarewa National Museum. Wellington’s impressive Mount Victoria, along with Fiordland and Southern Lakes on the South Island, represented the mythical Middle-earth in Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” saga.
New Zealand has some of the most epic landscapes, breathtaking views and insane natural attractions you could imagine. Driving around you’re likely to have roads and destinations all to yourself, the whole country of New Zealand feels a little bit like a country town.
With less people in the whole country than Melbourne has in the city, the whole country of New Zealand is like a quiet country town.
When To Visit: During the summer months from December to February is definitely the best time to visit New Zealand. The weather is a little bit warmer during this time, with the least chance of rain and stormy days.
Language: New Zealand has two official languages, English and Māori. You will find that everyone in New Zealand speaks English and you won’t have any trouble communication with locals.
International Airport: New Zealand has several international airports scattered around the country, with options on both the North and the South Island. The biggest and busiest is Auckland International Airport (AKL), with flights from all over the world landing here as a first stop in New Zealand. Auckland airport is also used as a connection stop for many flights to the South Pacific islands.
Wellington (WLG), Christchurch (CHC), Queenstown (ZQN) and Dunedin (DUD) all also have international airports, although flight schedules might be a little less frequent.
Capital City: Wellington
Time Zone: New Zealand follows the New Zealand Standard Time Zone UTC +12, with daylight saving being in effect from the beginning of April until the end of September. The Chatham Islands has it’s own time zone – Chatham Island Standard Time UTC +12:45, which is 45 minutes ahead of New Zealand.
Currency: The currency in New Zealand is New Zealand Dollars $NZD. At that time of writing, $1NZD coverts to $0.96AUD, $0.67USD and £0.54GBP.
Credit Cards & ATMs: Credit and debit cards are widely accepted across New Zealand and ATMs are accessible everywhere.
Driving: Always drive on the left side of the road in New Zealand.
Power: In New Zealand the power plugs and sockets are of type I. The standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz.
Internet Access: Some of the most beautiful parts of New Zealand are also the remote and internet connection is not always guaranteed. Most hotels and accommodation should offer good wifi, but don’t expect it anywhere else around the country.
Visa Requirements: Visas are not required to enter New Zealand for people travelling on Australian passports or UK passports for stays of up to 6 months. There is also a visa waiver program in effect for many other countries, check the requirements for your passport before you go.