New Zealand Travel Guide: Travel tips for foreigners & backpackers, Wellington tourist information, New Zealand food average prices, eating on a budget, accommodation in Wellington. Find discount hotels, cheap accommodation, vacation deals, holiday packages.
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Full country name: New Zealand
Area: 267,710 sq km
Population: 4,21 million (July 2010 est.)
Capital City: Wellington
Language: English (official), Maori (official), Sign Language (official)
Religion: Anglican 14.9%, Roman Catholic 12.4%, Presbyterian 10.9%, Methodist 2.9%, Pentecostal 1.7%, Baptist 1.3%, other Christian 9.4%, other 3.3%, unspecified 17.2%, none 26%
Government: Parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm
Time Zone: UTC+12
Dialing Code: 64
Electricity: 240V 50 Hz
Weights & measures: Metric

Money & Costs:
Currency: New Zealand dollar (NZD)(LBP)
Average Yearly Salary: USD 27,400

Budget: NZD3-7
Mid-range: NZD7-40
High: NZD50+
Budget: NZD20-40
Mid-range: NZD50-180
High: NZD200+

Geography: The island country of New Zealand is located in the south-western part of Pacific Ocean. New Zealand consists of two large islands, North Island and South Island, and several smaller ones. The closest neighbors of New Zealand are Australia, which is situated 2,000 kilometers away, the Tasman Sea, New Caledonia, Tonga, and Fiji. New Zealand's landscape is dramatic and varied. The South Island part of the island is divided by the southern Alps. It also includes forests, national parks and steep fjords. The North Island is less mountainous, but more volcanic. The island also has the largest lake in the country, Lake Taupo, and huge kauri trees.

Climate: New Zealand's climate could be described as being mild, with moderately high rainfall, and lots of sunshine throughout the year. The climate of New Zealand is strongly dependent on the mountains and the sea. The temperatures of summer season (December - February) do not extremely differ from the temperatures of the winter season (June - August). The average temperature in summer ranges between 20 - 30 C, whereas the winter temperature is only a little bit lower, 10 - 15 C.

Recommended clothing: A light sweater or jacket should be packed for summer season, if planning to visit the higher altitudes, otherwise, lightweight summer clothes are recommended. Rainwear is essential throughout the year. Warm winter clothes, layers, and winter boots are recommended for winter season.

Social conventions: The pressing of noses (hongi) is common only between Maoris during formal occasions. New Zealanders are very hospitable, stiff formality is rarely appreciated, and first names are used when addressing.

Health: The quality of medical facilities an treatment is very high and widely available in New Zealand. Immediate cash payment is expected for treatment, but a comprehensive travel health insurance is still recommended.

Food & Drink: New Zealand's cuisine is largely concentrated on local ingredients and seasonal variations. The country is a leading producer of various dairy products and meat, including lamb, pork, venison and beef. Kumara (sweet potato) is a locally produced vegetable which is a very popular ingredient in New Zealand's cooking. A variety of fish and seafood, such as John Dory, snapper, grouper, oysters, crayfish, scallops, and whitebait are available. New Zealand is also popular for its wide range of cheeses (similar to those of France), including: Brie, Montagne Bleu, Bleu de Bresse, and Camembert. The traditional dessert of New Zealand is the pavlova cake (a large round cake topped with fruit and cream, with a meringue base). New Zealand's wines are well known all around the world, and there are now 10 major wine-producing areas in New Zealand.

Public Holidays:
1 Jan New Year's Day
Feb 6 Waitangi Day
Varies between Mar 22 & Apr 25 Good Friday
Apr 25 ANZAC Day
The first Monday in Jun Queen's Birthday
The fourth Monday in Oct Labour Day
Dec 25 Christmas Day
Dec 26 Boxing Day

Disclaimer: The above information is for reference purposes only. The content of this page is not intended to substitute for advice given by the user's own government travel departments or a licensed travel health advisor. The viewer/user of this web page should always contact the user's own government representatives in that area for the most up-to-date information at that time, before making a final decision to travel to that country or destination.

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