Tips for Couchsurfers coming to New Zealand. These tips are a summary and of a general nature only.

Rely on them at your own risk and none to me! These tips are time sensitive (ie thay may change depending on offers etc) so do not forward them to someone else as they will be out of date. Ask for a current one just before you come. 1. Phone – If you are going to be here for anything more than a week consider getting a mobile connection. There are three networks here and that have a GSM connections; Vodafone (www.vodafone.co.nz ), 2degrees ( www.2degreesmobile.co.nz ) and Telecom New Zealand (www.telecom.co.nz/mobile ). Note that the Telecom GSM network (called XT) operates on a different frequency (850 Mhz) and you will require a quad-band phone (like those used in Central America) (most GSM phones from Europe should work here). 2degrees is a new entrant in NZ. Their SIM cards cost $5 with a $2 credit or a $20 card with $20 credit. Their rates are currently the cheapest on Prepay with 44cents per minute for a call and 9 cents for a message. Sometimes they have promotions where, if you recharge, the charges drop to 22 cents per minute for other 2degree numbers and landline numbers in NZ with free sms - from 100 sms to 500 sms depending on the value of the top up. They also have 22 cent per minute international calls to a number of countries, for details, see (http://www.2degreesmobile.co.nz/calling-overseas). Vodafone prepaid SIM cards cost NZ$35 with a $5 credit. Register online and you get an additional credit of $10. Bring your GSM phone from home. Vodafone has prepaid numbers with 7, 8 and 9 digits. Ask for one with 7 or 8 digits (that is not 021 123456789 but 021 12345678). The one with 9 digits can pose problems if someone is calling you. As far as I am aware there is No PCS network in NZ (sorry Sprint customers). Note that calls beginning with 0800 and 0508 made in NZ on a NZ SIM card are free calls (unlike in Australia where they are charged). It does not cost to receive calls or text messages on any mobile network if you are using a NZ SIM Card (not like in the US, Canada, Singapore). Summary: With the cheap cost of SIM Cards and low cost of calls, there really is no reason for you not to get one; especially if you wish to Couchsurf and need to get in touch with hosts and be contactable by hosts. 2. Communication overseas. Prepaid cards that can be used at payphones or landlines are a good option.

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Van Rentals – Try Escape www. Ask for an ATM (Bankomat) card and internet access immediately. Depends on what you would like to do and see and how long you have.nz for bus/train information. Options are Kiwibank ( www. Money – If you are going to be here for any significant time.govt. You can also use the bus network. Very basic but economical. Virtually all the banks have an account type which does not have monthly charges.nbnz.co. ASB Bank ( www. The best way to get around is by car or van or buses.co. Tax File Number – If you intend to and are legally entitled to work here. 5. Bank Accounts – It is easy to open a bank account in NZ.co. Transportation. There are a number of other rental companies.nz has very good customer reviews and the only bank in NZ that has real time processing).co.nz/how-to/irdnumbers (If you want to download the form. The latter service allows you to have free calls to landlines for 90 days to 39 countries or the option to use a landline to landline connection (great when you are staying with hosts as it will not cost them anything). 6. The draft should be addressed (payable) to you. 3. Options are Skype or a cheaper alternative with great features is www.escaperentals.nz – Cheap campervans (like old VWs) which have place for sleeping and cooking. you will need to obtain a tax file number. Funds should be available to you in a few days. click on the link in the right margin of this page.An alternative is to use Voip (ie Computer to Landline). ANZ or National Bank ( www.nz both these banks are part of one group) have the largest number of ATMs in the country.nz least charges but least services as well).maxx.com (There are many alternatives.co. you can go to www.nz .asb.) I don’t think that this can be applied from overseas but check with the NZ Embassy in your country.voipcheap. You will need a New Zealand address so get a couchsurfer to “lend” you his/her addresses or use the hostel that you are staying at.co. Check them out as they have specials. 2 . Just bring your passport and drivers license to any bank and your account can be opened immediately. you will probably need to transfer funds from home from time to time.ird.wicked-campers. In Auckland. Best way is to get a Bank Draft (from your bank at home) made payable in New Zealand Dollars at a NZ Bank.Wicked Rentals http://www. Using your ATM card to get money from your bank account in your home country costs a lot in the exchange rate that the banks use and the charges that will be made on your home account. NZ does not have a wide rail network. but that will require more time and planning and may not get you to all the places. this is only one). See www.kiwibank. 4.

