A beautiful island country in the Pacific Ocean, New Zealand harbors serenity and tranquility at every step. With wondrous isles patched with lush greenery and dotted with towering peaks, the nation is one of the most frequented places in the east. For being a significant center of culture, education, trade, and politics, it has become a retreat for millions of tourists. From the unending charm of the Bay of Islands to the awe-inspiring skyline of Auckland, New Zealand nurtures a great deal of touristy vibe. Get drenched in the gorgeousness of colorful spots and bring home everlasting memories. Plan a family trip to its unexplored hidden sites and discover a peaceful world. New Zealand offers its visitors innumerable sights to capture and uncountable beauties to behold.
USEFUL INFO ABOUT NEW ZEALAND
OFFICIAL NAME: New Zealand
FORM OF GOVERNMENT: Unitary Parliamentary Constitutional Monarchy
Capital City: : Wellington
Largest City: Auckland
POPULATION: 4.8 Million (As of 2019)
OFFICIAL LANGUAGE(S): English, Maori, and New Zealand sign language
LANGUAGES SPOKEN: English, Maori, and New Zealand sign language
ETHNICITY:European 71.8%, Maori 16.5%, Asian 15.3%, Pacific people 9%
CURRENCY: New Zealand Dollar NZ$(NZD)
MAP REFERRED: Europe
AREA: 268,021 Sq Km
Lowest Point: Taieri Plain (-2 Meters)
Highest Point: Mount Cook (3724 Meters)
Coastline: 15,134 Km
NEIGHBOURING PLACES: Australia
FAMOUS FOR: Natural Beauty | Volcanoes| Glaciers | Serene Shores | Mountains |Wine| Sheep | Kiwi fruit | Rugby | Hobbiton Movie Set (Lord of the Rings)
THE NATIONAL SYMBOL: National Flag | Kiwi | Silver Fern (National Plant) | Haka | National Anthem
TIME ZONE: Wellington, New Zealand (GMT +13)
DRIVING SIDE: Left
Airports in Ireland:
Auckland Airport | Christchurch International Airport | Wellington Airport | Dunedin International Airport
General emergency number: 111
(The number is used for fire, ambulance and police emergency services)
New Zealand Dollar is a valid currency in the country and has been in use for about five decades now. It was introduced in the year 1967 and since then, it has been one of the most traded currencies across the globe. It contributes to more than 2% of the total global foreign exchange market turnover every day. This clearly showcases the extensive use of the legal tender for exchanging goods and services. New Zealand Dollar is also used in the countries of Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Zimbabwe, and New Caledonia.
Symbol: NZ$ Code: NZD
1 NZD = 100 cents
1 New Zealand Dollar NZD = 2.14 United Arab Dirham AED (As of 24 March 2020)
New Zealand dollar banknotes are found in the denomination of 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100.
New Zealand dollar bank coins are found in the denomination of 1, 2, 50 cents, 20 cents, and 10 cents.
Comparatively, New Zealand is one of the newly inhabited places in the world as it is believed to have been settled by humans for the first time not more than 800 years ago. As per archaeological evidence, the present-day country was home to Eastern Polynesians in between the late 13th century and early 14th century.
Over a period, these inhabitants developed their own culture, which is now called Maori culture. The Maori people remained to live in the country without any invasion or interference by foreign powers until the year 1642. This was the year when the Dutch explorers reached the country and tried to establish their territory. However, following an attack by the locals, the Dutch crew ran away and never returned.
Later, by the late 18th century, James Cook set off on an expedition and reached the country. He scrutinized the entire coastline and helped a lot in the establishment of international trade. Gradually, infrastructure was built, and the country started witnessing great development in the field of art, architecture, commerce, politics, and education.
In the subsequent years, the nation witnessed several local wars. By the end of the 18th century, New Zealand had become a colony of New South Wales. Later, in the year 1841, the country became a separate colony and eventually, was granted self-government in the year 1852.
Today, New Zealand is one of the significant centers of trade and politics in the east. It has also become a world-famous tourist place owing to its popularity to natural beauty present in the form of hills, volcanoes, shores, beaches, mountains, rivers and more.
New Zealand is one of the major countries in the east and has an amazing topographical landscape. Popular for its volcanoes, towering mountains and wonderful beaches, the country forms a group of islands and is nestled in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The two major islands, the North Island and the South Island, that make for more than 90% of the total area are separated by Cook Strait. That's one of the reasons the country hosts an amazing set of natural beauties.
