Frequently Asked Questions
If there's a question that we haven't answered please contact us and we'll be sure to get back to you promptly with an informed response. If we don't know the answer then we'll be sure to at least make our email entertaining!
Our beautiful Country
- 1. How safe is New Zealand?
How safe is New Zealand?
New Zealand is one of the safest places in the world. Because of this people often relax and become complacent and can be subject to petty crime. We recommend you keep personal possessions in a safe place and exercise a sensible amount of caution.
- 2. How hot does it get in the Summer?
How hot does it get in the Summer?
New Zealand's clear, unpolluted atmosphere and relatively low latitudes produce sunlight stronger than much of Europe or North America, as a result people generally burn quicker than at home, so be prepared to wear hats and sun block if you plan to be out in the sun for more than 15-20 minutes. Most people carry sunfactor 30+ as a minimum sunblock cream.
- 3. What time is it in New Zealand?
What time is it in New Zealand?
New Zealand has just the one time zone and is 12 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time). We are the first country in the world to see in the New Year. If you look above the white search bar on the left top corner of our website you will see the current time in NZ.
- 4. What size is New Zealand?
What size is New Zealand?
New Zealand is similar in size to California in the USA, Victoria in Australia, England or Japan. It is a small country in size but don't be mistaken... you'll need much longer than you think here as there is so much to see and do!
- 5. What is the population of New Zealand?
What is the population of New Zealand?
Approximately 4 million people live in New Zealand. Just over 1 million live in Auckland alone.
- 6. What is the population of Queenstown?
What is the population of Queenstown?
Approximately 10,000 people live in Queenstown permanently and about 10,000 more tourists arrive every couple of days.
Visiting New Zealand
- 7. What if i get injured while in NZ?
What if i get injured while in NZ?
Us Kiwi's have thought of everything to ensure your time here is top notch and memorable. Under New Zealand Law all visitors are protected under a Government Scheme called ACC. For more information click on the links below.
- 8. Do I need a passport or visa to enter New Zealand?
Do I need a passport or visa to enter New Zealand?
All visitors to New Zealand must carry a passport that is valid for at least three months beyond the date you intend to leave the country. One year Work visas are relatively simple to obtain and can often be extended if you have a workplace that is willing to sponsor you. Visit New Zealand Immigration for more informration.
- 9. What about Driving in New Zealand?
What about Driving in New Zealand?
New Zealanders drive on the left, give way to all traffic crossing or approaching from the right, even if you are turning left you must give way to traffic coming from the other direction that wants to turn down the same road as you. The speed limit is 100 km/h on the open road and 50 km/h in built up areas.
There are many narrow roads and one way bridges so drive with care, especially in the south island during the winter months when black ice on the roads can be extremely slippery and dangerous. Most foreign driver licences are acceptable in New Zealand (check with your travel agent). Both drivers and passengers must wear seat belts at all times.
- 10. Will my electrical appliances work?
Will my electrical appliances work?
Electricity is supplied throughout New Zealand at 230/240 volts (50 hertz), although most hotels and motels provide 110 volt AC sockets (rated at 20 watts) for electric razors only.For all other equipment, an adaptor / converter is necessary. You can purchase these at the airport, supermarkets and chemists shops in Queenstown.
- 11. Are there any banks?
Are there any banks?
Yes there are plenty of banks and cash machines in Queenstown. The cash machines are open 24 hours. Be sure to check with your bank before travelling to NZ to ensure your cards will be accepted. In general, any cards with Visa, MC, Maestro, Cirrus or Plus on them will be accepted at ATMs. Most banks are open 9am - 4pm however the ASB bank on Camp street is open from 9.30am - 8pm 7 days. They change foreign currency and travellers cheques at competitive rates. All shops accept major credit cards but you can't use your overseas eftpos card. You will need to get cash out from an ATM.
- 12. Where are the foreign exchange offices?
Where are the foreign exchange offices?
