Driving - please
remember we drive on the proper side of the road - the left hand side! New
Zealand roads generally have light traffic away from cities. Most roads are good
and well signed, however there are may roads in remoter unspoiled wilderness
areas which are unsealed gravel. Speed limits are 100kph (~63mph) on freeways
and main roads and 50kph (~31mph) in towns although the traffic may flow at a
higher speed. On freeways, the slower traffic is encouraged to keep to the left
but passing on the left on a laned freeway is permitted. It is not permitted to
hitch-hike or cycle on the side of the freeways. Speed cameras, radar guns and
laser speed detection devices are widely used by the Police in traffic
enforcement and drink/driving regulations are strict with the police have a
policy of random roadside checks in all areas especially at night.
Emergency services - Police, ambulance & fire - Dial 111.
Entry - You need a passport valid with for 3 months after your departure
date, fully paid tickets for your return and sufficient funds to keep you while
in New Zealand. You need no vaccination certificates and no visa if you do not
intend to work. During your stay in New Zealand you are covered by Accident
Compensation for any accidents including free medical care but in exchange you
forgo the right of legal action against other parties.
Electricity in New Zealand is 230 volts so North American 110volt items
should not be used. The exception being electric shavers for which hotels
provide special outlets. For those visitors from '230volt countries' adapters to
fit local sockets can easily be purchased.
Fishing - New Zealand's unpolluted rivers and lakes and clean unspoilt
coastline make it a fisherman's dream! Trout, salmon and perch have been
introduced and New Zealand has some of the best fly fishing in the world.. A
trout fishing licence is required and can be purchased locally for the day or
period required. Big game fishing for tuna, shark and marlin is particularly
good off North Island's Pacific coast. Sea fishing from both coast and boat are
popular. Lake Taupo is famous for it's trout fishing though many lakes and
rivers around New Zealand are well stocked with brown and rainbow trout. The
best time for salmon fishing in the rivers of the Southern Alps is late summer
(January-March). Licences are available from local fishing tackle shops and
experienced fishing guides can be easily hired. The Bay of Islands is world
famous for big game fishing with the Marlin season February to April. Fishing is
also excellent for Snapper, Kingfish and other popular varieties. Options range
from surfcasting from Tapeka Point to day fishing expeditions and charters.
Flights - Most international flights operate in and out of Auckland and
Christchurch, with lesser frequency to and from Hamilton, Wellington, Dunedin
and Invercargill. All major towns have airports with frequent internal flights
by Air New Zealand, Qantas and Impulse. The Bay of Islands is serviced by daily
flights from Auckland to nearby Kerikeri. Shuttles and taxis operate to Paihia
with the passenger ferry the best connection to Russell and Tapeka. Daily direct
flights from Los Angeles to Auckland are operated by Air New
Zealand and Qantas. The 12 hour overnight flight is more enjoyable than flying
coast to coast. Numerous other carriers operate into New Zealand from Australia
Golf - New Zealand has more golf-courses per head than any other country
in the world - approximately 400! And most golf clubs welcome guests. With New
Zealand's temperate climate, golf is a year round sport. Many of the courses are
situated in impressive scenery and often offer unique obstacles to the round
such as hot mud pools or sheep. Even Tiger Woods has found time to play
tournaments here in 2001.
Internet Connections. Internet cafes and WiFi hot spots can be found
in all the major cities as well as many of the smaller towns. Tapeka Del Mar has free
high speed wireless Internet access available.
Medical Care. - New Zealand has fully equipped - modern hospitals in all
cities and specialist (cardiac, women’s, children) hospitals in the major
cities. Medical practitioners can be found in every town as well as the local
ambulance service. Pharmacies are wide spread and two or three can be found in
every town. During summer sun protection is highly recommended.
Money - The New Zealand dollar is worth around 75 US cents. ATM
machines are widespread and international credit cards widely accepted. Banks
open 930-430, Monday-Friday. Hotels and larger shops will accept travelers
cheques. One NZ dollar will buy the equivalent in NZ and one US dollar in the
Shopping - New Zealand is a modern country where of course all the
necessities of life can be bought locally. For the tourist or vacation visitor
to New Zealand, local crafts offer the best choice for gifts and souvenirs. You
will be spoilt for choice. Handicrafts can be bought in souvenir shops or
directly from the artist's studios. Pottery and woodcarvings are widely
available. In particular, exquisite traditional Maori woodcarvings should be
looked at. Other crafts such as jewellery, hand-weaving, glassware and bone
carvings can found easily. Jewellery is often made from paua shell or
greenstone. Sheepskin, leather and other outdoor clothing are well worth looking
at. In particular, nobody should leave New Zealand without a genuine rugby
shirt! New Zealand food and drink certainly shouldn't be overlooked - fine
wines, cheeses and wonderful honey. With regard to tax, all goods are subject to
12.5% GST (Goods and Services Tax). The marked price always includes this tax.
In normal outlets tourists must pay GST unless the shop agrees to export the
item directly to you home address in which case GST will not be charged on goods
or carriage. Having souvenirs shipped directly home also has the big advantage
of saving you carrying them for the rest of your vacation and on the plane home!
In major towns there are specific duty free stores offering souvenirs, tobacco,
drinks and perfumes. To shop in these you will need to have your air ticket and
passport. The shop then arranges for you collect them at the airport on
Telephone and Cellular phones. New Zealand modern telecommunications with
pay phones accepting credit or phone cards. Three Cellular networks covers all the major towns and cities and main highway
areas. Countries using GSM cellular will be able to roam in New Zealand. Check with your cellular
provider before leaving.
Tipping is not expected for service anywhere. For exceptional service the
tourist may feel it appropriate for Taxis and restaurants.
Transport - Our generally rugged terrain in the centre of both Islands
has led to most road and rail development being around the coasts. With our low
population densities away from the main cities, New Zealand has only around
150Km / 90miles of freeway or motorway but almost 95000 km / 60000 miles of
sealed rural main roads. We also have some 4000 km / 2100 miles of railway
network with passenger trains covering the scenic routes as well as between the
major cities. An excellent bus service also travels between the provincial towns
and cities. Passenger, vehicle and rail ferries operate between the North and
South Island several times a day and are rarely disrupted by weather
Drinking Water from the tap is safe to drink everywhere although bottled,
mineral and purified water is freely available at most convenience stores.
New Zealand has a reputation for being clean and green with a large variety
of scenery and attractions. With no nuclear power or weapons, minimal
terrorist threat and unarmed police, the country is very safe. Daily overnight direct flights
from LAX and SFO by Air New Zealand / United code share and Qantas have you in Auckland
in no time. Soon United will be flying the new Boeing 787 non
stop to Auckland from Houston, Texas. Many VIP's have stayed at the house in total privacy away from
the crowds and security risks. Come visit us soon.