Frequently Asked Questions
If there's a question that we haven't answered please contact us and we'll be sure to get back to you promptly with an informed response. If we don't know the answer then we'll be sure to at least make our email entertaining!
Our beautiful Country
- 1. How hot does it get in the Summer?
How hot does it get in the Summer?
Temperatures in Summer can reach the early 30’s. New Zealand's clear, unpolluted atmosphere and relatively low latitudes produce sunlight stronger than much of Europe or North America, as a result people generally burn quicker than at home, so be prepared to wear hats and sun block if you plan to be out in the sun for more than 15-20 minutes. Most people carry sunfactor 30+ as a minimum sunblock cream.
- 2. How safe is New Zealand?
How safe is New Zealand?
New Zealand is one of the safest places in the world. Because of this people often relax and become complacent and can be subject to petty crime. We recommend you keep personal possessions in a safe place and exercise a sensible amount of caution.
- 3. What time is it in New Zealand?
What time is it in New Zealand?
New Zealand has just the one time zone and is 12 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time). We are the first country in the world to see in the New Year. If you look above the white search bar on the left top corner of our website you will see the current time in NZ.
- 4. What size is New Zealand?
What size is New Zealand?
New Zealand is similar in size to California in the USA, Victoria in Australia, England or Japan. It is a small country in size but don't be mistaken... you'll need much longer than you think here as there is so much to see and do!
- 5. What is the population of New Zealand?
What is the population of New Zealand?
Approximately 4 million people live in New Zealand. Just over 1 million live in Auckland alone.
Visiting New Zealand
- 6. What if i get injured while in NZ?
What if i get injured while in NZ?
Us Kiwi's have thought of everything to ensure your time here is top notch and memorable. Under New Zealand Law all visitors are protected under a Government Scheme called ACC. For more information click on the links below.
- 7. Do I need a passport or visa to enter New Zealand?
Do I need a passport or visa to enter New Zealand?
All visitors to New Zealand must carry a passport that is valid for at least three months beyond the date you intend to leave the country. One year Work visas are relatively simple to obtain and can often be extended if you have a workplace that is willing to sponsor you. Visit New Zealand Immigration for more informration.
- 8. What type of weather can I expect?
What type of weather can I expect?
New Zealand has a temperate climate. The North Island has subtropical weather during summer, and inland alpine areas of the South can get down to a chilly -10 C in winter, New Zealand lies close to the coast, which means mild temperatures, average rainfall, and loads of sunshine.
With New Zealand lying in the Southern Hemisphere, the average temperature reduces the further south you travel south.
The north of New Zealand is subtropical and the south temperate. The warmest months are December, January and February, and the coldest June, July and August. In summer, the average maximum temperature ranges between 20-30ºC and in winter between 10-15ºC.
- 9. How much does it cost to stay in New Zealand?
How much does it cost to stay in New Zealand?
New Zealand has a vast array of places to stay ranging from around $25 for a dorm bed to over $2000 for an exclusive luxury resort or apartment. There is something to suit every accommodation need in New Zealand. Check out our accommodation section for great deals with booking.com or contact us for some assistance and local recommendations.
- 10. What about Driving in New Zealand?
What about Driving in New Zealand?
New Zealanders drive on the left, give way to all traffic crossing or approaching from the right, even if you are turning left you must give way to traffic coming from the other direction that wants to turn down the same road as you. The speed limit is 100 km/h on the open road and 50 km/h in built up areas.
There are many narrow roads and one way bridges so drive with care, especially in the south island during the winter months when black ice on the roads can be extremely slippery and dangerous. Most foreign driver licences are acceptable in New Zealand (check with your travel agent). Both drivers and passengers must wear seat belts at all times.
- 11. Is there much accommodation / should I book in advance?
Is there much accommodation / should I book in advance?
There are thousands of places to stay in New Zealand, the problem is there are also thousands of people wanting to stay as well! Book several months in advance if possible.
Unlike deciding which activities to book, finding a place to stay is usually pretty damn boring and often takes up way too much of your time. As a result, we have decided to simplify things and take the hassle out of booking your accommodation by using booking.com. Simply click on the link located on the accommodation page and you will be redirect to the bookings.com website which offers real time availability and instant confirmation. If you're still not sure where to stay once visiting the website then please contact us we'll be happy to offer our suggestions.
- 12. Are there any good restaurants and what type of cuisine?
Are there any good restaurants and what type of cuisine?