With hills, mountains, valleys, shores, forests, plains and streams, New Zealand seems like an unforgettable slice of heaven. It is one of the most diverse places in the continent and has a coastline of more than 15,000 Km.
The country is spread over an area of about 268,021 sq km, of which about 2% makes the water region. The lowest and the highest points here are Taieri Plain at 2 meters below the sea level and Mount Cook at 3724 meters above the sea level respectively.
Art and Music
Polynesian culture that has its roots in Maori traditions and customs has remained relevant for centuries now. However, with the advent of the modern world, indigenous practices have faded away over a period. Today, the culture of New Zealand has values from across the globe.
Hence, the country listens to classical and folk music as well as contemporary beats. Blues, jazz, rock, hip hop, and rock and all - everything is admired and loved here. The art has changed from the paintings of mythical creatures to abstract drawings. But the traditional art of weaving and carving is still considered an important part of the country's real culture.
Food and Drink
New Zealand Cuisine is generally a mix of various elements derived from different cultures and traditions. It is because the country has remained colonized by foreign powers for decades in the past. This all has led to the development of a food culture that is strictly based on age-old traditional methods and foreign recipes.
In short, New Zealand cuisine can be called an amalgamation of Maori and British variations. However, in present-day New Zealand, cuisines of all kinds are savored. From the Italian delicacies to traditional dishes, everything is loved here. As the country has also been a significant place for wine production, the beverage is also relished with great interest.
L&P, Marlborough Blanc Wine, Apple Cider, Slushy Cider, Craft Beer and Coffee
People in New Zealand are respectful and kind towards their guests. Hence, tourists can roam around freely without any kind of restriction. You would meet a helpful and generous crowd across all the cities and towns in the country. That's why New Zealand is generally rated as one of the safest places in the world to travel to.
Slide down the glittering sand of Ninety Mile Beach and awaken the adventurer in you.
Witness the grandeur of volcanoes and climb up one of them.
Relish an everlasting taste of New Zealand wine at Waiheke Island.
Sail through the dazzling seawaters in the Bay of Islands as you capture unseen magnificence of nature.
Take a refreshing bath at thermal spas and detox your mind, body, and soul.
Step into a fantasy world of the 'Lord of the Rings' at Hobbiton and spend a day relaxing amid pristine nature.
Get in touch with indigenous tribes of New Zealand and learn in detail about the beautiful Maori culture.
Spend time sunbathing, making mud castles and playing at some of the most golden shores in the world.
Explore the bustling nightlife and grand skyline of New Zealand at its megacities like Sydney, Melbourne and more.
Sit by wonderful lakes or excurse deep into the woods to watch amazing wildlife.
New Zealand experiences a temperate marine climate and hence, the country remains a year-round destination for tourists. However, the temperature conditions across the country differ at the same time. When the coastal areas experience a hot and humid environment during the summers and a tolerable atmosphere with mild conditions during the winters, the mountainous and hilly regions get a cool climate from January to December. That's why New Zealand is frequented by travelers from all over the world throughout the year.
The annual mean temperature in the country ranges between 10 Degree Celsius and 16 Degree Celsius. However, from June to October, the hilly regions and the southern and eastern parts of the country receive snowfall.
The summer season in New Zealand lasts from December until the end of February, while the winter season starts from June and goes up till August.
December to March
The best time to visit New Zealand is from December until the end of March as this is the time when you can enjoy the best in the country. This is the period when the charm of New Zealand is at its summit with comfortable and tolerable climatic conditions. Most of the hotels and resorts provide lightning deals to its visitors.
