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New Zealand

New Zealand consists of about 600 islands with two main islands: The North island or Te Ika-a-Māui (Māori) characterised by volcanoes and subtropical forests and the South Island or Te Waipounamu (Māori) also referred to as the "New Zealand Alps."

Sheep seem to be everywhere (lamb is often on the menu), you can see the aurora australis on Stewart Island in the south and the beaches and rock formations of the New Zealand coast are phenomenal. Nature is breath-takingly beautiful and varied. The inhabitants, nicknamed "Kiwis", are therefore very close to Mother Nature and are great lovers of the outdoors. Thanks to its dramatic topography, New Zealand is a hotspot for adrenaline-fueled sports. White water rafting, luging, jet boating, heli-skiing, skydiving, and mountain biking round out the list of outdoor adventures and the country is home to one of the highest bungee jumps in the world.

Welcoming, warm and very extrovert, you may find yourself invited to their houses with the typical words: 'bring a plate'. This doesn't mean an empty one, but figuratively speaking any adition to the meal, for instance a salad, beer, or a ready-made meal. The Maori concepts whanau (family) and mana (mental power) are very much part of the belief system in New Zealand. The surreal beauty of its natural setting has made it a Hollywood favourite for years. Lords of the Rings was shot here as well as The Hobbit, The Chronicles of Narnia, King Kong and the Last Samurai, to name just a few. Sir Edmund Hillary who reached the top of Mount Everest, Bruce McLaren - founder of McLaren F1 Cars, Russell Crowe, Kylie Minogue, Nicole Kidmann, Jackie Chan, INXS call New Zealand home.

Hotels & Meals

Beside sumptuous seafood and roasted lamb, New Zealanders are are particularly fond of desserts and ice cream. Here are some dishes you may come across on the menu or festivals.

  • Māori hāngī (Rotorua)
  • Once the most widely used method of cooking by Māori, now mainly reserved for special occasions, Foods cooked in a hangi include chicken, pork and mutton, as well as various vegetables.

  • Chocolate Fish
  • For those with a sweet tooth, the indigenous chocolate fish has been a long-time favourite. The chocolate-coated marshmallow fish comes individually wrapped.

  • The Pineapple Lump
  • The Pineapple Lump is also a favourite New Zealand dessert. It is a pineapple candy coated in chocolate, for sale since 1935!

  • The Jaffa
  • Is a round cake with orange flavour and chocolate in the middle. Every year, in Dunedin's Baldwin Str. 1000 jaffa's roll down the steepest street in the world during the annual Cadbury Chocolate Carnival.

  • Pavlova:
  • A meringue-type dessert that is covered with cream and fresh fruit.

  • Cheese and wine
  • New Zealand has world-class cheese making and wine-producing companies and is famous for blue cheese and a range of delicious wines The Kapiti, Whitestone and Puhoi Valley wines are some of the top brands to look out for.

Insurances

Have a safe and carefree trip: travel fully insured with our Protections travel insurance! Our Protections insurance policies offer various formulas in order to offer you the widest possible cover (with even a fly-on-time, natural catastrophes and epidemics) for both single journeys or for the entire year.  We guarantee you the best protection at the best price. 

Tailored travel

The tours in our brochures are just a few examples of travel itineraries possible. Each one can be tailored to suit your specific needs. If you want to book a specific destination or combine it with a mini-tour, we will gladly suggest a tailor-made offer. For a personalised day-by-day program please contact our destination experts.

Would you like to travel in a group; with your entire family, friends or colleagues? (min. 10 people required). Put our know-how to the test and send us your details and wishes.  We will gladly turn the blueprints of your trip into a detailed quote and a lasting memory for you to cherish. Contact our  Connections’ Group Service by e-mail at groups@connections.be or by telephone on +32 (0)2 550 01 65. We would love to hear from you. 

Travel Documents

  • All Belgian nationals require an international passport with a minimum validity of 3 months after the return journey. From 01OCT2019 an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) will be mandatory , which must be requested via a mobile app (NZ $ 9) or via the Immigration NZ website (NZ $ 12). At the same time you also pay the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL - NZ $ 35)
    Passengers must request the ETA before departure. Approval can take up to 72 hours.
    It is important to note that valid documents are required before you board your flight to New Zealand.( www.immigration.govt.nz/new-zealand-visas/apply-for-a-visa/about-visa/nzeta ) 
  • Travelers with a non-Belgian nationality and / or travelers travelling on a foreign passport are invited to spontaneously reported this matter to the Connections travel consultant and shall contact their respective embassy (s) or Consulate (ate) to obtain the latest updates concerning all current travel requirements and documents.