New Zealand's cuisine has been described as Pacific Rim, drawing inspiration from Europe, Asia and Polynesia. This blend of influences has created a mouth-watering range of flavours and food in cafes and restaurants nationwide.
For dishes that have a distinctly New Zealand style, there's lamb, pork and cervena (venison), salmon, crayfish (lobster), Bluff oysters, paua (abalone), mussels, scallops, pipis and tuatua (both are types of New Zealand shellfish), kumara (sweet potato), kiwifruit, tamarillo and pavlova, the national dessert.
- 13. Will my electrical appliances work?
Will my electrical appliances work?
Electricity is supplied throughout New Zealand at 230/240 volts (50 hertz), although most hotels and motels provide 110 volt AC sockets (rated at 20 watts) for electric razors only.For all other equipment, an adaptor / converter is necessary. You can purchase these at the airport, supermarkets and chemists shops in Queenstown.
- 14. Is there much nightlife?
Is there much nightlife?
There are an abundance of bars to choose from in New Zealand, many have late licences till 4am and a few go on until sunrise. There are also a few night clubs, and many of the bars have live bands and of course karaoke!
- 15. Are there any banks?
Are there any banks?
Yes there are plenty of banks and cash machines in Queenstown. The cash machines are open 24 hours. Be sure to check with your bank before travelling to NZ to ensure your cards will be accepted. In general, any cards with Visa, MC, Maestro, Cirrus or Plus on them will be accepted at ATMs. Most banks are open 9am - 4pm however the ASB bank on Camp street is open from 9.30am - 8pm 7 days. They change foreign currency and travellers cheques at competitive rates. All shops accept major credit cards but you can't use your overseas eftpos card. You will need to get cash out from an ATM.
- 16. Where are the foreign exchange offices?
Where are the foreign exchange offices?
Most airports and hotels have currency exchange facilities. In the town centre you are best to change your money at a bank as they do not charge commission and usually offer the best rates. We recommend buying enough New Zealand dollars to cover your expenses for the first few days. ASB bank on Camp street is open from 9.30am - 8pm 7 days.
- 17. Do shops / activities close at the weekends?
Do shops / activities close at the weekends?
No, New Zealand has adapted well to tourism. The only real difference with the weekends is that most banks are closed (except for ASB). All activities, restaurants, buses and shops are open 7 days a week. Most shops stay open as long at the weekends as during the week with many open as late as 10pm.
- 18. How much is a cup of coffee / breakfast / dinner?
How much is a cup of coffee / breakfast / dinner?
Coffee - NZ$ 2.50 - $4
Breakfast - NZ$8 - $15
Send a postcard overseas - NZ$1.50 - $2
Phonecall - from 50c (you can buy international calling cards from most shops in town)
Parking - NZ$2 for 60mins (parking can be a bit of an issue so be aware of the signs as the parking wardens are tough!)
Beer - NZ$5 for a pint
(All above prices are approximate and can vary from those listed above).
- 19. What is the shopping like?
What is the shopping like?
- 20. Are there any internet cafe's?
Are there any internet cafe's?
New Zealand offers a great selection of Internet Cafes providing fast and convenient Internet connections including many WiFi spots.
- 21. What is the currency?
What is the currency?
The currency throughout New Zealand is NZ dollars: 1 NZ dollar is approximately equivalent to the following:
0.5 - Eur (Euro)
0.35 - GBP (United Kingdom Pounds)
0.8 - USD (United States Dollars)
0.9 - AUD (Australian Dollars)
68 - JPY (Japan Yen)
Check out today's currency exchange rates or use the currency converter on our website.
NZ Currency available:
10, 20 cents coins, 1 & 2 dollar coins, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 dollar notes.
Most ATM machines only give out $20 notes so just be aware if you are going to draw out hundres of dollars.
- 22. Is the water safe to drink?
Is the water safe to drink?
Yes, New Zealand tap water is amongst the best and tastiest in the world and very safe to drink.
- 23. What clothes should I take?
What clothes should I take?
Dress is informal and relaxed on most occasions. Smart casual clothes are acceptable at most restaurants and night-spots. In summer a light jacket or sweater should be included in your luggage should the weather turn cooler. You can expect some rain, so include a light waterproof jacket or coat. Pack warm winter clothing if visiting between May and September.
- 24. What is the minimum drinking age?
What is the minimum drinking age?
18 years. Proof of age is often required if you look under 25 so don't be offended if you get asked.
- 25. When is the best time to visit New Zealand?