Visit New Zealand with Family and Kids
Spend a day enjoying super swings, jet boating, and more at Agroventures Adventure Park
Take a day off and surf along the shores of Raglan
Visit Hot Water Beach and bathe in your own hot tub
Explore the museum of Wellington and look at wonderful exhibitions
Let your kids enjoy the gondola ride up in the hills
Witness colorful water creatures at Sea Life Kelly Tarlton's
Set off on an unforgettable trip to Hobbiton and have a magical experience
Visit New Zealand as a Couple
Go for a candlelight dinner by the seaside cafes and restaurants of New Zealand
Stay at a luxury resort facing the sea and romance with your partner in style
Climb up the famous Sky Tower and relish the panoramic beauty of Auckland
Laze on a sunny day by the golden-sand beaches of New Zealand
Go for horse riding or a helicopter ride and have quality time with your love
Visit New Zealand with Friends
Enjoy water sports adventures such as surfing, parasailing, shark cage diving, and more
Unleash the trekker in you and take up the challenging routes to Mount Cook
Plan a day trip to Milford Sound and witness the Mitre Peak, waterfalls, penguins, and more
Take an expedition to Glowworm caves at Waitomo or to shimmering lakes of Wanaka and Taupo
Admire the ancient art and learn the bygone era of New Zealand at its museums
Go island hopping and explore the unknown yet magical parts of the country
Things to Buy
New Zealand Wine
Be it world-class food and wine or designer shopping, Auckland is one of the most sophisticated destinations in New Zealand. This vibrant city also hosts major sporting events, concerts, and festivals and is always open for outdoor adventures like volcano climbing and more. With its beautiful beaches and island escapes along with all the posh travel experiences, Auckland truly offers the best of both worlds.
Rudyard Kipling, rightly called Milford Sound, is the eighth wonder of the world. Formed by glaciers, the landscape offers mesmerizing scenic beauty. Come here and you would never feel like leaving. Such is its charm and natural presence that it is admired across the globe and has become one of the top travel destinations in the world. From spotting dolphins to capturing peaks, sailing down waters to exploring waterfalls, there is a lot to do here.
One of the largest urban areas in New Zealand, Queenstown has an amazing variety on display. It has picturesque seawaters, grand spectacles of giant mountains, cute little settlements, and colorful vegetation. Visit the city and witness the hypnotizing hues of nature. Explore Lake Wakatipu backdropped by the blue sky or just enjoy camping by the refreshing shores of the sea. Queenstown is here to drive you crazy with its loveliness.
A part of the North Island of New Zealand, the Coromandel Peninsula deserves to be on every traveler's bucket list. With charming coastal strips and enthralling woods, the peninsula delivers a commendable atmosphere. Come here with your family and friends and relax your nerves in its composed surroundings. Watch humpback whales and dolphins, scuba dive, into the beautiful sea waters or frame the presence of limestone cliffs.
Bay of Islands
If water sports adventures are what you're looking for while in New Zealand, then the Bay of Islands is where you should go. Besides water sports, this beautiful cluster of Islands offers fishing and sailing. The place is a haven for travelers who have a special love for the sea and the sun. And if you get bored with water, you could always go and explore its historical towns. Yes! Bay of Islands has numerous towns that speak of the country's glorious past. The list includes Kerikeri, Paihia, Waitangi, and Russell.
Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park
Housing the country's highest mountain, Mount Cook, the national park is a lot more than what it is known for. Walk down the alpine terrain and witness the majestic wildlife of New Zealand. The park is spread over an area of about 720 sq. km and engulfs snowy peaks, grasslands, lakes, icebergs, and more. Hence, it is a perfect destination for those who are into nature or wildlife photography.
A lover of wine? Well, Marlborough should be your destination. A perfect place to taste world-class wines and indulge in learning wine production. Apart from exploring wineries and vineyards, you can also get on a cruise and watch dolphins here. The place also boasts of beautiful gardens, self-contained beaches, and quaint islands. In short, it has everything a nature lover dreams of.
Located on the southern shore of Lake Rotorua, Rotorua is one of the most beautiful and frequented places in the country and is also known as Sulphur City. With abundant scenic beauty, one can simply enjoy the cool breeze by the lake, explore the forests, go mountain biking, and a lot more. The place is famous amongst tourists for its thermal springs and mud pools. Besides its natural glory, Rotorua is also recognized for being a breeding ground for the indigenous Maori culture.
If you are looking for a place where you can just chill out with your family or friends, then you must consider visiting Cape Reinga. It is in the proximity of the Kaitaia town and is popular among tourists for its unspoiled surroundings and peaceful environment. Sit by the shore gazing at the horizon for hours or feel the blue beautiful waves touch your feet. Here, you can also capture the sight of Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean.
Tongariro National Park
Another national park that would keep you engaged with its wilderness and wonder, Tongariro National Park is one of the oldest in the country and hence, a must-visit spot for explorers. With beautiful streams cutting through woods and waterfalls cascading down, the park looks nothing less than a wonderland. Glaciated valleys, forests and snow-laden mountains - all of these together make Tongariro National Park a beauty worth experiencing.
