Say Kia Ora (hello) New Zealand - Save more Aussie dollars on your travels through a currency exchange broker

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  • Thanks to a fall in value in the New Zealand dollar against the Aussie dollar, there is no better time to go visit this magnificent country.
  • You’ll find the wide open spaces that you are used to away from metropolis. There are few high rises or densely populated areas on her shores.
  • Aotearoa (Mauri for New Zealand) is one of the most picturesque countries you could visit, with sharp contrasting landscapes.

Towering mountain ranges roll into shimmering, crystal clear lagoons, and the surrounding sea is populated with over 700 of New Zealand’s offshore islands. The southern sub-Antarctic islands are recognised as a UNESCO world heritage area, due to their high levels of biodiversity, with rare plant and animal species alike.

It won’t take you long to reach New Zealand. A flight from the East Coast of Australia will take about 3.5 hours, and as an Australian resident or citizen, you do not require a visa for your travels. There are several air carriers that will get you there such as: Air NewZealand (recently crowned the World’s best airline, China Air, Emirates, JetStar, Qantas and Virgin Australia. Depending where you fly from, you can fly direct, otherwise you will need to change in Melbourne or Sydney.

When the wind blows, you will know if it’s coming from the South. That icy blasts hails directly from Antarctica, so you may be worth adding some warm layers to your packing, to avoid being caught out. Expect mild weather mostly in New Zealand, especially in coastal areas, although if travelling to inland areas on South Island, temperatures can fall as low as -10 in winter.

Flying to one of the main cities

Wellington is the capital of New Zealand, despite some confusing this with Auckland, a bit like the Canberra/Sydney confusion. There are many things to do and see in the capital, from rides in cable cars, to climbing Mt Victoria. You can visit the national museum of New Zealand- Te Papa, to learn about New Zealand’s history. Quench your thirst, and quell your hunger, in one of the many bars and restaurants. Wellington also has a reputation as the craft beer capital.

Auckland is located on North Island and is the largest city in New Zealand. From here you can gain access to some of the most beautiful beaches in the Coromandel peninsula, carry out the coast-to-coast walk or climb the extinct volcano Mt. Eden.

Christchurch is famed for its mild temperatures, gothic cathedral and green parks, it also has a climate that it likened to south of England, both mild and damp. You will not see many hills surrounding the city as it is one of the flatter parts of New Zealand. However, spend your time here soaking up some of the cultural sites, in the city’s art galleries and museum.

Both the North and South islands are full of some glorious sights and it would be a shame to travel over there and miss out. Below we have highlighted some of the fantastic places to visit on your travels.


Forget Norway - NZ has amazing fjords closer to home minus the midnight sun

Keen on exploring the spectacular fjords surrounded by majestic towering mountains and waterfalls aplenty that thunder into the surrounding sea? There are various tours and destinations in New Zealand that will enable you to get closer to whale pods, swim with dolphins (if conditions allow) and the chance to see penguins in their natural habitat. There are three UNESCO sites located within New Zealand that also deserve your attention. As these areas are very popular with tourists, you should look at your accommodation needs in advance and in peak season book trips in advance to avoid disappointment. To help smooth the cost of numerous bank transfers, consider the services of a currency exchange provider to send your international payments. They can save you a significant amount of Aussie dollar over the banks, as their rates are far cheaper and many are fee free. See section below “The colour of your money” for further information.


1. Te Wahipounamu - UNESCO World Heritage site: South Island

Home to some staggering scenery, from fjords and waterfalls in Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound as well as towering giants like Mt. Aspiring and Mt. Cook.

Milford Sound

Located on South Island, this untouched fjord, located within the Fiordland National Park,

is home to fur seals and a great spot to try see penguins and dolphins. If it’s breathtaking views you are after, then Milford Sound is unlikely to disappoint. Bearing that in mind, you are advised to book your accommodation in advance as this is a very popular tourist spot.


Doubtful Sound

The larger of the two well known fjords on South Island. This imposing fjord is over 40 km long, with three significant arms named Hall, Crooked and First. There is no direct road route here. You can explore this striking area by boat, kayak or aeroplane tour. If you’re lucky, you will see the Crested penguins lining the islets that mark the mouth of the fjord.


2. Tongariro National Park - UNESCO World Heritage site: North Island

This is a national park that contains three active volcanoes Mt. Ruapehu, Mt Ngauruhoe and Mt Tongariro. It is also an important site from the point of maori culture. You can carry out day hikes around the area. Mt. Ruapehu is the biggest of New Zealand’s volcanoes with three peaks. It also has two busy ski sites in winter.


3. Banks Peninsula

Situated outside of Christchurch, you will find colonies of blue penguins in this area. There are tours available that will get you closer to seeing them, such a boat rides. These penguins are native to the area and one of three species of penguins that are common to New Zealand.


