New Zealand is a country located in Oceania with name that begins with letter N. Aotearoa, the “land of the long white cloud”, as New Zealand is called in the Maori language, is three times the size of Austria with an area of around 270,000 km 2, but has only 4.6 million residents. Three quarters of them are of European descent, almost 20 percent are Maori, descendants of the Polynesians who first settled New Zealand at the beginning of the 14th century.
The capital is Wellington, but the largest city is Auckland (1.6 million residents). The North Island offers endless sandy beaches in the west and rugged rocky coasts in the east. The interior of the country is characterized by the hilly country and the Tongariro volcanic plateau around the 2,797 m high Ruapehu. The landscape of the South Island is determined by the New Zealand Alps: 17 three-thousand-meter peaks, including the 3,724 m high Mount Cook, make it a mountaineering paradise.
A visa is not required for stays of up to three months. For the entry permit, however, a return or onward flight ticket and proof of the financial resources required for the stay are required. The passport should be valid for at least 3 months beyond the duration of the stay.
New Zealand’s summer happens in the European winter months – and vice versa.
In the northern regions of the country there is a subtropical, otherwise temperate climate, the average temperatures are at southern European level.
Food and drink
In addition to lamb in all imaginable variations and dishes made from fish and seafood, the Maori specialty “Hangi” is particularly impressive: vegetables and meat are wrapped in leaves and cooked on hot stones in a hole in the ground. You can also drink tea, but the local beers and wines also enjoy a good reputation.
The number 1 national sport is rugby. The national team of the small state is the most successful team in the history of the sport. Accordingly, rugby is discussed in detail and with great pleasure. The national sport number 2 must be DIY (do it yourself): Allegedly New Zealanders are able to repair practically anything with the help of the proverbial “number 8 wire”, a simple fence wire.
New Zealand’s health facilities meet European standards. No vaccinations are required for entry. Nevertheless, we recommend that you bring a personal first-aid kit with you.
The ozone hole ensures intense UV radiation: sunscreens with a high sun protection factor are essential. The weather can often change in a flash in New Zealand’s mountainous regions; Warm clothes should therefore be a constant companion in the backpack.
New Zealand is considered a very safe travel destination. Those who follow the most basic precautionary measures should have no problems.
Because of its isolated location, New Zealand is free from many common pests and animal and plant diseases. To keep it that way, great importance is attached to compliance with bio-safety regulations.
Hiking equipment must also be declared, because any sticking earth residue could be contaminated with pathogens, fungal spores or germinable seeds.
It is advisable to thoroughly clean the hiking equipment before departure and to transport it easily accessible in order to facilitate the inspection.
Climate and travel time
New Zealand has a temperate climate. It is a little cooler on the South Islands than on the North Island (subtropical climate). The seasons are opposite to those in Europe, i.e. the winter months between December and February are the warmest (temperatures between 15 and 23 degrees). In general, the weather is often changeable and precipitation can be expected all year round. New Zealand is therefore a good travel destination all year round, as you can find different climatic conditions in every season. There is no ideal travel time in this sense, but November to February are recommended.
All about money
The legal tender is the New Zealand Dollar (NZD)
€ 1 = 1.66 New Zealand dollars (as of December 19, 2018)
We recommend that you take euros with you, they can be exchanged in Europe, although the rate is significantly worse than in New Zealand. We do not advise you to change your money until you arrive in New Zealand, this is already possible at the airport. As a rule, a better rate is offered in exchange offices than in banks, but you should not change too much money as it is usually comparatively poorer rates. In banks and at various ATMs, cash can be withdrawn using both an ATM card and a credit card (PIN required). There may be additional fees for using these cards, so you should check with your house bank beforehand. In general, it is important to have enough cash with you as it is the most accepted means of payment, especially in rural areas. In addition to cash, the credit card is also a proven means of payment. You can use it to pay in most shops, restaurants or hotels.
The travel budget should consist of cash, debit cards and credit cards.
A tip of 10-15% is common. Please decide for yourself the amount of the tip, depending on your satisfaction with the service.
Other essential information
Time difference to CET in New Zealand is + 11h
Electricity in New Zealand
The voltage in New Zealand is 230 volts / 50 Hertz. You therefore need a suitable adapter for plug type I.