English and Maori
Predominantly Christian (81%)
Independent member of the British Commonwealth. New Zealand is a constitutional monarchy. Reigning British monarch is the head of state and is represented by a resident governor-general appointed for a five year term. The governing body is the 120 seat, elected, House of Representatives. The head of the majority party becomes the Prime Minister.
Present Prime Minister: Helen Clark
Food processing, wood and paper products, wool, textiles, dairy products, iron and steel
Major trading partners: Australia, Japan, the USA
Passports & Visas
When traveling internationally, carry your passport even if you don’t need one (it’s always the best form of I.D. and make two photocopies of the data page (one for someone at home and another for you, carried separately from your passport. If you lose your passport, promptly call the nearest embassy or consulate and the local police.
Entering New Zealand
U.S., Canadian, and U.K. citizens need only a valid passport to enter New Zealand for stays of up to 90 days. Divers’ Alert
Do not fly within 24 hours of scuba diving.
Nutrition and general health standards in New Zealand are high; drinking water is pure. New Zealand is known for its cleanliness. However, when hiking, bear in mind that streams in areas inhabited by mammals (such as cattle or possums can be infected by giardia, a water-borne protozoal parasite There is no risk of infection if you drink from streams above the tree line.
The major health hazard in New Zealand is sunburn or sunstroke. Even people who are not normally bothered by strong sun should cover up with a long-sleeve shirt, a hat, and pants or a beach wrap. Apply sunscreen liberally and wear a visor or sunglasses.
UTC (Universal Time Coordinated) plus 12 hours (two hours ahead of Australian Eastern Standard Time). When it is noon in New York City, it is 4:00am the next day in Auckland.
240V AC, 50 Hz
Weights & measures
Conversions of weights and measures
1 hectare 2.471 acres
1 oz. 28.57 grams
1 lb. 0.454 kg
1 cm 0.39 inches
1 meter 3.28 feet / 1.09 yards
1 km 0.62 miles
1 liter 0.26 US gallons
1 inch 2.54 cm
1 foot 0.39 meters
1 yard 0.91 meters
1 mile 1.60 km
1 gallon 3.78 liters
For Auckland regional forecasts, call 009-9909, a 24-hour service but not a free call.
Average Temperatures and Rainfall
When to Go
New Zealand is in the Southern Hemisphere, which means that seasons are reversed : it is winter in New Zealand during the American and European summer. The ideal months for comfortable all-round travel are October-April, especially if you want to participate in outdoor activities.
If possible, avoid summer school holidays (the busiest fall between mid-December and the end of January); other holiday periods are mid-May to the end of May, early July to mid-July, and late August to mid-September.
The climate of Auckland is subtropical with very mild winters and warm, humid summers.
Jan. 1, 2 New Year
January 29 Auckland Anniversary (date may vary depending on day of the week)
February 6 Waitangi Day
March or April(varies) Good Friday
March or April(varies) Easter Monday
April 25 ANZAC Day
June (First Monday) Queen’s Birthday
May (Third Monday) Victoria Day
October (Fourth Monday) Labour Day
December 25 Christmas Day
December 26 Boxing Day
Telephone: The area code for Auckland is 09. The country code for New Zealand is 64. When dialing from abroad, drop the initial 0 from the local area code. Dialing from New Zealand to back home, the country code is 1 for the United States and Canada.
Directory & Operator Assistance
Dial 018 for New Zealand directory assistance. For international numbers, dial 0172. To call the operator, dial 010; for international operator assistance, dial 0170.
To make international calls directly, dial 00, then the international access code, area code, and number required.
Internet Cafés: Net Central Café; 373-5186 is located at 4 Lorne Street and sells access to email and the internet by the minute.
Netcafe 358-4877 at the Auckland Backpackers; 9 Fort Street is open 24 hours and also sells internet and email access by the minute. These are 2 of the MANY such establishments providing access to the internet. Check local telephone directory for other names and rates.
