Population: 4.5 million (UN, 2012)
Largest city: Auckland
Area: 270,534 sq km (104,454 sq miles)
Major languages: English, Maori
Major religion: Christianity
Life expectancy: 79 years (men), 83 years (women) (UN)
Monetary unit: 1 New Zealand dollar ($NZ) = 100 cents
Main exports: Wool, food and dairy products, wood and paper products
GNI per capita: US $29,140 (World Bank, 2010)
International dialing code: +64
Every new day in the world starts with New Zealand. New Zealanders are already up and working while rest of the world is in darkness. New Zealanders are known as “Kiwis”. They enjoy the quiet relaxed life style.
The country is made up of two major islands: Northern Island and Southern Island. New Zealand is similar in size to UK or Japan but with a smaller population. New Zealand has a population of 4.4 Million divided between North Island 76% and South Island 24%. New Zealand laws prohibit discrimination of Gender, Race and Religion. 2006 Census indicates 55% New Zealanders are Christians and public holidays are determined by Christian calendar.
New Zealand is ranked world’s most peaceful nation on earth according to Global Peace Index – 2010 and least corrupt country according to 2009 Corruption Perceptions Index.
New Zealand’s amazing landscape includes world’s most beautiful natural environments. Climate is temperate with relatively mild, wet winters and warm, dry summers with four seasons during the year. Summer: December-February, Autumn: March-May, Winter: June-August, Spring: September-November.
New Zealand has recognized three (3) official languages – English, Maori and Sign Language (for the deaf). However, New Zealand is an English speaking country with a long tradition of teaching English and proved an ideal place to learn English. Maori are known as people of the land. According to 2006 census conducted revealed 01 in 07 New Zealanders identified as Maori.
You will only need to apply for a visitor visa if you are not from a visa waiver country. Please refer to the Immigration New Zealand website for more information.
Your passport must be valid for at least one month after departure from New Zealand if your country has consular representation in New Zealand or three months after departure if it does not.
Working in New Zealand
If you are under 30 years old or under and come from a participating country, you may qualify for our youth working holiday scheme. Find out more about the youth working holiday scheme here. Please refer to the Immigration New Zealand website for other information on work visas.
Migrating to New Zealand
For official information on migrating to New Zealand please go to Immigration New Zealand.
Study in New Zealand
Immigration New Zealand also provides official information on study visas.
The Study New Zealand website provides information on courses, institutions and scholarships.
Customs and Quarantine Requirements
Please visit the Biosecurity New Zealand website for information on what food items can be bought into New Zealand. Please refer to the Customs New Zealand website for a list of any other items that are prohibited to bring into New Zealand. There are specific cleaning requirements for fishing equipment.
General itinerary planning and finding a tour
You’ll find a variety of awesome landscapes in New Zealand, all within easy reach of each other. Please refer to our Recommended Trips page for a collection of itineraries that range from 3 to 30 days. If you would like more information about tours in New Zealand, please visit our tours page.
Air New Zealand Enquiries
This is the official website for Tourism New Zealand. For information and enquiries about Air New Zealand, please visit their official website at www.airnewzealand.com.
Is it safe to book with a New Zealand company?
All New Zealand companies must operate within our consumer protection laws. Please visitConsumer Affairs for information on the Consumer Guarantees Act, which covers a consumer’s rights after purchase.
If you have concerns before booking you can ask what customer protection insurance a business has in place.
Many tourism companies are Qualmark licensed. Qualmark is the New Zealand tourism industry’s main quality assurance system. Look for companies that are Qualmark licensed as a mark of quality business practises.
Do I need to book ahead?
Our peak season runs from October through to April, centred on summer December to February. During this full period it is strongly recommended that you book any tours, events, accommodation and transport ahead of time to ensure availability. Outside of these months there is a less of a need to book in advance, except in ski resort towns such as Queenstown and Wanaka.
Travel Agent/ Finding tourism collateral
Tourism New Zealand has a dedicated Trade website that’s specially designed for travel agents. You may wish to apply for images for New Zealand webpage or brochure design from our Visuals library. There is an application process as copyright remains with photographers.
Walking & Hiking in New Zealand
New Zealand is a walking and hiking paradise, and is home to many impressive single and multi-day walks for all abilities. Guides and packages are available, or it is possible to walk independently. It is recommended that you book ahead if trekking on any of our Great Walks. Find out more aboutwalking and hiking in New Zealand.
There are three long distance train routes in New Zealand, and a handful of shorter scenic rail experiences. You can find more information about travelling by rail here.
Buses and coaches
New Zealand has daily scheduled passenger bus services available throughout the country. There are also backpacker coach networks and many other coach companies serving the major tourist routes. Find out more about bus & coach transport here.
Cook Strait Ferries
Bluebridge and Interislander operate Cook Strait ferry services between Wellington in the North Island and Picton in the South Island. We recommend that you pre book if travelling with a car or campervan. Some rental car companies offer vehicle swap between these places.
The most popular places to board a cruise to New Zealand are Australia and the South Pacific. Options for day trips depend on the port that you are docking at. Find out more port information or to link through to global cruise line websites.
Driving in New Zealand
You can legally drive in New Zealand for 12 months if you have either a current full driver’s license from your home country in the English language or an International Driving Permit. You must carry your license or permit at all times when driving and you are only able to drive the same types of vehicles you are licensed to drive in your home country.
The Automobile Association provides national highway updates online. Any weather related driving updates are also widely covered in the New Zealand media.
New Zealand is home to a temperate climate with high sunshine hours and moderate rainfall. Much of the country lies near the coast, which means mild temperatures. The average temperature decreases as you travel south; January and February are the warmest months with July being the coldest month of the year. Find out more about New Zealand climate and weather here.
All of Tourism New Zealand’s research is available from our corporate website. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and Statistics New Zealand sites are also worth visiting for tourism research. If you’re researching a general New Zealand topic the New Zealand Encyclopaedia website is a good place to start.