10 Must know New Zealand travel tips
New Zealand is one the most beautiful countries in the world that even the locals call the Godzone, or Gods Own Country. Many people think of New Zealand as the little island near to Australia, but don’t be fooled! There are loads of things to do and see in New Zealand and there aren’t many countries where you can sunbathe on a beach in the morning and then climb a glacier in the afternoon! If you are thinking of adding New Zealand to the list of places that you have visited, then here are same basic New Zealand travel tips that every visitor to the country should know about:
1. The two islands are quite different
The two islands, North and South, are very different places and offer different experiences. The choice of island that you visit can also be influenced by the time of year. In the summer, if you love beaches and water sports, then the North Island will be the place for you. If it’s wonderful scenery that you seek, then you might prefer the South Island in autumn or spring.
2. You don’t need to tip
Tipping in New Zealand is not as big deal, as it is in many other countries, so don’t be offended if someone refuses to accept one. Most people there feel it is their job to provide good service and they will not expect a tip.
3. It takes a long time to get there
Depending on where you are travelling from, New Zealand is far from a short hop on a plane! If you are travelling from the US or from Europe, then you are talking about several days to get there and you would be well advised to have a stopover to break the journey. From most European locations, you are talking about two flights of twelve hours each and that’s a lot of flying, if you don’t take a break.
4. Be prepared for the jet lag
You don’t really know what jet lag is all about until you fly to the other side of the world. New Zealand is a full twelve hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time, so you will almost definitely suffer from jet leg, both going there and when you get back.
5. There is no need to take a load of cash
There are no restrictions on the amount of foreign currency that you can take into New Zealand, but you won’t need much cash. Banks are open weekdays, between 9.00am and 4.30pm, credit and debit cards are widely accepted and there are plenty of ATMs.
6. Book accommodation in advance, especially if travelling in the summer
Finding accommodation in New Zealand is not usually a problem but, if you are travelling in the summer months, it’s a good idea to book in advance. It will be cheaper, and you will have more choice, because it can get busy in the peak season.
7. Allow yourself plenty of time for your vacation
Once you’ve allowed for the travelling time and a day or two to get over the jet lag, to really enjoy a trip to New Zealand, you need to allow yourself plenty of time. It’s a big place and there is lot’s to see, and it certainly warrants a lot more time, than a day trip excursion, while you are holidaying in Australia.
8. You will need health insurance
Unless you come from the UK or from Australia, you will need health insurance in case of an emergency. Short term visitors from other countries will be liable to pay for any medical assistance that they require, while staying in New Zealand.
9. You won’t need a visa
For citizens of most countries, there is no visa required to visit New Zealand for a short term vacation. For extended stays, or if you are unsure, it is better, though, to check with a travel agent or on-line, before you travel.
10. Be careful of what you take into the country
Like Australia, to protect its native wildlife and its agriculture, New Zealand has very strict controls over the importing of food, animals and other potentially harmful organic material. Don’t get caught out because even a pair of muddy hiking boots could cause you a problem at the immigration desk.
What are your favorite New Zealand travel tips?