Travel information

Auckland and New Zealand from A to Z

 

Auckland Airport
Auckland Airport is one of three international airports in New Zealand beside Wellington and Christchurch. 

A regular 10-minute Airbus Express service is available from the airport to Auckland’s CBD and to the city’s waterfront Downtown Ferry Terminal. Simply hop on and buy your tickets directly from the driver. Tickets cost about NZ$16 one way.

Taxi and shuttle ranks are located outside the arrivals area (door 8) at the international terminal and outside the luggage collection area (door 4) at the domestic terminal. Indicative fares from the airport into the city are between NZ$60 - NZ$80 one-way for a taxi and shuttles ($33 for one person plus $8 for each extra person together in the same group). 

Banks
Banks are generally open 9am to 4:30pm from Monday to Friday, except on public holidays. Major banks also have branches in shopping malls which offer extended evening and weekend opening hours. All major credit cards are accepted and automatic teller machines (ATMs) are widely available in all but the smallest towns.

Cities
More than one quarter (approximately 1.4 million) of New Zealand’s population lives in Auckland in the North Island. The capital is Wellington, located in the south of the North Island. Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island.

Climate
The climate is temperate, except Northland, which is subtropical. Average maximum summer temperatures are 20-30°C and in winter 10-15°C. Outside of alpine areas, temperatures generally do not fall below freezing.

The seasons occur in reverse of the Northern Hemisphere seasons. Spring lasts from September to November and brings you temperatures with an average daily maximum of around 18°C. New Zealand's spring weather can range from cold and frosty to warm and hot.

Clothing
Conditions can change rapidly – always keep a sweater handy for sudden changes in weather. Rain can occur at any time, so bring a waterproof jacket, plus warm clothing for winter visits.

Dress is informal and relaxed on most occasions. Smart casual clothes are acceptable at most restaurants and night-spots. Men are generally not expected to wear suits and ties, except in a few of the top formal bars and restaurants in major cities.

Currency
New Zealand’s currency is the New Zealand dollar (NZ$). Major credit cards can be used and Travellers Cheques are accepted at hotels, banks and some retail stores. Most banks are part of Cirrus or Plus. There is no restriction on the amount of foreign currency that can be brought in or taken out of New Zealand.

Customs
New Zealand has a very strict policy on food being brought into the country. Customs will X ray all luggage on arrival and any food that is found, you will be charged for. Please ensure you dispose of the food before entering the customs area of the airport.

Disabled access
The law requires new buildings to provide access for people with disabilities, but check when booking. All venues of the Colloquium will have wheelchair access. If you are unsure please visit the registration desk or email colloquium@cochrane.org.

Driving and car hire
In New Zealand, traffic drives on the left-hand side of the road. Cars, campervans and small campers that lie somewhere between the two are readily available for hire. Minimum hire ages vary from 21 to 25 and you’ll need to provide a valid driver’s licence (in English) from your home country or an International Driver’s Permit. 

Electricity and power plugs
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/hairdryers only. For all other equipment an adapter/converter is necessary, unless the item has a multi-voltage option.

Please note that power outlets only accept flat 2- or 3-pin plugs. You will need a RJ45-type plug to be able to connect your laptop into a computer socket in New Zealand, and an adaptor with a flat two or three-point power plug to connect to the power supply. It is each delegate's responsibility to bring their own adaptors to use throughout the meeting.

Emergency phone number
In health and safety emergencies, dial 111 for ambulance, police or fire services.

Food
Abundant fresh, locally grown produce, including wonderful seafood and wines, is always available. Don’t leave New Zealand without sampling some of the local delicacies on offer around the country.

Geography
New Zealand consists of three major islands and many small islands, and lies in the South Pacific Ocean. It is 6,500 km south-southwest of Hawaii and 1,900 km east of Australia – three hours by air from Australia, 12.5 hours from the United States and about 10 hours from Hong Kong or Singapore. The land area covers about 270,000 km².

Goods and Services Tax
All goods and services purchased in New Zealand are subject to 15% Goods and Services Tax (GST), which is included in the display price. Goods bought from duty free shops before departure are exempt from GST.

