North Island Suggested Sites
Tongariro National Park was given to the New Zealand government in 1887 by Ngati Tuwharetoa (Maori tribe) and forms the nucleus of New Zealand’s first national park. The park is located in the central volcanic plateau of the North Island and contains the three sacred mountains of Ruapehu, Ngaruahoe and Tongariro. The Tongariro Crossing walk has been described as one of the best one-day walks in New Zealand and you will experience active volcanoes, mountain springs, lava flows, emerald lakes and stunning views along this 17km walk.
Some of the other highlights include Auckland, 90 Miles Beach, Te Paki Sand Dunes, Bay of Islands, Waitomo Caves, Waihi, Kharangahake, Coromandel, Rotorua, Taupo Lake, and Wellington.
South Island Suggested Sites
Westland/Mount Cook National Park and Fiordland National Park cover almost 10% of New Zealand and has been little modified by human influences. The 121km road to Milford Sound is renowned for its beauty and scenic variety. Mitre Peak in Milford Sound is a pyramid-shaped mountain rising 1,692 m straight from the deep fiord.
About Fiordland National Park: Fiordland National Park, is the largest national park in New Zealand, on the southwestern coast of South Island. Established in 1952, Fiordland consists of 12,116 sq km (4,678 sq mi) of subtropical woodland, beech forests, and alpine landscape. The park includes a number of fiords, headlands, mountains, waterfalls and cascades, including Sutherland Falls, 580 m (1,900 ft) high. Fiordland National Park also has limestone caves containing glowworms, which were discovered near Lake Te Anau in 1948. The park is noted for such native birds as the brown kiwi; the kea, the only alpine species of parrot; and the notornis or takahe, a swamp-dwelling, flightless rail now unique to the area. The notornis was believed to be extinct until its rediscovery in 1948. In the 1700s the British explorer Captain James Cook visited both Dusky Sound, the largest of the fjords, and Doubtful Sound to the north. The first European residence in New Zealand was built on Dusky Sound in 1792. Fiordland National Park was designated a World Heritage Site in 1986 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). UNESCO’s World Heritage list recognizes the world’s unique natural and cultural places. Four years later, Fiordland and several other protected areas—including Mount Aspiring National Park, which borders Fiordland, Mount Cook National Park, and Westland National Park—were incorporated into a conservation region called Te Wahipounamu (Southwest New Zealand). Te Wahipounamu in turn was declared a World Heritage Site in the same year.
ENTRY VISA AND PASSPORT INFORMATION FOR NEW ZEALAND
Visa requirements for New Zealand vary depending upon your nationality. As a guideline, you can visit the New Zealand Government’s Official Web Site website to see if you require a visa. However, as regulations change frequently, we recommend that you check with your nearest New Zealand Embassy or Consulate for the latest information on visa and passport requirements for entering New Zealand. Your passport should be valid for at least 3 months past the date you are to leave New Zealand.
HEALTH AND INSURANCE
It is important to have adequate health, travel and accident insurance while touring. No vaccinations are currently required for New Zealand. It is best to bring your own medication along in its original prescription bottle.
New Zealand standard time is 12 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.
In the North it is warmer and it is colder in the South. In the South Island the Western Part is mostly rainy while the Eastern part is cold and drier.
CURRENCY INFORMATION FOR NEW ZEALAND
There is no limit to the amount of foreign currency that may be brought into New Zealand, but as you leave New Zealand, it is wise to spend or exchange your New Zealand Dollars for foreign currency. Currency and Exchange: The currency unit in New Zealand is the New Zealand Dollar. Traveler’s checks are accepted but will generally get a less favorable rate of exchange than cash. There are bank machines almost everywhere in New Zealand where you can use a credit or debit card (Visa, MasterCard etc). Larger shops generally accept US dollars, Euro, traveler’s checks and credit cards, some small shops will accept only cash or a debit card.
Banks are open from 9 or 9.30 am until 4.30 (Monday-Friday).
Post Offices in the large cities are open Monday-Saturday 8.00 to midnight and Sunday 9.00 to 19.00. Smaller post offices are open Monday to Saturday from 8.30 to 17.00. Shop hours are generally from 9.00 to 17.00 Monday to Saturday, but mostly every day and later in tourist areas.
DRIVING DISTANCES AND TIMES
Distances are in Kilometers and times in Hours and Minutes
NEW ZEALAND ROAD MAP
Useful web sites for further information
www.airnz.com (National Airline) Click on Regions & use the map to seleft a Region
www.newzealand.com (National Parks/Attactions/Activities/Accommodation etc)
www.doc.govt.nz (Government Department managing all the outdoors of New Zealand)
Government Gardens & Tamatekapua
Tongariro Crossing (Subject to weather and fitness of traveller)
Huka Falls & Aratiatia Rapids
Whakapapa Village & Turoa Ski field
Jet Boating on Waikato River
Whakarewarewa Thermal Village
Waiotapu Thermal Area
Rainbow Mountain-Crater Lake
Waiotapu Thermal Walk
Kaimananawa Forest Park
Rotorua Golf Club
Fenton St Rotorua
Other useful links:
Travel web sites: