phone-icon
Call Us today On 0203 026 2440

Open today: 9.00 am - 5.00 pm

Welcome to New Zealand

Hike through sublime forests, learn about Maori culture, or just relax in one of the world’s most chilled out countries.

No matter how you look at it, New Zealand is a long way from everywhere: it takes some 27 hours to fly there from Europe and it is still some 1,180 miles from Australia. But the effort is rewarded by some of the world’s most spectacular scenery and a relaxed, rural way of life now lost to most Western countries. It is also one of the cleanest and environmentally green places on Earth and increasingly a top destination for those yearning to discover a land of sweeping coastlines, steaming volcanoes, vast mountain chains and lush rainforests.

New Zealand is made up of many islands, the main ones being North Island and South Island. Separated by the narrow Cook Strait, they stretch northeast to southwest across some 1,000 miles. The country’s diverse terrain and climate mean the North Cape can be very warm while snow is falling on Stewart Island in the extreme south. The snow-capped Southern Alps, with Mount Cook at their centre, run the length of South Island, with dramatic glaciers and narrow lakes among them. Typical of this stunning landscape is Fiordland National Park, made famous by the film Lord of the Rings.

North Island, home of New Zealand’s cosmopolitan capital, Wellington, and Auckland, the largest city, boasts sub-tropical vegetation and pristine beaches.

An outdoor paradise, the country offers every type of adventure sport from white water rafting, kayaking, bungee jumping and caving to mountain biking, skiing and diving. Less challenging activities such as hiking, fishing and whale watching are always popular. And this is not really surprising, because New Zealand’s scenery is superb whether seen on foot, horseback, cycle, skis, car, boat or train. Moreover, the country’s unique flora and fauna provide opportunities to spot rare orchids, the shy kiwi or even a pod of whales.

But New Zealand is not simply about adventure and the great outdoors. New World wine and good food are high on the agenda, and everywhere you go you will be reminded of the country’s culture and the immense pride it takes in its indigenous people, the Maori. You can visit places steeped in Maori history, such as Rotura’s steaming hot springs, or the Maori and Pacific collection at Auckland Museum.

Finally, a trip to New Zealand would be considered incomplete without a nod towards rugby, the national sport. As every dedicated player and fan will know, the game remains deep within the country’s psyche.

New Zealand’s currency is the New Zealand dollar. Traveller’s cheques are accepted at banks, hotels and some stores. All major credit cards can be used.

Weather

New Zealand is a country of two halves - sub-tropical and consistent in the north and temperate in the south, where it gets colder in the winter with snow on the mountains. The west, particularly in South Island, has far more rainfall than the east, which can have drought conditions.

The average monthly temperatures for Auckland in the north of North Island are:

°C

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Day

23

24

20

20

17

15

14

15

16

18

20

22

Night

16

16

15

13

10

8

7

8

9

11

13

14

 

 

 

 

The average monthly temperatures for Queenstown in the south of South Island are:

°C

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Day

20

20

17

13

9

6

6

8

11

13

16

18

Night

8

8

6

4

1

-2

-2

-1

1

3

5

7

 

Shopping

Shopping

Favourites to bring home are Maori arts and crafts, including greenstone carvings, paintings, pottery and wood items. Greenstone, a kind of jade, is also popular when made into jewellery. Other items include knitwear and rugs in Merino wool, leather and sheepskin, natural beauty products, Manuka honey, T-shirts, soft toy kiwis and rugby memorabilia.

All the large cities have major shopping malls and brand-name shops. Auckland is regarded as New Zealand’s fashion capital, with the suburb Newmarket the best retail area.

Food & Drink

  • Soul Bar and Bistro

  • Toto Ristorante

  • Verona Restaurant

  • Stone Oven Cafe

  • White Restaurant

  • Antoine's Restaurant

  • Iguacu Restaurant & Bar

  • FISH Restaurant

  • Aunty Mena’s Vegetarian Café

food-dirck

entertainment

There’s plenty going on in New Zealand’s cities and large towns, including theatre productions, concerts and cinema. Opera companies from around the world now have New Zealand on their map and international names grace the country’s stages and concert halls. Auckland is home to the big Sky City Entertainment Centre, comprising casinos, restaurants, cinemas, theatres and bars, plus a great view of the city. Bars are firm favourites, whether in pubs and hotels or smart lounge bars. Check your destination for nightclubs and discos.

excursions

The list of exciting places to visit is almost endless and some highlights are listed in the See & Do section. Hotels and tourist information offices provide details of local tour companies and excursions.

Health & Safety

Health care in New Zealand is of a very high standard. Contact your doctor before leaving to check vaccination requirements. There is a reciprocal health agreement with the UK, entitling British visitors to publicly-funded health treatment. This will give you free treatment as a hospital inpatient, but some charges are made for any services provided by outpatients and private doctors. Comprehensive medical insurance is strongly recommended and be sure your travel insurance covers you if you intend taking part in hazardous sports and activities.

Water is safe to drink, although bottled water is readily available. Food does not carry any health-safety concerns.

New Zealand is considered a safe country, but take the normal precautions against theft while travelling or leaving valuables in parked cars. Avoid unlit areas at night and always let someone know where you are going if you are taking a trip alone, especially into the countryside. Take care when swimming and heed local warnings of currents and rip tides. Watch out for sheep on the roads.  

Passport & Visa

Before travelling to New Zealand you should check the Visa and Passport requirements at https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice