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Travel Guide > Australia & Oceania > New Zealand

New Zealand Good to Know

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Very few cafes, motels, etc include free Wi-Fi, although it may be available for a charge.

Internet access is available in cyber cafes and there are generally many of these in the major cities.

Be warned that some cyber cafes may not be maintained properly, but there are places around that maintain a high level of security when it comes to their systems. If you have your own laptop, many cyber cafes allow wired & wireless access. It is slowly becoming more common to allow tourists to use their own laptops to access the Internet. It's not recommended to travel between cyber cafes without using a trusted & reliable AntiVirus application. Firewall software is not needed as cyber cafes should have their own firewall in-place.

Many public libraries have public Internet access. There may be a charge although that is changing. The Auckland City Public Library allows for two 15minute sessions a day at no charge. Hourly rates for are usually in the range of $4 to $8, with cheaper rates of around $2 to $4 at cyber cafes within the main city centres. Some providers, such as the Christchurch City Library network offer free access to some sites, usually ones of interest such as Google, BBC and CNN and those in the .nz top level domain.

You can purchase vouchers for WiFi access from many Starbucks cafes around NZ and other places. It is becoming more common for WiFi to be provided at hotels and motels using vouchers, but it is seldom free as part of your room rate. Wireless Hotspots are located in many Cities and Towns all over New Zealand from dedicated Wireless providers from whom you can buy connect time. Many camping holiday parks also have such services available.

Free WiFi is not that common but the best free locations are at the libraries in many small and medium-sized towns. The Aotearoa People's Network (APN) has been working to bring all libraries Internet access (both wired and WiFi) and these connected libraries are good places to check your e-mail and do some research. Some libraries in cities such as Dunedin still do not have WiFi capabilities (as of Dec 2009). Auckland's City Library has free Internet service which is quite heavily used and may seem slow. Travel experience in November 2009 would suggest that libraries in medium-sized towns are often the best bets for good Internet access, especially if you have your own laptop.

As of December 2009, the airport at Wellington has free WiFi but the airports at Christchurch and Auckland both charge a fee for wireless service in the terminals.


New Zealand has a well developed and ubiquitous telephone system. The country's main phone company, Telecom, claims (as of 2009) to have about 4000 payphones in NZ which can be easily identified by their yellow and blue colors. All of them accept major credit cards and a variety of phonecards available from retailers. You may have to look harder for a payphone that accepts coins.

Mobile telephone coverage is effectively national in near urban areas although the mountainous terrain means that outside the urban areas, and especially away from the main highway system, coverage does have dead patches. Do not rely on mobile phones in hilly or mountainous terrain. Mobile telephone users can call *555 only to report 'Non-emergency Traffic Safety incidents, such as a breakdown, road hazard or non-injury car crash, to the Police.

Mobile carriers

There are currently three major mobile carriers in New Zealand, Vodafone Telecom and 2degrees WCDMA/UMTS 3G networks are run by both Telecom (850/2100MHz) and Vodafone (900/2100MHz). In addition to this, Telecom run a CDMA network and Vodafone run a GSM/GPRS network. Telecom's 3G WCDMA network, named XT Network, operates nationwide 850MHz with supplementary 2100MHz in metropolitan areas. Likewise, Vodafone's 3G WCDMA network operates nationwide 900MHz with supplementary 2100MHz coverage. 2degrees' WCDMA/UMTS 3G network (2100MHz) operates in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch, with supplementary 2G GSM coverage provided elsewhere by vodafone. Airports and shopping malls will have stores from Telecom and Vodafone available for negotiating and getting information about their networks. A prepaid sim-card connection pack from Telecom or Vodafone costs around $30, and prepaid sim-cards from 2degrees cost $2. Telecom has broader coverage even in remote areas away from major cities compared to Vodafone.

The country code is 64'. New Zealand telephone numbers can be looked up online at The emergency telephone number from all telephones is 111 (you may need to use a prefix to get an outside line from business systems, usually 1) and a voice request for Police, Fire or Ambulance to be switched to the requested service. (Other common international emergency numbers like 112, 911 and 999 may also work, but do not rely on it)

Postal mail

The national post office is New Zealand Post If you are staying in one place for a while, you can rent a PO Box from them. NZ Post also offer overnight and same day courier services across New Zealand.

Postcards cost 50c to send within New Zealand (2-3 days) and $1.80 to send internationally (3-10 days). Letters up to DL size (130mm×235mm) cost the same as postcards within New Zealand and to Australia and the South Pacific, with letters to other destinations costing $1.80 for economy service (10-25 days), and $2.30 for standard service (6-10 days).

Essential Places in New Zealand

Post Office New Zealand Post
Is avaiable at Post offices across the country. This is an inexpensive service for receiving letters and parcels while you’re visiting New Zealand from overseas. Counter delivery, Is available nationally at local PostShop and some PostCentre outlets. Use t... more
in New Zealand

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