VISA

  • Super easy to submit an application online 🛂
  • You’ll get an email confirmation in about a day
  • Sad news: no stamp in your passport needed (why did I get the USA passport with more pages?)

DRIVE ON THE LEFT + GAS

  • It will feel strange at first but after a day, you’ll get used to it
  • Most roads are 1 lane only, which means cars pass on the right in the opposite lane. You have to be very careful and see if you have a clear path before crossing, otherwise 💥 (very similar to Iceland)
  • Route 94 from Te Anau actually has yellow lines for no passing since it’s more hilly than other roads
  • Most gas stations didn’t accept common USA credit cards. You’ll have to go into the shop and let the staff know you’ll pay after you pump for the gas to start dispensing out

MONEY

  • Every establishment we went to in these towns accepted credit card: Rotorua, Taupo, Waitomo, Hamilton, Auckland, Christchurch, Cromwell, Queenstown, Te Anau, Wanaka
  • 100 USD exchanged to 165 NZD and we barely needed to use it 
  • Tipping is not compulsory here. There is no line in your dining receipt for it. People are paid a living wage vs back in USA where dining staff have low hourly wages and rely on tips (thanks NZ Pocket Guide)

LOCAL PRODUCTS

  • Manuka honey – you will see this sold everywhere. The manuka tree has anti-bacterial and healing properties. There are different grades
honey never expires + this one has anti-bacterial properties 😀

Wool products – New Zealand has more sheep than humans! We wish we looked for jackets while we were here because there are not many other places better to get something nice & reasonably priced! We did splurge on our first ever cashmere gloves, which are really nice while it’s under 40°F in NYC.

winnie wearing cashmere gloves
my fingers have to be free to play Pokemon Go

PLASTIC BAGS

  • New law banned plastic bags from stores so be sure to bring a tote or get yourself one. Super helpful if you’re getting groceries or shopping (if you’re from NY… as of March 1, stores shouldn’t be giving out plastic bags too)

Travel Date: December 15, 2010

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