Travelling somewhere new can be a little scary, so here are some Queenstown travel tips to help you feel prepared and comfortable.
First, some good news: New Zealand is one of the simplest countries for Australians to visit, both in terms of entering the country through customs and in terms of getting around and communicating with the locals. From tipping to power plugs, nearly everything in Queenstown will feel familiar. Remember too, you can always speak to your Escape Travel agent should you have any concerns about your trip to New Zealand.
If you’re a permanent Australian resident travelling on a current Australian passport, you don’t need to apply for any New Zealand visas or waivers unless you’re intending to stay in the country for longer than three months. This means your trip through customs will be over in a jiffy. Look up the New Zealand government website for additional information.
New Zealand’s monetary system is no different from our own – dollars and cents. The New Zealand dollar is usually slightly lower than the Australian dollar, which means you may feel rather wealthy after exchanging your holiday cash. What better excuse is there to treat yourself to a Queenstown shopping splurge? For more on currency, visit the New Zealand currency page.
Most New Zealand food is quite similar to what you’re used to eating at home. This means there are options to keep everyone happy, whether you’re getting classic fish and chips or trying a local specialty. For a taste of something delicious, scope out the fine-dining available at your accommodation – Queenstown’s best restaurants are often attached to the resorts.
Just like Australia, New Zealand has a laidback approach to tipping for service providers (e.g. waiters, hotel staff, and taxi drivers). It’s entirely optional and generally only used as a compliment for exemplary service. While many workers will be delighted to accept a tip for providing great service, you shouldn’t feel bad if you can’t afford to do so or simply prefer not to.
The good news continues. New Zealand uses the same electrical plugs as Australia, which means you’ll be able to charge tech items like laptops, smart devices, tablets, cameras and portable batteries without an adapter or converter. So you won’t miss out on taking beautiful photos of the mountains just because your phone is on the brink of running out of battery!
Language is no barrier for Australian visitors in Queenstown. English is the primary language used in Queenstown and in wider New Zealand. However, you may hear examples of the native Maori tongue here and there during your stay. Locals may also drop slang into their conversations. Simply ask politely and they’ll happily translate, perhaps after a quick laugh at your expense.
Queenstown Airport may be where you catch your first glimpse of New Zealand’s legendary South Island landscapes as you come down from Auckland. The terminal itself is very easy to get around, with domestic and international areas clearly divided. This is not a busy airport either, so you won’t feel too stressed on arrival. Queenstown Airport provides a fabulous first impression.