With a population of around 1,470,100, Auckland is the most populous urban area in New Zealand.Read More →
It takes approximately 13 hours to drive from the top of Northland to Wellington without stopping.
The North Island’s time zone is the New Zealand Standard Time, which is GMT + 12, meaning it is 16 hours ahead of New York City and 12 hours ahead of London.
If you’re a citizen of the United States, you will be eligible for a Visa Waiver, and you won’t need a visa if you’re staying less than 90 days. Citizens of the United Kingdom, Italy, Japan, Greece, Germany, and France won’t need a visa either.
International visitors who have COVID-19 symptoms when they arrive in New Zealand by air are encouraged to take a free rapid antigen test at the airport, then take a free PCR test. Visitors who test positive again must isolate for 7 days and source and pay for their own accommodation as well as any healthcare costs.
Auckland Airport is the busiest airport in New Zealand. To get to your next destination from Auckland Airport you can take an Uber, taxi, Ola, or Zoomy. There is also a light rail that takes you to Mount Roskill where you can then transfer to Old Dominion to get to Queen Street. There is also a SkyBus system at the Britomart Transport Centre that can transport you to Central Auckland.
Wellington International Airport
Wellington International Airport, the airport for New Zealand’s capital city, is only 6 km from the central downtown. At ground level, you can take an Uber, taxi, Ola, or Zoomy to your next destination. The bus system is currently under renovation but is usually another convenient option for getting downtown.
Uber: Uber operates in most cities in New Zealand, including Auckland. Taxi fares in New Zealand can get pretty hefty, and Ubers are generally more economical.
Public Transportation: All cities in New Zealand have buses. On the North Island, Auckland is the largest metropolitan area and consists of trains, buses, and ferries. Since 2003, many improvements have been made to the rail services in Auckland, including electrification of the rail network.
Around 7 million ferry trips are made per year on the North Island operating on a multitude of routes, with 3 service operators.
New Zealand is a great country for solo traveling, as it is very safe for those who love the outdoors. Since there are many ways to make your way around the country, we highly encourage traveling solo on the North Island.
The best times to visit the North Island are from February to April and between September and November. Between June and August are when people usually stop visiting, as temperatures begin to drop off. Throughout most of the year, however, the weather is generally mild.
English is the native language of New Zealand, and almost the entire population either speaks it as a first or second language. The indigenous is known as Te reo Māori, and is spoken by about 3-4% of the population.
Smoking is becoming increasingly rare in New Zealand and is forbidden in public buildings such as restaurants and bars. If you want to smoke, politely ask to do so even if you are outside. There is a prominent drinking culture in New Zealand; the legal age for purchasing alcohol is 18. Topics to avoid in conversation include how much money people make, their marriage status, or their weight; anything seemingly private or personal.
It is also important to note that “Kiwi” is the nickname often used internationally to refer to people from New Zealand. It is also used as a self-reference. Unlike various demographic titles, “Kiwi” is not considered to be offensive, it is actually seen as a symbol of pride and a term of endearment. The name comes from the kiwi; not the fruit, but rather the native bird which is a national symbol.
There are many sacred Maori sites throughout the country, so it is extremely important to be respectful and always ask permission before visiting any of them. Never walk through a burial ground and always ask permission before visiting a meeting ground. Please also always ask permission before taking pictures of a Maori site.
The official currency in New Zealand is the New Zealand Dollar. 1 New Zealand Dollar is approximately 65 US cents.
Tipping in New Zealand is a symbol of a job truly well done. It is not necessary to tip at restaurants, hotels, bars, salons, or spas, as well as in a taxi, unless the service exceeds all expectations. Still, in every situation it is completely up to you.
New Zealand’s electricity supply runs at 230/240 volts, and typically use angled two or three pin plugs.
The North Island’s tap water is completely safe to drink. In the largest city, Auckland, water mainly comes from rainfed dams in the Hunua and Waitakere ranges.
The main networks in the North Island are Vodafone, 2degrees, and Spark. You’re going to need to take your mobile device into one of the said branches when you first arrive to purchase a plan.
In major cities on the North Island like Auckland have many free WiFi hotspots, giving you 1 GB of data per day.
Uber operates in most cities in the North Island, including Auckland. Taxi fares in New Zealand can get pretty hefty, and Ubers are generally more economical.
There are also two other rideshare companies that operate in only Wellington and Auckland called Ola and Zoomy.
The protection of LGBTQ rights is quite progressive in New Zealand, especially when compared to other countries in Oceania It is one of the most liberal in the world, as it was the first in the region to legalize same-sex marriage, and 13th in the world. Discrimination in regards to sexual orientation and gender identity has been forbidden since 1993, the same year they were allowed to openly serve in the military.
It is quite well known that the famed Lord of the Rings trilogy was filmed in New Zealand, as the director Peter Jackson hails from the nation. The films are known for their gorgeous cinematic scenes of the North and South Islands, and many people visit New Zealand to see it for themselves.
There are various natural attractions in the North Island, such as the Rotoroa Island, which has many beautiful reptiles and birds.