Best Time to Go
Best time to visit northern Australia is between April and August when airfares are lower and the weather is decent along the Great Barrier Reef. We also suggest for travellers to Australia’s southern states that January and February is best to enjoy the summer.
December through to February are the warmest and best time of year in New Zealand. If you are a skiier that you might want to head down from June to August.
Citizens of Canada and the U.S. need passports and an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA), which substitutes for a visa. The ETA is free and available through travel agents and airlines. (Most people get their ETA on the inbound flight.) Contact the nearest Australian embassy for more information. Reconfirm travel document requirements with your carrier before departure.
Citizens of Canada and the U.S. need passports but not visas. Proof of sufficient funds and onward passage are required. A departure tax is included in most airline ticket prices. Reconfirm travel document requirements with your carrier before departure.
Australian or New Zealand Dollar
Do’s & Don’ts
Do visit a pub. The people are friendly, and you can usually get a good, inexpensive pub lunch. You’ll likely see poker machines adjacent to the bars or eating areas.
Don’t think you can see it all in a week. Australia is approximately the same size as the continental U.S.
Do visit sporting clubs (motor, rugby or soccer) that allow nonmembers to sign in. You can enjoy an inexpensive, high-quality lunch or dinner and entertainment on the weekends.
Don’t put on airs as if you think you are better than an Australian—there is an expectation of equality, even if it is not entirely realistic.
Don’t be surprised by what people wear (or don’t wear) on the beaches.
Do have at least one meal in a beach cafe and watch Australia’s beach culture in action.
Don’t underestimate the strength of ultraviolet light on sunny or overcast days. Most Kiwis wear sunhats and total sunblock; some even apply this to their animals.
Do be considerate about taking pictures of people, particularly Polynesians and Maoris.
Don’t disregard Maori wishes if you’re asked not to visit areas that are sacred to their culture.
Don’t be tempted to sit on a table in Maori or Polynesian cultural environments—it’s considered rude and unhygienic.
Don’t spit in public.
Don’t forget to take a bottle of wine or a six-pack if you are invited to a Kiwi barbecue.
Do be considerate when smoking, even outdoors in public places: New Zealand has a strong anti-smoking element.
Don’t underestimate the weather when hiking. Even a short day hike can turn into a life-threatening situation when New Zealand’s unpredictable weather takes a turn for the worse.
Do stop in small New Zealand towns when traveling to and from the larger centers; it’s there that you get a real taste of Kiwi life.