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New Zealand

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Currency information

Code NZD
Symbol $
Coins
Cents & dollars - 10c, 20c, 50c, $1, $2
Banknotes
Dollars - $5, $10, $20, $50, $100

Expert tip

If you’ve got a strict budget for your New Zealand holiday, you may need to choose either the north or south island. A quick trip simply won’t give you enough time to properly experience everything on offer in this surprisingly vast country, so it’s best to narrow your scope rather than rush too much.

ATM access

5/5 stars – there are ATMs everywhere.

Tipping

In New Zealand, tips are occasionally earned but never expected. In fact, some locals feel proud of what they call the country’s ‘anti-tipping culture’.

Unless you are given exceptional service, you don’t need to feel obligated to hand over extra cash in any situation.

Bargaining scale

1/5 stars – bargaining is impolite.

As with tipping, haggling isn’t a standard part of New Zealand’s culture. With the exception of cars and whitegoods, goods are generally marked with the lowest price the store is willing to sell them for. Offering a merchant a lower price would be confusing at best and insulting at worst. 

Card access

As in Australia, establishments will generally accept debit and credit cards without issue. However, it’s still a smart idea to keep some Kiwi dollars in your pocket for any incidentals.

This should also help you avoid some costly transaction fees. If you’ll be paying with plastic from time to time, be sure to notify your bank prior to heading overseas.

Cost of a coffee

A coffee will set you back $4-$5 New Zealand dollars.

Transport

Apart from a couple of main train lines between major cities, buses make up the majority of public transport in New Zealand. The bus networks throughout the country are generally reliable and reasonably priced; the average ride can cost between NZ$1.50 and $3.

Renting your own car is often the most affordable way to explore New Zealand’s natural beauty, with budget car hire options starting from around NZ$35 per day.

Pickpocket security rating

4/5 stars – theft is rare. 

The rates of pickpocketing and other crimes are generally parallel with the rates in Australia. You are more likely to have expensive items stolen from a parked car than you are to have your wallet swiped from your pocket.

Scammers and ripoffs

Many of the common scams in New Zealand are targeted at homeowners and citizens, but there are others that aim to rip off tourists. For example, some unscrupulous accommodation venues might write phony reviews on TripAdvisor to entice travellers. And, the worldwide 2-person decoy-and-pickpocket routine can also make an occasional appearance on the busier streets of New Zealand’s cities.

Departure tax

There is a tax of NZ$25 for all passengers over 12 years old when leaving the country. Those departing from Auckland will have this fee included in their airfare.

Visa costs

Australian citizens travelling on an Australian passport, and residents who have a current Australian resident return visa, do not need a visa to visit New Zealand.

Any Australian citizens who hold dual Australian and New Zealand citizenship should use their current Australian passport to enter or leave Australia.

Entry and exit conditions can change at short notice, so if you have any questions you should contact the nearest High Commission or Consulate of New Zealand. And also bear in mind that your Australian passport must be valid on the day of your arrival in New Zealand.

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