Most airports and hotels have currency exchange facilities. In the town centre you are best to change your money at a bank as they do not charge commission and usually offer the best rates. We recommend buying enough New Zealand dollars to cover your expenses for the first few days. ASB bank on Camp street is open from 9.30am - 8pm 7 days.
- 13. How much is a cup of coffee / breakfast / dinner?
How much is a cup of coffee / breakfast / dinner?
Coffee - NZ$ 2.50 - $4
Breakfast - NZ$8 - $15
Send a postcard overseas - NZ$1.50 - $2
Phonecall - from 50c (you can buy international calling cards from most shops in town)
Parking - NZ$2 for 60mins (parking can be a bit of an issue so be aware of the signs as the parking wardens are tough!)
Beer - NZ$5 for a pint
(All above prices are approximate and can vary from those listed above).
- 14. What is the currency?
What is the currency?
The currency throughout New Zealand is NZ dollars: 1 NZ dollar is approximately equivalent to the following:
0.5 - Eur (Euro)
0.35 - GBP (United Kingdom Pounds)
0.8 - USD (United States Dollars)
0.9 - AUD (Australian Dollars)
68 - JPY (Japan Yen)
Check out today's currency exchange rates or use the currency converter on our website.
NZ Currency available:
10, 20 cents coins, 1 & 2 dollar coins, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 dollar notes.
Most ATM machines only give out $20 notes so just be aware if you are going to draw out hundres of dollars.
- 15. Is the water safe to drink?
Is the water safe to drink?
Yes, New Zealand tap water is amongst the best and tastiest in the world and very safe to drink.
- 16. What is the minimum drinking age?
What is the minimum drinking age?
18 years. Proof of age is often required if you look under 25 so don't be offended if you get asked.
- 17. Is there any departure tax when leaving Queenstown?
Is there any departure tax when leaving Queenstown?
When leaving New Zealand there is a departure fee of between $20 and $25.
- 18. Are there any Supermarkets?
Are there any Supermarkets?
Fresh Choice is the largest supermarket in central Queenstown it is open from 9am - 9pm seven days a week. There is also another smaller supermarket ideal for your quick shop called Alpine Supermarket, located at the top end of Shotover Street in central Queenstown.
- 19. What type of weather can I expect?
What type of weather can I expect?
Autumn (1 March to 30 May)
Temperatures vary between mid C10 degrees to the mid C20 degrees so pack a couple of t-shirts as well as some warm layers. Leaves normally begin to change colour late March, Arrowtown (20 mins drive from Queenstown) is a fantastic place to see the Autumn colours, the oranges and reds of the surrounding trees are almost too rich in colour to believe.
Spring (1 September to 30 November)
Temperatures vary between C8 degrees to C20 degrees. The weather is very unpredictable in Spring expect bright sunshine, with rain, cloudy spells and possibly the odd snow shower!! Sounds crazy but if you want to see all the different types of weather you can expect in Queenstown during a year - visit in Spring. While this weather is amazing to see, it can often mean scenic flights and other weather dependent activities are cancelled due to the ever changing weather pattern. We recommend you bring winter and summer clothes and if possible allow a couple of days for the weather dependent activities so that you can re-schedule cancelled trips. (back to top)
Summer (1 December to 28 February)
Temperatures usually stay around the C20 degrees to C30 degrees. At latitude 45 deg south, we have long summer days; sunrise can be as early as 5am and sunset at around 10pm. Our clear, unpolluted atmosphere and relatively low latitudes produce sunlight stronger than much of Europe or North America, as a result people generally burn quicker than at home, so be prepared to wear hats and sun block if you plan to be out in the sun for more than 15-20 minutes. Most people carry sunfactor 30+ as a minimum sunblock cream.
