A passport is required for all entering visitors, and it must be valid for at least 3 months beyond your departure date from New Zealand. If you lose yours, visit the nearest consulate of your native country as soon as possible for a replacement.
For Residents of the United States: Whether you're applying in person or by mail, you can download passport applications from the U.S. State Department website at http://travel.state.gov/. For general information, call the National Passport Agency (tel. 202/647-0518). To find your regional passport office, either check the U.S. State Department website or call the National Passport Information Center (tel. 900/225-5674); the fee is 55¢ per minute for automated information and $1.50 per minute for operator-assisted calls.
For Residents of Canada: Passport applications are available at travel agencies throughout Canada or from the central Passport Office, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Ottawa, ON K1A 0G3 (tel. 800/567-6868; www.ppt.gc.ca).
For Residents of the United Kingdom: To pick up an application for a standard 10-year passport (5-year passport for children under 16), visit your nearest passport office, major post office, or travel agency, or contact the United Kingdom Passport Service at tel. 0870/521-0410 or search its website at www.ukpa.gov.uk.
For Residents of Ireland: You can apply for a 10-year passport at the Passport Office, Setanta Centre, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2 (tel. 01/671-1633; www.irlgov.ie/iveagh). Those under age 18 and over 65 must apply for a 3-year passport. You can also apply at 1A South Mall, Cork (tel. 021/272-525), or at most main post offices.
For Residents of Australia: You can get an application from your local post office or any branch of Passports Australia, but you must schedule an interview at the passport office to present your application materials. Call the Australian Passport Information Service at tel. 131-232, or visit www.passports.gov.au.
Visas are not required for stays shorter than 3 months (as long as you don't plan to study, work, or undergo medical treatment) if you're a citizen of one of the following countries: Andorra, Argentina, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong (if you're traveling with a Special Administrative passport or if you hold a British national passport), Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea (South), Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal (Portuguese passport holders must have the right to live permanently in Portugal), Qatar, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United States, Uruguay, and Vatican City. British citizens are allowed a 6-month stay without a visa.
If you're planning to visit for longer than is stated above, or if your country of origin is not listed, contact the nearest New Zealand embassy, consulate, or High Commission for information on the appropriate visa and an application. If you'd like to work or live in New Zealand, you can inquire at an embassy or consulate, or write to the New Zealand Immigration Service, P.O. Box 27-149, Wellington, NZ (www.immigration.govt.nz).
Before entering New Zealand you must have a confirmed round-trip or outward-bound ticket; enough money for your designated stay (NZ$1,000 per person per month; credit cards are accepted); and the necessary documents to enter the country from which you came or the next country on your itinerary.
What You Can Bring into New Zealand -- Do not bring any fruit or plants into New Zealand. Because of the importance of agriculture and horticulture to the economy, animal products, fruit, plant material, and foodstuffs that may contain plant or animal pests and diseases will not be allowed into the country. Heavy fines may be imposed on people caught carrying these prohibited materials. If in doubt, place all questionable items, especially fruit, into the marked bins before approaching the immigration area upon arrival at a New Zealand airport.
Firearms and weapons, unless a permit is obtained from the New Zealand police upon arrival at the airport, are not allowed. Note: This includes firearms intended for sporting purposes. Other prohibited items include ivory, in any form; tortoise- or turtleshell jewelry and ornaments; medicines that incorporate musk, rhinoceros, or tiger derivatives; carvings or anything made from whalebone or bone from any other marine animal; and cat skins or coats. Certain drugs (diuretics, tranquilizers, depressants, stimulants, cardiac drugs, and sleeping pills) may not be allowed unless they are covered by a doctor's prescription. Pirated copyright goods and objectionable (indecent) articles such as DVDs and publications are also prohibited. No live animals are allowed without going through the legal quarantine requirements.
Customs duties are not assessed on personal items you bring into the country and plan to take with you. New Zealand's duty-free allowances are 200 cigarettes or 250 grams (about 8 oz.) of tobacco or 50 cigars; 4.5 liters of wine or beer (equivalent to six 750ml bottles); three bottles of spirits or liquor (each containing no more than 1,125ml/about 2 1/2 pints); and goods totaling NZ$700 that were purchased for your own use or for a gift. Make sure you have receipts available for inspection. If you plan to take in anything beyond those limits, contact the embassy or consulate office nearest you before you arrive or check www.customs.govt.nz.
What You Can Bring Home -- Returning United States citizens who have been away for 48 hours or more are allowed to bring back, once every 30 days, $800 worth of merchandise duty-free. You'll be charged a flat rate of 4% duty on the next $1,000 worth of purchases. Be sure to have your receipts handy. On mailed gifts, the duty-free limit is $200. You cannot bring fresh foodstuffs into the United States; tinned foods, however, are allowed. For more information, contact the U.S. Customs Service, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20229 (tel. 877/287-8867), and request the free pamphlet Know Before You Go. It's also available online at www.customs.gov.
Canada allows its citizens a C$750 exemption, and you're allowed to bring back duty-free one carton of cigarettes, one can of tobacco, 40 imperial ounces of liquor, and 50 cigars. In addition, you're allowed to mail gifts to Canada valued at less than C$60 a day, provided they're unsolicited and don't contain alcohol or tobacco (write on the package "Unsolicited gift, under $60 value"). All valuables should be declared on the Y-38 form before departure from Canada, including serial numbers of valuables you already own, such as expensive foreign cameras. Note: The C$750 exemption can be used only once a year and only after an absence of 7 days. For a summary of Canadian rules, write for the booklet I Declare, issued by the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (tel. 800/461-9999 in Canada, or 204/983-3500; www.ccra-adrc.gc.ca).
U.K. citizens returning from a non-E.U. country have a Customs allowance of 200 cigarettes; 50 cigars; 250 grams of smoking tobacco; 2 liters of still table wine; 1 liter of spirits or strong liquor (over 22% volume); 2 liters of fortified wine, sparkling wine, or other liquor; 60cc (ml) perfume; 250cc (ml) of toilet water; and £145 worth of all other goods, including gifts and souvenirs. People 16 and under cannot have the tobacco or alcohol allowance. For more information, contact HM Customs & Excise at tel. 0845/010-9000 (from outside the U.K., 020/8929-0152), or consult their website at www.hmce.gov.uk.
The duty-free allowance in Australia is A$400 or, for those 17 and under, A$200. Citizens age 18 and older can bring in 250 cigarettes or 250 grams of loose tobacco, and 1,125 milliliters of alcohol. If you're returning with valuables you already own, such as foreign-made cameras, you should file form B263. A helpful brochure available from Australian consulates or Customs offices is Know Before You Go. For more information, call the Australian Customs Service at tel. 1300/363-263, or log on to www.customs.gov.au.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.