26th International Applied Geochemistry
Symposium Incorporating the 35th New Zealand
Geothermal Workshop, 18-21 November 2013,
Rotorua New Zealand    

General information



New Zealand has three official languages: English, Maori and sign language. English is the language of the symposium.


All overseas visitors are required to have a valid passport and, with the exception of delegates from visa-free countries, they are required to have the appropriate visa. The 60 or so visa-free countries are listed at www.immigration.govt.nz/migrant/stream/visit. For information on obtaining a visa, including necessary funds and health requirements, please visit www.immigration.govt.nz. We suggest that you allow for a minimum of 1 month to have your visa processed by Immigration New Zealand or the applicable New Zealand embassy or consulate.

Letters of invitation

If you require a letter of invitation in order to secure a vias, you must first register and pay all applicable registration fees. Once all fees have been paid, an email requesting a letter of invitation should be sent to the symposium organisers. The 26th IAGS, its organising committee and the AAG bear no legal responsibility for any visiting IAGS delegate.


No vaccination certificates are required. There are no snakes or dangerous wild animals in New Zealand.

Healthcare and medical insurance

New Zealand’s public and private medical and hospital facilities provide a high standard of treatment and care. If you are visiting New Zealand and have an accident, you will be glad to know that all visitors are covered by the Accident Compensation Scheme, which means that the public health system will cover the costs of your treatment. However, many medical services are not free to visitors, therefore we strongly suggest that you arrange for travel and medical insurance before travelling to New Zealand.


New Zealand ’s time zone is GMT + 12 hours.

Rotorua’s weather is generally fine, with a lot of warm sunshine in the summer and clear crisp days in the winter.  In November, the weather in Rotorua can be quite unpredictable, with rain on approximately 12 days. Monthly precipitation at this time of year is around 110 mm. Temperatures average 15oC during the day and 7ºC at night. Come prepared for changes in weather and temperature, especially if you will be doing any outdoors activities. A raincoat and/or umbrella is a good idea!


The unit of currency is the New Zealand dollar, which is divided into 100 cents.  Money-changing facilities are available on arrival at Auckland International Airport, at banks and in most hotels.

Cash denominations are:
Coins: $2, $1, 50c, 20c, 10c
Notes: $100, $50, $20, $10, $5


All purchases in New Zealand are subject to 15% GST (Goods and Services Tax). This is usually included in published retail prices for all goods and services. Overseas visitors who get their purchase sent home directly by the retailer do not have to pay GST. If the item is taken from the shop by the purchaser, GST will be paid. There is no system for a refund of GST incurred by international travellers.

Credit Cards

Credit cards are widely used in New Zealand, and all major credit cards are accepted.

How Much Will it Cost?

Here is a general guide of what you can expect to pay in New Zealand for a few common items in 2011:



A hotel breakfast

NZ$15- $40


NZ$35 - $70

Lunch snack/sandwich

NZ$5 - $10

Cafe lunch

NZ$10 - $20

A postcard stamp to anywhere abroad


Big Mac Hamburger



NZ$3.50 - $4.50

Business Hours

As a general rule, business hours are between 9.00 am and 5.30 pm, Monday to Friday. Many shops are open on Saturday and Sunday. In Rotorua, souvenir shops are typically open 7 days and to late in the evenings.


Trading banks are open Monday to Friday 9.00 am to 4.30 pm. There are over 3,500 Automatic teller machines (ATMs) in New Zealand, accessible 24 hours a day, and these accept most cards.

Travellers cheques can be cashed at banks, and also at bureaux de change, hotels and some shops.


Electricity supply is 230/240 volts, 50 hertz AC (USA and Canada voltage is 110 volts). Most hotels and motels provide 110 volt AC sockets (rated at 20 watts).

New Zealand and Australia use the same type of three-pin plug (phase, neutral and earth). Adapters are available from international airports and some electric shops.


Tipping is not expected in New Zealand, but is accepted for exceptional service in some restaurants and bars.


Smoking is prohibited within all enclosed public spaces including all licenced premises. Many hotels have a designated smoking area, otherwise smokers must go outside to smoke.

Mobile phones

New Zealand’s GM and CDMA mobile phone systems operate on 900 MHz and 1800 MHz. Travellers from other countries will need to set up international roaming with their network provider if they wish to bring their own phones. Alternatives are to rent a local phone or purchase a pre-pay phone for use while in New Zealand.


You will need an adaptor with a flat two or three-point power plug to connect to the power supply. Most hotels and motels charge for Wi Fi internet access. Some cafes provide free Wi Fi.

Driving in New Zealand

New Zealanders drive on the left hand side of the road. The speed limit is 100 km/h on the open road and 50 km/h in urban areas. New Zealand's tourist routes are of a generally high standard and the main roads are sealed. All roads, including those in rural locations, are signposted. Remember to drive on the left!

International Driving Licences and Permits
You can legally drive in New Zealand for up to 12 months if you have either a current driver's licence from your home country or an International Driving Permit (IDP). In New Zealand all drivers, including visitors from other countries, must carry their licence or permit at all times when driving. You will only be able to drive the same types of vehicles you are licensed to drive in your home country. The common legal age to rent a car in New Zealand is 21 years.

Make sure your driver's licence is current. If your licence is not in English, you must bring an English translation with you or obtain an IDP. Contact your local automobile club for further details about obtaining a translation or an IDP.