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New Zealand

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Auckland, Gisborne, Hamilton, Rotorua, Hastings, Napier, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Taupo, Tauranga, Wellington, Blenheim, Christchurch, Dunedin, Kaikoura, Oamaru, Nelson, Golden Bay, Picton, Arthurs Pass, Aoraki/Mount Cook, Queenstown, Wanaka, Invercargill, The Catlins, New Zealand West Coast, Fiordland, Rakiura (Stewart Island)

Southshore beach, Christchurch in the wintertime


Auckland and Christchurch are the biggest cities. Wellington is the capital. The major International Airports are located in Auckland and Christchurch with smaller international airports in Queenstown, Wellington, Palmerston North, and Dunedin. There is a wikipage for New Zealands new couchsurfing members

The official languages are Te Reo Māori, English, and New Zealand Sign Language.

Contents

CS NZ

CouchSurfing is very active in New Zealand. Most of the main cities have very active CS communities.

Sign up to one or more of the NZ CS groups and find out what is happening, ask questions, find travel mates, etc.

The main CS Groups are :

New Zealand

Auckland

Christchurch

Wellington

Internet

A lot of pubs and bars offer free wireless internet to patrons. You usually need to obtain the password from the barperson upon buying a drink.
Internet cafes are plentiful in all the big cities and Internet access is available for around $2 per hour. Public libraries also offer internet access. Hostels and backpackers all over the country usually offer internet access for around $2 per twenty minutes.


Cheap transport

Elsa's and amylin's Kiwi hitching experience, from Christchurch to Nelson

The cheapest form of transport is of course by thumb.

If the thumb option is too risky or too unreliable for you - New Zealand, like many other countries around the planet is starting to build up a range of different online hitchhiking / rideshare websites. That way you can organise a ride with someone before you leave and share travel costs; or if you are driving but petrol is getting too expensive - offer some rides and save fuel costs yourself that way. It's not only great for the travel cost savings but also for the community aspect. It is much more fun to travel with likeminded people than sit in the back of the bus! :) There's a bunch of rideshare sites to choose from broader international sites like HitchHikers; or more tailored local sites, including a new fusion site Cooreea, that caters not only for rideshare but also for other shared transport for example your sporting gear or extra luggage you'd like to have transferred to another town while hiking/tramping. It also offers a trust system where you can leave feedback for people you have dealt with which makes it an attractive aternative to hitching where you never know what the person is going to be like you're catching a ride with. Another, more traditional rideshare site is Jayride (formerly Hitch.net.nz) ..there are others listed here

InterCity Coachlines provide New Zealand's national transport network with over 140 services to more than 600 destinations nationwide. They also offer NZ's most flexible transport pass Flexi-Pass which can be used on the Interislander ferry between the North and south Islands.

The cheapest bus fares may be available through Naked Bus. If you book in advance you can find bus tickets from $1 on many routes through both the north and the south island. HELPFUL HINT: You are more likely to find $1 fares on shorter routes. For example if you are wanting to travel Christchurch to Picton try two separate bookings: Christchurch - Kaikoura and Kaikoura - Picton rather than Christchurch - Picton.

Loads of companies sell bus passes that can be used to get all over the country, but these aren't always worth the money (they aren't cheap), especially considering how easy it is to hitch here. The bus companies such as Magic, KiwiExperience and Stray, all try to organise your activities and accommadation - they can make you feel like you're on a school trip, and they will ensure that you feel like a tourist.

Flying into New Zealand

When flying into New Zealand on a one-way ticket with a Working Holiday Visa you need to make sure that you have a printout with information about your visa. It's titled "NEW ZEALAND IMMIGRATION SERVICE - ELECTRONIC VISA", contains your name and information and it states "Outward passage waived." This is for the airline company when checking in. Also print the phone number of the NZ Customs just in case.

