New Zealand holds a special place on the world travel circuit as a premier eco-tourism and outdoor adventure destination. It is also a great place for a relaxing holiday.
The country’s Pacific Rim cuisine is based on its abundance of wonderful fresh produce. Tender lamb, beef, pork, venison, succulent green-lipped mussels, Bluff oysters, crayfish (lobster), paua (abalone), whitebait, scallops, salmon, deep-sea fish and, of course, kiwifruit.
New Zealand offers a great variety of shopping experiences for visitors from overseas. With currency conversions invariably favouring the overseas visitor, a New Zealand shopping spree is a ‘must do’ activity. Shops are usually open from 9 am to 5.30 pm with late shopping available on Thursday.
New Zealand has embraced the World Wide Web with a zeal and enthusiasm. Cyber cafes are widely distributed throughout the country to enable visitors to keep in touch with friends and relatives back home. Many hostels and backpackers have Internet rooms or booths, which are usually available.
New Zealand’s swift-flowing rivers dissect steep, broken country making them ideal for generating cheap hydro power. The vast amount of energy contained in major river systems like the Waikato and the Clutha has been tapped through a series of hydro dams. The stored water is converted.
New Zealand dress code is pretty much a reflection of the casual Kiwi lifestyle. Living the good life in ‘Godzone’ as Kiwis describe ‘God’s Own Country’, means dressing informally. This easy-going lifestyle is exemplified by the popular, sizzling backyard barbecue. To dress ‘a la mode’ in this situation.
Prevailing westerly winds have a major effect on our climate bringing warm, moisture-laden air in from the Tasman Sea. The South Island’s Southern Alps act as a barrier, creating annual rainfall of up to 7000 mm on the West Coast. By contrast the Canterbury Plains, lying in the rain shadow.
A Visitors Permit is an endorsement in your passport allowing you to visit New Zealand. It states the expiry date of your permit and allows you to visit as a tourist, see friends and relatives, play sport or perform in cultural events without pay, undertake a business trip and/or undertake medical treatment.
New Zealand has an efficient transport system that is designed to move visitors around the main tourist routes with a minimum of delay. Advance bookings are essential in the summer high season (December-February) but at other times there is much less pressure on transport services.
The range of choice in larger centres is wide, from upmarket exclusive lodges and five-star hotels, through budget hotels, motels, motor inns, bed and breakfast guesthouses, homestays, farmstays, hostels, backpackers, holiday parks, holiday homes, motor camps and Department of Conservation.