New Zealand Travel Etiquette and Culture

New Zealand Travel EtiquetteYou may never find a more hospitable group of people than the people of New Zealand. They are known to be very helpful and relaxed, easy to talk with. If you’re going to visit New Zealand, it’s good to know a few things about New Zealand travel etiquette and culture.

New Zealand Travel Etiquette and Culture

  • Communication – There are three official languages in New Zealand; English, Maori and New Zealand Sign Language. While the locals are generally quite friendly, it’s not recommended you use too much direct eye contact because it could be seen as intimidating.
  • Punctuality – It’s expected that you are on-time for your arrangements, and if you are running late, kindly call ahead and let them know you’ll be late.
  • Dining Out – Most restaurants and bars do not add service charges to their bills, and tipping is not generally expected. Tipping for exceptional service is appreciated but again, not an expectation.

Dress code for restaurants and bars is that you look tidy, and only a few upscale restaurants will require suits and ties.

Some restaurants may also allow a “BYO” which means it’s acceptable to bring your own wine and sometimes other alcoholic beverages, such as beer. Be prepared, however, in case the establishment charges a small “corking” fee.

  • Eating In – Be sure to let your host or hostess know if you have any special dietary needs beforehand so they can prepare to accommodate you. If second helpings are offered but you’re full, it’s not rude to decline seconds. You can also show your gratitude by offering to help clean up after a meal.


As with most cultures, New Zealand travel etiquette calls for showing gratitude, even for the small things. A friendly, “Thank you,” is really all that is necessary for most acts of kindness toward you during your travels.

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