New Zealand is one of the easiest countries for Australian travellers to visit with plenty of flight options to choose from, but there are still some Christchurch travel tips – small differences that make your holiday different to being at home – that you should be aware of. For example, New Zealand uses the dollar, but it’s a different dollar currency to the one we have in Australia. They too speak English, but the pronunciation of certain words or phrases may be altered.
Remember, you can always speak to your nearest Escape Travel agent should you have any concerns about your trip to New Zealand.
As long as you hold a current Australian passport or are a permanent resident of Australia, you do not need to apply for a visa to New Zealand for your Christchurch holiday. Please note that this is just a guide. For up-to-date information regarding travel visas to New Zealand, visit the New Zealand immigration website.
The New Zealand Dollar (NZD) is the national currency and is different to the Australian dollar. This means you will need to exchange currency before you depart, but you’ll find NZD readily available at currency exchange outlets and banks across Australia. For the best rates, talk to you Escape Tracvel consultant, or speak to a foreign exchange expert at Travel Money Oz. You’ll also find it easy to get additional currency changed in Christchurch should you find you need a little more during your stay. For more on currency, visit the New Zealand currency page.
Food in Christchurch is similar to what you’ll find in Australia. However, your Christchurch holiday should be a vacation for your taste buds too, so do take the time to explore traditional Maori foods, or British and Maori fusions. Also take the time to enjoy local, seasonal produce by visiting one of the many farmers’ markets.
Tipping in New Zealand is purely optional and generally a tip is only left when exemplary service has been provided. Most wait staff or taxi drivers will happily receive a tip as this goes some way to top up their wage, but you’re never actually obliged to add gratuity. Should you feel you want to leave a tip, 10 per cent of the bill total will suffice.
Electrical plugs and voltage levels in New Zealand are the same as in Australia. This means you’re able to take all of your electrical devices with you – hairdryer, phone and laptop chargers, and rechargeable cameras – and plug them straight in once you arrive. You’ll also find many establishments offer USB ports, so you can recharge your tech while on the go.
English is the primary language in Christchurch, but you may find the pronunciation of some words to be different due to the accent. If you’re unsure of what someone said or meant, politely ask them to repeat the phrase. Travel through more of New Zealand and you might encounter the native Maori tongue. Also expect some signposts to be written in Maori as well as English.
Located in Harewood, Christchurch Airport is likely to be your first real glimpse of the South Island. Whether arriving from Australia or flying down from Auckland, you’ll find the airport extremely easy to navigate. The single terminal services both international and domestic flights.