New Zealand Travel Planning & Travel Tips:Embassy Contact Information: Americans living in or visiting New Zealand are encouraged to register at the Consular Section of the U.S. Consulate General in Auckland by mail, phone, fax or in person, where they can obtain updated information on travel and security. The U.S. Consulate General in Auckland is located on the third floor of the Citibank Centre, 23 Customs Street East, between Commerce and Queen Streets. The telephone number is (64)(9) 303-2724. The fax number is (64-9) 366-0870. See also the Consulate General home page.The U.S. Embassy is located at 29 Fitzherbert Terrace, Thorndon, Wellington; the telephone number is (64)(4) 462-6000. The fax number is (64)(4) 471-2380.For after-hours emergencies anywhere in New Zealand, a duty officer can be contacted by telephone. Persons seeking after hours assistance may call (64)(4) 462-6000; after listening to a brief recording, the caller may leave a message on the voice mail system, describing the nature of the emergency and giving a point of contact. The phone system will automatically call the duty officer in Wellington or in Auckland, who will listen to the message and take the appropriate action.Climate: New Zealand's seasons are opposite those in the Northern Hemisphere: July is the coldest month and January the warmest. Overall, the climate is fairly mild with few extremes of temperatures. The average temperature ranges from 60 F/15 C in the upper regions of the North Island to 50 F/10 C near the bottom of the South Island. Our favorite months to visit are mid September through October, when the flowers and trees are in bloom. During New Zealand's winter, the weather on top of the mountains can be very cold, so take winter coats and rain gear if you'll be spending much time there. Take a sweater and an umbrella no matter what time of year you visit.Calling Internationally: The country code for New Zealand is 64. When calling New Zealand from outside the country, you must first dial the country code, then the city code (for example, 03, 09, or 06), but without the zero. The telephone area code in New Zealand is known as the STD (subscriber toll dialing). To call long-distance within New Zealand, dial the STD--09 for Auckland and Northland, 07 for the Thames Valley, 06 for the East Coast and Wanganui, 04 for Wellington, or 03 for the South Island--and then the local number. (If you're calling from outside New Zealand, omit the zero.) For operator assistance within New Zealand, dial 010; for directory assistance, 018. There are three main kinds of public telephones in New Zealand: card phones, credit-card phones, and coin phones. Magnetic strip phone cards for public phones can be purchased from supermarkets, post offices, dairies, and service stations.The most economical way to make international phone calls from New Zealand is to charge them to an international calling card (available free from your long-distance company at home). All calls, even international ones, can be made from public phone booths. (Long-distance calls made from your hotel or motel often have hefty surcharges added.) To reach an international operator, dial 0170; for directory assistance for an international call, dial 0172. You can also call home using Country Direct numbers. They are 000-911 for the U.S.; 000-944 for British Telecom (operator); 000-912 for British Telecom (automatic); 000-940 for UK Mercury; 000-919 for Canada; 000-996 for Australia-Optus; and 000-961 for Australia-Telstra.Electricity: The voltage is 230 volts in New Zealand and plugs are the three-prong type. If you bring a hair dryer, it should be a dual-voltage one, and you'll need an adapter plug. Most motels and some B&Bs have built-in wall transformers for 110-volt, two-prong razors, but if you're going to be staying in hostels, cabins, home stays, or guesthouses, bring dual-voltage appliances.Travel Insurance for New Zealand Trips: You should consider the benefits of travel insurance as part of your New Zealand travel planning. Most travelers look for travel tips that discuss the importance of travel insurance and travel insurance through Travel Guard can provide important coverage for your trip.Whether you're taking a family vacation or business trip, Travel Guard has a plan for your New Zealand travel. These plans may include valuable medical expense coverage, trip interruption, medical emergency assistance and treatment services and more. And with Travel Guard's 24-hour assistance line, your coverage can act as a travel guide should your plans change.*For more than 20 years, Travel Guard's plans have covered millions of travelers throughout the world. We're America's leading provider of travel insurance plans and assistance programs and we're here to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Coverage provided through Travel Guard is easy to buy and with our 24-hour emergency travel services it's even easier to use. *Non-insurance services provided by Travel Guard.