Winter (1 June to 31 August)
Temperatures rarely get higher than C7 or C8 degrees and can often fall well below zero. The air temperature is cold but the skies are often crystal clear and great for Milford flights and scenic helicopter flights. Dress warmly, lots of layers. Fleeces and thick puffer jackets are the popular choice of clothing for winter. The ski fields can open as early as the first week in June (Coronet Peak ski field). However some years due to the lack of snow they may postpone the opening for a week or 2 until there is enough snow. This year there has been a lot of improvements to the ski fields, new chair lifts, new additions to the terrain parks and lots of new, bigger and better snow making machines. So even if there isn't snow as long as the temperatures a low enough, they have the power to make snow! The season usually runs through till the second half of October.
- 20. How much does it cost to stay in Queenstown?
How much does it cost to stay in Queenstown?
Queenstown has hundreds of places to stay ranging from around $25 for a dorm bed to over $2000 for an exclusive luxury resort or apartment. There is something to suit every accommodation need in Queenstown. Check out our accommodation section for great deals with Wotif or email us for some assistance and local recommendations.
- 21. Is there much accommodation / should I book in advance?
Is there much accommodation / should I book in advance?
There are hundreds of places to stay in Queenstown, the problem is there are thousands of people wanting to stay here! Book several months in advance if possible.
Unlike deciding which activities to book, finding a place to stay is usually pretty damn boring and often takes up way too much of your time. As a result, we have decided to simplify things and take the hassel out of booking your accommodation by using booking.com. Simply click on the link located on the accommodation page and you will be redirect to the booking.com website which offers real time availability and instant confirmation. If you're still not sure where to stay once visiting the website then please contact us we'll be happy to offer our suggestions.
- 22. Are there any good restaurants?
Are there any good restaurants?
Yes, there are over 120 restaurants and bars in Queenstown. There is a price and taste to suit everyone; Sushi bars, Indian, Chinese, Thai, fastfood, fine dinning, bar meals, steak houses, stylish café's, family restaurants you name it, Queenstown's probably got it.Contact us for suggestions.
- 23. Is there much nightlife?
Is there much nightlife?
There are an abundance of bars to choose from in Queenstown, last count was around 100, all located within the space of a small city block. Many have late licences till 4am and a few gone on until sunrise. The best nights to go out in Queenstown are between Monday and Sunday. Yes that right, no matter what night there is always a great nightlife. There are also a few night clubs, and many of the bars have live bands and of course karaoke!
- 24. Do shops / activities close at the weekends?
Do shops / activities close at the weekends?
No, Queenstown is very much a tourist town. Living here you often forget what day it is! The only real difference with the weekends is that most banks are closed (except for ASB on Camp st). All activities, restaurants, buses and shops are open 7 days a week. Most shops stay open as long at the weekends as during the week with many open as late as 10pm.
- 25. What is the shopping like?
What is the shopping like?
There is a great range of shops in town ranging from designer brands to cute little local outlets. If you love the outdoors then you will love the extensive range of outdoor clothing and equipment stores. Stroll down the mall, check out the souvenir shops, art galleries and clothing stores, take a breather in one of the many cafés or restaurants for a coffee and a bite to eat or wander down to the lake edge for magical views of Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding mountains.
- 26. Are there any internet cafe's?
Are there any internet cafe's?
About 10. Queenstown has at least 1 internet café on almost every street in the town centre. Prices are very competitive. You can expect to pay around NZ$3-4 per hour, you can often find happy hour prices during the quieter times of the day.
- 27. What clothes should I take?
What clothes should I take?
Leave your suits and ties at home, Queenstown is a casual, relaxed town. Fleeces and puffer jackets are widely worn in the winter months and t-shirt, shorts and sandals in the summer. Though due to the ever changing weather you may find fleeces in the summer and t-shirt and shorts in the winter! We recommend you bring a bit of everything. No matter what time of year (even in the middle of summer) the late evenings once the sun has gone down can be very chilly ? so a warm top or fleece is advisable. Smart casual clothes are acceptable at most restaurants, bars and clubs. Though in the winter ski season months ? snow board gear seems to be a popular choice as people come off the mountains and head straight to the pubs.
- 28. When is the best time to visit Queenstown?
When is the best time to visit Queenstown?
Queenstown is open 365 days a year. Unlike other tourists destinations Queenstown is an amazing place to visit no matter what time of year. During the summer months pretty much every activity except for skiing is on offer. During winter the place is alive with skiers and snowboarders, some of the water based activities do stop during the winter, though rafting and jet boating still remain very popular. During Autumn and Spring you can expect all kinds of weather, most of the skiing and snowboarding has either finished or is about to start, but as with summer, most other activities are operating. If want to know about the operating months of a particular activity you can look it up using the search box located on the top of the page or contact us for more information.
- 29. When is the ski season?
When is the ski season?
The ski fields can open as early as the first week in June (Coronet Peak ski field). However some years due to the lack of snow they may postpone the opening for a week or 2 until there is enough snow. This year there has been a lot of improvements to the ski fields, new chair lifts, new additions to the terrain parks and lots of new, bigger and better snow making machines. So even if there isn't snow as long as the temperatures a low enough - they have the power to make snow! The season usually runs through till the second half of October.
- 30. Is there any public transport? Do I need to hire a car?
Is there any public transport? Do I need to hire a car?
No, you don't really need to hire a car. There is lots of public transport and plenty of taxis in Queenstown that you can hail from the roadside or book over the phone. Queenstown is a very small, compact town with most things only a short walk away. If you need to get out of town (ie to the airport), or maybe your hotel is a few km out of the centre, there are a several yellow buses called the Shopper Bus, they cost around NZ$4 and operate at least once every hour back and forth from around 7am - 9pm. Many hotels offer a free shuttle to and from town also. Ski shuttles pick up from the centre of town and most hotels so don't waste the money hiring a car, it's easy and safer to take the shuttle or get a taxi. If you really want a car then there are a dozen or so hire car companies in town and the one we recommend for price and service is Maui Car & Campervans. There are also several buses offering scenic sight tours of the surrounding areas for under NZ$40.
- 31. How far away is the airport?
How far away is the airport?
The airport is 6km away from central Queenstown. The Shopper bus (bright yellow) leaves from downtown every hour (daytime), costs about NZ$3.50 and takes about 20-25 mins. You can also get a taxi for around NZ$20.
- 32. Are there many petrol stations?
Are there many petrol stations?
Queenstown has several petrol stations in the centre of town and a few on the outskirts. Due to the remoteness of New Zealand if you are traveling any great distance we recommend you fill up before you leave town.
- 33. Do the activities operate all year round?
Do the activities operate all year round?
Most activities do operate all year round. Skiing and snowboarding however is only done during the winter months - early June to late October. Rafting, jet boating, bungy jumping, skydiving, plane and heli flights operate all year, but some of the other water based activities such as canyoning and river surfing tend to close during the winter months.
- 34. New Year's Eve in Queenstown
New Year's Eve in Queenstown
The week between Christmas and New Year's Eve is the busiest time of the year in Queenstown. Hotels book up many months in advance so don't make the mistake of just showing up and trying to get a room.
There are free fireworks in the Queenstown Bay at midnight with many thousands of people packing the shores trying to get a good vantage point.
Many of the bars charge a cover charge and most have long lines to get in so we recommend either staying in the one bar or walking the streets and taking in the sights and sounds.
Drinking is not permitted in public areas for the week before and after New Years in Queenstown.
- 35. What to do on a rainy day in Queenstown?
What to do on a rainy day in Queenstown?
Four Seasons in one day. The song was written about New Zealand! Queenstown can be sunny one minute and snowing the next so it's always a good idea to carry a jacket and to have a back up plan in case it begins to rain.
