New Zealand

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ShermansTravel experts rely on years of collective travel experience to bring you the best money-saving tips for your vacation. We take a discerning look at all the attraction passes, public transportation options, and other local bargains to make sure you get the most bang for your buck while traveling.

New Zealand Money-Saving Tips

Take the Bus in Auckland

The handy Link bus service circles around the city and central suburbs, with buses (supposedly) arriving every 10-15 minutes. Grab a route map early on and explore the main sights in an eco-friendly, hassle-free way.

Prepare to Get Wet

New Zealand is so lush and green because of the regular rainfall in most parts of the country. It pays to carry an umbrella.

Don't Reward Bad Service

Tipping is not expected in New Zealand, but consider rounding up taxi fares and leaving around 10% for extremely good service in a restaurant.

Keep Left

New Zealanders drive on the left, so it stands to reason that they also walk on the left hand side of the footpath.

Camp it Up

In the summer, take advantage of the numerous official campsites run by the Department of Conservation. They're generally well-maintained, affordable, and free of nasty critters.

Hit the Road

It may not be the most environmentally friendly option, but the North Island is best explored by car. The drive is half the fun – there's always something interesting to check out on your way.

Sit, Don't Splash

It's safe to splash about in large pool complexes, but take care in natural hot springs (the kind that bubble out of the ground). There is a risk of meningitis-causing amoebas entering through the nose or mouth.

Watch Where You Sit

It's considered bad manners in Maori culture to sit anywhere where food might be prepared or served, including tables and kitchen benches.

Sound it Out

Maori pronunciations are not as difficult as they look. Break place-names down into syllables and sound every vowel. 'Wh' is usually pronounced 'f'. Whakarewarewa becomes fa-ka-re-wa-re-wa.

Hit the Tracks

The journey's as good as the destination when traveling on the South Island's scenic rail routes, particularly the TranzAlpine from Christchurch to Greymouth.

Come Bearing Gifts

If someone invites you over for dinner, don’t arrive empty handed – bring a bottle of wine, flowers, chocolate or fresh fruit.

Stick to the Path

New Zealand native bush is particularly dense and unforgiving. Keep to marked tracks when hiking to ensure you don't get lost.

Avoid Direct Exposure

With an ozone hole lurking above, New Zealand's sun is surprisingly harsh--even when it's not hot outside. If you’re going to be out for any length of time wear a shirt, a hat, and sunscreen.

Buzz off

Come prepared with liberal supplies of insect repellant: tiny bloodsucking sandflies can spoil even the most scenic of South Island locations (especially during summer).


The Maori name for New Zealand means “Land of the Long White Cloud,” as billowing clouds were the first things seen when the Maori arrived in their ocean-conquering canoes.


Lamb is still the national dish, but New Zealand has moved on from its meat-and-three-veggie past. Expect Pacific Rim fusion with plenty of fresh seafood, including delicious mussels and oysters.


New Zealand produces some truly excellent drops. It's particularly famed for its Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir and, increasingly, Pinot Grigio. You'll also find some wonderful chardonnay, syrah and rosé.


A little like the bird, Kiwis can be quite retiring – particularly if they hail from the Pacific Islands. In some Polynesian cultures it's considered rude to look people directly in the eye.

Terrorist Threat?

While New Zealand didn't take part in the invasion of Iraq, it still takes terrorism seriously. The only terrorist act on New Zealand soil was the French bombing of the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior in Auckland Harbor in 1985, killing one man.

Read Up

A fascinating primer for any New Zealand trip is Michael King's excellent Penguin History of New Zealand. It helps to explain New Zealanders' unique world view.

Compare Rates to New Zealand

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