To all our guests, here are some pieces of information that will hopefully help you guys in planning your trip.
Guests from Canada and the US: You do not need to apply for a visa if you are a citizen of the US or Canada travelling to NZ if you are staying for less than three months. Otherwise, you will need to apply for a visa. For more related information, you can visit this link. Guests from the Philippines: You need to apply for visa before travelling to NZ. The application form INZ1017 can be found here. All the requirements can also be seen on the second page of the form file.
2. New Zealand’s Biosecurity
You are not allowed to bring any type of fresh food (e.g. fruits, milk, meat, etc) and plant-related products (e.g. seeds) in the country. Check your shoes and bags for any stowaways like tiny insects. If your shoes have deep treads, make sure that you brush them before travelling because you might be carrying soil or seeds that can be harmful to NZ’s flora (yep, they check your shoes too). NZ is very strict with their biosecurity, so in order to avoid any delays (and hefty fines) at the airport, please do take note of these information.
The currency in NZ is NZ Dollar or Kiwi Dollar. As of today, March 1, 2015, NZD$1 = US$ 0.76 | Php 33.34 | CAD$ 0.95.
New Zealand is home to European Kiwis and Maori people. However, at present, you’ll find a good mix of people from all continents, specially in Auckland.
Auckland’s public transport system is pretty comprehensive, specially in and around the inner city, and the same is true for most of the major cities in NZ. Trains and buses leave their stops every 10-30 minutes depending on where you are or where you’re going to, the closer you are to the city, the shorter the wait. Taking the trains and buses for a day around town is quite convenient but it’s important to note that their running times at night is limited, with the last trip ending at around midnight. So if you’re planning to have some late nights in town, it’s best to call a cab. Another option would be to rent your own ride (car rental companies are plentiful). This would probably be the most convenient option. BUT BE WARNED, we drive on the LEFT hand side of the road down here, so unless you’re 100% confident in your driving skills on the “wrong” side of the road, this might not be your safest option.
Hotels, motels, backpacker’s, and short-term transient houses can be found everywhere. However, because of the large number of tourists coming in and out of the country, thus, we advise that you book your accommodations at least a month in advance. For those opting to rent a house or flat, you can visit the New Zealand Holiday Houses website. They offer a wide array of options all around Auckland.
Due to the cultural diversity in New Zealand, you have access to different cuisines. Curry, sushi, fish and chips, pad thai, and ramen; these are some of the dishes which are very common wherever you go in NZ. If you are a coffee addict (like us), don’t worry, there is no shortage of shops and mobile restaurants that sell coffee. A regular cup is usually about NZD$4-5. Don’t forget to try a flat white!
Here is a list of the restaurants/ shops that we recommend:
a. Wok’n Noodle – 53 Shortland Street Auckland
b. No. 1 Pancake – Corner of Lorne Street and Wellesley Street Auckland
c. Sushi Train – 201A/32 Courthouse Lane, Chancery, Auckland
d. Whoopie & Co – Shop 21, 10 Nuffield St., Newmarket, Auckland
e. Spice Traders – Most food courts.
f. Giapo (Gelato and Sorbet) – 267-287 Queen Street, Auckland