New Zealand uses a dollar currency, very similar to the Australian dollar, and very similar in value, so it’s fairly easy to budget and keep track of how much money you spend while travelling the land of the long white cloud.
Before going to New Zealand, it’s a good idea to let your bank know you’ll be overseas. This means when you make transactions in New Zealand, it’s not immediately flagged as fraud, freezing your accounts. New Zealand businesses generally accept the same credit and debit cards that you can use in Australia.
A travel money card like Key To The World allows you to easily keep track of and access your own cash while travelling. Using your own money to pre-load funds onto the card in New Zealand dollars, or up to 10 other currencies, you can use the card like a credit card, or to withdraw cash from an ATM just like your regular debit card. When loading funds onto the card you set the exchange rate, so you don’t need to worry if the exchange rates vary while you’re away. Key To The World money cards are available through Escape Travel.
ATMs are easily accessible in New Zealand just as they are in Australia. Be aware that when withdrawing money from overseas ATMs, international withdrawal fees are charged, and can be very expensive. Ask your bank for information on their international withdrawal fees before your trip.
It’s a good idea to carry a mixture of money options when you travel to New Zealand, including cash and card. You can pre-purchase New Zealand dollars from Travel Money Oz before travelling to avoid paying international transfer fees and commissions.
Tipping for services in New Zealand works in much the same way it does in Australia: it’s generally not the norm. However, in certain situations, for exceptional service you are of course welcome to tip. Hotel concierge, tour guides and restaurants are the most common places you may wish to tip.