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Questions & Answers about our New Zealand Fully Guided Tours

New Zealand's spectacularly beautiful landscape includes vast mountain chains, steaming volcanoes, sweeping coastlines, deeply indented fiords and lush rainforests. Although it is roughly comparable in size to Japan or Colorado, New Zealand's population is only just over four million people, making it one of the world's least crowded countries. It is a haven for those seeking peace, rejuvenation and relaxation as well as a playground for thrill seekers and adventurers.

A temperate climate with relatively small seasonal variation makes it an ideal year-round holiday destination.

Questions

What is an Escorted Tour?
When is the best time to visit New Zealand?
What's the climate like?
What is the water temperature?
What clothes should I take?
Do I need a passport or visa to enter New Zealand?
Can I use my credit cards/ATM cards in New Zealand?
Are there any poisonous animals in New Zealand?
What is the voltage of electricity supply in New Zealand? Do I need to take a converter?
Where are the international airports located in New Zealand?
When is the best time to go trekking/hiking in New Zealand?
What types of accommodation are available in New Zealand?
What can i expect to pay for a meal in New Zealand?
Where is the capital of New Zealand?
What is a 'Kiwi'?
What types of activities are available for children?
What happens if i cancel my booked tour?
What is New Zealand's smoking policy?
Is it safe to drink the water in New Zealand?

Answers

What is an Escorted Tour?

This kind of tour is a group tour which uses the services of a professional tour manager. The escorted tour is a structured programme of sightseeing, activities, meals, transportation, accommodation and a proffesional tour guide accompanying the group throughout the journey. The professional tour manager is in charge of all arrangements. 

When is the best time to visit New Zealand?

You can visit New Zealand at any time of the year. Summer and winter temperatures vary by only about 10C over most of the country, making New Zealand an ideal holiday destination all year round.

New Zealand has four quite distinct seasons - Spring (September - November), Summer (December - February), Autumn/Fall (March - May) and Winter (June - August).

In summer there's plenty of sunshine, and activities in and around the water include rafting, snorkelling, diving and kayaking.

You'll find snow on the mountains in winter and excellent skiing. Away from the mountains, New Zealand winters are mild and temperatures generally do not fall below freezing.

What's the climate like?

New Zealand's seasons are the reverse of the Northern Hemisphere. This means that the warmest months are December, January and February, while the coldest are in June, July and August. Don't let cold months put you off - winters tend to be short and generally fairly mild.

What is the water temperature?

The water temperature of the sea surrounding New Zealand varies between seasons, and is warmer the further north you go.

In winter, the ocean temperature surrounding the lower South Island drops as low as 8C, whilst around the upper North Island water temperatures average around 15C.

In summer the sea temperature around the South Island varies from around 14C to 18C. The North Island water temperatures are lovely and warm at around 20-22C.

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What clothes should I take?

Dress is informal and relaxed on most occasions. Smart casual clothes are acceptable at most restaurants and night-spots. Men are generally not expected to wear suits and ties, except in a few of the top formal bars and restaurants in major cities.

In summer a light jacket or sweater should be included in your luggage should the weather turn cooler or when you visit the high country. You can expect some rain, so include a light waterproof jacket or coat.

Most of the walking tracks and paths you will be on are well marked and well maintained so comfortable walking shoes or sneakers are more than adequate. Dont forget to pack a hat to protect you from the sun - the UV is particularly strong in New Zealand.

Pack warm winter clothing if visiting between May and September. Layer your clothing.

Do I need a passport or visa to enter New Zealand?

All visitors to New Zealand must carry a passport that is valid for at least three months beyond the date you intend to leave the country.

Most visitors who intend to stay for less than three months do not require a visa. If you want to stay longer than three months, or your country of origin does not have a visa waiver agreement with New Zealand, then you will need to apply for a Visitor's Visa.

Read Passports and Visas section carefully, and if you need more information look at the New Zealand Immigration Service Web site.

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Can I use my credit cards/ATM cards in New Zealand?

All major international credit cards can be used in New Zealand and Travellers Cheques are accepted at hotels, banks and some stores. If your credit card is encoded with a PIN number you will be able to withdraw cash from automatic teller machines (ATMs) situated at banks and shopping centres throughout the country.

Are there any poisonous animals in New Zealand?

New Zealand has no snakes or dangerous wild animals, making it safe for visitors to enjoy outdoor activities.

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What is the voltage of electricity supply in New Zealand? Do I need to take a converter?