Health

No mandatory vaccinations. To verify the latest updates on health requirements, please surf to http://www.itg.be

Time Zones

+10 (Summer), + 12 (Winter) 

Currency

Currency

New Zealand dollar ( NZD): 10 NZD = 6,10 EUR & 1 euro = 1.68 NZD (11/03/2019)

The simplest and most reliable way to obtain cash in Australia is to use an ATM. ATMs are numerous in both city and country areas. Credit cards are a widely accepted means of payment even in the most remote areas.

Tipping

In New Zealand, tipping is not customary. Off course you can always give tip or round off the sum if you are happy with the servie

Climate

In the Southern Hemisphere, the seasons are reversed in relation to those we know. The summer therefore extends from December to March, the winter from June to September. The climate is largely determined by the latitude: semi-tropical at the end of the North Island, where temperatures are still quite mild (13° C in July, 23° C in February), The west coast of the South Island is at times subject to strong winds coming from the Antarctic. The North of the South Island and the East of the North Island are the sunniest regions while the dryest part of New Zealand can be found at the east coast of the South Island. The western part of the South Island and in Fjorland National Park get the most rain and are by far the greenest part of the country.

Average max. temperatures (in °C):
Destination J F M A M J J A S O N D
Auckland 20 20 19 17 14 12 11 12 13 15 16 18
Christchurch 18 17 16 13 09 07 06 08 10 12 15 17
Dunedin 15 15 14 12 10 08 08 08 09 11 12 14
Hamilton 20 21 20 19 18 16 15 14 15 15 16 18
Hastings/Napier 18 18 17 15 14 12 11 11 12 13 15 17
Rotorua 04 05 06 06 07 06 07 06 05 05 04 05
Wellington 18 19 17 15 13 10 10 11 12 14 14 16

Highlights

    THE NORTH ISLAND
  • Bay of Islands, North Island
  • 3 hours drive from Auckland and one of the most popular spots on the North Island. 144 islets in a glittering bay with penguins, dolphins, whales and marlin. You can go sea kayaking, hike, swim in remote bays, take a look at the Hole in the Rock or spot the Kauri tree in the subtropical forest.

  • Queenstown
  • Tucked in between the shimmering Lake Wakatipu and the snowy peaks of the Remarkables, Queenstown is New Zealand's adventure capital nr 1. Bungee jumping, jet boating, white-water rafting, paragliding, rock climbing, mountain biking, downhill skiing and stunning hiking trails are some of the activities of which this area abounds. It is the Middle Earth scenery from the popular "Lord of the Rings" movies.

  • Lake Taupo & Tongariro National Park.
  • In the center of the North Island, a few miles from the shimmering and largest lake of New Zealand, Lake Taupo, lies the Tongariro National Park is a world heritage site due to its spectacular volcanic features and the importance of the lake for the Maori- culture. It is one of the oldest national parks in the world and a land of dramatic beauty with towering volcanoes, turquoise lakes, arid plateaus, alpine meadows, and hot springs.

  • Rotorua.
  • On the tumultuous Pacific Ring of Fire, Rotorua is one of the most active geothermal regions in the world. Boiling mud pools, hissing geysers, volcanic craters, and steaming thermal springs betray the forces that birthed much of New Zealand's dramatic topography. A region rich with Maori history and culture.

    THE SOUTH ISLAND
  • Fjordland national Park and Milford Sound.
  • Staggeringly beautiful UNESCO world Heritage site with gushing cascades, virgin rainforests, vast lakes, offshore islands and craggy mountain peaks. Not surprisingly, the park is a haven for hikers and home to the famous Milford Track. Sea kayaking is a popular way to explore the fjords.

  • Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park.
  • New Zealand’s highest peaks rise above the alpine landscapes of Aoraki National Park, also called Mount Cook National Park. Over 40% of the park is covered in glaciers, and the country's tallest mountain Aoraki/Mount Cook and longest glacier, the Tasman Glacier, lie within its borders.

  • Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers
  • By far the most accessible glaciers in the world are the Franz Josef and Fox glaciers of the spectacular Westland Tai Poutini National Park. Both rivers of ice strecht from the highest peaks in the southern Alps to near sea level, where you can explore them on foot during guided walks.

  • The Abel Tasman National Park & Coastal Track
  • The Abel Tasman Coast Track in the namesake Park is one of New Zealand's superb Great Walks. 51 km of winding hiking trails along sparkling Tasman Bay, from Marahau to Separation Point, in one of the sunniest regions of the South Island. You can snorkel in secluded coves; spot fur seals, dolphins, penguins, and a diverse range of birds. Expect cool forests and panoramic views from the rugged coastal cliffs. A photographer’s haven.

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