The Working Holiday Permit

In order to work and to get taxed properly in New Zealand you need to obtain a tax number from the Inland Revenue/Te Tare Taake. You can apply for this whilst in New Zealand or before you leave your home country. Don't worry this isn't as hard as it sounds:

  1. Download the Tax Number Application Form (IR596) from the Inland Revenue/Te Tari Taake website
  2. Print out and complete the application form you have downloaded. Please note you need to have a permanent address in New Zealand to get your tax number.
  3. Get a photocopy of your passport and attach to the application form.
  4. Either post or fax your application to NZ Inland Revenue. To fax send to (0)3-3536691 or 03-3536649. To post to send to one of the office below:

South Island Inland Revenue Southern Processing Centre PO Box 3752 Christchurch

North Island Inland Revenue Northern Processing Centre PO Box 1454 Hamilton

Your IRD number confirmation will be sent to the address you supply within 8-10 days

Failure to pay tax on income you receive while in New Zealand may result in a heavy fine. IRD takes a very hard line on tax evasion and tax fraud.

Emergency Information

Police

111 is the the emergency phone number for police (also for ambulance and fire) anywhere in New Zealand. All phone calls go to a national call centre.

Embassies

All foreign embassies are located in Wellington, the NZ capital city, some have consulates in other locations. Click here to find your country's representation on the up-to-date consular list.

Sexual assault and harassment

Most cities in NZ have Rape Crisis or Sexual Abuse Centres.

Check out the Personal Emergencies section of the Telecom White Pages for your nearest sexual assault agency. Or else the Auckland Rape Crisis website has a list of the Sexual Assault Centres in NZ.


In addition to sexual assault being illegal, Sexual Harassment is also against the law. Under the Human Rights Act two types of sexual harassment are prohibited. They are:

1. A request for sex together with an implied or overt promise of preferential treatment or a threat of detrimental treatment.

2. Sexual behaviour, language or visual material which is unwelcome or offensive and either repeated or significant enough to have a detrimental effect on the person subjected to it.

Sexual harassment of either kind is unlawful when it occurs in any of the following areas of life: · Employment · Access to education · Access to public places, vehicles and facilities · Provision of goods and services · Land, housing and accommodation · Industrial and professional associations, qualifying bodies and vocational training bodies · Partnerships

Check the Human Rights Commission website for examples of sexual harassment.

HealthLine

Healthline is a free 24 hour, seven days a week telephone health advice line supported by the Ministry of Health, St John and the Plunket Society. A callers health needs are assessed by nurses to decide on the type of health care they need. This service is available to all areas of New Zealand by land line and mobile phone. 0800 611 116

Other Help Lines

Helpline national numbers:

  • Gambling Problem Helpline Service 0800 654 655
  • Alcohol Drug Association 0800 787 797
  • Alcoholics Anonymous 0800 229 6757
  • Alcohol Hotline 0800 787 797
  • Lifeline 0800 543 354
  • Youthline 0800 376 633 or urge.co.nz
  • Samartians 0800 726 666 (free call number for lower North Island)
  • Gay Line / Lesbian Line 0800 802 437 (HIV line staffed by Gay Line / Lesbian Line counsellors)

General Tips

  • Stores open at 9am and close at 5pm. Shopping malls have late night (9:00pm) closing on Thursday and Friday evenings. Malls are open Saturdays and Sundays but many other shops will be closed Sundays (and possibly Saturdays after 1:00pm.) Most grocery stores are open until 9:00 or 10:00pm and all the major cities have 24 hour convenience stores.
  • The NZ customs are very strict: do not keep any food/organic product with you, they won't enter the country anyway. Ensure your boots, bicycle and camping gear is free of mud or soil from another country before you arrive. Be prepared to spend some time at the airport waiting to go through customs upon arrival.

Tramping/Hiking

See NZ tramping for locations. Also Mountain Safety for safety tips. The website was recommened by New Zealand Land Search and Rescue.

Tracks

In the summer time, it is essential to book huts in advance. You can check bookings with the Department of Conservation. You should also ask them about camping possibilities. Hut prices will differ depending on the tracks. You can also buy a One Year Hut Pass.


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