If you type 'raining' into the search window near the top of the page and press 'Go' a list of activities will show up that operate even when it's raining. Some other suggestions are: Onsen Hot Pools, ten pin bowling, indoor mini golf, movie cinema and ofcourse there are plenty of bars and restaurants!
- 36. Do any activities operate in Queenstown on Christmas Day?
Do any activities operate in Queenstown on Christmas Day?
Most activities dont operate on Christmas day but there are about a dozen or so that do such as: the Skyline Gondola and luge, The Earnslaw steam ship, paragliding, four wheel drive tours, hot air ballooning, kawarau jetboat, Milford Sound flights and day trips, helicopter scenic fligths to name a few. Type in the word christmas in the search window at the top of the page and press GO and a list of all the activities that operate on Christmas day will appear.
- 37. Why should I book before I arrive in Queenstown?
Why should I book before I arrive in Queenstown?
We highly recommend you book both your activities and particularly your accommodation in advance.
Queenstown has become a very popular holiday destination for both adrenalin seekers and sightseeing enthusiasts. As a result many activities get booked up and accommodation places are full many months in advance.
We see so many frustrated tourists spending much of their time in Queenstown struggling to find a bed for the night and being disappointed when an activity is full.
We want you to enjoy and experience as much of Queenstown as you can in the time you have here that's why we are here. Let us take the stress out of arranging what to do. If you are not sure what you want to do after reading our website, simply contact us and tell us a little about what you are interested in, how much time you have in Queenstown and we can arrange it all for you. Remember we don't charge any booking fee and all activities and bookings are the same price as those offered by the operator directly.
- 38. Once I have received my E-ticket will my trip definitely go ahead?
Once I have received my E-ticket will my trip definitely go ahead?
Once you receive your E-ticket it means your trip has been booked and payment has been taken, you must ring the operator the night before to reconfirm your booking. This is done to ensure the operator has enough people on the trip for it to go ahead: The operator reserves the absolute right to cancel any service as a result of weather conditions, insufficient reservations or any other unforeseen event or circumstances. Please read our terms and conditions for more detailed information.
- 39. What happens if its bad weather?
What happens if its bad weather?
Many activities such as scenic flights and other air activities are weather dependent. This is the reason we ask you ring the operator on the day and the specified time to check the weather conditions. If your trip is cancelled by the operator due to bad weather, you have the option of rescheduling your trip for another time or day with the operator, if this is not possible for you or you simply don't wish to go at another time please email us and we will arrange a refund back onto your credit card.
- 40. Is there a booking fee or any hidden costs?
Is there a booking fee or any hidden costs?
NO. Everythingqueenstown.com does not charge you for the services we provide. All prices quoted are the same as those offered by the operators directly. We pride ourselves on offering a service to you at no additional cost.
- 41. Is it cheaper if I book direct?
Is it cheaper if I book direct?
No. The Everything Travel group does not charge you for the services we provide. All prices quoted are the same as those offered by the operators directly. We don't even charge you any credit card fees so in many instances it will actually be cheaper to book with us.
- 42. Can I change my booking?
Can I change my booking?
Activities can be rescheduled provided you give at least 48 hours notice and if consent is given by the operator. You can re-schedule by calling the respective operator directly using the phone number provided on your e-ticket. If you are changing a booking several weeks or months in advance you can simply email or call us and we'll be happy to sort it out for you.
- 43. Can I cancel my booking?
Can I cancel my booking?
Once you have received your e-ticket via email a cancellation may incur a fee of 10% of the total price paid. If cancelled within 24 hours no refund will be given unless authorised by the activity operator. In general, if you contact us with ample time so that the operator can resell your seat then you will receive a refund.
Please read our terms and conditions for more detailed information.
- 44. What happens if I lose my ticket?
What happens if I lose my ticket?
No signed e-ticket = NO ACTIVITY. Just the same as booking a flight, if you don't have your ticket then you can't do the trip. If you do lose the ticket email us and we can resend your E-ticket.
- 45. How do I get a refund?