New Zealand General Information

New Zealand is for many still a mystery. Perhaps it is because New Zealand is so far from other countries and that mass tourism has not yet flooded it. Or perhaps it's the seemingly endless variety of landscape, climate and light, that make comparisons with other countries impossible.

Whatever the reason, New Zealand - especially from the perspective of the densely populated Europe - is one of the most beautiful destinations in the world.

Climate / Weather

New Zealand is located in the South Pacific, between the 34th and 47th degree of latitude. The warmest months are December, January and February, and the coldest June, July and August. The average summer temperature is between 20-30º C and in winter between 10-15º C. These temperatures are the norm, but because New Zealand is an island, weather can change abruptly. For an insight into the current weather in New Zealand see the New Zealand Meteorological Service Metservice.

Geography

New Zealand is about 25 hours flight from Europe and is situated in the southwest Pacific, 1600km away from Australia, 1700 km from the Tonga Islands and 2300km from the Antarctic. The country consists of two main islands (North and South Island) which are positioned roughly in a North-South direction. There are over 6000km of coastline and no place in New Zealand is more than 200km from the sea. With a total area of approximately 270,000 km² New Zealand is about as big as the old Federal Republic of Germany or England. In this area live only 4 million people, approximately 13 people per square kilometre. However, five out of six people live in cities with more than 30,000 inhabitants - the reason for many unspoiled natural landscapes. In New Zealand you will find almost all the natural landscapes of this planet. Particularly fascinating are the many geothermal areas of the North Island. Those who want to learn more about volcanoes in New Zealand - and elsewhere in the world - may find the following page interesting: Volcano

Money

New Zealand currency is the New Zealand Dollar (NZ $). Coins are in units of 10, 20 and 50 cents and 1 and 2 dollars; notes in 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 dollars. Foreign currency can be exchanged easily at any bank (open Monday to Friday from 9.30 am to 16.30pm), some hotels and bureaux de change will exchange money, especially at the international airports and in many urban centres. All major credit cards are accepted in New Zealand. Travellers cheques are accepted at hotels, banks and some shops. ATMs are widespread. International credit and debit cards (not all!) work only on machines with four-pin number. Check with your bank before you leave. If you would like to check on the current exchange rate, you can use this Currency Converter.

Information on Travel Preparations

Tourism New Zealand - the most important information at a glance:
Passports and visas, health and general insurance, driving in NZ, services for travellers, telephone and electricity supply, public holidays and school, shopping and entertainment, population and history, answers to frequently asked questions and much more: 100% Pure New Zealand.

Facts and Figures
Do you want accurate information? The World Fact Book provides constantly updated data and figures from around the world: Fact Book New Zealand.

Distances in New Zealand
If you want accurate information on distances and estimated travel time, you can find out more with this Driving Times & Distances Calculator.

For more interesting links about New Zealand, please visit our link page.

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