Culture in New Zealand
When travelling to a different country on a motorhome tour, it is a great opportunity to explore a new culture and see a different way of life.
At Carefree we want to make sure that you mix well with the locals, so have provided some guidelines on the New Zealand culture to make sure you fit right in.
The New Zealand dollar comprises 100 cents. Currency can be purchased in advance from your bank or from bureaux de change. Visa and MasterCard credit cards can be used to withdraw cash from cash machines in New Zealand, as long as you have your PIN number. You should check with your bank regarding charges and interest rates.
Plus and Cirrus debit cards may be used in cash machines displaying the appropriate logo. Travellers Cheques and credit cards are widely accepted at banks, hotels and some shops. We recommend credit cards and Travellers Cheques as the most effective way to pay for your purchases, as they avoid the need to carry large sums of cash and give you a slightly better exchange rate than the standard tourist rate.
Banks are open from 9.30am-4.30pm Monday to Friday.
All of New Zealand lies in one time zone, twelve hours ahead of GMT, thus making the country one of the first in the world to see each new day. New Zealand’s summer “daylight saving” makes this difference 13 hours between the first Sunday of October and the third Sunday in March.
Telephones and postage
International Direct Dialling is available, the country code for calls to New Zealand being 64. To call the UK from New Zealand dial the outgoing international access code (00). Follow this with the UK’s country code (44) and then the full UK STD number minus the leading zero.
Most public phones take cards purchased from newsagents. Some accept credit cards, but very few accept coins.
Post offices are open Monday to Friday from 9am-5pm. Airmail to Europe usually takes four to five days.
Procedures for tipping in New Zealand are very similar to home. People tip by way of thanking particularly good service. Service charges are not added to restaurant bills.
Shops are generally open on Monday to Friday 9am-5pm. Most shops also open on Saturday morning, and some are now open on Sundays. Items that you might like to buy in New Zealand include sheepskins or sheepskin clothing, items of wood craft generally and Maori woodcarvings in particular (indigenous New Zealand woods are varied and beautiful), paua (abalone) shell, local jewellery items and woolly jumpers.
Around Auckland, the Coromandel and Nelson in particular, there are communes of craft people who sell their art and craft in shops, galleries and stalls around the country.
New Zealand sportswear and outdoor clothing and equipment also enjoy a very good reputation and make excellent presents.
All goods and services in New Zealand are subject to a 15% Goods and Services Tax (GST). This is usually included in the price and is non refundable. However, many imports carry very low, or no, tariff or duty and you may find many consumer goods cheaper in New Zealand than at home.
To protect people from the health effects of secondhand smoke, smoking in all hospitality venues, including bars, restaurants, cafes and casinos, is prohibited in New Zealand. If you smoke, please remember to smoke outside.