General New Zealand Travel Info

Drivers’ Licenses

New Zealand recognises driver’s licences issued by your own country.  However, under New Zealand laws, your drivers licence has to be either:

  1. In English, or
  2. Not in English, but accompanied by a certified translation provided by a NZTA-accredited translation company or translator; or
  3. Not in English, but accompanied by an international driver’s license.


We recommend Aria NZ Translation Services who are located at 170 Queens Street, in Auckland CBD. Translations are $56 per licence, please call (09) 309 22777 or visit their website www.aria-nz.com for more information.

To drive a Spaceship you must have a valid driver’s license (held for over one year) and be over the age of 18.

Passports

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

New Zealand visa information

Visa Exemptions

You do not need a visa or permit to visit New Zealand if you are:

  • A New Zealand citizen or Resident Permit holder.
  • An Australian citizen travelling on an Australian passport.
  • An Australian resident with a current Australian resident return visa.
+ A citizen of a country which has a visa waiver agreement with New Zealand.

Visa Waivers

Currently, travellers from more than 50 countries do not require a Visitor's Visa if they are visiting for less that three months.

You do require:
+ A passport that is valid for at least three months after your planned departure from New Zealand.
+ An onward or return ticket to a country that you have permission to enter.
+ Sufficient money to support yourself during your stay – approximately NZ$1000 per month per person.

To find out if your country qualifies for a visa waiver, check out the Visiting New Zealand section of the New Zealand Immigration Service website www.immigration.govt.nz where you’ll find a list of all eligible countries and other useful visa information. Your travel agent, airline or nearest New Zealand Embassy should also be able to advise you if you require a visa.

British citizens and other British passport holders who have evidence of the right to live permanently in the UK may be allowed to stay in New Zealand for up to six months.

 

Visitors Visa Applications

If your country is not on the visa waiver list, or you wish to stay longer than three months, you’ll need to apply for a Visitor's Visa. You can download application forms directly from the New Zealand Immigration Service website, or contact your nearest New Zealand Embassy.

The New Zealand Immigration Service also has information on work, business or student visas. If you’re interested in studying in New Zealand, check out the New Zealand Independent English Language School website, http://www.englishnewzealand.co.nz/ and Education New Zealand website, http://www.newzealandeducated.com/

 

Immigration New Zealand

If you love New Zealand and are thinking about living permanently here, have a look at the Migration section on the New Zealand Immigration website. It contains a brief summary of immigration requirements and information on obtaining a residence application pack.

 

Currency

New Zealand's unit of currency is the New Zealand dollar (NZ$). Coins have values of 10, 20 and 50 cents, $1 and $2; notes have values of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. There is no restriction on the amount of foreign currency that can be brought in or taken out of New Zealand. However, every person who carries more than NZ$10,000 in cash in or out of New Zealand is required to complete a Border Cash Report. Foreign currency can easily be exchanged at banks, some hotels and Bureau de Change kiosks, which are found at international airports and most city centres. All major credit cards can be used in New Zealand though Visa and Mastercard are by far the most widely accepted. Travellers Cheques are accepted at hotels, banks and some stores.

 

Exchange Rates

You can calculate the value of your currency in NZ Dollars using the currency converter on the website www.newzealand.com. The rate you are offered in your home country is likely to differ slightly.
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (www.rbnz.govt.nz) provides a monthly online summary of the New Zealand Dollar's average value against the US Dollar, the Pound, the Australian Dollar, the Yen and the Euro.

 

Banking

Banks are open from 9.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday (with some now opening Saturday mornings as well). Automated Teller Machines (ATM) are widely available at banks, along main shopping streets and in malls. International credit cards and ATM cards will work as long as they have a four-digit PIN encoded. Check with your bank before leaving home.

 

Goods and Services Tax

All goods and services are subject to a 15 percent Goods and Services Tax (GST) included in the displayed price. Visitors cannot claim this tax back, however when a supplier ships a major purchase to a visitor's home address the GST will not be charged. All prices quoted on this website include GST.

 

Time Differences

New Zealand is one of the first places in the world to see the new day, 12 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time). In summer New Zealand uses ‘daylight saving’, with clocks put forward one hour to GMT+13. Daylight saving begins on the first Sunday in October and ends on the third Sunday of the following March, when clocks are put back to GMT+12.

 

Seasons

The north of New Zealand is subtropical and the south is temperate. The warmest months are December, January and February, and the coldest June, July and August. In summer, the average maximum temperature ranges between 20-30ºC and in winter between 10-15ºC. You can check on weather conditions in New Zealand on the New Zealand Met Service website (www.metservice.co.nz).

 

Cook Strait Ferries

The ferries that travels between the North and South Island (Wellington and Picton) travels daily. Spaceships Ltd can book your ferry across the Cook Strait on your behalf. We do not charge a booking fee so you can still get the same price as booking directly with the operator. Full names of all passengers are required along with credit card details for us to make a reservation on your behalf.

For more information about the rates, how to book and more, check out our information pages about both Cook Strait ferries: InterIslander Ferry or Bluebridge Ferry.