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    New Zealand Travel Tips and Information

    General Travel Information

    Information for Travelers to New ZealandFriendly, outdoorsy New Zealand is a cultural crossroads and an adventure epicenter. Take some time to learn about the unique facets of Maori culture, and be sure to pack good, sturdy outdoor shoes! If you're looking to find out when you can exchange currency, or how much you are expected to tip, our travel guidelines detail some basic policies for travel around New Zealand. Getting around New Zealand with a rental car from Auto Europe means that you will save money on a quality car rental while you explore this scenic island nation!


    Travelers to New Zealand are not taxed when transporting an appropriate number of items for personal use. If you are carrying alcohol, you are limited to 4.5 liters of beer or wine, or three bottles of spirits no larger than 1,125ml. You may also carry no more than 200 cigarettes/50cigars/250 grams of tobacco when you travel to New Zealand. is a great resource for checking on up to date customs allowances.

    Banking and Currency

    The majority of New Zealand banks operate from 9am to 5pm, Monday through Friday. However, many hotels and ATMs are able to exchange currencies. Though most major credit cards may be used for cash advances as well as general purchases, American Express transactions may only be processed by an American Express office.


    Service charges are not generally applied to hotel and restaurant bills, as tipping is uncommon in New Zealand. Gratuity is reserved for special occasions such as random acts of kindness or exceptional customer service. In those cases, a tip of around 10% of the meal or service would be graciously accepted. Taxis drivers aren't generally tipped, but they do appreciate it if you round up to the next dollar to simplify providing change. 

    Business Hours

    General shop and business hours are 9am-5pm, Monday through Friday; however, most stores are also available from 10am to 1pm (or later) on Saturdays, with a small selection that are open on Sundays. A few resort area shops offer evening hours as well, while banks are closed on all weekends.

    Local Tax

    Value added tax, also called goods and services tax in New Zealand is currently 15%.

    General Travel Tips

    Call us with Questions on Traveling to New ZealandYour gorgeous New Zealand adventure beckons! The two long, lush islands host countless opportunities for hiking, biking, climbing, and even skydiving and bungee jumping! Whether you are spelunking the Waitomo Glowwork Caves or skiing near Queenstown, you can get there with our top-notch rental cars and these helpful travel guides. When you book your New Zealand car rental through Auto Europe, you benefit from our leading rates with reputable suppliers as well as 24/7 support with our toll free number 1-888-223-5555.

    Entry Requirements

    US citizens are not required to purchase a visa when entering New Zealand for visits less than three months. If you are traveling with pet, you need a permit to import an animal, and will be subject to a post-arrival quarantine and inspection.

    Time Difference

    New Zealand operates 17 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time in the United States.


    English and Maori are the two official languages of New Zealand.


    New Zealand uses 220 V, 50 Hz plugs, with both the three flat pin and standard two-pin models available. However, some hotels carry adaptor sockets exclusively for razors.

    Tourism Information

    As you prepare to reach your New Zealand adventure locations in a rental car, please note that booking with Auto Europe guarantees you the best rates and services! You can book your car rental today with our easy online booking engine, or call our toll-free 24/7 reservation line at 1-888-223-5555 to arrange your rental car with one of our helpful travel experts. As you plan your New Zealand journey, you may benefit from checking our additional resources for travelers, including US Embassy offices and the tourism offices for multiple regions of New Zealand. With this list, and well-planned car rental through Auto Europe, you'll be extra prepared to begin your epic New Zealand voyage!

    Tourism Contacts

    New Zealand Tourism Board
    Level 16
    80 The Terrace
    P.O. Box 90
    Wellington, New Zealand
    Phone: (+64) 4 917 5400
    Fax: (+64) 4 915 3817

    New Zealand Tourism Board, Auckland
    147 Victoria Street West
    Auckland 1010, New Zealand
    Phone: (+64) 9 914 4780
    Fax: (+64) 9 914 4789


    United States Embassy in New Zealand
    29 Fitzherbert Terrace, Thorndon
    PO Box 1190
    Wellington, New Zealand
    Phone (+64) 4-462-6000
    Fax (+64) 4-499-0490

    Consulate General of the United States of America
    Citigroup Building, 3rd Floor
    23 Customs Street East
    Postal Address: Private Bag 92022, Auckland, New Zealand
    Phone: (+64) 9 303-2724
    Fax: (+64) 9 366-0870

    New Zealand Embassy
    37 Observatory Circle NW
    Washington DC, USA 20008
    Phone: 202 328 4800
    Fax: 202 667 5227

    Weather in New Zealand

    New Zealand's climate is generally mild and temperate, with ranging climatic diversity to reflect the geographic diversity of this beautiful country. Christchurch is the driest city, averaging around 25 inches of rainfall per year. Auckland, and the subtropical region to the north, gets nearly twice that! Snow and skiing will be found more in the mountainous regions of the South Island. Make the most of your time driving a rental car in New Zealand by knowing the local weather. Pick your preferred travel time and book your car rental in advance for the guaranteed best and lowest price.


    Spring in New Zealand occurs from September to November. It is characterized by gorgeous blossoms, frolicking newborn lambs and intermittent rainfall. Melting snow creates raging rapids, so whitewater rafting is at its best in the springtime. Auckland enjoys a pleasant temperature ranging between 52 and 65 F (11-18 C). Queenstown hovers from 41-61 F (5-16 C).


    New Zealand summers deliver you warm sunny days and mild nights. New Zealand summer months are December through February. This is a great time for surfing, sailing, or strolling one of the many incredible beaches that adorn the New Zealand coast. The temperatures in Auckland average a low of 54 F and a high of 75 F (12-24 C). Queenstown ranges from an average low of 50F and average high of 72F (10-22 C).


    From March through May, you may enjoy the New Zealand Autumn. It is cooler than summer, but in some parts of New Zealand, you can swim through these months, too! You can drive among the most colorful foliage in the Central Otago region with a pick up in Queenstown where the temperature averages range from a high of 61 F (16 C) to a low of 43 F (6 C). The leaf peeping gem of the North Island is the Hawke's Bay region and is easily accessed with a rental car in Napier. Auckland Autumn is a steady and pleasant 55-68 F (9-18 C), but may involve a few rainy days.


    June, July and August are winter months for New Zealanders. In this time, it is rainier on the North Island, and mountainous regions enjoy snow and skiing. The Southern island is cooler, but dryer, and provides incredible beauty. Auckland maintains a rainy average of 48-59 F (4-13 C), while Queenstown is chilly and dry from 34-50 F (1-10 C).