Electricity is supplied throughout New Zealand at 230/240 volts (50 hertz), although most hotels and motels provide 110 volt AC sockets (rated at 20 watts) for electric razors only.

For all other equipment, an adapter/converter is necessary, unless the item has a multi-voltage option. Please note that power outlets only accept flat three or two-pin plugs, depending on whether an earth connection is fitted.

Where are the international airports located in New Zealand?

New Zealand's main international airports servicing long haul flight are at Auckland and Christchurch. Some flights from Australia also land at Wellington Hamilton, Palmerston North, Queenstown and Dunedin.

When is the best time to go trekking/hiking in New Zealand?

Tracks such as the Abel Tasman, Heaphy and Queen Charlotte Sounds Walkway located at the top of the South Island can be walked all year round. However, those tracks at higher altitudes such as the world famous Milford Track, Kepler and Routeburn are closed in the winter due to snow.

You must book to walk the Milford and Routeburn tracks, which are open between October and April.

What types of accommodation are available in New Zealand?

New Zealand offers a wide range of accommodation options from top-class hotels, exclusive lodges, motels, guest houses, and farm or homestays to holiday parks and backpacker hostels.

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What can i expect to pay for a meal in New Zealand?

A local restaurant meal can cost between NZ$18 and NZ$35 for a main course on average. A good pub meal will be around NZ$25 for a main course. Drinks cost between NZ$6 and NZ$12 for a glass of wine (Depending on what it is of course) and a beer between NZ$5 and NZ$10 again depending on the variety. A bottle of wine will cost anything from NZ$30 upwards in a restaurant or cafe.

Where is the capital of New Zealand?

Wellington is the political, banking and financial centre for New Zealand. The Parliament building known as the 'Beehive' is one of the city's top attractions.

The National Archives, National Library and Old Government Buildings (the second largest wooden building in the world) are located nearby and are open to casual visitors free of charge.

What is a 'Kiwi'?

The kiwi, New Zealand's national emblem, is a flightless bird with hair-like feathers and a long, slender bill which it uses to pull worms and insects out of the ground. Found only in New Zealand, it is active at night in the wilderness areas of the country. Be sure to visit one of the many kiwi houses where you can watch them under special 'nocturnal' lighting.

New Zealanders often refer to themselves as Kiwis, and the term is also used as a short form for the famous kiwifruit. On the stock exchange, the New Zealand Dollar is also referred to as 'the kiwi'.

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What types of activities are available for children?

If you are thinking about visiting with your family, you can be confident that New Zealand has a wide range of activities to keep your children happy.

New Zealand's parks and large areas of unspoilt wilderness are ideal places to expand your children's appreciation of wildlife and the outdoors. Horse riding, snow activities, whale watching, fruit picking and wildlife centres and zoos are just some of the choices available.

If you are visiting the larger centres, you will find a range of themed attractions including Rainbow's End (Auckland), Splash Planet (Hastings), Marine Land (Napier) and the International Antarctic Centre (Christchurch). Te Papa, New Zealand's interactive national museum, has a range of activities for the whole family to enjoy, including Story Place, a haven for small children.

Most family restaurants have childrens' menus and high chairs. Many cafes also have high chairs, and a toy basket to amuse babies and toddlers is becoming increasingly common in both cafes and shops.

Most public gardens have well equipped play areas for young children, as do many holiday parks. Adventure playlands such as Chipmunks or Lollipop's Playland are always popular with the very young--these can be found in most main centres.

Visitor Information Centres are a good source of information about activities that are fun for the whole family.

What happens if i cancel my booked tour?

You can cancel your tour at any time for any reason however please be aware that cancellations fees and costs may apply. Our cancellation fees for all our tours are: Within 48 hours before the start of a tour: no refund. (13 - 3 days 50% refund) (14 - 29 days 80% refund) (+30 day 90% refund) This is to protect ourselves since we offer highly personal tours, so that late cancellations and "no shows" do have a significant impact on our business. Our full terms and conditions can be viewed here. We strongly advise that you purchase travel insurance that will cover you for cancellation and interruption costs. Consult a local professional travel expert and provide for this advice.

What is New Zealand's smoking policy?

To protect people from the health effects of second-hand smoke, smoking in all hospitality venues, including bars, restaurants, cafes, and casinos, is prohibited in New Zealand. If you smoke, please remember to smoke outside.

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Is it safe to drink the water in New Zealand?

New Zealand cities and towns have excellent water supplies and in all cases tap water is fresh and safe to drink. Water from rivers and lakes should be boiled, chemically treated or filtered before drinking to avoid stomach upsets.

 
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