New Zealand

Personalised Adventure Coach Tours

Q. How safe is it for people too travel alone in New Zealand?
New Zealand is, in general, a very safe country to travel around. But, as always, be safety conscious wherever you go. Getting drunk and wandering down dark streets alone is a recipe for disaster. In most cases you'll be fine, but you don't want to be the one case that wasn't. It is always a good idea to keep all your personal belongings in a safe place. Most hostels and hotels have a safe at reception or personal lockers in your room that you can place your passport and travellers cheques in for safe keeping, or always keep them on you in a money belt or the like. It's not a good idea to keep wads of cash in your wallet, nor to trust someone you've just met in your hostel dorm room. Hitch hiking may have romantic connotations, but the reality is that you have no idea what weirdos are out there. Hitch hiking is no longer a safe mode of travel in New Zealand and is strongly discouraged. In the event of an emergency which requires the police, an ambulance or the fire brigade, dial 111 for assistance. If you are heading off for a hike, or into the bush or generally anywhere alone, make sure someone knows where you are, how long you expect to be gone and when you intend to be back, or at, your destination, just in case something happens and you need to be located or rescued.
Q.  Are credit cards accepted in New Zealand and how much cash should I carry with me?
It is a personal preference as to how you want to travel with your money, but the easiest way is to have a mixture of traveller's cheques and a credit card or cash card. Visa and MasterCard are the most widely accepted credit cards, as well as American Express, Diner's Club, Maestro and Cirrus cards. Credit cards and cash cards are an alternative to carrying large amounts of traveller's cheques or cash. If your credit card or cash card has the Cirrus or Maestro logo on the back of it, then you will be able to access funds from your bank account back home at ATM's which are located everywhere. Travellers cheques incur fees and commissions and are at the mercy of exchange rate fluctuations. American Express, Thomas Cook, Visa and other well known international brands are widely accepted throughout New Zealand. Buying New Zealand dollar travellers cheques may be a better option. They can be exchanged immediately at the bank and they don't incur any fees or charges.
As in any country, it is not advisable to carry large quantities of cash. For everyday expenses NZ$ 100 will be adequate. Keep your money and important documents secure and perhaps consider a waist belt that you can wear under your clothing.
Q.  What weather conditions will I expect to experience in New Zealand?
Lying between 34S and 47S, New Zealand sits squarely in the ''roaring forties'' latitude, which means a prevailing and continual wind blows over the country from west to east; this can range from a gentle breeze in summer to a buffeting, roof-stripping gale in winter. The North Island and South Island, because of their different geological features, have two distinct patterns of rainfall: in the South Island, the Southern Alps act as a barrier for the moisture-laden winds from the Tasman Sea, creating a wet climate to the west of the mountains and a dry climate to the east; while the North Island's rainfall is more evenly distributed without a comparable geological feature such as the Alps. Temperatures are a few degrees cooler in the South Island, and both islands receive snow in winter. Winter falls in the months of June through August and summer from December through February. It is important to remember that New Zealand's climate is maritime, rather than continental, which means the weather can change with amazing rapidity and consequence. The busy tourist season falls in the warmer months between November and April, though ski resorts, such as Queenstown, are full during winter.
Q.  Will my cellular phone work in New Zealand and is internet/email available?
Cell phones are common in New Zealand. Check with your own service provider to see if they provide and international roaming service. You could also buy a sim card for a prepay service and connect to one of New Zealands Cell phone systems such as Vodafone or Telecom New Zealand.
New Zealand has a very modern landline  telephone system, and you'll find telephones all over the place. You will have access to phones and internet most days.
Internet cafes are everywhere and most backpackers hostels and hotels provide this service so keeping up with family and friends is very easy. Some internet cafes even allow you access to download your holiday pics to send home. Prices vary for services and as there's loads of competition between internet cafes, it pays to shop around for good deals.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q. Do I need a visa to visit New Zealand?
If you are a citizen of one of the following countries, which have visa waiver agreements with New Zealand, you do not need to apply for a Visitor Visa if you plan to visit New Zealand for 3 months or less:
Andorra, Argentina, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong***, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Marino, Mexico, Monaco, Nauru, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Portugal*, Qatar San, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Uruguay, USA**, Vatican City .
* Portuguese passport holders must have the right to live permanently in Portugal.
** Includes US nationals from American Samoa and Swains Island.
*** Residents of Hong Kong travelling on Hong Kong Special Administrative Region or British National (Overseas) passports.
People travelling on a United Nations (UN) laissez-passer
British Citizens and Passport Holders

If you are a British citizen or are a British passport holder and have evidence of the right to live permanently in the United Kingdom, you may be granted a Visitor's Permit valid for 6 months on arrival.
As a Visa Waiver Visitor You Must hold a valid ticket to a country you have the right of entry to; and have sufficient money to support yourself during your stay; and hold a passport valid for 3 months beyond the date you are leaving New Zealand; and only wish to visit New Zealand for the time granted on arrival (if you wish to visit for a longer period you will need to apply for a Visitor''s Visa).
Temporary Permit Exemptions
The following people are exempt from having to hold temporary permits while in New Zealand citizens of the Commonwealth of Australia or people exempted by special direction or any country or crew members of any craft transporting such people to New Zealand, while in New Zealand
Q. If I become sick or have an injury is medical help available.
Every main city has its own hospitals and emergency medical centres many also have after hours pharmacies. Smaller towns have medical clinics and doctors. Supermarkets sell general non prescription treatments and pharmacies also provide some medications that don't require a doctors prescription.
It is recommended that all travellers arriving into New Zealand are covered by comprehensive travel insurance. If you get into trouble, New Zealand can be an expensive place to receive medical treatment. If you are planning on doing any adventure activities such as scuba diving, sky diving, bungy jumping, skiing or any other number of activities that are deemed as 'dangerous sports/activities', make sure you read the fine print on your insurance policy to determine that you are indeed covered for those activities. The last thing you want is to take out an expensive cover, only to find you weren't covered at all!
Q. Is there any dangerous wild animals poisonous snakes or insects in New Zealand?
New Zealand has only two native mammals (two species of bat) All other mammals have been introduced, ie cows, sheep, goats, deer, possums, stoats, ferrits, emu, wallabies, rabbits, moose, pigs. Of these the only ones that are of concern are possums that won't threaten you however they are scavengers of food left out in the open at your campsite.  Wild pigs are only dangerous if they feel threatened.  New Zealand has no snakes though the rare giant native earth worm which can grow to 1 metre in length may be mistaken for one.  In many places around New Zealand, close to water sorces or on the west coast of the South island, misquitos can be a real nuisense. There are several spiders which have poisonous venom however their bite is not considered leathal. The Australian white tail spider, and the New Zealand Katipo spider which is generally found amoungst driftwood on sandy beaches.
We recommend that you bring with you a good supply of insect repellant like RID to keep mosquitoes at bay. In general, most creepy crawlies can't do you much harm as long as you don't provoke them.

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