The Ultimate New Zealand Travel Guide

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Not sure if you need extra nights? Get in touch to chat with a member of the crew before or after you book. There are a number of bus and tour operators in New Zealand who will help you reach every corner of the country. If there is a particular travel operator you prefer to travel with, contact us here for a customised price. You can plan your itinerary from the moment you purchase your pass and make unlimited changes to your travel dates upto 24 hours before each sector. Most operators let you manage your booking through a mobile app or through email and over the phone.

Your pass includes your transport and access to your driver guide, who can help you with your accommodation and activity bookings. All passes are valid for one year or until you complete all sectors on the pass. Check the terms and conditions of each pass prior to purchasing. After purchasing your pass, you will be given access to the bus operators timetable so that you can begin planning and locking in your itinerary. Ultimate recommend you plan and book your sectors well in advance to ensure your itinerary is confirmed.

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Ultimate Travel are NZ specialists and have access to a variety of travel passes at Ultimate prices! When you book a travel pass in combination with your Arrival package, you get access to a saving when processing your booking.

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If you are a short on time or already know your travel plans, let us know! Our team will be able to provide you with a custom itinerary and booking. This is a Hop on, Hop off tour. Your travels will be partially-guided, meaning you will have access to a Driver guide on all of your travel days. Your guide will be able to assist you with booking accommodation and activities as you travel. When you 'Hop off' the bus, you will be able to explore the itinerary stop independently or with your new travel mates. This Competition is open to all Ultimate Travel customers.

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Refer to our privacy policy for information on how your data is used and stored. Travel insurance is essential for New Zealand, and is not included in the package price. Your New Zealand tourist or working holiday visa is not included. Our Ultimate arrival packages are only available in Auckland. If you like to explore the scenery in near isolation and remember to pack some warm and waterproof clothing this is also a great time to visit. As with above, discounts may appear here and there but plenty of hotels just semi-close during these months with reduced occupancy at regular prices.

New Zealand is fiercely protective of its natural splendors and has a long list of prohibited items both material and organic, so check these out before you start packing your bags. New Zealand operates a pre-arrival screening process which means that once you arrive in the country passing through customs ought to be a breeze. Nationals of over 60 countries do not require a visa to visit New Zealand for up to 90 consecutive days. These passport holders are allowed to stay for up to sixty consecutive days. UK nationals can stay for six months, while Australians can usually remain for as long as they please.

I’m in New Zealand for … a weekend

The visa system for longer stays or employment is quite complicated and varies considerably between countries. Generally speaking and in the experience of the Ultimate New Zealand Travel Guide, NZ is pretty relaxed about allowing people to stay longer providing they arrange to do so in advance and can prove they are able to sustain themselves. NZ is, overall, pretty chilled out when it comes to letting people visit and stay awhile. It is one of the reasons we like it so much!

You will have absolutely no problems handling your finances while in the country. Banks offer good value currency exchange rates, and ATMs are found everywhere there are people! Keep an eye on the possible charges and the conversion rates offered by your own bank.

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Your ultimate guide to New Zealand | London Evening Standard

Some may have reciprocal arrangements with NZ banks and offer considerably lower rates. You will require a local bank account if you are intending on working in the country and these can usually be arranged in advance. Do not expect to hire a car without a credit card. Very broadly speaking the largest single expense that most people will encounter with visiting NZ is their flight tickets. While the country is not exactly cheap, you can certainly stay for a long while on a modest budget providing you are careful with managing your money. In cafes, bars, and taxis you may wish to sometimes round up the change a little to leave a token gratuity.

Tipping is causal and not a big deal in New Zealand compared to many other countries. Providing you take care to plan your finances with a degree of care before you visit New Zealand you may well be surprised at how reasonably affordable it can be. Budget visitors will need to make use of the generally excellent hostels and campsites to keep their outgoings sensible but can get about and live reasonably well without burning through their cash too quickly. Look for value, check reviews, and book a little ahead and you will likely be dazzled at how great services catering for the tourist economy can be.

