Horseback riding in New Zealand

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Equestrian tours in New Zealand

New Zeland Mini Guide
   Source: World Travel Guide


Widely held to be one of the most breathtaking countries on the planet, New Zealand is a phenomenal travel destination. The rugged mountains and remote valleys that thrust the destination into the world's spotlight through The Lord of the Rings trilogy tell only part of the story - you'll also find beaches, fjords, lakes and gorgeous swathes of forest, not to mention age-old Maori culture, forward-looking cities, and famously, a world-class array of outdoor activities. Not only does it pack a punch as hard as an All Black tackle, but it's also incredibly easy to travel around. What's not to love?

Split into two main landmasses - the North and South islands - New Zealand is a deceptively diverse and complicated destination that rewards both first-time and repeat visitors. The North island is less virtually dramatic than its southern counterpart, but it is home to around two thirds of the country's inhabitants. he majority of the major urban centers are here, including the capital, Wellington, and the increasingly dynamic city of Auckland. But nature is still a major player, thanks to volcanoes, thermal regions and the magnificent Bay of Islands.

New Zealand has also developed into one of the cleanest and greenest countries in the world. There are 14 national parks throughout the country and almost a quarter of New Zealand is protected land. What else? There's wildlife, wine and a cultural resurgence that's seeing local films, literature and art gaining more and more attention.

A blend of Maori and European culture, coupled with breathtaking landscapes provide New Zealand with a truly unique character.



Passport Required?









Other EU


Visa Required?









Other EU


Return Ticket Required?









Other EU




Passport valid for at least one month beyond the intended period of stay required by all nationals referred to in the chart above.


Not required by nationals referred to in the chart above for stays of up to three months except:
(a) nationals of the UK who may stay for up to six months;
(b) nationals of Australia who may stay indefinitely.

Visa Note

Nationals not referred to in the chart above are advised to contact their nearest New Zealand Immigration Service to check visa requirements (see Contact Addresses).
1. Visa waiver does not apply to people travelling on alien (non-citizen) passports issued by Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.

Types and cost

On arrival, all visitors are required to complete a Passenger Arrival Card before passing through customs or passport control. These cards are usually given out during in-bound flights but are also available in the arrivals area of the airport. Visitors from countries which have a visa waiver agreement with New Zealand do not need a visa for visits of up to three months (six months for UK visitors). All other nationals require a visitor’s visa. Work, business and student visas are also available for people travelling in these capacities.

Visitor visa: NZ$165; transit visa: NZ$145.
Validity: Maximum stay of nine months in an 18-month period.




New Zealand Dollar (NZD; symbol: NZ$) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of NZ$100, 50, 20, 10 and 5. Coins are in denominations of NZ$2 and 1, and 50, 20 and 10 cents.

In November 2006, the New Zealand Reserve Bank introduced new, smaller 50, 20 and 10 cent coins. The 5 cent coin has been phased out. Old coins can only be exchanged at the Reserve Bank.

Currency Exchange

Exchange facilities are widely available throughout New Zealand.

Credit/Debit Cards and ATMs

American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are widely accepted. ATMs are common.

Traveller's Cheques

Can be exchanged at official rates at trading banks, large hotels and some shops. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travellers are advised to take traveller's cheques in US Dollars, Pounds Sterling or Australian Dollars. American Express, Visa, and Thomas Cook cheques are the most frequently accepted.

Banking Hours

Mon-Fri 0930-1630, except public holidays. Some larger city centre branches also open on Saturday until 1230.

Exchange Rate Indicators


April 2018











Special Precautions



Hepatitis A










Yellow Fever


Inoculation regulations can change at short notice. Please take medical advice in the case of doubt. Where 'Sometimes' appears in the table above, precautions may be required, depending on the season and region visited.


Food and Drink

Mains water is considered safe to drink. Water from lakes, waterways, and rivers ought to be boiled first to ensure that it is free from Giardia. a water-borne bacterial parasite that can cause diarrhea and vomiting. Milk is pasteurised and dairy products are safe for consumption. Local meat, poultry, seafood, fruit and vegetables are generally considered safe to eat.

Other Risks

Vaccinations against tuberculosis and hepatitis B are sometimes recommended.

Health Care

Medical facilities, both public and private, are of a high standard. Long-staying visitors with a valid permit to stay for two or more years and short-term British visitors are entitled to health care services on the same basis as New Zealand citizens. Travelers from other countries should find out if they  are covered by reciprocal health care arrangements. Comprehensive medical insurance is strongly recommended before travelling to cover any additional charges. Trips to the doctor will incur a fee, with prescription charges on top of that. Dentists and hospital services are also expensive. Visitors bringing in a quantity of medicines ought to ensure that they have a doctor's certificate to avoid complications and potential problems at New Zealand customs. If you intend to participate in adventure activities, such as bungee jumping or white-water rafting, you should ensure that your travel insurance covers these types of activities.


Getting There

Getting There by Air

There are plenty of options for flights to New Zealand from all over the world. Seven airport in New Zealand cater for international flights. Auckland Airport and Christchurch International Airport are the principal points for the North and South island respectively, but Wellington International Airport, Palmerston North International Airport, and Hamilton International Airport also serve the North Island, while Dunedin International Airport and Queenstown Airport operate on the South Island.

