General Information for New Zealand Travelers

General Information for New Zealand Travelers


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Shops are Generally Open Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

If you are planning a trip to New Zealand in the near or distant future, then you’ll need to know what to expect with respect to such everyday details as banking, using your credit card, shopping, and tipping. For instance, in New Zealand, banks are usually open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and shops and offices keep regular hours five days a week from 9:00 to 5:00 p.m. In some popular tourist towns, such as Queenstown or Rotura, retailers are open seven days a week. Shops that stay open later than 5:00 p.m. usually do so on Thursday or Friday nights.


Credit and Currency – Feel Free to Spend your Money

When it comes to credit cards and currency, major credit cards are accepted everywhere and there aren’t any limitations placed on the currency you bring into the country. All major international credit cards are accepted, including American Express, MasterCard, and VISA. If you want to use your Diner’s Club card, you can only do so at the bigger establishments.


The Water, for the most part, is Safe to Drink

You don’t have to worry about drinking the water in New Zealand either as it is potable and therefore safe to drink from the tap. In fact, the water in the city of Christchurch is not treated at all and is said to be the purest domestic water source in the world. You can obtain natural spring water too at the Speights Brewery in Dunedin in southern New Zealand, which provides a tap outside to the general public. However, if you hike in the Northern part of New Zealand, be cautious about drinking from streams as the parasite giardia has been found in the water there.


Tipping in New Zealand is not Required

When you travel in New Zealand, you are not expected to leave a tip although, naturally, a cab driver or waiter will not refuse you if you choose to give them a gratuity. Waiters and waitresses or hotel employees do not depend on tips for their income in New Zealand. Therefore, the amounts are not added to hotel room bills or restaurant charges per se.