First Light Marathon

26 Feb 2022

Destination Guide

Here you will find important background information and helpful tips on traveling in Aotearoa New Zealand.

If you do not find the answer you're seeking, feel free to contact us with your question.

Language

English and Maori

Capital City

Wellington

Inhabitants

4.88 million

Religion

Christian

Currency

New Zealand dollar (NZD)

Area

268.021 sq. km.

Special Dietary Requirements

We understand that allergies and special diets are a common concern among our guests. We do our very best to accommodate any diet for medical, allergy or religious needs; however, we cannot guarantee that all dining establishments can fulfill special requests. As a result, we encourage our guests to take all necessary precautions during their travel. 

Guests with special dietary requirements should inform their server upon arriving at the location. 

If you require a special diet during your travel, please inform us. 

Please note: This information must be received no later than 45 days before your tour begins.

Language

The official language in Aotearoa New Zealand is English (with a 'kiwi' accent). There are two other official languages: Māori and New Zealand sign language.

Electricity

Aotearoa New Zealand uses angled two or three pin plugs (the same as Australia and some Asian countries). The type of socket most widely used is Type I. Voltage in New Zealand is 230V/50Hz. If the outlet voltage in your country is between 220-240V, you should be fine. However, if it is range of 100-127V (which is common in the US, Canada, and countries in South America), you might need a voltage converter. Please note that power plug adapters only convert plug types and do not convert voltages. 

If you are bringing a laptop or similar portable device to Aotearoa New Zealand, be sure to check the labeling on the power pack. It should describe the amount of voltage your device can handle, and if a voltage converter is required.

Telephone & Internet

If you would like to stay connected during your travels in New Zealand, the best option is to buy a plan from a network. The main networks are Vodafone, 2degrees, Spark and Skinny. 

Telephone

The international country code for Aotearoa New Zealand is +64.  

Internet

Free WiFi access is generally only available in main cities. All public libraries and some hotels and restaurants provide free WiFi. Therefore, buying a data and mobile pack might be more convenient.  

Drinking Water & Food

It is safe to drink tapwater in Aotearoa New Zealand. 

The country is also a foodie paradise. Due to its location and fertile soils, there is a year-round supply of fresh seafood, meat and produce. Aotearoa New Zealand is home to a wide variety of seafood - make sure to try their crayfish! Kiwis love their meat as well, especially roast lamb. For a more traditional way of cooking, a Māori hangi is the way to go - the food is cooked in the earth using hot rocks. Make sure to pair your dish with their world-renowned wines. We suggest you try to choose sustainable fish as seafood when possible, such as kahawai, trevally, or blue mackerel.  

What if I’m vegan / vegetarian, or have other health requirements?

Vegetarians can always find delicious alternatives on the menu. If you are vegan or have other health requirements, please inform us in advance. 

What to Pack?

Remember, February is late summer down under in Aotearoa New Zealand. So, first and foremost, pack your swimsuit! Sunscreen and sunglasses are important as well. The weather should be warm and humid, although it gets chilly at night, so it's recommended to bring warm outer layers.

For those who plan to explore the island's natural wonders, sturdy hiking shoes and a rain jacket should be brought. As in most situations, layers are key. 

In general, the atmosphere in Aotearoa New Zealand is laid-back and relaxed, and their clothing choices follow suit. There's no need to pack your finest suit or highest heels - your favorite pair of jandals (kiwi slang for flip flops) will do just fine. 

Tipping Guidelines

Hotels and restaurants in Aotearoa New Zealand do not add service charge to the bills.

Tipping is not obligatory - tipping for good service is solely at the discretion of the visitor. If you would like to leave a tip, 10% -20% is considered to be a good range. 

Currency and Daily Expenses

Aotearoa New Zealand uses the New Zealand Dollar as currency (NZ$). Please note that it is not possible to pay with other currencies. ATMs are widely available, most international credit cards will work as long as you have a four-digit PIN. 

Most places will accept credit cards. 

The cost of our travels include many meals. If you participate in one of the optional excursions, lunch may be included (depending on the excursion). Any meals that are not included on the ititnerary must be purchased individually. A standard meal at a local cafe costs between NZ$10 to 25 per person.

Etiquette

In general, the people of Aotearoa New Zealand are friendly and welcoming to visitors. Act kindly and with respect - are not many special rules to abide by. 

Medical Facilities

Albatros Adventure Marathons will ensure that an English-speaking doctor/medical team is available for participants of our marathon events.

Medical assistance in general
There is a public hospital in Gisborne. If you fall ill, the hospital is a 10 minute drive from the city center. 

Medical assistance during the marathon event
A team of local medics will be present during the race. The medical team is ready in case of injury or severe exhaustion.

Albatros Adventure Marathons will ensure that an English-speaking doctor/medical team is available for participants of our marathon events. If any treatment is unable to be carried out by the doctor and it is necessary to refer a participant to local medical facilities, the doctor/medical team and travel agency will not be held liable for any treatment carried out by staff from local medical facilities. 

Passport & Visas

All participants are responsible for checking themselves if their nationality requires a visa or not, and are also responsible for obtaining the visa if so. 

Your passport also must be valid for 3 months beyond your planned departure from New Zealand. 

You can find the list of visa-free countries and visa-required countries here