New Zealand’s unit of currency is the dollar (NZD$). All major credit cards are accepted in New Zealand, with Visa and Mastercard the most widely used. Many retailers in main centres also have Apple Pay. Travellers’ cheques are no longer accepted.
You can exchange foreign currency for New Zealand currency at banks, some hotels and Bureau de Change kiosks, which are in international airports and most city centres.
New Zealand currency is available in:
Coins with values of 10, 20 and 50 cents, $1 and $2.
There is no restriction on the amount of foreign currency that can be brought in or taken out of New Zealand. However, every person who carries more than NZ$10,000 in cash in or out of New Zealand is required to complete a Border Cash Report.
Bank opening hours in New Zealand vary, but branches are generally open from 9.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday. Some are also open during weekends. Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) are available at bank branches, along main shopping streets and in malls. International credit cards and ATM cards will work as long as they have a four-digit PIN encoded. Check with your bank before leaving home.
Tipping in New Zealand is not obligatory, even in restaurants and bars. However, tipping for good service or kindness is at the discretion of the visitor. Hotels and restaurants in New Zealand do not add service charges to their bills.
All goods and services in New Zealand are subject to a Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 15%, which is included in the displayed price. Visitors cannot claim this tax back, but if a supplier ships a major purchase to a visitor's home address the GST will not be charged.
Due to the discontinuation of 1c, 2c and 5c pieces, purchases made in New Zealand are subject to “rounding” of amounts either up or down. New Zealand’s Reserve Bank believes most retailers are adopting the Swedish Rounding System. Under this system, prices ending in 1 to 4 cents will be rounded down, and prices ending in 6 to 9 cents will be rounded up. For example, a purchase of $15.14 would be rounded down to $15.10, and a purchase of $15.16 would be rounded up to $15.20. It is at the retailer’s discretion how they handle prices ending in 5 cents.
Prices for accommodation, flights and vehicle hire can fluctuate during busy seasons. The peak times are around Christmas and high summer (December through to early March) across the country, and in winter (June to August) for popular ski areas such as Queenstown and the central North Island. School holidays are also very busy times. It is advisable to book well ahead if you’re planning to travel over those periods. Visiting in the low or shoulder seasons in between can mean better deals and more choice.
Vehicle hire prices can vary greatly depending on the time of year, the type of car/motorhome you want to hire and how long you are hiring it. Use our Transport finder below to check prices on supplier websites or contact them directly. The price of petrol (gas) can fluctuate daily and may differ slightly between regions. It is always indicated on signs outside petrol stations or at the pump.
The price of domestic flights varies between airlines depending on demand, so check pricing on their websites. You can find more information on other transport options here.