When is the best time to visit New Zealand?
New Zealand is open 365 days a year!! Unlike other tourists destinations New Zealand is an amazing place to visit no matter what time of year. During the summer months pretty much every activity except for skiing is on offer. During winter the place is alive with skiers and snowboarders, some of the water based activities do stop during the winter, though rafting and jet boating still remain very popular. During Autumn and Spring you can expect all kinds of weather, most of the skiing and snowboarding has either finished or is about to start, but as with summer, most other activities are operating. If want to know about the operating months of a particular activity you can look it up using the search box located on the top of the page or contact us for more information.
- 26. Is there any departure tax when leaving Queenstown?
Is there any departure tax when leaving Queenstown?
When leaving New Zealand there is a departure fee of between $20 and $25.
- 27. When is the ski season?
When is the ski season?
The NZ ski fields can open as early as the first week in June (Coronet Peak ski field Queenstown). However some years (due to the lack of snow) they may postpone the opening for a week or 2 until there is enough snow. This year there has been a lot of improvements to the ski fields, new chair lifts, new additions to terrain parks and lots of new, bigger and better snow making machines. So even if there isn't snow as long as the temperatures a low enough - they have the power to make snow! The season usually runs through till the second half of October. There are many ski fields situated in the North and South Islands.
- 28. Are there any Supermarkets?
Are there any Supermarkets?
Fresh Choice, New World and Pack n Save are the largest supermarkets in New Zealand and are open from 9am - 9pm seven days a week. They can be found all around the country and credit card and cash payments are welcome.
- 29. Is there any public transport? Do I need to hire a car?
Is there any public transport? Do I need to hire a car?
New Zealand transport offers travellers a large selection of quality private and public transport options including rental cars, bus transport, air charters, car and motorhome hire, train transport, limousine hire and more. Hiring a vehicle is certainly a great way to see the country at your leisure. All major towns and city have public transport so getting around is easy. Taxi’s run 24 hours a day where as trams and busses only run through the morning, day and evening. There are no underground trains in NZ. If you want to hire a car, campervan or motorhome or book a bus please check out the Campervans Rental Cars & Bus Services page on our website.
- 30. Are there many petrol stations?
Are there many petrol stations?
New Zealand has plenty of petrol stations in and around the towns and cities, however due to the the remoteness of New Zealand if you are traveling any great distance we recommend you fill up before you leave the town or city you are in.
- 31. Do the activities operate all year round?
Do the activities operate all year round?
Most activities do operate all year round. Skiing and snowboarding however is only done during the winter months - early June to late October. Rafting, sightseeing, boat trips, jet boating, bungy jumping, skydiving, plane and heli flights operate all year, but some of the other water based activities such as canyoning and river surfing tend to close during the winter months.
- 32. How long does it take to get from the North Island to the South on the Ferry?
How long does it take to get from the North Island to the South on the Ferry?
3 hours (92km) and it’s one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world! The ferry departs from Wellington, crosses Cook Straight and enters the Marlborough Sounds, arriving in Picton.
- 33. Who are the Maori's & where do they live?
Who are the Maori's & where do they live?
The Maori people are the indigenous people of Aotearoa (New Zealand) and first arrived here in waka hourua (voyaging canoes) from their ancestral homeland of Hawaiki over 1000 years ago. Maori make up over 14 percent of the population.
Today Maori people live throughout New Zealand, and many are actively involved with keeping their culture and language alive.
- 34. Do any activities operate in New Zealand on Christmas Day?
Do any activities operate in New Zealand on Christmas Day?
Yes! Most activities dont operate on Christmas day but there are some that do such as. Type in the word christmas in the search window at the top of the page and press GO and a list of all the activities that operate on Christmas day will appear.
- 35. Who are the All Blacks?
Who are the All Blacks?
The famous New Zealand rugby team. They won the first Rugby World Cup in 1987 and are the most successful team in history (74% winning record - 2010).
- 36. What is the national sport?
What is the national sport?
Rugby! Kiwi’s are right behind it, supporting the regional sides and even more so the national team, the All Blacks.
- 37. When is Rugby Season?
When is Rugby Season?
Generally from February to October. The Rebel Sport Super 14 competition kicks off the rugby season in mid February with NZ teams up against Australia and South Africa teams.
- 38. Who is the Prime Minister?
Who is the Prime Minister?
