In New Zealand, respect for the local art, culture and indigenous people is second only to environmental concern and this tiny nation still has some of the most untouched, unspoilt locations on the planet. A concentration of pristine beaches, dense forests, volcanoes, fjords, Alpine heights and mind-boggling marine life makes this a hot spot for tourists. Bungee jumping is a must, as is snorkelling or deep sea diving and fish and chips. To get under Kiwi skin, read 'The Whale Rider' by Witi Ihimaera, watch 'The Lord of the Rings' for the awe-inspiring landscape and listen to Salmonella Dub's 'Killer Version'.
Best time to visit: November to April. The average temperature in New Zealand is 12.5°C. The highest monthly average temperature is 20°C in January and February, while the lowest monthly average temperature is 5°C in July.
Kiwi cuisine is known as Pacific Rim cuisine, a blend of Pacific and Asian flavours with an Anglo Saxon mix. Wellington, the capital, is reputed to have more food joints per capita than New York, with 300 plus cafés and restaurants in an area just two square kilometres.
Maori carvings in wood, bone and pounamu (greenstone or jade), jewellery and ornaments made from the paua shell (abalone), handknitted wool sweaters, wall hangings, homespun yarns, manuka honey, kiwi souvenirs, oils and cosmetics, beer, wine, cheese.
The best and easiest way to see the highlights is on an escorted tour, where all your travel, accommodation and sightseeing arrangements are well taken care of. A knowledgeable local guide brings history and culture to life as you travel in the comfort of your deluxe coach.
These are many options of the airlines flying to New Zealand from around the world and India as well like Cathay Pacific, Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways.
Buses are the cheapest and most common form of public transport available for travelling between towns and cities.
Ferries are popular for travel between the North and South Islands. The two major providers are InterIslander and Bluebridge, and fares start at NZ$ 55 for foot passengers. Taking the ferry means you’ll experience the beautiful Marlborough Sounds on your way into or out of Picton.
Ferry travel is also available between the mainland and New Zealand’s offshore islands, including Waiheke, Rangitoto and Great Barrier near Auckland city, and Stewart Island just below the South Island. In some coastal areas, ferries connect towns which are closer via water than via road – including Russell and Paihia in the Bay of Islands.
Self-drive is a popular way to explore New Zealand. Roads are well-maintained and signposted, and spectacular scenery awaits around every corner. With self-drive, you’ll have the flexibility to evolve your itinerary as you go along and the freedom to explore places that are away from the main tourist trails.
Please visit the Ministry for Primary Industries (Biosecurity / Quarantine) website for what food, plant and animal 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.
Tipping and Service Charges
Tipping in New Zealand is not obligatory, even in restaurants and bars. However, tipping for good service or kindness is at the discretion of the visitor. Hotels and restaurants in New Zealand do not add service charges to their bills.
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