4. Dunedin

Is the second largest city in New Zealand’s South island. If you pick up one of the boat tours, or alternatively a walking tour through the conservation area, you have more chance of being able to see some of the most endangered species, the yellow-eyed penguin. Dunedin is also one of the best places in New Zealand for surf, though there are plenty of hot surf spots around both islands.


5. The Marlborough sounds

Home to a number of ancient river valleys that are now flooded with water from the Pacific ocean. If you’d like the opportunity to spot dolphins, seals and whales, while you are on South Island, then make your way here and catch a boat trip out for more chances to see the wild habitat.


6. Beach life

Coromandel Peninsula

Find approximately 85km of some of New Zealand’s beautiful beaches on North Island, there are plenty to choose from here. The peninsula boasts beaches where you can dig your own hot water pool, as hot water springs run under Hot Water Beach, as well the famous Cathedral Coves.



If you’re after some surf on the North island, this is one of the better but popular spots to go. It’s not overdeveloped and has all of the facilities you need.


Abel Tasman National Park

Which is renowned for its golden sandy beaches and unique coastline scenery on South Island. In particular is Mosquito Bay, tucked within a small secluded cove. Carry further down the coastal area to Te Puketea Bay and you will find a walking track that takes you to Pitt Head which is the site of an ancient Maori fort.


Other info

New Zealand is placed within the feared ring of fire which extends throughout the Pacific basin. It is worth noting that she experiences over 15,000 earthquakes a year, although most of these are so deep in the earth, that they are not felt on the surface. However, approximately 150 are felt each year, so it is part and parcel of life in New Zealand (and is how she gained her beautiful landscape). Most buildings on the island are now earthquake proof, so they roll and move as the earthquake happens.


Food, glorious food!

If you have opted for a self catering option, or an AirBnB pad, then you may find grocery shopping relatively expensive compared to home. Some locals recommend PaknSave for grocery shops, especially if you are saving your money for trips and good meals out.

If you’re looking for top dining experiences, whilst none of the restaurants in New Zealand have achieved Michelin stars, it doesn’t mean that you cannot find sublime options. Recently, eight restaurants made it onto La Liste’s top 1000 restaurants. The top restaurant on the list, The French Cafe in Auckland scored as highly as other global 3 Michelin star restaurants, with a rating of 94.5/100. So you know you are in for a treat. If you are after something less fussy, then there are plenty of good establishments to visit. Have a look at the number of online apps and websites that will allow you to pre-book your table before you arrive on your Kiwi adventure.

If it is local delicacies that you are after, then you could try their famed lolly cake. Definitely for those with a sweet tooth and best taken with a coffee; if you’re brave enough. It’s quite a colourful Kiwi favourite and the main ingredients are lollies and dessicated coconut.

When it comes to settling up, New Zealand does not have a culture of tipping, so if you leave some bucks out on the table, you’ll likely end up with someone chasing after you, to return it. Your bill won’t be brought to your table either, so you have to go up to the till to settle, even if there is a large group of you paying separately.


The colour of your money

Not much is paid for in cash in New Zealand, apart from maybe a trip on a bus, so this could be an expensive part to your trip away, especially if you choose to pay with your debit card from your Aussie bank account. Banks charge expensive fees for each foreign exchange transaction, as well as giving you a poor exchange rate. Each tap you make means you miss out on dollars, and either has less to spend while you are away, or face a sizeable bill to settle when you return. Make sure you research your options before you go away, as savvy travellers will use the services of a currency exchange provider. To find the best currency provider for your Aussie dollar you can use our international currency provider quote tool to send money to New Zealand which contains details of the most cost-effective money transfer companies globally. You can use them to make payments for your trips and accommodation in advance and save money on the exchange rate. You might get a better deal booking your accommodation direct and paying in local currency. Many of these large foreign exchange brokers also offer the ability to take out a foreign exchange MasterCardl and charge small or no fees. The rate you get for your exchange is significantly better than that offered by the banks; which means that you will have more money to spend on your holiday. You can load your card up before you fly, with payments from your debit/credit card, or via a bank transfer, and then spend as you would usually.  It will be accepted in any location where Mastercard/Visa is accepted. All currency exchange brokers enable you to manage your account online and also via mobile apps, which are ideal when you are on holiday. You can track your spending and top up your card if necessary. Some also have features built into their app that will allow you to disable your card if you happen to lose your card, or worse, stolen while you are away. Plus, many of them are open 24/7.


Save money and book soon!

Time to down tools and get ready! New Zealand looks like the ultimate escape for a few weeks break from the daily grind. Partner with a currency exchange broker to get the most New Zealand dollars from your Aussie bucks and don’t forget your prepaid card. Take advantage of great exchange rate differentials and book your trip now. You will not be in a hurry to say “haere ra” (goodbye) to her amazing landscape.


Rachel Doyle
Rachel Doyle
Senior Content Specialist
Rachel has over 10 years’ communications and writing experience, having started her career in financial services where she spent nine years working in various roles. She started out in fund… Read more

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