Welcome to New Zealand
If New Zealand is in your sights, start dreaming big. This is a country that goes epic in every way. Mammoth mountains, fantastic fjords, wow-worthy waves and more.
Walk along a beach, go surfing, hit the slopes, hike the Heaphy or Milford Track, go flightseeing over Milford Sound or cruise through Doubtful Sound – each day you spend here will be more impressive than the last. Go kayaking and meet kiwi birds on Stewart Island.
Meet Maori residents and learn about their language, hāngi feasts, haka war dances and world-champion rugby team, the All Blacks. Visit the volcanic landscape of the North Island, where you’ll surely recognize scenery from The Lord of the Rings.
All that hearty outdoor adventure will give you an appetite to match, so eat up – the gastronomy scene boasts locally sourced lamb and seafood, oysters, scallops, fish and chips, a great craft beer scene and cool-climate wines. Come to New Zealand ready to play!
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Need To Know
- If you love to golf, you’re in luck – New Zealand has more than 400 courses.
- Visit the clearest lake in the world, Blue Lake in Nelson. It’s clear up to 262 feet.
- Although Samoa is technically the first country to greet the new day, it is in Gisborne on the North Island where you can first see the sunrise.
- Head to Taumata Hill in Hawke’s Bay and try to pronounce its official, 40-syllable place name, the longest place name in any English-speaking country.
- Keep an eye out for sheep – there are 9 sheep per 1 person living in New Zealand, so about 40 million sheep!
New Zealand’s official languages are English, Maori and New Zealand Sign Language.
When To Go
For beach weather, visit New Zealand during the summer, from January through early March. It’s typically hot enough then to make the ocean temperatures comfortable for swimming. For hiking, visit from late spring through early autumn (book ahead because this is a very popular time). For wine country, the far north is wonderful year-round and Central Otago is best in the summer. As for other regions, summer is a good bed for its long days and warm temperatures into the evening hours. As for times to avoid, early January is not ideal because most New Zealanders are on vacation at this time, shutting down many urban restaurants and cafes and limited dining options, while at the same time crowding the beaches. Avoid the winter unless you are there to ski or snowboard.
Auckland International Airport
Passport must be valid three months beyond the planned date of departure from New Zealand.
Visa Required By US Citizen?
New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA) or visa is required.
Power plugs and sockets: type I. Standard voltage: 230V. Frequency: 50Hz.
Official local currency: New Zealand Dollar.
If driving, be prepared to encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. Traffic operates on the left. Keep an eye out for animals when driving in rural areas. Be prepared for sharp curves and steep grades on narrow, two-land roads between cities. New Zealand prohibits driving while texting as well as driving while using a cell phone.
All major cities offer easy-to-use, reliable public transportation.
A valid driver’s license from your country of residence or an international driving permit is required.
US Embassy Info
U.S. Consulate General Auckland
Citigroup Centre, 3rd Floor,
23 Customs Street East
Auckland, New Zealand
Telephone: +(64)(9) 303-2724
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: (64)(4) 462-6000
Fax: +(64)(9) 303-1069
U.S. Embassy Wellington
29 Fitzherbert Terrace, Thorndon
Wellington, New Zealand
Telephone: +(64)(4) 462-6000
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(64)(4) 462-6000
Fax: +(64)(4) 499-0490
Local Visitor Info
Tourism New Zealand
Level 1, 1 Nelson St, Auckland
Tel: +64 9 914 4780
Tourism New Zealand
Level 23, Aon Centre, 1 Willis Street, Wellington
Tel: +64 4 462 8000
Local Emergency Phone Numbers
Fire, Police, Ambulance: 111
Safety and Security
New Zealand’s crime rate in New Zealand is relatively low. Take precautions against theft from cars, recreational vehicles and hostels is common, especially in popular tourist areas.
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