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The solitary tree of Wanaka Lake and snow-covered Buchanan Peaks, PE

5 reasons to travel to New Zealand

Located at the other side of the world from Western Europe, New Zealand is an idyllic vacation destination for all nature lovers. In fact, a stay in New Zealand is an opportunity to discover a mysterious country with a reputation for wide open spaces and peacefulness.
  1. 1
    The Maori culture is still a mystery to you.
  2. 2
    In the footsteps of Frodo, on a quest for the RIng
  3. 3
    An almost permanent sense of bliss
  4. 4
    Local flora and fauna that is as rare as it is diverse
  5. 5
    Captivating landscapes
1. The Maori culture is still a mystery to you.
Are you fascinated by New Zealand's traditional Maori culture, and do you dream of delving beneath the surface? If so, don't wait any longer and head for the Land of the Long White Cloud.
2. In the footsteps of Frodo, on a quest for the RIng
Fans of the universe described in "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings" can use their stay in New Zealand to explore the locations of the two trilogies. Peter Jackson succeeded magnificently with his choice of locations, and it is easy to feel the atmosphere of the movies.
3. An almost permanent sense of bliss
New Zealand is one of the rare destinations where it's still possible to discover, and make the most of, idyllic places without being swamped by hordes of tourists The tranquillity that hangs over these islands adds a whole other level to the wide open landscapes and the perspectives that they provide. The emotions that you feel, and the impressions that you take away, are difficult to describe. 
4. Local flora and fauna that is as rare as it is diverse
New Zealand is famous for its local wildlife, some of which is widespread such as the famous kiwi (which is hard to spot), or the yellow-eyed penguin, not to forget the marine mammals that make their home off the coast of South Island, such as the Hector's dolphin. As far as plant life is concerned, you can't help being fascinated by the presence of the giant Kauri trees which are a national symbol.
5. Captivating landscapes

The first thing that strikes visitors during their stay in New Zealand, is the beauty of the two islands and their magnificent, panoramic views. These views range from beaches that extend as far as the eye can see, through to lakes that nestle in the heart of mountain ranges and perfectly curved, lush green hills. Contrasts, diversity and purity are the watchwords to define what you will find when you get there.

Discover the destination

Why travel in New Zealand

Even though it is the same size as France, New Zealand only has a population of 4.5 million. That's great news for lovers of wide open spaces, who will be bowled over by the spectacular views, most of which you can see for free. This is what you need to know before leaving on a trip to New Zealand.

You should go if...
  • You like a challenge and love adventure and extreme sports
  • You want to find out more about the culture, traditions, food and tattoos of the Maoris
  • You dream of visiting the locations where Lord of the Rings was filmed
  • You want to experience the raw power of the planet (in New Zealand, the earth spews mud and shakes, smokes, and rumbles).
  • You enjoy traveling by van or motorhome or just sleeping in your car - if so, it's the perfect country!
  • You want to ski on Australasia's highest mountains, the Southern Alps
  • You love nature, pure, clean air, and spectacular landscapes (20% of the country is made up of national parks)
  • You dream of watching the All Blacks play at Eden Park in Auckland
  • You're looking for a place to get away from it all, somewhere peaceful where you won't be surrounded by tourists
You shouldn't go if...
  • If you're looking for a beach paradise where great weather is guaranteed...
  • The mere mention of an earthquake sends you diving for cover
  • You're on a tight budget
  • You want the local cuisine to surprise you
  • You have less than two weeks to spend traveling (the major locations are all a long way from each other!)
  • You like to sleep late and party all night (dinner at 6 p.m. is a thing!)

Customize your perfect trip to New Zealand

Discover all our travel ideas for a trip in New Zealand.

All our tours in New Zealand

When to go in New Zealand?

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Go and explore Maori culture in the land of rugby. The best period to travel to New Zealand ranges from December to April. Effectively, it's the period when the weather is warmest. That's what makes it the best time to discover this magnificent country and to enjoy the many extreme sports on offer. During the winter, it's not just a question of lower temperatures, but also the strong winds that blow. (On the other hand, this is the best period for winter sports).
See when to go

Inspiration and advice from local experts to travel in New Zealand

Travel tips from our local agencies in New Zealand.

What to see in New Zealand?

Top places to discover.

See all places
Prepare your trip in New Zealand

Here is a summary of information that's useful for planning a stay in New Zealand.

What documents to travel with in New Zealand?

Visitors from France, Canada, Belgium and Switzerland do not need a tourist visa for a stay in New Zealand of less than three months. In effect, one is provided when you present your return airline ticket. Nevertheless, the authorities can demand proof of funds necessary to support yourself in the country in the sum of NZ$ 1,000 per month (or NZ $400 per month if you are staying with someone else).

Health advise

No vaccines are required to enter New Zealand. On the other hand, the country has the world' highest skin cancer rate due to its geographic location beneath the hole in the ozone layer. As such, it is important to protect yourself from the sun and to use a sunscreen with a high protection factor.

Language

In New Zealand, English is the main spoken language. Compared to the English used in Great Britain or the United States, New Zealanders have a stronger accent that can be very hard to understand. Kiwis speak very quickly and often don't articulate very clearly at all! The second language is Maori, but it is only used by Maoris themselves.

Time difference

New Zealand is on the other side of the world from Western Europe and therefore the time difference is substantial. It is twelve hours ahead of Central European Time in the European winter and ten hours ahead during the European summer. This means that, between October and March, when it is midday in New Zealand, it is midnight in France, and between April and September, when it is midday in New Zealand, it is 2 a.m. in France.

Phone and internet connection

International telephone dialing code +64

Internet access is available in all types of accommodation, and in many cafés, bars and restaurants, and free access is available from many libraries.

Electricity

The electrical current is the same as in France but you will need a three-pin plug adapter.

French Embassy in Wellington

34-42 Manners Street, Wellington 6142

Tel : (+64 4) 384 25 55

Website: http://www.ambafrance-nz.org/

E-mail: information.wellington-amba@diplomatie.gouv.fr

Embassy of New Zealand
103, rue de Grenelle
75007 Paris
France

Te : +33 (0) 1 45 01 43 43

Website: http://www.nzembassy.com/fr/france

E-mail: embassy.nz.fr@gmail.com