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If you plan to visit New Zealand during the colder months between May and September, bring warm clothes and a waterproof jacket. This is especially important in alpine regions where the weather can change rapidly. It's also worth noting that the climate is colder the further south you travel - the opposite of the northern hemisphere. Insect repellent for mosquitoes and sunscreen for the strong sunrays are also important during the summer months. Of course, these can be purchased on arrival.
Because of the importance of agriculture in the economy, strong restrictions are placed on animal products, fruit, plant material, and foodstuffs being bought into the country. Our advice is simply not to bring them. Visitors bringing in a quantity of medication are advised to have a doctor's certificate to avoid possible problems with Customs.
New Zealand is 12 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time). In summer, on the first Sunday in October, New Zealand has daylight saving when clocks are put forward one hour. Daylight saving finishes on the last Sunday of March.
New Zealand is suitable to visit all year round. Travelling is more pleasant, however, during the warmer summer months (November to April). The Christmas period is the busiest, with the schools holidays in the second half of December and all of January. We, therefore, recommend November, February and April as the best months to travel in New Zealand. Skiing is, of course, only possible during the winter months and is usually best during July and August.
Electricity is supplied throughout New Zealand at 230/240 volts (50 hertz), we also provide 110 volt AC sockets (rated at 20 watts) for electric razors only.
Most foreign driver licences are acceptable in New Zealand (check with your travel agent). New Zealanders drive on the left, give way to all traffic crossing or approaching from the right. Most rental car companies will provide a short list of the more important rules.
Tips in New Zealand are optional and are generally given in appreciation of extra good service. You should tip 5-10% of the bill in a restaurant (not in a simple café) if you feel you have received exceptional service.