Helpful information about New Zealand touring, holidays, vacations

New Zealand is a spectacular country, thinly populated with friendly people and unique wildlife found no where else in the world. Lose yourself in the remoteness of hundreds of wonderful locations or meet the locals during a great night out in Wellington or Queenstown.

Wine, dine and enjoy the incredible food and award winning wines that New Zealand has to offer. For a small country, you will be spoilt for choice, enjoying 100 miles of coastal beaches, fiords, glaciers, rain forests, geysers and beautiful towns and cities. There is something different to see around every corner!

New Zealand boasts some of the most amazing scenery of anywhere in the world. Immerse yourself in our wonderfully photogenic and unspoiled land. To everyone everywhere, welcome to our wonderful home, New Zealand - the land of the long white cloud.

Name Population Area Capital City Largest City Languages
New Zealand / Aotearoa 4.5 million 270,534 sq km Wellington
(pop: 204,000)
Auckland
(pop: 1.4 million)
English
Te Reo Maori

What sort of weather can I expect in New Zealand?

New Zealand enjoys mild temperatures, moderately high rainfall, and many hours of sunshine throughout most of the country. New Zealand's climate is dominated by two main geographical features: the mountains and the sea. While New Zealand does not have a large temperature range and we don’t see extremes found in most continental climates, our weather can change unexpectedly. In summer, the average maximum temperature ranges between 20 – 30 degrees Celsius and in winter between 10 – 15 degrees Celsius. Due to New Zealand’s high level of ultraviolet rays, it is recommended you cover up between the hours of 10:00am – 4:00pm to avoid sunburn. Wear sunglasses, a hat and use a broad spectrum sunblock even if it’s an overcast day. 

Latest forcasts around New Zealand

Spring Summer
September, October,
November
December, January,
February
Autumn Winter
March, April, May June, July, August

What should I pack?

In summer a light jacket or sweater should be included in your luggage should the weather turn cooler or you visit higher altitudes. You can expect some rain, so include a light rainproof jacket or coat. If visiting between May and September, pack warm winter garments and layer your clothing.

New Zealand's time zone

New Zealand is the first country to see the light each day and is 12 hours ahead of Greenwich Meantime (GMT). New Zealand enjoys daylight saving time throughout summer where the clocks go forward by one hour.

Daylight savings ends Daylight savings begins
Sunday 2 April 2017
at 3:00am local time
Sunday 24 September 2017
at 2:00am local time
Summer Winter
Sunrise 5:45am* Sunrise 7:45am*
Sunset 9:00pm* Sunset 5:00pm*

*Times are approximate only

New Zealand School Terms 2017

  • Term 1: 30 January – 13 April 2017
  • Term 2: 1 May – 7 July 2017
  • Term 3: 24 July – 29 September 2017
  • Term 4: 16 October – 20 December 2017

Water Supply

Tap water is safe to drink throughout the country. Water from lakes and rivers should be boiled for at least 1 minute or treated prior to drinking.

New Zealand public holidays 2017

New Year's Day January 1 (Observed on 3rd)
New Year's Holiday January 2
Waitangi (NZ) Day  February 6
Good Friday April 14
Easter Monday April 17
ANZAC Day April 25
Queen’s Birthday  June 5
Labour Day October 23
Christmas Day December 25
Boxing Day December 26
New Years Holiday (2018) January 1- 2

Business Hours

Business hours are typically 8:30am – 5:00pm Monday to Friday. The shops are generally open from 9:00am – 5:30pm Monday to Friday with larger retail outlets and shopping malls open Saturday and Sunday also. Late night shopping usually occurs on a Thursday or Friday night (or both). Petrol stations in larger cities are often open 24 hours along with some fast food outlets and convenience stores. Supermarkets generally open 8:00am – 10:00pm seven days a week.

Emergencies

For police, fire or ambulance, dial 111. For all non emergencies details can be found in the front of the telephone book. Alternatively please ask your accommodation provider for help. Many cities and tourist spots in New Zealand have urgent doctors surgeries often open until 11:00pm.

Public Health

We are lucky in New Zealand that both the public and private health facilities have a high standard of treatment and care. Should you require a doctor during your stay, please contact your accommodation provider as there maybe a doctor on call. Otherwise, information on doctors surgeries and other medical centres can be found in the front of the telephone book. If you require any non prescription medication during your time in New Zealand, this can be purchased from pharmacies and chemists during normal business hours. Many larger towns / cities and tourist spots have urgent pharmacies available after hours and during weekends.

Weights and measurements

New Zealand uses the metric system. The following chart may help with any conversions. 1m (metre) = 1.1 yards 1km (kilometre) = 0.62 miles 1ha (hectare) = 2.5 acres To convert Celsius to Fahrenheit use the following simple mathematical rule: multiply by 9, divide by 5, and add 32. Easy!

Electric voltage

In New Zealand the voltage is AC 240 or 50 hertz. Hotels / motels usually provide AC sockets of 110 volt solely for electric razors. Although convertors are reasonably easy to purchase throughout NZ (at airports, in some pharmacies and different homeware stores) you may wish to bring converters with you for convenience.