Travelling overseas is always a bit stressful, especially when you don't know the local currency or how easy it will or will not be to access your hard-earned holiday cash. Let us relieve some of that stress for you!
We've gathered all the important information you need to know about New Zealand currency and the easiest ways to use and access your money while on your holiday, as well as a few handy hints around tipping, tax and more.
The New Zealand Dollar (NZD) is the local unit of currency in New Zealand and is broken down into the following denominations
Coins 10c, 20c, 50c, $1, $2
Notes $5, $10, $20, $50, $100
Due to the abolishment of the 1c, 2c and 5c coins, a system called 'Swedish Rounding' is in place across New Zealand to allow for prices that fall between the 10 cent margins.
When buying a product that has a price ending in 1, 2, 3 or 4 cents the price will be rounded down to the nearest 10 cents. If the product price ends in 6, 7, 8 or 9 cents the price will be rounded up to the nearest 10 cents. Products ending in 5 cents are rounded either up or down at the vendors discretion. For example, if you buy a loaf of bread for $3.47 the price will be rounded up to $3.50; if you purchase a carton of milk for $2.83 the price will be rounded down to $2.80.
All major credit cards are accepted readily throughout the country, Visa and Mastercard being the most widely used. Overseas credit cards can often prove more difficult due to the 4-digit security PIN system used in New Zealand. If you are unsure whether your credit card has PIN capabilities, either check with your bank before you travel, or use the option to sign for your purchase instead of entering a PIN. It is always a good idea to carry some cash on you as well as credit cards, as you will find some outlets (often in more rural areas) do not accept credit cards.
Travellers cheques are accepted in some hotels and at various tourist hotspots, but they are not widely used and accepted so credit cards or cash passports are a much better option for ease of use.
Most banks will allow you to exchange currency (some will not perform an exchange unless you are an account holder), or there are currency exchange kiosks readily available at all major airports and in most major city centres. You are likely to get a better exchange rate if you use your bank at home before you travel so be sure to check the rates and fees. Be aware of the cash restriction for travel into and out of New Zealand, if you are going to be carrying NZ$10,000 or more you will need to complete a Border Cash Report on arrival.
There is a large network of ATMs across the country and you should not have difficulty finding an ATM to withdraw cash from unless you are in an extremely rural part of the country.
New Zealand banks operate from Monday to Friday and are open between the hours of 9.30am and 4.30pm, should you need to speak to someone about funds.
The Goods and Services Tax is a 15% tax that applies to any goods or services purchased in New Zealand. Products and services will include the GST in their displayed pricing unless otherwise stated, if you are unsure about whether the GST is included or not, just ask!