Most pay phones now accept PhoneCards or major credit cards rather than coins. PhoneCards, available in denominations of $5, $10, $20, or $50, are sold at shops displaying the green PhoneCard symbol. To use a PhoneCard, lift the receiver, put the card in the slot in the front of the phone, and dial. The cost of the call is automatically deducted from your card; the display on the telephone tells you how much credit you have left at the end of the call.
The unit of currency is the New Zealand dollar, divided into 100 cents. Bills are in $100, $50, $10, and $5 denominations. New Zealand coins are $2, $1, 50c, 20c, 10c, and 5c.
Go to city center banks and most neighborhood branches for your banking needs. Hotels and restaurants will usually convert traveler’s checks to another currency, but you’ll get a much better rate at banks. A currency exchange in the Ferry Building, Quay Street, is open daily.
Disability Resource Centre, 14 Erson Ave. (P.O. Box 24-042), Royal Oak, Auckland 09/625-8069; fax 09/624-1633; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For emergency medical services, call 09/524-5943 or 09/579-9909; for emergency ambulance service, dial 111.
Consulate of the United States: 4th Floor General Building, Shortland and O’Connell streets 09/303-2724; fax 09/366-0870
Call the Central Police Station 09/379-4240 or any local police station.
The New Zealand Herald is the daily paper. The Sunday Star Times and Sunday News are Sunday morning publications.
Auckland Co-Operative Taxi Society 09/300-3000; Corporate Cabs 09/623-5070.
ATMs are widely found in Auckland and the number of machines is growing..
Visitors exiting New Zealand must pay a departure tax of $20; a goods and services tax (GST of 12.5% is levied throughout New Zealand. It’s usually incorporated into the cost of an item, but in some hotels and restaurants it is added to the bill.
Tipping is not widely practiced in New Zealand
Taxi drivers will appreciate rounding up the fare to the nearest $5 amount, but this is not mandatory.
Arriving & Departing
The overwhelming majority of visitors arrive by air.. Departure tax on international flights is NZ$20. A few cruise ships visit New Zealand, but there are no regular passenger ship services and working your way across the Pacific as crew on a yacht now seems a thing of the past.
Auckland International Airport (AKL lies 21 km (13 mi southwest of the city center, about a 30-minute drive.
A free Interterminal Bus links the international and domestic terminals, with frequent departures in each direction 6 -10 . Otherwise, the walk between the two terminals takes about 10 minutes along a signposted walkway. Luggage for flights aboard the two major domestic airlines, Air New Zealand and Ansett New Zealand, can be checked at the international terminal.
Flying time from New York to Auckland (via Los Angeles is about 19 hours; from Chicago, about 17 hours; from Los Angeles to Auckland (nonstop, about 12 hours. Flights from London to Auckland take about 24 hours, either via the U.S. or via Southeast Asia. These are all actual air hours and do not include ground time.
Transfers Between the Airport and Town
The Airbus 09/275-9396 costs about $12 one way and about $20 return and leaves the international terminal every 20 minutes between 6:20 and 8:20 . The fixed route between the airport and the Downtown Airline Terminal, on the corner of Quay Street and Albert Road, includes a stop at the railway station and, on request, at any bus stop, hotel, or motel along the way.
Returning from the city, the bus leaves the Downtown Airline Terminal at 20-minute intervals between 6:20 and 9 . Travel time is 35-45 minutes.
Newmans Coaches 09/309-9738 arrive and depart from the Downtown Airline Terminal (Quay and Albert Sts.. The terminal for InterCity Coaches 0800/802-802 is the Auckland Central Railway Station.
Hallmark Limousines and Tours 09/629-0940 operates Ford LTD limousines between the airport and the city for approximately $65.
Super Shuttle 09/275-1234 has service between the airport and any address in the city center. The cost is $18 for a single traveler and $6 extra for each person accompanying them.
Taxi fare to the city to and from the airport is approximately $35.
