General Travel Information
Customs and Immigration clearance is usually straightforward and quick when arriving in New Zealand. Tourism is the largest contributor to the economy and visitors are welcomed however; Fruit, meat and honey will cause you problems if you try to bring them through Customs.
Fishing equipment needs to be thoroughly cleaned to ensure no aquatic pests or weeds will be introduced to our waterways, this includes footwear. For the same reason felt soled boots are not allowed. Golf gear should also be thoroughly cleaned so that soil and any organisms are not brought in with you. New Zealand is an agriculture-based economy and any threat to animal or plant species is taken seriously.
Obviously, firearms, drugs or any other type of contraband is going to land you in trouble. You may also be asked to prove that you have enough funds to support you for the duration of your trip.
Language and currency The main language is English with some signage and public information in both Maori and English. The currency is dollars and the exchange rate is usually favourable for North American and European currencies.
Roads in New Zealand are good considering the population and distances. Main arteries are paved and well signposted and fuel stations are plentiful. Rules of the road are like those in most western countries but of course we drive on the opposite side of the road to North America.
Infrastructure All large towns and cities have everything you could need from food, sporting goods, medicines, doctors, hospitals, restaurants, fuel, hardware, clothing etc. Smaller towns have all the basics but limited choice. Smaller towns are seldom more than one or two hours from a main centre. Mobile phone and internet coverage is available in the majority of locations except where rugged terrain and small populations make it uneconomical for the suppliers.
Coastal areas On the western side of the island beaches are often rugged with surf and mainly black sand. The east coast has mainly golden sand and calmer water more conducive for swimming and sunbathing. If you are into water sports or ocean fishing there is an endless list of places to see and things to do in New Zealand.
There is nothing complicated to get your head around when travelling in New Zealand other than the explanation for how such an idylic place can exist in today’s industrialised world.
Our itineraries take all the factors into account that will make for a convenient and enjoyable holiday based on your particular interests.