For emergencies dial 111. Please be aware that there can be penalties for dialling this number in circumstances other than a genuine emergency.
Banks are generally open 9:30am to 4:30pm Monday to Friday, except on public holidays. All major credit cards can be used and traveller’s cheques are accepted at hotels, banks and some retail stores. Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) are widely available – most banks are part of the Cirrus or Plus international networks.
Most Post Shops are open during business hours on weekdays and on Saturday mornings.
Internet access is widely available in New Zealand. Many hotels, motels and backpackers provide internet access, and there are also many Internet cafes.
Throughout New Zealand most shops are open seven days, usually from 9am to 5pm. Late nights are usually on a Thursday or Friday, although some businesses (especially beauty clinics) have other late nights during the week.
Smoking is prohibited in most public places including bars and restaurants.
The law requires new buildings to provide access for people with disabilities. To obtain a Mobility Parking Permit, phone 0800 227 2255.
Most public phones can be operated with phone cards purchased from convenience stores. Some also accept credit cards. The international dialling code for New Zealand is +64. The outgoing code is 00 followed by the country code. The area code for all South Island locations is 03. 0800 and 0508 numbers are free within New Zealand. 0900 numbers incur an additional charge.
Tap water in New Zealand is safe to drink; in fact Christchurch City has some of the purest water in the world! Water taken from rivers and lakes should always be boiled thoroughly or treated before drinking.