New Zealand: Trip Preparation & Destination Information

About New Zealand


Hike steep mountain passes, or leisurely trails, and enjoy rugged coastlines, river valleys and untouched wilderness. The glaciers, geysers and geothermal pools, ancient forests and snow-capped mountains may have you believing that Middle-Earth is a very real place! You'll discover that New Zealand is more than just the Lord of the Rings, you watched as a child. On this island, you'll not only experience adrenaline and adventure, you’ll encounter Maori culture and Kiwi-kindness, as well as animal and birdlife only found in New Zealand.


Capital City: Wellington

Population: 5.123 million (2021 est.)

Currency: New Zealand Dollar

Time Zone: GMT +12

Emergency Number: 111

New Zealand forest and stream

Packing List

Speak the Language

There are two official languages in New Zealand: English and Maori


  • Hello - Hello
  • Goodbye - Kia koa
  • Thank you - Kia mihi
  • I (don’t) understand - Kaore au e marama
  • How are you? - me pēhea koe?
  • I’m fine, thank you - kei te pai taku mihi ki a koe
  • What’s your name? - he aha te tou ingoa
  • My name is… - Toku ingoaa….
  • Where is... - Kei hea...
    • the bathroom - ko te kaukauan
    • ATM - atm

Google Translate: Google Translate: Download the Google Translate app or click here 

New Zealand valley

Fun Facts

  • New Zealand has the highest animal-to-human population ratio in the world with only 5% human and 95% animals (wild and domesticated).
  • New Zealanders get their nickname from their native flightless bird, the Kiwi. Ironically, the New Zealand Air Force logo seen on aircraft carriers, planes, and helicopters is the same flightless Kiwi-bird
  • The Kiwi fruit is widely believed to have originated in New Zealand, actually, it was introduced to the island by China.
  • New Zealand became the first country in the world to give women the right to vote in 1893. New Zealand is amongst the lowest countries in the world in terms of the gender pay gap at 9.3%. 
  • The two official languages of New Zealand are Maori and English but you might find yourself not understanding a word anyone is saying. You're not alone, they sound different. 'Fish & Chips' might sound like 'Fush un Chups.' 'Seven' is pronounced 'Siven.' Why? Recent academics have found the origins of the Kiwi accent as a ratio of 25% Scottish, 25% Irish, and 50% Cockney/Northern/West Country English...
  • According to the Corruption Perception Index, New Zealand is tied with Denmark as the least corrupt country in the World.
  • New Zealand is a secular country with nearly 50% of the population registering as 'no religion.' However, a small percentage of the population (50,000 people) are 'force' believers and have listed 'Jedi' as their faith.
  • Touted as the 'Adventure Capital of the World,' New Zealand stakes its claim as home to Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to conquer Mount Everest. It is also home to AJ Hackett and Henry van Asch, the OG pioneers of Bungee Jumping.
  • The Lord of the Rings generated an estimated $200 million NZD into New Zealand's economy which prompted the government to appoint an official 'Minister of the Lord of the Rings,' Labour Party member Pete Hodgson. 
  • New Zealand is the only country in the world where all the top positions are simultaneously held by women. The Prime Minister, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Chief Justice, the Governor-general and the Queen (NZ is a commonwealth).
  • New Zealand is home to Nelson’s Blue Lake, the world’s clearest lake with visibility of almost 263 feet deep.


Tipping Suggestions: Tips for Guides, drivers and restaurants are not included. Tips provide supplemental income, and, while not mandatory, are greatly appreciated. If the local teams have added to the experience, please reward them.

Guides USD $5 per person/per day
Drivers USD $5  per person/per day
Restaurants (full service)  USD 10% of total bill



Where can I find information on travel safety? Check out the US Department of State's website for the most up-to-date information on safety while traveling 


Is the water safe to drink? Yes, unless otherwise noted as non-potable.


Do I need a Visa? For Visa information, click here. Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months after you return home and has two or more blank pages. Otherwise, some countries may not let you enter.


What about vaccines? For vaccination information, click here.


Do you recommend travel insurance? While not required, we highly recommend all travelers get travel insurance for their trip to protect themselves from the unknown! Check out travel insurance options from our partner, or from a provider of your choice.


How much should I pack? As we will be using shared transfers and spaces throughout our tour we recommend all travelers pack as lightly as possible. Please review our luggage restrictions below.


What does public transportation look like? Buses are the cheapest and most common form of public transportation available for traveling within towns and cities. Some areas also offer trains, ferries, or trams.


Is Uber or Lyft available? While Lyft is not available in New Zealand, Uber and another local rideshare program called Zoomy.

Luggage Restrictions

Luggage Restrictions purple
Luggage restrictions purple – mobile – 1

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