The British & Irish Lions Tour to New Zealand is in June and July 2017 which is winter in the Southern Hemisphere.
The winter months bring snow blanketing soaring mountains in certain parts of the country and clear, crisp days that awaken the senses.
Temperatures range from 1.5 - 15.5 degrees celsius (35 - 60F).
Sunshine - Most places in New Zealand receive over 2,000 hours of sunshine a year, with the sunniest areas - Bay of Plenty, Hawke's Bay and Nelson/Marlborough - receiving over 2,350 hours. New Zealand experiences relatively little air pollution compared to many other countries, which makes the UV rays in the sunlight very strong.
Rain - New Zealand's average rainfall is high and evenly spread throughout the year. Over the northern and central areas of New Zealand more rain falls in winter than in summer, whereas for much of the southern part of New Zealand, winter is the season of least rainfall. As well as producing areas of stunning native forest, the high rainfall makes New Zealand an ideal place for farming and horticulture.
Snow - Snow typically appears during the months of June through October, though cold snaps can occur outside these months. Most snow in New Zealand falls in the mountainous areas, like the Central Plateau in the north, and the Southern Alps in the south. It also falls heavily in inland Canterbury and Otago.
Why not download the MetService Snow Weather app on your mobile device to keep up to date with the weather forecasts.
Temperature & weather - While winter months do bring cooler weather and rain to parts of the country, many locations only experience a mild winter. High temperatures range from between 10 to 16 degrees Celsius (50 – 61F), but the ‘winterless North’ hardly experiences colder days at all. In the South Island, frosts and heavy snowfall is common – ski season is world-class.
Crisp sunshine and snowy mountains - The ski fields are in full swing, and the mountains of the Central Plateau, Canterbury and Central Otago are blanketed with fresh snow. Snow enthusiasts should make a point of trying several different ski fields a go – in Queenstown and Wanaka, there are four world-class ski fields within an hour and a half of each other. For a thrill, try heli-skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing or sledging.
In Auckland, temperatures are mild and sunny days are common. It’s the perfect time of year to hike up Rangitoto – chances are you’ll have the dormant volcano all to yourself.
New Zealand is generally a very safe place to travel with a relatively low crime rate, few endemic diseases and a great healthcare system. Visitors are still advised to take the same care with personal safety and your possessions as you would in any other country, or at home. Take copies of your important documents (like your passport and credit cards), and keep them separate from the originals. You should also keep a record of the description and serial number of valuable items (like cameras, tablets and smart phones). And remember, in an emergency dial 111.
Having the right passport and visa organised is the key to a trouble free entry into New Zealand.
When you arrive in New Zealand, you’ll need to be carrying a passport that is valid for at least three months beyond your intended departure date. Many people will qualify for visa-free entry, but depending on your country of origin, some will need to apply for a visa before they travel. Click here for more information.
Do you need a visa or permit?
You do not need a visa or permit to visit New Zealand if you are:
- A New Zealand/Australia citizen or Resident Permit holder
- An Australian citizen travelling on an Australian passport
- British citizen and or British passport holder who can produce evidence of the right to reside permanently in the UK (you can stay up to six months)
- A citizen of a country which has a visa waiver agreement with New Zealand (you can stay up to three months)
- If you come from Visa-waiver countries, you don't need a visa to enter New Zealand, but are still required to provide:
- Travel tickets or evidence of onward travel arrangements
- Evidence that you can support yourself in New Zealand (approximately NZ$1000 per month per person).
You will need to complete a Passenger Arrival Card before passing through Customs Passport Control. A passenger arrival card will be given to you during your flight; if not, cards are available in the arrival area.
Customs prohibited and restricted goods, Biosecurity risk goods - After you’ve cleared passport control, you should collect your baggage and proceed through customs and biosecurity checks. In order to protect New Zealand and it's environment, certain items are not allowed to be brought into the country, have restrictions for entry or must be declared if they are deemed to present a biosecurity risk. These include food, plants, animal products and outdoor recreational equipment. Your baggage may be sniffed by a detector dog and/or x-rayed, and it may be searched to identify any risk goods you might be carrying.
Allowances and duty free concessions - As a visitor to New Zealand you may be entitled to various concessions and duty free entries on some of your goods. If you are 17 years or older, you are entitled to allowances for alcohol, cigarettes and tobacco.
New Zealand's unit of currency is the dollar (NZ$). All major credit cards can be used in New Zealand, with Visa and MasterCard accepted most widely.
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. Foreign currency can easily be exchanged at banks, some hotels and Bureau de Change kiosks, which are found at international airports and most city centres.
Tipping and Service Charges - 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.
New Zealand banks are open from 9.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday. Some are also during weekends. Automated Teller Machines (ATM's) are widely available at banks, 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.
Goods and Services Tax
All goods and services are subject to a 15 percent Goods and Services Tax (GST) included in the displayed price. Visitors cannot claim this tax back, however when 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. The 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.
New Zealand is one of the first places in the world to see in the new day. In the British summer and New Zealand winter, from April to October, New Zealand is 12 hours ahead of GMT. In New Zealand summer and British winter (last Sunday in September to the first Sunday of the following April) New Zealand uses 'Daylight Saving' time, with clocks put forward one hour to GMT+13.
For more information on travelling to New Zealand, visit Tourism New Zealand for up-to-date facts and recommendations.