Best Time to go: November – February
Best For: Ecotourism
New Zealand is a unique land of breath-taking scenery: craggy coastlines, golden beaches, lush rainforests, snow-capped mountains, bubbling volcanic pools, rivers jumping with rainbow trout, and glacier-fed lakes.
This is the world`s prime destination for bungee jumping. Famous jump-off points include the Kawarau River Bridge, the Nevis, the Pipeline, the Ledge (near Queenstown), Taupo and Mangaweka (North Island) and Hanmer Springs (South Island).
New Zealand is also the birthplace of zorbing, which involves being strapped into an inflatable transparent plastic ball, or diving into a zorb with a bucket of water, which is then rolled down a grassy hill or onto a river.
Cruise Wellington harbour in tall ships or sailboats, visit vineyards on neighbouring islands, or go further afield on an excursion to the remote maritime reserves in the Bay of Islands, Hauraki Gulf and Marlborough Sounds.
A great place to enjoy some fruit of the vine is in the wine-growing region of Hawke`s Bay. Around 70 wineries allow visitors in to sample the region`s respected red wines, particularly Pinot Noir.
For up to date Health & Visa information click here
Capital: Wellington (WLG)
Currency: New Zealand Dollar (NZD)
Language: English and Maori
Dialling code from SA: + 64
Time Zone: UTC/GMT +12 hours (10 hours ahead of South Africa)
Daylight Savings Time: from last Sunday of September – first Sunday of April: UTC / GMT +13 (11 hours ahead of South Africa)
Side of the Road: Left
Plugs: 230/240 volts (angled two or three pin plugs)
Drinking Water: Mains water in hotels and towns is safe to drink.
Health: There are adequate and well-equipped medical facilities, however visitors are required to pay for these services. Comprehensive health insurance is recommended. Visitors bringing in a quantity of medication are advised to carry a doctor`s certificate to avoid possible problems with New Zealand Customs. Doctor`s prescriptions are needed to obtain certain drugs in New Zealand.
Customs: Normal social courtesies
Duty Free: The following items may be imported into New Zealand by persons of 17 years of age and over without incurring customs duty:
• 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250g tobacco or a mixture of all three weighing no more than 250g
• 4.5L of wine or beer
• 3 bottles of 1.125L of spirits or liqueurs
• Other goods to the value of NZ$700
Prohibited Imports: Because of the importance of agriculture and horticulture to the New Zealand economy, it is illegal to import most foodstuffs (meat, meat products, honey, fruit and dairy). Customs and agricultural officers view any breach of the laws extremely seriously and travellers are fined on the spot. Take care when importing wood products, such as golf clubs, shoes and items made from animal skin and feathers. For further information, contact the nearest embassy, high commission or consulate. The import of the following items is also prohibited: drugs, counterfeit goods, firearms and weapons (unless a special permit is obtained from the New Zealand police), ivory in any form, tortoise or turtle shell jewellery and ornaments, medicines using musk, rhinoceros or tiger derivatives, carvings or anything made from whalebone or bone from any other marine animals, cat skins or coats, and certain drugs (eg diuretics, depressants, stimulants, heart drugs, tranquillisers, sleeping pills) unless covered by a doctor`s prescription. The New Zealand Customs Service website (www.customs.govt.nz) contains comprehensive advice for travellers and details all restricted items. There are heavy fines in place for those caught breaking these rules.
Prohibited Exports: There are export restrictions on firearms and ammunition, drugs, wildlife, plant life, antiquities and works of art.