- New Zealand
- Visitor info
- Working and living
- Did you know
New Zealand is a country of stunning and diverse natural beauty: jagged mountains, rolling pasture land, steep fjords, pristine trout-filled lakes, raging rivers, scenic beaches, and active volcanic zones. These islands are one of Earth's most peculiar bio-regions, inhabited by flightless birds seen nowhere else such as the Kiwi and a nocturnal, burrowing parrot called the Kakapo. Sparsely populated NZ is a very modern country with one of the highest standards of living in the world.
There are international airports in Auckland, Hamilton, Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown.
Air New Zealand is the main domestic airline.
Intercity Coachlines are a national coach company connecting over 600 destinations nationwide, you can hop on and hop off.
Flying Kiwi Adventures are a tour bus company, a fun way of seeing the country.
Rent a campervan and drive yourself. New Zealand is small enough that you can see a large part of the country in a couple of weeks, but longer is recommended.
Why not rent a motorcycle, there are lots of motorcycle rental firms and it’s a fabulous country for motorbike riding.
The overlander – between Auckland and Wellington
The Capital Connection – Palmerston North to Auckland
The Transcoastal – Christchurch to Picton
The Transalpine – Christchurch to Greymouth (recommended)
The Ferry goes from North to South across the Cook Straight.
New Zealand is a peaceful country with a very low crime rate. The same advice applies here as in most countries. Be aware of your surroundings, leave valuables at home, do not walk alone at night and stick together when out drinking.
In an emergency dial 111. As in most countries you can call this number even if your phone has no credit.
There have been major earthquakes in New Zealand, such as those in Canterbury and Christchurch. In the case of an earthquake, drop to the floor. Get under a table if you can and cover your neck and head. Do not go far as you could be thrown to the ground. Do not run outside. If you are outside drop to the ground and cover your head and neck. Try to get away from trees and power lines if you can. Large earthquake are quite rare.
For more tips on staying safe, visit our security section.
If you are in an accident, the Accident Compensation Corporation will cover the cost of treatment, even if you are a tourist. But you really should have travel insurance as there are many other reasons you could end up in a hospital or needing medical care. Healthcare is free for NZ residents.
There are very high standards in food and water in New Zealand.
Many campgrounds all over the country, most have very good facilities, hot showers, toilets, kitchens, electric power sites etc. Many of these campsites also have cabins to rent.
Self contained apartments. These can vary from a hotel size room to a full sized apartment.
Good quality hotels all over the country.
There is a very high standard of hostels all over the country. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable. Most hostels in New Zealand are privately owned.
You will find most of these top class lodges in areas of natural beauty.
Winters are colder in the south
Summer - December to February
Winter – May to August
Spring – August to November
Autumn – March to May
For travel tips on packing, camping, flying and much more, visit our travel tips section.
Australians can enter visa free, however a passport is still needed.
UK citizens can get visas for up to 6 months.
Certain countries can enter the country visa free for up to three months.
EU states, Andorra, Argentina, Bahrain, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, Norway, Oman, Quatar, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Uruguay, United Arab Emirates, US, Vatican City.
Working holiday visas are available to residents of Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, and the UK.
New Zealand is considered to have one of the highest standards of living in the world. It is the size of the UK yet has only a fraction of the people living there, around 4.5 million. New Zealanders are easy going, crime is low, and there is more of an emphasis on a work life balance here.
Medicine, engineering and are some of the industries where skilled employees are sought after. There are staff shortages in many industries. If you fall in these categories you will find getting a visa much easier. Visit http://www.newzealandnow.govt.nz/work-in-nz/nz-jobs-industries to see which industries these are. New Zealand predicts an extra 100,00 jobs will be created by 2016.
New Zealand is known as Aotearua to the native Maoris, the land of the long white cloud. Maori culture has an important influence on NZ life.
The All Blacks won the first Rugby World Cup in 1987 and again in 2011.
New Zealand has more golf courses per capita than any other country in the world.
Auckland, the city of sails, has more boats per capita than any other city in the world.
Dunedin’s royal albatross colony at Taiaroa Head is the only mainland breed colony of Albatross in the world.
Hectors Dolphin, found only in the waters off New Zealand, is the world’s rarest dolphin, and the smallest.
NZ brothers Davis and Andrew Akers created the Zorb, an adventure activity where you roll down a hill in a large plastic ball.
AJ Hackett opened the world’s first commercial bungee in Queenstown in 1988.
The Sky Tower in Auckland at 328m high is the tallest structure in the southern hemisphere.
New Zealand was the first country to allow women to vote.