New Zealand: FAQs

Our frequently asked questions about travel to New Zealand. If you have any other questions, please contact your travel designer or concierge.

Do I need a visa?

For those visiting for less than three months and travelling on a valid and current EU or Australian passport, no visitors visa is required though the passport must be valid for at least three months beyond your intended date of departure.

Electronic visas are required from October 1, 2019 for US citizens. The website will be available for applications from July 2019.

A useful website for checking whether you require a visa is however we strongly advise you consult the details with the relevant embassies which will be able to give you the exact detail, and that you do this at least 2 months prior to your trip.

I hear New Zealand has very strict biosecurity laws? 

Yes. New Zealand is free of many insects and pests, plant diseases and animal infections that are common elsewhere in the world. Substantial fines will be incurred if you arrive carrying animal products including skin, hair, dung, feathers, bone, coral, eggs and sea shells. Some are banned because they can harbour pests and diseases; others because they pose a threat to endangered species. Fresh perishable foodstuffs, such as fruit, vegetables and meat and items manufactured from plant products are also prohibited.

Will I need travel insurance? 

All travellers should check to be certain they are covered by their own medical insurance including a travel policy. We highly recommend that you take out trip cancellation insurance and medical evacuation. This will cover you if you must cancel for medical or family emergency reasons, and provides additional coverage should you need medical attention while on the trip.

Clients have previously booked through Allianz, CSA Travel Insurance or Travel Guard, however we do not recommend a specific insurance broker and we do not sell travel insurance.

Remember to first check with your credit card provider who often offer travel insurance as part of their package.

What currency should I bring?

ATMs are plentiful and the best way to obtain New Zealand Dollars. All major cards are accepted across the country. Check with your bank beforehand about their foreign transaction fee.

Foreign currency can easily be exchanged at banks, post shops, some hotels and Bureau de Change kiosks, which are found at international airports and most city centres.

Electrical plugs

New Zealand uses a flat 3 or 2 pin plug, with a mains voltage of 230–240V, 50 hertz. Adaptors/converters are often available at hotels and lodges or for purchase locally.

When will I receive the vouchers from my train journeys, entrance fees etc?

You’ll be sent your travel pack about 1-2 months before you travel with information about the destinations you are visiting. Your confirmed itinerary summary will be sent to you by email before your trip. All vouchers for your tours and transportation will be provided to you when you arrive in New Zealand with a copy of your most up-to-date detailed itinerary and schedule.

Local restaurants

We highly recommend that you make restaurant reservations in advance of your trip. Once you receive your Jacada travel pack, you should begin thinking about restaurants that you would like to visit. Jacada offers a concierge service which can assist you with these reservations.

What are the tipping suggestions?

Tipping is not compulsory or expected – hotels and restaurants do not add a service charge to their bills. Tipping is entirely discretionary in appreciation of good service. Employees do not depend on gratuities for their income nor are service charges routinely added to accounts by hotels and restaurants; however a tip of up to 10% in recognition of excellent service has become the custom in cafes and restaurants. You should not feel obliged to tip tour guides or concierge, it is however appropriate where service has been exceptional. Taxi drivers and hotel porters also appreciate a small change tip for their service.

Transport in New Zealand

Metered taxis are available in all major cities and towns. You can book a taxi by phone, hail a taxi in the street or her one from a taxi rank which can often be found at transport terminals, major hotels or shopping centres.

A light and sign on the roof shows when a cab is available. There is a minimum ‘flagfall’ charge, then a charge for the distance travelled. Small additional charges are made for luggage, telephone reservations, and where applicable tolls, otherwise the amount payable is shown on the meter.  

What is the weather like in New Zealand?

Temperatures are pleasantly warm in summer occasionally reaching 30℃. The warmest months are December to March (average max temperatures range between 20-25℃ (68-77℉). The coldest are June to August with an average maximum day temperature ranging between 10-12℃ (around 50℉) in the south, and 15-17℃  in the north (around 60℉).

Most areas of the North and South Islands have between 2000 and 2400 hours of sunshine a year. There is no rainy season; rainfall is distributed evenly throughout the year. Much of the North Island has a ‘Mediterranean’ climate and the South Island has hot summers and cool winters.