Other places of importance in New Zealand
Nelson Lakes National Park
One of the most popular and observed cultural festivals in New Zealand, Victorian Fete marks the remembrance of the Victorian Era as the country has remained colonized for decades. This is the day when the people dress up in Victorian style and indulge in cultural programs. Lip-smacking traditional dishes are prepared, and drinks are served. With all this, they remember their past graciously. Time: November
Marlborough Wine Festival
If wine is all you need to set the mood right, then you must not miss attending this wonderful festival filled with boisterous crowds. Relish hundreds of wines and savor some of the richest tastes in the globe. Gulp down world-class beverage as you loiter around the most beautiful vineyards in New Zealand. The festival is attended by thousands of locals and tourists and is a great way to explore the liveliness of the country. Time: February
Pasifika Cultural Festival
One of the most happening festivals in the country, Pasifika Cultural Festival is all about singing, dancing and eating. In short, the celebration revolves around the lifestyle and culture of the country's Pacific island communities. Live stage shows are conducted, hundreds of food items are served, and dozens of artists perform. The festival is attended by about 40,000 people every year. Hence, it can be said that Pasifika Cultural Festival is one of the most awaited festivals in the country. Time: March
Auckland Lantern Festival
A significant part of Chinese New Year celebrations, the Auckland Lantern Festival marks the day when Albert Park in the city gets decorated with colorful lights and beautiful lanterns. Fireworks conquer the sky at night. Chinese delicacies are served. Several dances & music and other cultural shows beautify the city. Time: February
Rhythm & Alps
The year in New Zealand ends with a great show of Rhythm & Alps. It is one of the most famous music festivals in the country where world-class performers, DJs, singers and musicians showcase their passion. Music-lovers come out in groups and attend with events with great zeal and zest. Dance to the trippy beats and groove to the contemporary music. It is generally celebrated on South Island. Time: December
Other Festivals Celebrated In New Zealand
Parihaka Peace Festival
Hokitika Wildfoods Festival
World Buskers Festival
To enter the beautiful boundaries of New Zealand, you need to possess a valid visa unless you belong to a visa-exempt nation. As per the visa policy of New Zealand, nationals of Australia can stay in the country for an unlimited time. They also have the privilege of holding resident status under the Trans-Tasman travel agreement.
Citizens from the below-listed countries are also eligible to enter New Zealand without any valid visa. However, they can only stay for a maximum period of 90 days.
All European Union countries, Andorra, Argentina, Bahrain, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Macau, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Norway, Oman, Qatar, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay and Vatican City.
New Zealand allows the citizens of China to obtain an e-visa.
The citizens of all the remaining countries would be required to apply for a regular tourist visa to enter New Zealand.
To enter the country, one needs to have the following things:
A passport that doesn't expire within three months from the date of travel
Two blank pages in your passport
Two passport-size photographs
A return ticket
Evidence of your stay in New Zealand
Adequate amount in your account to support your stay financially (NZD 1000 per person per month)
How to Apply for a Tourist Visa?
Use the official website of the country for the application of New Zealand visa online
Alternately, you may consult a travel agent to get it done for you.
Buses are the most used public transport in New Zealand as they provide decent services and are quite cheap as well as comfortable. Buses are available at all the major places across the towns and cities of the country. Several intercity buses run from places like Melbourne, Sydney and more on a regular basis. If you are visiting New Zealand on a budget and want to cut down on your expenses, then this is the best way for getting around in the country.
Mainly used in places like Wellington and Auckland, Metros/Trains are the second most used public transport in the country. As it is one of the cheapest and fastest ways for commutation, it is preferred by a large majority of tourists.
If comfort is your priority and convenience is all you need on your vacation to New Zealand, then you must go with the cabs/taxis options. Cabs are easily available at all the tourist places and across all the cities and towns in New Zealand. However, make sure you do not get into any unregistered vehicles.
Being an island nation, New Zealand also uses water routes for commutation. You can get into boats or ferries to reach one shore from the other. Exploring the beauty of the country as you float down shimmering waves of the sea or other streams has its own charm in New Zealand. So, do not miss this experience.
Via Air Route
One can easily reach New Zealand by air route for the country harbors about 5 major international airports. Catch a flight and reach the country within no time. Undoubtedly, it is the most convenient and fastest way to reach New Zealand, especially for those who are coming from the farthest parts of the world. Following given are the busiest airports in the country receiving an influx of tourists in millions:
Christchurch International Airport
Dunedin International Airport
Via Road Route
As New Zealand is an island nation, it cannot be accessed via road route.