The national airline is Air New Zealand (NZ) (website:, which flies form numerous international destinations, including the UK (via Los Angeles). Flights to New Zealand from the UK are available with a number of different airlines, including Qantas, Emirates, Singapore Airlines, and Malaysian Airlines, all involving a stopover.

Air Passes

Visit Australia and New Zealand Pass: allows travel to more than 60 destinations in Australia and New Zealand on Qantas, LAN, and affiliated airlines. Fares vary according to the number of zones covered (between one and four zones). Available through any oneworld airline ( There are often special deals available from major airlines such as Air New Zealand and Qantas, but it's a good idea to shop around for what's on offer for your proposed time of travel.

Air New Zealand Explorer Pass: available exclusively to residents of the USA and Canada who habe purchased an Air New Zealand fare from the USA or Canada. Permits travel to a combined 37 destinations in New Zealand, Australia, and South Pacific Islands. Prices differ depending on the number of zones covered (between one and hour zones). Available for purchase through travel agents or by calling Air New Zealand prior to departure (+1-800-262-1234) or after arriving in New Zealand (+64 800-737-000).

Approximate Flight Times

From London to Auckland is 24 hours (including stopover). From New York to Auckland is 22 hours (including stopover). From Los Angeles- 13 hours.

Main Airports

Auckland (AKL) (website: is 22.5km (14 miles) south of the city (journey time - 40 minutes). To/from the airport: Airbus runs an efficient service between the international terminal and the city centre. In addition to regular taxis, there is a shuttle taxi service that operates 24 hours. Heletranz has a helicopter service from Auckland's North Shore and city to the airport (journey time - 12 minutes). An interterminal bus operates daily. Facilities: Duty-free shopping, banks/bureaux de change, post office, restaurants and cafes, car hire and baggage facilities/left luggage. There is a wide selection of hotels near the airport.

Christchurch (CHC) (website: is 10km (6 miles) northwest of the city (journey time - 20 minutes). To/from the airport: Buses operate all day between the city centre and the airport (journey time - 40 minutes). A door-to-door shuttle service operates. A journey into the city centre by taxi takes approximately 20 minutes. Facilities: Currency exchange, ATM, mobile phone rental and bank. Good hotels are within 10km (6 miles).

Wellington (WLG) (website: is 8km (5 miles) southeast of the city (journey time - 30 minutes). To/from the airport: Stagecoach Flyer operates a bus service to the city centre every 30 minutes. The shuttle service operates on demand (maximum 10 persons). Taxis are available from outside the terminal. Facilities: Duty-free, bar, restaurant, ATM and currency exchange.

Queenstown International Airport (ZQN) (website: is 7km northeast of central Queenstown. To/from the airport: A taxi into the town centre takes 10 minutes. Shuttle buses are available (a discount is available for more than one passenger) and the journey lasts 15 minutes. A bus takes passengers into town and will also pick up from some hotels (journey time - 20 minutes). Facilities: Duty-free, currency exchange and baggage storage.

Departure Tax

Usually included in the air fare.

Getting There by Water

Main ports: Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Lyttelton, Opua, Picton and Wellington. They are served by international shipping lines sailing from the USA and from Europe.

A few cruise ships visit New Zealand, but there are no regular passenger ship services. For further details, contact Tourism New Zealand (see Contact Addresses).



Sat in the middle of the Roaring Forties (a region with strong westerly winds), New Zealand enjoys an ocean temperate climate, making it pleasant most od the year round with occasional periods of cool, rain, and wind.

There is, however, a wide range of conditions from the north to south, with subtropical weather in the north and more temperate conditions in the south. Generally, the north has no extremes of heat or col; winter can be quite cool in the south, with snow in the mountains. The eastern areas often experience drought conditions in summer; the west, particularly in the South Island, has more rain.

New Zealand's seasons are directly opposite to those of the northern hemisphere although it's often possible to have all four represented in one day. Spring (September/ October) is beautiful as new blooms emerge, yet the peaks stay snow-capped; summer (November to March) enjoys colours, especially on the South Island; winters (April/ May to August/ September) tend to be wet and cool. There's great winter skiing in the centre of the North Islands and in the South Island's Southern Alps, where heli-skiing is particularly popular. The best time to visit, taking into account the climate, crowds, and other conditions, is October/ November or March/ April.

Required Clothing

Lightweight cottons and linens are worn in North Island most of the year and in summer in South Island. Mediumweights are worn during winter in South Island. Rainwear is advisable throughout the year, and essential if visiting South Island's rainforest areas.



New Zealand High Commission in the UK

2nd Floor, New Zealand House, 80 Haymarket, London SW1Y 4TQ, UK
Tel: (020) 7930 8422.
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 0900-1700.

New Zealand Embassy in the USA

37 Observatory Circle, NW, Washington, DC 20008, USA
Tel: (202) 328 4800.

British High Commission in New Zealand

Thorndon, 44 Hill Street, Wellington 6011
Tel: +64 4924 2888.

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