A better bet maybe to go to an auction as you can then check out the car and get an idea of the prices before you commit yourself.aspx is known as the party and sex bus.co.straytravel. 8. Magic Bus (www. Bus Companies that have special deals are Nakedbus (www. hop-off ticket with a year’s validity. This is a term used locally where one is in a campervan which does not have built-in toilet facilities.co.transfercar. You can drive on your overseas license for 12 months in some circumstances. Drivers License – Bring your home country Drivers License AND an International Drivers License (if you want an IRD number or are going to be here for some time).magicbus. (Third party.co. google “nz car relocation” or you can call each rental car company individually.co.com/) a close competitor to Magic Bus Kiwi Experience http://www.backpackerbus. www.com/nz-bus-pass-faq.atomictravel.co. http://www.). Relocation deals (whereby you hire a car from one city and drop them off at another) can be very cheap or free (remember to check if there are any charges and insurance excess).nz . If you buy a car.nz) Currently having $1 deals as well (but for how long?) Backpacker Bus (http://www. 7.nakedbus.Cars – Second hand cars are cheap in NZ. Contact me if you need details as to how to transfer the car etc.nz/) Atomic Shuttles (http://www.nz) is a hop-on. Mainly by very young travelers who enjoy drinking all the time (wonder if they ever see any of the sights …) All of these companies have special deals periodically so check and ask for them. Intercity (www. There are now restrictions as to where you are able to camp and it would be wise to get details of this – otherwise you could receive a ticket/fine. ensure that you get at least Third Party Insurance so that if you have an accident you do not wind up paying a lot.trademe.intercity.freecarrental. Turners Car Auctions are the largest in NZ. Some of the sites are www.nz/ . Stray Travel (http://www. they take quite long to go from point-to-point but are an excellent option if you are not driving yourself and want to see the sights along the way.kiwiexperience.just kidding about the traveling naked bit. If you 3 .nz have online auctions.co.bugpacific.nz/) Only in the South Island Also check out http://www.nz) where there are $1 specials if you travel naked . fire & theft is better) and that you get the vehicle checked by a mechanic.co.co. Consequently.com/transport/bus-companies-in-newzealand. Freedom Camping.html for the smaller and more focused bus companies There are bus companies that do a route through NZ and stop at the sights along the way.

returning to LA or in both directions (only one stop per direction).bring your home license.co. NZ has 2 airlines that fly domestically.co.govt. Discount Airlines that fly to NZ internationally are Pacific Blue (to Australia and Pacific Islands) and Jetstar www. Air New Zealand offer “grab-a-seat” specials (both domestic and international) daily until they are sold out. There is an option to travel to NZ with discount carriers now. Tiger Airways or Air Asia) and from Singapore to Auckland on Jetstar (Jetstar flights to Auckland commence in March 2011).nz ).landtransport.nz/factsheets/56. If you are flying on Air New Zealand between Los Angeles and Auckland. The same airline has now commenced flights from Paris (Orly) to Kuala Lumpur with effect from 14 Feb 2011.pacificblue. Air Travel – Currently. As is always the case.html If you plan to spend some time in NZ. you may have an option. Tonga or Samoa for an extra NZ$100 per stopover. It is also included on the Lufthansa “Wonderbar” tickets. it may be advisable to get a NZ Driving License as it serves as a form of ID as well.airnewzealand. 9.au) have Happy Hour specials between 12 noon and 1pm Australian Eastern Time (every day) and they may have specials between Australia and New Zealand. Air New Zealand (http://www. An alternative is to take Air Asia from Kuala Lumpur to Melbourne (Australia) and catch a discount carrier to Auckland/Wellington/Christchurch or fly to Gold Coast (Australia) and catch a discount carrier from either Gold Coast or Brisbane to the same 4 . it may be possible to get a NZ license without any further tests. Keep an eye out until then as they are expected to have deep discount flights.co. Periodically Fiji and Tahiti are also included in the offer. fly to Kuala Lumpur on Air Asia. Discount travel from Europe/South East Asia. Pacific Blue in Australia (www. Air Asia have announced that they will commence flights to Christchurch in 2011 (see below). Note that you can use this either coming to NZ.nz ) and Jetstar (http://jetstar. From London Stanstead.co. It is possible to fly from NZ to London for NZ$450 (approx Euros 230).pacificblue. book far in advance and keep an eye out for the specials from the airlines.nz) have Happy Hour sales in NZ on Fridays between 12 noon and 1pm while Jetstar has Friday Frenzy sales on the same day in the afternoon (4pm to 8pm). See http://www. Most Air New Zealand tickets on this route will allow you to stop in either Cook Islands.nz (to Australia and Singapore). All airlines have periodic specials so check for them first. Pacific Blue (http:www.com. Fly from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore (on either Jetstar.jetstar.

