While New Zealand is a safe place to enjoy the outdoors, it is still important to be aware of surroundings, prepare and think carefully before undertaking certain activities.
Visitors are also advised to take the same care with personal safety and possessions as they would in any other country, or at home.
The pages in this section will provide useful information that you can share with your clients to help get them ready for their trip to New Zealand.
We've also compiled a list of general safety tips and advice that you can share with your clients:
- Carry a mobile phone that you can use in New Zealand and save the free emergency telephone number - 111.
- Safety text messaging service - Vodafone, Spark and 2degrees offer a text messaging service for visitors to send updates about their outdoors plans and travel movements to number 7233 [SAFE]. Messages are not monitored, but details are kept on a central database which can be accessed by police if necessary.
- Carry a basic first-aid kit while out hiking or walking as some areas are quite remote.
- Accidents and Travel insurance - New Zealand's public and private medical/hospital facilities provide a high standard of treatment and service, but it is important to note these services are not free to visitors, except as a result of an accident.
- In New Zealand, you cannot sue anyone for compensatory damages if you are injured. Instead the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) - New Zealand's accident compensation scheme - helps pay for care, and that means paying towards the cost of treatment and helping recovery while you remain in New Zealand. Your clients still need to purchase travel insurance because ACC does not cover everything:
- ACC only covers treatment and rehabilitation in New Zealand, and usually you must pay part of the cost yourself.
- ACC does not pay any additional costs resulting from an accident, for example delayed or curtailed travel costs, travel home, treatment at home and loss of income in your home country.
- Medication - Visitors bringing in a quantity of medication are advised to carry a doctor's certificate to avoid possible problems with New Zealand Customs. They should also bring enough medication for their entire stay as Doctor's prescriptions are needed to obtain certain drugs in New Zealand.
- No vaccinations are required to enter New Zealand.
- Take copies of important documents (like passport and credit cards) and keep them separate from the originals.
- New Zealand tap water is safe to drink - Tap water in New Zealand is safe to drink and will be clearly signed if this is not the case, for example if your clients are staying in remote areas at DOC huts it may be best to boil the water first.
- Food storage on road trips - If your clients have a self-contained vehicle it may include a fridge (but they may need to be staying in powered sites to turn this on overnight). Holiday Parks will provide communal fridges and freezers to store food in and re-freeze ice blocks; motels or hotels will often have fridges in the rooms as well. If your clients plan to stay in basic campsites or freedom camp, then these facilities will not be available, and they should plan accordingly.
- Plants can be poisonous - don't eat them! It is wildly known that New Zealand is not a dangerous place as we have no poisonous wildlife here, but you should advise your clients not to “live off the land” as our plants may be.