Travelling across the ocean to New Zealand from the Lion City?
We’ve got you covered!
New Zealand is rising in popularity as a travel destination among Singaporeans due to recent promotion as well as the increasing number of students and working adults migrating to New Zealand.
For people who are not aware of the situation, why is New Zealand getting so popular, really?
Aside from the green and peaceful atmosphere of New Zealand which is perfect for a getaway from Singapore’s bustling city, it is also home to many fun activities like bungee jumping, white water rafting, and more importantly, its unique, Instagram-worthy views.
For many tourists who are stressed from the busy city lifestyle, they want to indulge in something exciting, almost heart-stopping to have fun and this is where New Zealand excels with its abundance of extreme activities.
Of course, if you’re not a fan of the adrenaline rush, you can still enjoy yourself in New Zealand’s culture; why not take some time to visit the museum, have a sip at the country’s famous vineyards, or even go dolphin watching!
Whatever it is, New Zealand tourism offers something for everyone regardless of interests or background.
Important visa knowledge
Luckily, Singaporean (and Malaysian) passport holders coming to New Zealand do not need a visa if you are traveling for less than three months regardless of whether you’re here for business, short-term studies, or on a holiday.
You are not required to apply for a visa before you arrive in New Zealand although sometimes, you may be asked some general questions from the immigration officer at the airport for your purpose of visit.
If you want to stay in the country for more than three months, however, you would need to apply for a visa. Fortunately, Singapore has a visa facility specifically for New Zealand in the heart of the city.
This facility helps you to apply for travel visas, re-apply for a visa extension, or to settle traveling issues that may occur as you move in and out of the country.
However, the visa waiver programme does not mean you are free to enter with no strings attached. You need to show some proof that you’re in New Zealand for a legal reason and not doing anything that could cause problems in the country.
This means you need to show you have good health and personality, provide your travel documents, and sometimes provide proof that you have enough money to sustain your stay in New Zealand.
Get a local sim card
All of the major carriers in Singapore allow roaming in New Zealand. However, we recommend you to use a local sim card to avoid astronomical roaming charges on your phone bill.
The simplest way to use a local number is to get a prepaid SIM card from one of the four major carriers in New Zealand: Vodafone, Skinny, Spark, and 2Degrees.
All four carriers have similar phone plans and it’s best for you to get the starter pack which usually consists of the ability to call and SMS locally as well as mobile data (usually in the 500MB-1,000MB range).
Using your carrier’s roaming setup may be easier but the fees incurred are not worth it as local carriers are not only cheaper, they work better as well in terms of coverage.
To add money to your prepaid local SIM, head over to a grocery store to purchase a top-up code for your local SIM. Follow the instructions on your receipt and your account balance should be updated immediately.
Find the best New Zealand package tour from Singapore to get you to the country as smoothly as possible
It’s great to book a trip on your own but we recommend going with a travel agency to ensure your trip goes smoothly.
Our recommendation would be to choose a travel agency to handle your flights both internationally and domestically, your accommodations, car rentals (driving is essential if you want the best experience), and other trip-related stuff.
Booking with an agent keeps things easy for you especially when you’re facing problems. This way, you only need to deal with one person instead of confusing yourself by trying to talk to multiple business owners and websites.
Take note of the local weather
Unlike in Singapore where it’s warm and humid all-year round, New Zealand experiences all four seasons and is generally colder than Singapore the whole year (the country only gets as hot as 25°C in the summer, for example).
While the weather in New Zealand is mild all year round, the temperature drops as you travel further south the country. January and February are considered as the warmest months while July is the coldest as winter starts on that month.
Don’t be fooled by New Zealand’s cold weather, though. As New Zealand observes daylight savings time, which is something that Singaporeans do not really deal with, daylight (yes, it is really as bright as day) can last up to 9 p.m.!
Since the country has low levels of pollution, UV rays from the sun penetrate stronger than usual which means sunscreen is absolutely essential if you don’t want to damage your skin.
Even during cold weather, the sun in New Zealand can burn your skin in the afternoon where it gets hot. To keep yourself protected from the sun as much as possible, follow these simple steps:
- Try to keep yourself in the shade if you are not going outside.
- Remember to wear hats or sunglasses if you’re not used to being exposed to the sun.
- SPF30+ sunscreen is the minimum dosage you should use. The dosage should be higher if you have sensitive skin or if you are bringing children along.
It rains in New Zealand!
Rain is quite common in New Zealand and is fairly spread out throughout the year. The magnitude of rain depends on where you’re traveling to.
The northern part of New Zealand will rain more during winter while the southern part rains less in the same season.
Because of the rainy weather, New Zealand is able to contain stunning flora and fauna all over the country; crops are also very fertile which makes farming a sustainable and profitable activity.
Now, if we’re talking about snow, going to New Zealand between June to mid-October is a good choice as that is when winter sets in. Many of the snowy regions are located in mountainous areas, however, keep that in mind.
Tipping, service charges, GST, and money matters
Unlike other countries, tipping is not necessary even in restaurants and bars. In fact, some restaurants actively discourage you from tipping. However, tipping is entirely up to you.
If you like the waiter’s service or you just want to tip out of good will, by all means, do so – they’ll appreciate it a lot.
Speaking of tips, hotels and restaurants in New Zealand do not charge you extra for their service.
The same thing cannot be said about the country’s GST (Goods and Services Tax). Display prices of most products include a 15% GST charge which cannot be claimed back or refunded even if you’re a tourist.
GST will only be non-applicable when you are delivering something major (like expensive furniture) to your home address via international shipping.
New Zealand banks also open at different times compared to Singapore. Banks are open from 9.30am to 4.30pm during the weekdays; some of them may open for half a day during the weekends but it varies from bank to bank.
Your Singaporean credit, debit, and ATM cards will work as long as they have a four-digit PIN security system and are compatible with the ATM machine. To make sure everything goes well, double check with your bank before you leave the country.
Some banks restrict your daily limits when you travel overseas while others stop you from spending money overseas outright.
About the Road Trip
We have a reputation for preparation and detail that goes above and beyond – making excellent recommendations for your itinerary as well as including the best stops to enjoy the scenery and take memorable photos on your next time.
We offer a wide choice of private tour packages and you can select one based on your needs and travel expectations.
We’ll be more than happy to discuss your interests and the length of your stay, before putting together an itinerary that is tailored exclusively for you.
Over here at The Road Trip, we have several tour packages on offer for visitors.
From a 19-day luxury tour that covers both the North and South island to a short 6-day luxury tour for those who don’t have too much time, we have it all.
We are one of the leading tour provider in New Zealand with a host of awards under our name. You can check out our client testimonials over here.
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