Travel Book. You are more likely to get replies when people know what you are like. If you want your travel here to be effective. Examples are the Auckland Public Library at 44 Lorne Street in central Auckland. 12. Kawakawa. It is best if you have a complete profile on Couchsurfing.cities. Patagonia Chocolates and Dux de Lux in Queenstown). 16. Couchsurfing Profile. 14.co. Renovations are in progress so the booths may be relocated in the process. especially if you have English on it (German = Personalausweis). An ISIC (International Student Identity Card) card is worth its weight in gold so get one before you leave your country. Electricity – The voltage here is 230v. It will help you plan and advise you of pertinent information. French ID cards will not suffice as there is no English text on it. 11. Kaitaia among others. 10. bring that along as there are some reciprocal membership privileges. different to Europe. Automobile Association. The AA has listed the 101 must do in weekends in New 5 . Internet Access at airports – Auckland. UK and the US. It can serve as an ID. For security and safety reasons. one would like to know if the person at one’s door who wants to stay is the same person you have been in touch with. Most require you to purchase a coffee for an hour’s internet (eg Esquires Coffee in New Zealand. You do not need to follow the book.i-site. We use a 3 pin plug system. of course. 50Mhz. RACV in Victoria). get a travel book like the Lonely Planet. Have a complete and clear face pic. 17. This option may cost slightly more but gives the ability to stop in Australia as well. Most (but not all) city public libraries offer free internet and wifi access. Bring along your national Identity Card if you have one. You can get converter plugs at most travel shops in NZ. 15. That way you may not need to carry your passport everywhere. This will then allow for one stop flights on budget carriers from London/Paris to NZ. Remember to include if you are or are not a smoker as well. 13. If you have membership of your Automobile Association (AAA in the US. Travel Information is also available on the official tourism New Zealand website – http://www. Internet/Wireless Access – There are hotspots in most of the major cities. Air Asia has also announced flights from Kuala Lumpur to Christchurch sometime in 2011 (start date unknown at this stage). ADAC in Germany. There are SAMSUNG booths on the left just after you come out into the main concourse (arrivals) and there was a booth in the main departure lounge (before you go into the departure formalities) – currently being relocated.nz . Also in Christchurch. Wellington – free wifi access in the main concourse of the airport (not at the gates). Identity Card.

