One of the world's least crowded countries, New Zealand has a population of little more than four million. Comparable in size to Japan, Colorado or Great Britain, New Zealand
has a temperate climate with relatively small seasonal variation, making it an ideal year-round holiday destination.
Arrivals, Passports and Visas
Upon arrival in New Zealand, a New Zealand Passenger Arrival Card must be completed. All visitors to New Zealand must carry a passport that is valid for at least three months
after the intended departure date from New Zealand. Most visitors to New Zealand do not require visas. However, 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.
International Driving Licenses and Permits
You can legally drive in New Zealand for up to 12 months if you either have a current driver's licence from your home country or an International Driving Permit (IDP). Visitors
to New Zealand must carry their licence or permit at all times when driving. You can only drive the same type of vehicle you are licensed to drive in your home country.
New Zealanders drive on the left-hand side of the road. Drivers give way (or yield) to all traffic crossing or approaching to the right. The open road speed limit is 100km/h.
Signposting follows standard international symbols and all distances are in kilometres (km). Drinking and driving laws are strictly enforced with random breath testing at
Electricity and Water
Electricity is supplied in New Zealand at 230/240 volts (50 hertz), with three-pin plugs or similar adapters. Most hotels and motels provide 110 volt AC sockets (rated at
20 watts) for electric razors only. For all other electric equipment an adaptor or converter is necessary. Tap (faucet) water is fresh and safe to drink in New Zealand. Water
from rivers and lakes should be boiled, chemically treated or filtered before drinking.
New Zealand uses 'daylight saving' in summer, with clocks put forward one hour to GMT+13. Daylight saving begins on the last Sunday in September and ends on the first Sunday
of the following April, when clocks are put back to GMT+12.
It's a Fact...
In 1864, four prospectors discovered a rich deposit of alluvial gold in the Wakamarina River near Havelock. The news spread quickly and by May there were 4,000 miners on the location. As the Otago gold fields had begun to decline, many miners flocked to Marlborough, and soon there were 6,000 men working around Canvastown. By the 1870's the area was mostly abandoned although some mining for quartz continued into the 20th century.