New Zealand

New Zealand

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Welcome to Middle Earth.

You'd be amazed at how much of New Zealand you've already seen, but didn't know it. The country's magical mountains, stunning valleys and vast golden plains provided the setting for both the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies. Add the fact that this is also where the old Xena Warrior Princess and Hercules shows used to be filmed, and there's plenty of myth to get you here.

But New Zealand is not a myth. It's a truly beautiful two-island country, full of natural splendor, ancient stories, proud traditions, and no snakes. It's a country for hikers, with nine "Great Walks." A country for explorers, with wonderful caves you can walk or raft through. It's a country for zip-liners, flying across rivers, forests, and canyons.

The Kiwis are very friendly. Their food will surprise you. And the local beers will impress you. But it's the Maori culture that's sets New Zealand apart.

So call VIVA Travel, pack your suitcases, and head for Middle Earth. The time will be precious.

Other things to do:

  • Explore the Waitomo Caves
  • See the Blue Penguin Colony
  • Visit the Orakei Korako thermal baths
  • Explore The Rotorua Museum
  • Relax at Hamilton Gardens
Climate: 

Temperatures range from 32°F (0°C) to 90°F (32°C).

Time Zone: 

Greenwich Mean Time, GMT+12:00

Language: 

English

Currency: 

New Zealand dollar (NZD)

Electricity: 

220-240 volts. Travelers from the US and Canada need a plug adapter and step-down transformer. For hair dryers, curling irons, etc., a plug adapter and voltage converter are required.

Tipping Customs: 

Tipping is not required but is appreciated for exceptional service. A tip of 10% is customary. On statutory holidays, it is becoming common for restaurants, cafes, etc. to charge an additional service fee of 10-15% to cover the cost of staffing.

Safety: 

New Zealand is generally safe. We still recommend being aware of your surroundings and protecting your valuables at all times.

Communication & Technology: 

Wi-Fi is widely available. Mobile operators include Vodafone, 2degrees, Spark and Skinny.

Smoking: 

Smoking is prohibited in pubs, bars, restaurants, casinos and other public places. 

Travel Documentation: 

US citizens require a valid passport. 

Airport: 

Auckland Airport (AKL), Christchurch International Airport (CHC).

Car Rental: 

International rental companies, such as Hertz, Avis, Thrifty, Hertz and Budget are found in most towns. 

Public Transportation: 

New Zealand is served by a network of reasonably priced bus lines, including hop-on/hop-off buses with tickets valid for specific routes or time frames