com/en/New_Zealand_new_member_welcome_kit Please do not make couchsurfing requests in the New Zealand group or in any of the city groups. There are sub-groups which are specifically dedicated to certain categories. Fuel Vouchers Most supermarkets will give you a voucher for a discount on fuel purchases. Countdown and Woolworths have a deal for a minimum of 4 cents per litre discount with Shell and Gull. for a response.couchsurfing. (Note if you refuel at an automated service station at 6 .html?gid=16913 Tramping (Hiking) In New Zealand (hiking and going on camping trails) http://www. Basically. Foodtown.html?gid=11753 Travel Companions for exploring New Zealand (if you want to meet up with other travelers in NZ) http://www. or have a flat to share or any questions about working in New Zealand) http://www. Use them. Agricultural Controls. Some Caltex stations accept fuel vouchers from any supertmarket chain for a 4 cents per litre discount.org/group.nz/101/? section=MustDo&showAdvanceSearch=1 18.com/group.com/group. 19.Zealand and can be found at: http://www. Jason also has maps for the Pacific Islands and Queensland (Australia). PakNSave and New World have a tie up with BP (or in some cases in their forecourt) for discounted petrol (4 cents to 6 cents per litre). Couchsurfing in New Zealand.com/guides/New-Zealand-route-planners/ (go to this page to see what the maps look like and pick them up at racks). All camping gear and hiking boots must be cleaned before arrival into NZ and declared so that they can check it. (Auckland A – Z guide has discount coupons that you can use if you shop at the Duty-free in Auckland Airport.com/group.or you will be fined or on the next plane out. Contact the persons personally and you will have a better chance of getting a response. some of the brochures have discount vouchers that are great. Heavy fines for non-disclosure. food/meat items are strictly controlled.co.couchsurfing. 21.) The Jason’s maps (free) are an excellent choice (8 maps for the regions and the whole of NZ) http://www. rather than the city groups or the New Zealand group.couchsurfing. These include: Rideshare New Zealand (if you would like to offer a ride to someone or to ride with someone travelling in NZ) http://www.jasons. Apart from the maps which will help you plan your trip.html?gid=7804 Living and Working in New Zealand (if you want a flat. Brochures at the airport. Pick these up after you enter the airport and before immigration. animal and wood products. 20. NZ is VERY strict on what you can and cannot bring into the country.html?gid=4752 Wikipedia article on Couchsurfing in NZ: http://wiki. ALL plant.aatravel.couchsurfing.couchsurfing. Check before you bring them in and declare them if you do .

undertheradar. join the group Tramping (Hiking) In New Zealand (hiking and going on camping trails) http://www. 22. If you want these contact me. Note Individual fares are more expensive than using the Metrocard.00. It is very easy to see long distances on a clear day due to the unpolluted air. LASTLY if there is anything that I have missed out let me know so that it can be included for the next CS. Bring an ID (passport or NZ Drivers Licence) to get this.co. quite a different connotation from what you may be used to. Please reply to me through the CS website. 24. Bus Travel One of the best deals is to get the Metro Card. Cards are only available in the Central Bus Station during office hours. Health and Safety. Tramping in New Zealand. New Zealand is blessed with a very clean environment. 7 . restaurants etc) is not required in New Zealand or in Australia. A great website to consult is NZ Tramper http://tramper. Hiking is called “tramping”. It is a stored value card for bus travel for upto two hours.org/group. use can use the same voucher again at a Caltex station!) At times there are promotions with a 25 cents per litre discount. Do use a high factor sunscreen and use it regularly during the day – or look like a lobster very quickly! 26. 23. If there are any errors or information that should be in greater detail. The cards are free to get (only the first card) and recharges are to be made in $10 increments (at kiosks or from the bus driver).10 instead of $7. Currently have one for the Cook Islands and am working on one for Queenstown.nz/ Covers all music gigs in the country. I will be creating tip sheets for some cities.PakNSave.couchsurfing. These tips are for people coming to New Zealand. If you wish to connect with other couchsurfers who are tramping in NZ. let me know as well. Have a great stay in New Zealand. Local music scene listings are at http://www.nz/ . Transfers within that time are not charged and the trip to the airport is a standard fare of $2. username is kirinsingh.co. Local Tip sheets. Christchurch 1.html?gid=11753 25. The flip side to this is that the sun’s rays are not filtered by air particles and is very strong. 27. RANDOM TIPS These will eventually be separate sets for the various places. Tipping (at bars.

Great Barrier Island. Note that only 3 persons at a time can travel on one sailing with this ticket.2. Toilets. Northland 1. If there are 3 of you. just make sure you don’t take random people doing what they do there. 8 . Auckland 1. I also managed to get a weak signal in Cathedral Square. If you are traveling in a group and returning on a different day. Rakino etc.fullers.50). Remember to check out the toilets in Kawakawa.php (eg to Waiheke Island this will cost $25 instead of a normal return fare of $33. buy a 10 trip ticket for $25. Ferry to Russell Individual return tickets cost $10 per person. 3. If traveling to Waiheke and returning the same day. get a Saver Seat fare http://www.nz/tickets-fares/book-tickets. consider getting a 10 trip ticket for $125. Internet Free computers and wifi is available at the Christchurch Public Library.co. Similar deals exist for the other ferry trips with Fullers to Rangitoto. Yes. 2. you are allowed to take pictures in the toilets. Bookings MUST be done online. They are on the main street and were designed by a famous Austrian artist Hunderwasser.