December is the start of the summer season in the southern hemisphere and that makes New Zealand and Auckland the ideal place to visit in order to escape the cold winters on the northern half of the globe. The weather in Auckland is comfortable; while it is still chilly in the early morning hours, the afternoon temperatures are beginning to resemble summer.
Average Temperatures: December: 21C maximum (70F), 15C minimum (59F).
For more accurate Auckland weather information visit the Met Service.
Auckland, New Zealand Daylight Time (NZDT) is UTC+13hours.
The easiest way to get cash away from home is from an ATM (Automated Teller Machine) with an international network such as Cirrus (Mastercard) or PLUS (Visa). New Zealand ATMs use a four-digit code, so check with your bank and make sure you change yours before you leave home.
Business hours are most commonly 8.30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, with a small variation either side.
Government offices often close at 5pm, or even 4.30pm.
Shops may stay open later, particularly on Thursday and Friday evenings, and most will be open on Saturdays and Sundays as full weekend trading hours apply in Auckland.
Typical hours are:
9am-5pm, Monday to Saturday
8am-11pm, Monday to Friday
GST in New Zealand is designed to be a broad-based system. The rate for GST effective since 1 October 2010 is 15%. This 15% tax is applied to the final price of the product or service being purchased and goods and services are advertised as GST inclusive.
Visitors to New Zealand must pay GST on all goods and services that they buy in New Zealand. There is no refund of GST available when you leave New Zealand”
Tipping is not customary in Auckland but is at your discretion.
New Zealand’s national currency is the New Zealand dollar (NZD) which comes in denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 notes. Coins come in $2, $1, 50c, 20c and 10 cents.
Credit cards such as American Express, Bankcard, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are accepted in New Zealand. Visa and MasterCard are accepted everywhere credit cards are accepted. American Express and Diners Club are accepted at major supermarket and department store chains and many tourist destinations.
Merchants may impose credit card surcharges in some places.
Smoking is actively discouraged and governments collect huge taxes on cigarettes and tobacco products.
Smoking is prohibited on all international and domestic airline flights, inside all New Zealand airports, on all forms of public transport and on tourist coaches, all parks and reserves, playgrounds, skate parks, sports fields, train stations and platforms, bus stations and shelters, and ferry terminals.
Smoking is also prohibited at public outdoor areas associated with the council: service centres, local board offices, libraries, stadiums, swimming pools, community facilities and halls, museums, the zoo, wharves, car parks, leisure, recreation and arts centres.
Auckland’s plan for 2025 is to become a smoke-free city. More information