Government
New Zealand is a sovereign state with a democratically elected parliamentary government. Constitutional history dates back to the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, when Maori ceded sovereignty to the British Queen. It is a founding member of the Commonwealth and the United Nations.

Insurance and medication
We strongly advise you to take out appropriate personal, travel and health insurance.  The event organisers shall not be held liable for personal accidents, loss or damage to private property of registered participants. In the event of disruption in the program for major or unforeseen causes, organisers accept no responsibility for economic losses incurred by delegates.

Visitors bringing in a quantity of medication are advised to carry a doctor's certificate to avoid possible problems with New Zealand Customs. Doctor's prescriptions are needed to obtain certain drugs in New Zealand.

Language
English is the major official language. Maori is the second official language.

Maori culture
The indigenous Maori culture permeates everyday life in New Zealand. For a deeper insight, join a guide or tour and try unique activities such as visiting a marae (meeting place), and watching carving, weaving and traditional kapa haka (performance art).

National parks
New Zealand’s national parks are a must-see for anyone wanting to view amazing scenery. Hiking opportunities range from short walks to multi-day adventures.

Passports and visas
Passports are required for all visitors and must be valid for at least three months after the date the visitor intends to leave. Visas are not required for most visitors staying less than three months; the list of visa free countries can be found here. If your country is not on this list, please check the New Zealand Immigration Service website to find out about visa requirements and the application process.

Personal safety
New Zealand is one of the world’s safest destinations, but basic safety precautions should be taken. New Zealand has a relatively low crime rate but please take sensible precautions such as keeping valuables out of sight and locking doors and vehicles, even in remote locations. Avoid walking around empty or poorly lit areas, and avoid gambling on the streets. It is advisable to carry only the money you will need for each day. You must pay attention in crowded places, such as public transport or department stores.

Population
New Zealand has a population of approximately 4.3 million people, mostly of British descent. New Zealand’s indigenous Maori make up around 14% of the population. Other European cultures and people of Asian and Pacific Island descent have become an increasingly large proportion of the population.

Prices
New Zealand is a good value destination, particularly for visitors from Australia, Europe and the United States of America. As a general rule, a main meal may cost NZ$15 to NZ$45. A night’s accommodation will cost anywhere from around NZ$15 (for a hostel dorm bed) to NZ$300 and beyond.

Religion
The population is predominantly Christian, but followers of many religions will find places of worship in cities and larger towns. New Zealand is accepting of many different religious beliefs.

School holidays
The Colloquium falls into a school holiday period (28 September to 15 October). Although businesses usually don’t close during school holidays, attractions and popular holiday destinations may be busier than usual so it is a good idea to book accommodation and transport ahead of time.

Shopping hours
In resorts and cities, shops open seven days, 9am to 6pm, with late nights on Thursdays and Fridays. Smaller centres may have more restricted hours.

Smoking
Smoking indoors is prohibited in all hospitality venues and public buildings in New Zealand.

Time zone
New Zealand standard time is Greenwich Mean Time +12 hours; ahead of all other OECD countries. From the last Sunday in September to the first Sunday in April, i.e. during the Colloquium, New Zealand is on daylight saving time of GMT +13 hours.

Tipping
Employees in New Zealand do not depend on tips for income. Tipping in appreciation of good service is at your discretion.

Transport
New Zealand is generally well served by air transport, rail and ferry networks. Coaches are comfortable and cost effective. For independence, visitors may hire a campervan or rental car. 

Vaccinations
No vaccination certificates are required to enter New Zealand.

Water
Tap (faucet) water is fresh and safe to drink throughout the country. Water taken from rivers or lakes should be boiled or treated.

Weights and measures
New Zealand is metric, though people still use imperial measurements for distance, height and weight.

Websites with more information
Travel: www.destination-nz.com
Lifestyle & Entertainment Guides: www.brownbear.co.nz
Tourism New Zealand: www.newzealand.com
Visitor Information: www.i-site.org
Weather: www.metservice.co.nz
Maps: www.terralink.co.nz, www.wises.co.nz