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Capital city: Wellington.
Currency: New Zealand dollar (in $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 notes).
Cuisine: Expect influences from the Mediterranean and the Pacific rim, as well as Great Britain.
Tipping etiquette: It’s not expected, but it’s polite to do so. 10% is the norm.
Saying hello: English is by far the most common language, but Maori is also spoken, so say “hello” or “kia ora”.
WHEN TO GO
Summer may be from December to March but New Zealand stays fairly warm throughout the year. You’ll find the south island a little cooler than the north, and it tends to have a more defined spring and autumn too. Things can be quieter during October, November and April, but don’t discount winter – the skiing and snowboarding are magnificent.
If you visit a Maori meeting house, your host may greet you by touching noses. Be quiet and respectful, and ask before taking photos.
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