Frequently Asked Questions

The answers to the most frequently asked questions about New Zealand

The answers to the most frequently asked questions about New Zealand
Here in our FAQ (Frequently asked Questions) we collect all the frequently asked questions about New Zealand. Whether you are planning a Work & Travel or your holiday in New Zealand, you will find what you are looking for here.

For most of the answers we also have more detailed articles in our blog to help you.

Do car prices change in New Zealand?

In fact, car prices are subject to an annual rhythm for backpackers. From September to February prices are higher thanks to the summer. In the winter season from March to August the prices are lower overall. Prices in Christchurch are always slightly lower than the prices for cars and vans in Auckland all year round. Most travellers start in Auckland and finish their trip in Christchurch.

Should I better take a backpack or a suitcase for my trip?

There is no general answer to this question, but since the topic is a common one we wrote a blog post about the right backpack and the alternative of a suitcase. You can find the article here in the blog.

Do I need a credit card for New Zealand?

A credit card is not obligatory except for the payment of the Work & Holiday Visa. Nevertheless, a credit card with free money withdrawal as well as free payment makes travel easier worldwide. Visa and Master cards are accepted almost everywhere. The American Express card is only accepted in some places. You can read about credit cards and other ways to send your money to New Zealand here in our blog.

What does SC (Self Contained) actually mean?

The word Self Contained (SC) stands for independent. In the context of New Zealand this means that your vehicle has sanitary facilities such as a toilet and fresh water on board. With these so-called SC vehicles you have a much wider choice of free camping sites. Unfortunately these vehicles are a bit more expensive to buy and rent. You can find more about the vehicles here in the following article.

Where can I apply for my visa for New Zealand?

You apply for a New Zealand visa exclusively on the website of the New Zealand Immigration Service. The website is All other websites on the internet are not official immigration websites. There are a lot of websites that offer to help you with your visa application, but they are usually not necessary. As a tourist for less than 3 months you do not need to apply for a visa in advance. However, you do need a NZETA (what the NZETA is and who needs it can be found here), if you have a connecting flight within the 3 months, you will normally receive a Visa on Arrival upon arrival.

Where can I find a cheap flight to New Zealand?

There are several airlines and two main routes to New Zealand. Either eastbound via the Emirates or Asia, alternatively westbound via the USA. The more common flight path is the way east. Depending on the length of your stay, there are different ticket options, so we have written a more detailed article about this here in the blog.

Where can I find a cheap campervan or car for my New Zealand holiday?

Cheap rental cars or campervans you can easily find the Camperoase through our partner. We have summarized what you have to do in a short guide. You can find the instructions here in our blog.

How do I get from Auckland airport to the city?

There are several ways to get from Auckland Airport to the city centre. The easiest way is to take a taxi. Cheaper and also comfortable is the so-called Skybus, which runs 24/7 and offers a comfortable ride into the city centre. You can either pre-book your ticket on the internet or buy it on the spot. Alternatively, there is also a public transport system, which is cheaper but more complicated as you have to change. From the airport take bus 380 direction Manukau to Papatoetoe Station. From there take the train to Britomart. Be sure to take a valid ticket.

You can also take a taxi in New Zealand, here you can easily order your personal taxi via app.

Which mobile network provider should I use in New Zealand?

There are two major and some smaller network providers in New Zealand. The best known are Spark and Vodafone New Zealand. Network coverage with these two is quite even in New Zealand. In more remote areas there is sometimes simply no reception at all. You can find more details in the following blog post.

Where can I get a free bank account in New Zealand?

There are three banks in New Zealand that currently offer free accounts for backpackers. The three banks are, in alphabetical order, ANZ, Kiwibank and Westpac. In Auckland's city centre on Queenstreet you will normally have to wait several days for an appointment. But you can open an account in the suburbs with only 1-2 days waiting time. Which documents you need and all further details about the bank account you will find in the following blog post.

How can I transfer cheap money from Europe to New Zealand?

There are several ways to transfer your money to New Zealand without major fees. We have taken a look at the most common options in the following blog post.

How do I find campsites in New Zealand?

You can easily find campsites in New Zealand with the following apps. The apps Campermate and Wikicamps NZ are the most popular apps, more useful apps can be found in the following article.

Which apps should I use in New Zealand?

We have written a review with the most useful app for New Zealand. All apps can be found in the following article.

Where can I find information about hiking in New Zealand?

You can find all the information about beautiful day and multi-day hikes on the New Zealand DOC website. There are different categories and also possibilities for online booking of cabins that have to be booked. You can find the DOC website here.

Are there discount sites to book activities in New Zealand for less?

Yes there are discount sites, the most popular one is in our opinion Bookme. On Bookme you can view offers by region and activity. You can find the Bookme website here*.

What ferry operators are there from Wellington to Picton (and vice versa)?

There are two ferry companies that will transport you and, if you wish, your vehicle across Cook Strait. One is Blue Bridge, and the other is Inter Islander. Both providers are similar and the prices are only different by the day. The earlier you book the sooner you can get a bargain. In the respective newsletters there are also discount codes for the booking, so it is worth to subscribe to them.

The Interislander website you can visit here. The Bluebridge website you can visit here.

Where can I pay my toll fee?

If you drove over a toll road, you have 5 days to pay the toll online. You can do this on the New Zealand Transport Agency website. The point is called "Pay a toll", click here to go to the NZTA website.

Where can I check if I still have to pay a ticket?

New Zealand offers the possibility to request traffic tickets via the website of the judicial authority. The point is "Check if you have a fine". You can go to the website here.

How do I find a cheap petrol station in New Zealand?

Fuel prices in New Zealand vary greatly from region to region. Unfortunately the fuel is mostly similarly price-intensive and the gas stations do not change their prices as often as in Germany. There are two possibilities to fill up cheaper. First, use the App Gaspy (stands for Gas Spy), which is available in the App Stores.

Additionally there are some discount cards you can use. We found the AA Smartfuel Card the best and have written a guide here. The manual can be found here in the blog.

Where can I find German food and German food?

In New Zealand there is a growing supply of German food and delicious German food. Dear Isabel has a great article on her blog with places where you can find German food. You can find her blog and the corresponding article here.

Könnt ihr ein Tattoo Studio in Neuseeland empfehlen?

Yes we also visited a tattoo studio in New Zealand. After we had a look at some studios, we found the Last Port Tattoo in Nelson. Kathi got two great tattoos. There are a few differences in the preparation, the Kiwis are only limited creative. With us it was so that we brought the complete idea with us and then built the final idea together with the tattoo artist. So if you already have sample photos or motifs, bring them with you, this speeds up everything tremendously.

What is a working hostel?

A Working Hostel is an accommodation like a normal hostel. But the subtle difference to a classic hostel is a service that the hostel offers. And that is, if you wish, it can arrange a job for you in the area. This means that these so-called Working Hostels usually have lists and contacts to employers in the area. They live from the fact that you have a long-term accommodation with them in the hostel and pay for the accommodation. Mostly there are so called weekly prices which are a bit cheaper than in a classic hostel which is designed for short stays. Normally the placement to an employer should not cost any money, this money Working Hostels earn elsewhere or get it as a compensation directly from your employer.

Advertising note

All links marked with * are so-called affiliate links. If you use an affiliate link, we will receive a small commission on booking or purchase. This supports our work and helps us to help you. Thanks a lot!