Via Rail Route
For being an island, New Zealand doesn't have rail connectivity to other parts of the world. The nation is mostly accessed via air route.
Via Water Route
There are numerous ports across the country that facilitate ferries, boasts and cruises on a regular basis. If you are coming from places like Australia, Fiji and Cook Islands, then the water route would be quite fun for you. TRAVEL TIPS
Not all the places in the country accept cards. Hence, always keep cash with you.
Tipping is quite common in New Zealand and it is always appreciated. So, do not shy away from doing so.
Rely on public transport as much as you can as it is comfortable and would help you a lot cut down on travel expenses.
If you want to feel actual New Zealand and enjoy that local vibe, then always go for B&B (Bed & Breakfast) option.
If you are on a shoe-string budget, then it is always better to find accommodation on the outskirts of the city.
Wear sunscreen and a hat, especially during the summers, to avoid getting tanned at shores and other hot places.
If you really want to know the raw culture and lifestyle of the country, it is advisable to stay with a local.
Hire a local guide before you take up untrodden paths. They would help you know the ways and the place in detail.
Get travel insurance that could cover all your losses on the vacation.
Avoid scammers and do not try to converse with them. They are there extort money from you.
Do not loiter around at night. Though South Africa is quite safe for tourists, you never know the intentions of the people around you.
Keep all your valuables safe in a fanny bag while exploring around. Do not flaunt at public places.
Never leave your food or drink or baggage unattended at any place.
Always keep a copy of your passport and hotel details with you to help you in case of an emergency.
Do not get into any unregistered vehicle and always prefer public transport while travelling at night.
Keep a tourist city map handy, just in case you get lost.
Tap water in South Africa is safe to consume and hence, you need not depend on bottled water.
Use sunscreen while visiting the coastal region to protect your skin from direct sun rays.
Apply insect repellent wherever necessary, especially while exploring outs in the remote areas of the country.
Get required vaccinations for Hepatitis, Malaria, typhoid, yellow fever, rabies, chickenpox, influenza and pneumonia before flying.
WHAT TO PACK?
Phone/laptop/tablet and their charger
Light summer clothes
Warm clothes for winters and high-altitude regions
Flip flops and sandals
DRESS CODE & ETIQUETTE
Dress in a decent manner while visiting religious places like churches and temples.
Do not make fun of South African culture and traditions.
Talking ill of Christianity is not at all accepted in the country. People here take their beliefs very seriously.
Speak politely while conversing with locals. Do not offend them with your talks.
Always greet people with a gentle smile while shaking hands with them.
At more than 2000 km, Australia is the nearest place from New Zealand that deserves to be on your itinerary. However, for being far away from mainland New Zealand, it is rarely chosen by tourists for excursions. But if you have enough days in your hand, then a trip to Australia would surely be an unforgettable journey. The country hosts a great variety of tourist spots. You have got the heaven-like beauty of the Great Barrier Reef and the sacred rock formation of Uluru. Witness the wonderful Sydney Harbour Bridge, the operas, and the scintillating skyline of Melbourne. Visit the country and loiter around this paradisal stretch of land.
With more than 2.5 million people owning a car, New Zealand's car ownership rate is one of the highest on the planet.
The beautiful city of Auckland in New Zealand has the highest frequency of boats per capita in the world.
The first-ever person to conquer the summit of Mount Everest was Sir Edmund Hillary, who was a New Zealander.
Queenstown is the first place in the world to have a commercial bungee jump. It was made in the year 1988 by AJ Hackett.
High Schools in New Zealand can possess one pound of Uranium and Thorium each for nuclear experiments. However, if practice turns into an explosion, the school is supposed to pay a fine of about $1 million.
New Zealand is one of the few places in the world where you won't find snakes at all.
Of all the population in New Zealand, about 95% makes for animals and only 5% makes for humans.
With a slope of about 38 degrees, Baldwin Street in New Zealand is the steepest residential street on the planet.
New Zealand is the nation of volcanoes. There are about 50 of them covering the beautiful expanse of the country.
Sign language is one of the languages in New Zealand. It is mainly spoken by the deaf community and has about 20,000 native speakers.
With more than 120 km of commercial coast, the country provides an opportunity to enjoy various water sports adventures. Hence, it is one of the most loved nations amongst adventure-seekers.
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