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New Zealand FAQs

  • Mt Cook National Park, New Zealand

What language is spoken in New Zealand?

The official languages of New Zealand are English and Maori. 

What currency is used in New Zealand?

The currency used throughout the country is the New Zealand dollar. Credit cards are accepted almost everywhere and ATMs are very common. 

Do I need a visa to travel to New Zealand?

A visa is required when travelling to New Zealand as a tourist. This electronic visa is called the NZeTA(New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority and it needs to be approved prior to departing for New Zealand.  There are two ways to apply - the quickest one is via the NZeTA mobile app available in the Apple Store or Google Play Store.  

When is the best time to travel to New Zealand?

Summer is always a good time to travel.  However, we feel the perfect time to travel to avoid the crowds, save some money and get medium travel temperatures are the shoulder seasons of September to November and March to May.  You might need to dress a little warmer on the South Island but the trick to travelling in New Zealand is layering, so just plan on an extra layer. If you like to ski, Winter is perfect of course 

How do I get to New Zealand? 

Direct flights to Auckland International Airport operate from Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, & Houston. There are direct flights from Vancouver for travellers from Canada and many possibilities to add connecting flights to the above-listed gateways. Air New Zealand have a great domestic flight network including airports such as Rotorua & Wellington in the North Island and flights to Christchurch, Dunedin, and Queenstown in the South Island. 

Is there transportation within New Zealand? 

The best ways of getting around New Zealand include coach travel, car or motorhome rental or even a selection of ferries and trains for longer distances. However, one can fly between major cities. A most popular mode of transportation is self-drives however there are passes that can be purchased that cover the national Intercity coach network, the three scenic rail journeys, and Cook Strait ferry passage. 

What are the don't miss highlights for visitors to the North Island of New Zealand?

When staying in Auckland be sure to check out the Sky Tower, Bungee Jumping from the Auckland Harbour Bridge, or take a ferry to one of the nearby Islands: Waiheke & Rangitoto. 

The Rotorua Glow Worm Caves, Te Puia thermal pools & hot springs, Redwood Tree Walk and of course Matamata where the famous Hobbiton is located from the Film Lord Of the Rings. Wellington is the capital of New Zealand with award-winning restaurants. Don’t miss the Bay of Islands and the Waitaingi Treaty House - the birthplace of New Zealand.

What are the different regions of the North Island?

There are 9 different regions of the North Island which include: Northland, Auckland, Waikato - Coromandel, Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Manawatu - Wanganui, Hawkes Bay, Taranaki, and Wellington. 

Special events in North Island New Zealand:

Some of the most notable events taking place on the North Island include Hawkes Bay Wine + Food Festival which showcase the regions world-class wines and amazing food (takes place in the first week of February). Waitangi Day Celebration, Bay of Islands is New Zealand's National day celebrating the signing of the Waitangi Treaty (February 6th). New Zealand International Festival of Arts in Wellington is the largest most prestigious event on the New Zealand Arts Calendar (held at the start of March). 

Is North Island New Zealand a family-friendly destination?

With plenty of activities for kids, New Zealand is a great family vacation destination. The country has a vast landscape and many activities for kids and families to explore across both islands! Plus there are no land animals that can cause any harm therefore it is known as being increasingly safe for all! 

How welcoming is New Zealand to LGBTQ travellers?

New Zealand is frequently referred to as one of the most LGBTQ friendly travel destinations in the world by Lonely Planet. New Zealand is well known for its acceptance and diversity. 

Insider tips for North Island New Zealand: 

Be aware of tide times for beach hikes and plan accordingly. Make sure to try Whitebait fish known as a Kiwi Delicacy. Visits to Hobbiton Movie Set must be prebooked before arriving to guarantee space is available. Two very notable dining experiences include the Rotorua Stratosfare Restaurant and the Journey of Ages Cultural DInner and Hangi Show.

What are the don’t miss highlights for visitors in South Island New Zealand? 

There are many highlights for visitors to the South Island of New Zealand including the Queen Charlotte Sound, Kaikoura Whale Watching, kayaking and beach hikes in Nelson, Blue Lakes, Pancake rocks, a helicopter ride at Franz Josef Glacier, the standing tree at Lake Wanaka and the famous Milford Sound/Doubtful sound cruise from Queenstown. 

What are the different regions in the South Island? 

There are 10 different regions of the south island which include Nelson, Marlborough West Coast, Christchurch - Canterbury, Dunedin - Coastal Otago, Lake Wanaka, Queenstown, Central Otago, Fiordland, & Southland. 

Is South Island ideal for families? 

There are so many activities for families to enjoy in South Island New Zealand from kayaking in Nelson, Whale watching in Kaikoura, hiking glaciers in Franz Josef, The infamous TSS Earnslaw steamboat cruise with dinner and Shotover Jet in Queenstown, and the glow worm caves in Te Anau. 

Will my hotel be air-conditioned?

Air Conditioning is not always standard in New Zealand, It is not uncommon, especially in regional areas for hotels to not have this feature. Please advise your Goway agent if this is a requirement so we can choose the correct hotel for you.

Events in South island New Zealand: 

South Island New Zealand is filled with events taking place all year long. Some renowned events include Driftwood + Sand, Hokitika where budding artists work side by side with professionals turning driftwood and other materials they find on the beach into sculptural pieces (early October). Wild Foods Festival in Hokitika offers a diverse selection of food vendors, beer & wine and non-alcoholic drinks available (early March). Kaikoura Seafest is a premier festival featuring wine and food from the region, Seafest is an annual celebration of the abundance of the ocean (early October). Bread & Circus in Christchurch is a programme jam-packed with 42 shows by 60 artists from all around the world, as well as right here in New Zealand, there’s spectacle for everyone (mid-January). The Winter Festival takes place in Queenstown and the Festival puts up its marquee over a broad collection of events that include live music, competitive mountain exploits, comedy, fireworks, culinary creativeness, and polar lake plunging (late June). Winter Pride is also held in Queenstown and is a week-long event celebrating Queenstown, skiing, nightlife, entertainment and of course the community of LGBTQ+ people who love it (late August to early September). 

Insider tips South Island New Zealand: 

When doing a self-drive be sure to plan accordingly to ensure you are not driving at night and plan for drives to take twice as long as you think they might take. Always dress in layers so that you are ready for the ever-changing forecast! Another notable dining experience at the Queenstown Stratosfare Restaurant at dusk/sunset offers outstanding views of the Remarkables. 

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