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New Zealand

The green paradise on the other side of the world

KIA ORA!
New Zealand welcomes you! In this lovely part of the world unbelievable natural beauty and warm-hearted people await you! New Zealanders are friendly and relaxed people. And if a Maori shows you his tongue, that isn't an insult, but a friendly greeting!
Population
New Zealand has ±4.4 million inhabitants, of which about 80% are the descendants of European settlers and about 20% the descendants of Polynesian settlers. New Zealanders call themselves "Kiwis".
Entry
Visitors from South Africa are deemed to apply for a visitor visa by completing the required “New Zealand Passenger Arrival Card” on arrival in New Zealand, and if granted entry permission, will also be granted a visitor visa for a maximum of three months, provided that they are in good health, are of good character, a visitor visa fits their purpose for coming to New Zealand, and they are a bona fide temporary visitors. All people coming to New Zealand must genuinely intend to stay for a 'lawful purpose', such as holidaying, sightseeing or family and social visits. They will also need to prove that they have enough money to support themselves during their stay. This means they have a minimum of:
NZD 1 000 per person per month of the visit, or
NZD 400 per person per month if accommodation has already been paid for (proof of pre-payment, such as hotel pre-paid vouchers will be required).
Sufficient funds can be in the form of: cash, travellers' cheques, bank drafts or recognised credit cards with sufficient credit available. (We recommend that visitors have an up-to-date credit card statement with them.)
Visitors' passports will have to be valid for at least three months beyond their intended return home and they must have a valid return or onward flight air ticket.
If they are flying via Australia and/or Asia and would like to stop over there, their passports must be valid for at least six months beyond their departure from Australia/Asia.
Quarantine and Nature Conservation
New Zealand is free from many pests and diseases, and in order to keep it that way, the country has very strict regulations with regard to the importation of items of food or animal and plant products. No food may be taken into the country without being declared on entry, and there should be no soil adhering to any shoes in your luggage!
Food and Drink
New Zealand offers its visitors a superb cuisine, made with fresh produce (excepting out in the country, where English cuisine and fast food dominate) and a great variety of excellent wines. You could, for instance, visit the renowned wine growing areas around Napier, Blenheim or Queenstown. There you can participate in wine tastings and also buy wines on the estates. In restaurants it is the custom to usher guests to their table. If these are designated as BYO ("Bring Your Own”), you can bring your own alcoholic drinks. Tips are only given for exceptionally good service.
Health
Medical care in New Zealand is equivalent to the highest European standards. Don't drink any water out of rivers or lakes, before boiling it. We strongly recommend that you take out adequate travel insurance before leaving South Africa.
Inoculations
No vaccinations are required. Please consult your local travel clinic for more information.
Clothing
In general casual clothing is worn in New Zealand. You should bring sturdy shoes for hikes and walks, as well as swim wear, rain wear and sun glasses. Insect repellants are best bought in New Zealand.
Opening Times
New Zealand has modern shopping times, so that you can shop every day of the week. Banks are usually open from 09:00 till 16:00 and post offices from 08:30 till 17:00.
Climate and Travel Time
The climate is characterized by the country's isolated location in the Southern Ocean. It ranges from mild continental on the South Island - even in summer one should be prepared for cool nights in the mountains - to sub-tropical on the North Island. The seasons are similar to those in South Africa: Summer is from December till February, Winter from June till August. The best time for a visit is from October till March/April. In January the New Zealanders have their summer holidays, which can result in availability problems with accommodation.
Local Time
Time-wize New Zealand is about 10 hours ahead of South Africa.
Safety
Even though New Zealand has a very low crime rate, valuables should be locked in the hotel's safe and larger sums of money as well as travel documents should not be carried a handbag or left unattended in the car (even in the boot). We recommend the taking out of comprehensive travel insurance.
Language
The official languages are English and Maori.
Transport and Traffic
The rule of the road in New Zealand is to keep left. The only double highways are in in or near the big cities. The road signs are in accordance with international standards. Renters of cars and campers require an international driving licence as well as a valid national driving licence.
Currency and Means of Payment
There are no currency restrictions. The unit of currency is the New Zealand Dollar (1 NZD = 100 cents). 1 NZD is roughly equivalent to ZAR 9.11 (Last updated: April 2014). For the first day or alternatively the first weekend of your visit you should have some NZD in cash on you. Payment by credit card (eg. Master, Visa, American Express) is widely accepted in New Zealand.
Electricity Supply
The electric voltage in New Zealand is 230 Volt (50 Hertz) AC. For South African plug tops you will need an adaptor.
Local Taxes
At present there is a 15% Goods and Service Tax (GST) on all goods and services. This tax (GST) is already included in our prices.
Departure Tax
When departing from Wellington by air an NZD 25 departure tax is levied per person.
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