The terminal for all InterCity train services is Auckland Central Railway Station 0800/802-802 on Beach Road, about 11/2 km (1 mi east of the city center. A booking office is inside the Auckland Travel and Information Centre (287 Queen St)., 09/979-2333.
Various companies serve Waitemata Harbour; including Devonport commuter ferry 09/367-9118. The ferry terminal is on the harbor side of the Ferry Building on Quay Street, near the corner of Albert Street. Boats leave here for Devonport Monday-Thursday 6:15 -11 , Friday and Saturday 6:15 -1 , and Sunday 7 -11 .
On weekdays they depart on the hour between 10 and 3, and at half-hour intervals during the morning and evening commuter periods; on Saturday and Sunday they leave every hour.
Ferries also make the 35-minute run to Waiheke Island approximately every two hours, beginning at 6:30. Return ferries leave about every two hours on odd-numbered hours.
Taxis can be hailed in the street but are more readily available from taxi stands throughout the city. Auckland taxi rates vary with the company, but are listed on the driver’s door. Most taxis will accept major credit cards. Alert Taxis 09/309-2000, Auckland Cooperative Taxi Service 09/300-3000, and Eastern Taxis 09/527-7077 are reliable operators with radio-controlled fleets.
The Link bus service runs both ways in a circuit around the attractions of the inner city rim. These distinctive white buses charge a single approx. the equivalent of US 50Ē fare regardless of your destination on the circuit. It operates every 10 minutes Monday through Friday from 6am to 6pm; every 20 minutes weeknights and weekends. For more information, call Rideline at 09/366-6400.
Stagecoach Auckland is the intracity bus system, and offers good service to most city highlights. You can pick up timetables from The Bus Place, on Victoria Street West; the Downtown Bus Terminal, on Commerce Street. For schedules, fares, and routes, call Rideline 09/ 366-6400. Children 4 to 15 are charged half price, and those under 4 ride for free.
Exact change is not needed; the bus driver can give change. If you intend to ride the bus frequently, get a 1-day Auckland Pass for unlimited travel. The pass can also be used on The Link and on the ferry services to Devonport, Bayswater, and Birkenhead. There’s also a Family Pass. Buy passes from the driver or the terminals.
Auckland buses stop running around 11:30pm (earlier on some routes Monday through Saturday, and 8pm on Sunday.
Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta: this annual event attracts local and international entrants. Last Monday in January. Call 09/534-8186 for details.
Devonport Food & Wine Festival: Held in Windsor Reserve in late February, this festival offers nonstop entertainment, samples from 20 wineries, and in abundance. Jazz, classical music, and opera all play a part. Call 09/446-0688 or 09/445-3011 for details.
Hero Parade & Party: This is the country’s largest gay and lesbian event, which attracts over 200,000 spectators. An all-night party follows the parade. Held in mid- to late February. Call 09/307-1057 for information.
Round the Bays Run: This fun event in late March attracts runners from around the South Pacific, who participate in the 8km (about 5-mile run around the central bays. It ends with a barbecue in one of the city’s parks. Call 09/525-2166 for details.
Royal Easter Show:
Held at the Epsom Showgrounds, this show focuses on excellence in agriculture and animal husbandry with fresh produce stalls, commercial, industrial, and educational displays, and the biggest carnival in New Zealand. There are more than 1,000 competitors, and more than 20,000 people in attendance. Call 09/638-9969 for details.
People in the Parks: Summer Program run annually by the Auckland City Council with various events. Schedule available from the council at 09/379-2021. Or at www.akcity.govt.nz/whatson/index.asp
Annual Yacht Race Auckland to Russell in the Bay of Islands, Labor Day.
Ellerslie Flower Show: Held at the Auckland Regional Botanic Garden in November, this is New Zealand’s premier garden and outdoor living event. Call 09/309-7875.
Coca Cola Christmas in the Park: Family concert in Auckland Domain.
First to the Sun: Auckland to Gisborne bicycle race.
Auckland Cup Horse Racing Ellerslie Race Course