John Key, the leader of the National Party. John Key entered the New Zealand House of Representatives in 2002 representing the north-west Auckland constituency of Helensville as a National MP, a seat that he has held since then. In 2004 he was appointed Finance Spokesman for National and eventually succeeded Don Brash as the National Party leader in 2006. Key led his party to victory in the November 2008 general election. He is also the Minister for Tourism.
- 39. Will my overseas mobile phone work in New Zealand?
Will my overseas mobile phone work in New Zealand?
JCheck with your phone company before leaving home about international mobile roam facilities available in New Zealand.
- 40. What is the Capital City of New Zealand?
What is the Capital City of New Zealand?
Wellington. It’s the political, banking and financial centre for New Zealand. The Parliament building known as the 'Beehive' is one of the city's top attractions.
- 41. Where are the camp grounds and holiday parks in New Zealand?
Where are the camp grounds and holiday parks in New Zealand?
There are hundreds of camp grounds and holiday parks all over New Zealand ranging from simple Department of Conservation sites where you can put up a tent or park your campervan to something a little fancier with cosy log cabins and all the necessary amenities. Whether you are a backpacker or a family on holiday there is something to suit everyone. Be sure to book in advance though as most places fill up during the busy school holidays. Check out the link to the New Zealand Holiday Parks website for information on all the holiday parks in New Zealand.
- 42. Why should I book before I arrive in Queenstown?
Why should I book before I arrive in Queenstown?
We highly recommend you book both your activities and particularly your accommodation in advance.
Queenstown has become a very popular holiday destination for both adrenalin seekers and sightseeing enthusiasts. As a result many activities get booked up and accommodation places are full many months in advance.
We see so many frustrated tourists spending much of their time in Queenstown struggling to find a bed for the night and being disappointed when an activity is full.
We want you to enjoy and experience as much of Queenstown as you can in the time you have here that's why we are here. Let us take the stress out of arranging what to do. If you are not sure what you want to do after reading our website, simply contact us and tell us a little about what you are interested in, how much time you have in Queenstown and we can arrange it all for you. Remember we don't charge any booking fee and all activities and bookings are the same price as those offered by the operator directly.
- 43. Once I have received my E-ticket will my trip definitely go ahead?
Once I have received my E-ticket will my trip definitely go ahead?
Once you receive your E-ticket it means your trip has been booked and payment has been taken, you must ring the operator the night before to reconfirm your booking. This is done to ensure the operator has enough people on the trip for it to go ahead: The operator reserves the absolute right to cancel any service as a result of weather conditions, insufficient reservations or any other unforeseen event or circumstances. Please read our terms and conditions for more detailed information.
- 44. What happens if its bad weather?
What happens if its bad weather?
Many activities such as scenic flights and other air activities are weather dependent. This is the reason we ask you ring the operator on the day and the specified time to check the weather conditions. If your trip is cancelled by the operator due to bad weather, you have the option of rescheduling your trip for another time or day with the operator, if this is not possible for you or you simply don't wish to go at another time please email us and we will arrange a refund back onto your credit card.
- 45. Is there a booking fee or any hidden costs?
Is there a booking fee or any hidden costs?
NO. Everythingqueenstown.com does not charge you for the services we provide. All prices quoted are the same as those offered by the operators directly. We pride ourselves on offering a service to you at no additional cost.
- 46. Is it cheaper if I book direct?
Is it cheaper if I book direct?
No. The Everything Travel group does not charge you for the services we provide. All prices quoted are the same as those offered by the operators directly. We don't even charge you any credit card fees so in many instances it will actually be cheaper to book with us.
- 47. Can I change my booking?
Can I change my booking?
Activities can be rescheduled provided you give at least 48 hours notice and if consent is given by the operator. You can re-schedule by calling the respective operator directly using the phone number provided on your e-ticket. If you are changing a booking several weeks or months in advance you can simply email or call us and we'll be happy to sort it out for you.
- 48. Can I cancel my booking?
Can I cancel my booking?
Once you have received your e-ticket via email a cancellation may incur a fee of 10% of the total price paid. If cancelled within 44 hours no refund will be given unless authorised by the activity operator. In general, if you contact us with ample time so that the operator can resell your seat then you will receive a refund.
Please read our terms and conditions for more detailed information.
- 49. What happens if I lose my ticket?
What happens if I lose my ticket?
No signed e-ticket = NO ACTIVITY. Just the same as booking a flight, if you don't have your ticket then you can't do the trip. If you do lose the ticket email us and we can resend your E-ticket.
- 50. How do I get a refund?