Here are some rough guidelines that the Ultimate New Zealand Travel Guide would suggest for visitors across three budget tiers. All prices are in NZD. Before we begin it should be noted that you could quite realistically go for entire days in NZ without needing to spend a single dollar. That is assuming you are camping, have paid for your spots already, and have a few days of nonperishable groceries to sustain you. So take that daily threshold with a good pinch of salt as how much you need to spend in this country really depends on what you want to see and where you happen to find yourself.

Just make sure to use appropriate and applicable discounts where you can, book in advance we really cannot stress this enough!

The Ultimate Travel Guide - New Zealand - Curly Tales

It is worth mentioning that plenty of people who opt to spend a good while in the country — perhaps months or so — tend to work in the ski resorts during the season, save up some money, and spend their earnings touring the country during the summertime. Consider this if it matches your profile and you fancy taking on a real New Zealand adventure. Decent enough hotel rooms will cost around half your daily budget — so make that a quarter assuming you are sharing a double or twin room. You ought to be able to live pretty well on this budget, including two or maybe even three meals out per day, all the travel you could wish for including flights between the islands , most general excursions besides the very specialist options, and still have a little money left over.

NZ roads are excellent and you should not require high performance or four-wheel drive options unless really heading out into the sticks during snow season. With this kind of budget, you should really be able to enjoy New Zealand exactly how you wish.

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If you have the time it is worth taking elements of this budget occasional comfy hotels, car hire, restaurant meals and combining it with some camping and hiking to not only balance out your expenditure towards a longer time but also to enjoy different aspects and experiences. Nobody visits NZ for the quality of the hotel rooms…. Prices can then become silly quite quickly…. Balloon trips always a favorite of the Ultimate New Zealand Travel Guide team are staggeringly good and available at most of the popular sights.


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Perhaps look into more ecologically minded tourism with this kind of budget. These very approximate guidelines should hopefully indicate that once you are in NZ you really do not have to spend a crazy amount of money to get by and explore in decent comfort. Everyone speaks English as either a first or second language and you will have no problems communicating with anyone during your stay.

Maori is an official language 3. Despite their love for reckless sports, New Zealand has always had something of a more conservative reputation that many people assume could be linked to a greater rate of religious observance compared to similar countries. If anything, the opposite is actually the case. New Zealand is not an especially religious country in the slightest, and almost half of the country claim to have no religious beliefs whatsoever.

Christianity — in various denominations — would represent the largest overall religious group with very small pockets of Hindusim, Islam, Buddhism, and others. New Zealand has a vast amount to offer visitors and it is no surprise that the country has been one of the most desirable to experience in recent years. It certainly shares some characteristics with Australia, in the sense that it rewards visitors who explore under their own steam and take their time wherever possible to appreciate its natural wonders.

At this stage, the Ultimate New Zealand Travel Guide is going to take a closer look at some of the practicalities involved in visiting New Zealand. New Zealanders are very proud of themselves and their islands — but tend to not really shout about how amazingly good their country happens to be.

New Zealand is incredibly safe to visit. Every city has its rough spots to steer clear of, and New Zealand is no different, but compared to pretty much any other Western nation this ranks as the safest of the lot. You should take some care where you choose to park in the more remote regions.

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In better news, you will not need to worry about dangerous wildlife or even insects from bothering you too much in the majority of the country. Make absolutely sure you are covered between specified dates and keep copies secured online and on your person at all times. Keep an eye on the weather when out and about, and remember that it can change at any time. Make sure you stop at the reflective Mirror Lake to stretch your legs. The views multiply manifold as you hop on a short cruise at Milford Sound. However if this is your first time exploring Fjords or they simply fascinate you to no end, you could opt for a long multi-day trip to Doubtful Sound.

Book a wine-tasting tour or simply drop by a winery Amisfield and Mt. Difficulty are two of the most popular options!