TRAVEL TIPS FOR NEW ZEALAND

Time Zone

Daylight saving time is observed in New Zealand, which is eleven hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). During the summer months, daylight saving time is observed in New Zealand. Daylight saving time begins on the last Sunday in September and ends on the first Sunday in April of the following year.

Language

New Zealand was the first country in the world to recognize sign language as a formal language, along with Maori and English, in April 2006. Despite its government-recognized status, the language is presently under threat of extinction. Haere mai: welcome; kia ora: hello or gidday; haere ra: say goodbye; hongi: nose pressing traditional greeting; hangi: oven with heated stones used to cook food inside a hole in the ground; kai: eat.

Money Matters

ATMs in Canada allow for cash withdrawals 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In the main cities and tourist destinations, travellers cheques may be changed at banks, hotels, and large retailers.

Tipping

Tipping is not required in New Zealand, and employees do not rely on tips to make money – the bottom line of a restaurant bill will suffice (note that there may be an extra service fee). That said, it’s perfectly acceptable to thank good service by tipping, which is entirely at your discretion – 5% to 10% of the bill is common.

Weather

The optimum time to visit New Zealand is during the summer months, between June and August. The average temperature in New Zealand is around 16 degrees Celsius, with warm temperatures ranging from 22 degrees Celsius in the south to 24 degrees Celsius in the northwest. Temperatures vary considerably year-to-year and month-to-month. Rainfall ranges from high hundreds of millimeters annually to about 2 meters per year on average across most of New Zealand’s South Island. In many areas, particularly at higher elevations, snow can fall even into July or August!

Temperatures range from 15 to 32°C in the summer, 10 to 25°C in the fall and spring, and 5 to 18°C in the winter. However, during the winter, sitting close to an open fire within one of New Zealand’s many gorgeous lodges – or even going out onto its numerous ski slopes

Clothing

The majority of the time, you’ll be dressed informally and comfortably. In most restaurants and nightclubs, smart casual attire is acceptable. Men are generally not expected to wear suits and ties unless they go to a few of the top formal bars and restaurants in major cities. Some rain is anticipated, so include a light waterproof jacket or coat. Pack clothes that are suitable for cold weather if you’re visiting between May and September. If the weather gets colder or if you intend on visiting the high country, include a lightweight jacket or coat in your luggage. Include some lightweight clothing when possible.

Photography

Always get permission to photograph indigenous people in your area, as they may be camera shy.

Formalities for Arrival and Departure

Citizens of Australia do not require a visa to visit New Zealand and may remain indefinitely (as long as they have no criminal records).

Citizens of 63 countries, including the United Kingdom, do not need a visa to visit New Zealand. Citizens of 56 additional nations that have visa-waiver arrangements with New Zealand may stay for up to three months without a visa if they have an onward ticket, enough cash to sustain their stay (NZ$1000 per month, or NZ$400 per month if accommodation has been prepaid), and a passport valid for three months after the date of their planned departure from New Zealand. The following countries are part of this category: Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands, and the United States. Before coming to New Zealand, foreign nationals must obtain a visa. Visas are valid for three months and cost NZ$100 if obtained in Australia or certain South Pacific nations (eg Samoa), or NZ$,130 if acquired elsewhere in the world.

Disembarkation in New Zealand is usually a simple process, with only minor customs declarations to complete. Advance Passenger Screening is one procedure that has the Orwellian name, where documents that were once checked after landing in NZ (passport, visa, etc) are now verified before boarding your flight – make sure all of your documentation is up to date so you can check-in quickly.

You will not be charged the New Zealand departure tax if you are flying from another city. If you fly out of Auckland, the departure tax is included in your ticket and no extra money will be given at the airport. On July 1, 2008, Auckland switched to this system. You may still be charged if you depart from other cities, with children under 12 exempt. Other locations are working towards including the departure tax in their tickets to mirror similar airports around the world.For locations other than Auckland: New Zealand departure tax is NZ$25, which must be paid in cash or by credit card at the BNZ (Bank of New Zealand) office at the airport after you’ve checked in. Children under the age of 12 (with the exception of Wellington, where they are NZ$10), as well as passengers who transit through New Zealand for less than 24 hours, are exempt.

Handicrafts from the Local Area

In New Zealand, there are several fascinating things to pick from, including local wines, woollen clothing, contemporary art, sculptures and paintings, and indigenous artifacts like traditional bone carvings and greenstone (jade) carvings. Beautiful wood crafts (kauri and other native timber), gorgeous glass and ceramics, paua shell jewelry

The 12.5% Goods and Services Tax (GST) is charged on everything, as stated in the price tag. This tax cannot be refunded by visitors; however, if a supplier delivers a big purchase to a visitor’s house address, the GST will not be charged.

Author: Kate Desserie Salvador

Kate loves to travel and write. She has been to many different places and has seen and experienced a lot of different things. This has given her a lot of material to write about, and she enjoys sharing her stories with others. She hopes to continue traveling and writing for many years to come.

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