Visiting New Zealand – Currency Facts

Visiting New Zealand- Currency Facts
Visiting New Zealand- Currency Facts

Are you thinking of visiting New Zealand? Whenever you visit any country, you need that country’s currency to stay, travel and buy yourself your needy things.

You also know that your currency gets converted into another country’s currency, an exchange rate fee quickly.

Here, you will find all about New Zealand’s currency so that when you visit this country, you are not stuck with some unknown facts about that nation’s money.

  • New Zealand’s unit of currency is the dollar (NZ$). All major credit cards can be used in New Zealand, with Visa and MasterCard being the most widely accepted.
  • There is no restriction on the amount of foreign currency that can be brought in or taken out of New Zealand. However, every person carrying more than NZ$10,000 in cash in or out of New Zealand must complete a Border Cash Report.
  • Foreign currency can easily be exchanged at banks, some hotels and Bureau de Change kiosks, which are found at international airports and most city centres.

See also: Credit Card Casinos

Historical Facts – New Zealand Currency Facts

Historical Facts
Historical Facts

Introduced in 1840, the New Zealand Pound was the first official currency of New Zealand. Until that point, both British and Australian coins circulated in New Zealand and continued to do so until 1897.

The six trading banks produced the Pound banknotes until 1924 when a uniform design was implemented. A decade later, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand was established.

Decimalization was first raised in 1933 but was not implemented until 1967 when the New Zealand Dollar replaced the New Zealand Pound.

There was much public discussion over what the new currency would be called, with ideas such as ‘kiwi’ and ‘zeal’ being proposed, but ultimately, the term ‘dollar’ was chosen.

The New Zealand Dollar was initially pegged to the US Dollar at a rate of 1.62 USD to 1 NZD. The pegged rate changed multiple times until 1985 when the currency began to float freely in the market.

In 1979, a new design for the New Zealand Dollar was released in an attempt to modernize, with the new bills being made of polymer.

Since that year, there have been no coins under the value of five cents and the value of cash transactions is rounded.

Present Facts

Present Facts
Present Facts

New Zealand dollars are circulated in values of 10 c, 20 c, 50 c, and $ 1 and $2 denominations. Dollar coins comprise copper-plated steel, aluminium bronze, and nickel-plated steel materials.

Coins show an image of Queen Elizabeth II on the front side and national symbols of New Zealand on the reverse side.

NZD banknotes in circulation include the denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100. The obverse side of NZD notes features notable New Zealand figures, while the backside is adorned with images of native New Zealand flora and fauna.

From 1999 onwards, all the paper notes have been replaced with polymer varieties. The primary colours in the circulating banknotes include green, blue, orange, red, and purple.

Exchange Rates

Exchange Rates
Exchange Rates

You can calculate the value of your currency in NZ Dollars using the currency converter. The rate you offer in your home country will likely differ slightly.


Many banks in New Zealand, like ANZ, ASB Bank, and Bank of New Zealand. New Zealand banks are open from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm, Monday to Friday. Some are also during weekends.

Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) are widely available at banks, main shopping streets, and malls. International credit cards and ATM cards will work if they have a four-digit PIN encoded.

Check with your bank before leaving home.

  • Currency values – normal with bold
  • Coins have values of 10, 20 and 50 cents, $1 and $2.
  • Notes have values of NZ$5, NZ$10, NZ$20, NZ$50 and NZ$100.

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.

  • A hotel breakfast: NZ$15-$40
  • Dinner: NZ$25-$70 per main meal
  • Lunch snack/sandwich: NZ$5-$10
  • Cafe lunch: NZ$10-$25
  • A postcard stamp to anywhere abroad: NZ$2
  • Big Mac Hamburger: NZ$5.10
  • Cappuccino: NZ$3.50-$4.50

Tipping and Service Charges

Tipping and Service Charges
Tipping and Service Charges

Tipping in New Zealand is not obligatory – even in restaurants and bars. However, tipping for good service or kindness is at the visitor’s discretion. Hotels and restaurants in New Zealand do not add service charges to their bills.

Goods and Services Tax

All goods and services are subject to a 15% Goods and Services Tax (GST) included in the displayed price.

Visitors cannot claim this tax back; however, the GST will not be charged when a supplier ships a major purchase to a visitor’s home address.

Swedish Rounding

Due to the discontinuation of 1c, 2c, and 5c pieces, purchases made in New Zealand are subject to “rounding” of amounts either up or down.

The Reserve Bank believes most retailers are adopting the Swedish Rounding System. Under this system, prices ending in 1 to 4 cents will be rounded down, and prices ending in 6 to 9 cents will be rounded up.

For example, a purchase of NZ$15.14 would be rounded down to NZ$15.10, and a purchase of NZ$15.16 would be rounded to NZ$15.20. How they handle prices ending in 5 cents is at the retailer’s discretion.

Credit cards with “Smart Card” technology

Credit cards with Smart Card technology
Credit cards with Smart Card technology

Intelligent cards are payment cards with an embedded microchip, allowing them to store encrypted, confidential information and multiple applications from different industries alongside debit, credit, or prepaid payment applications.

Please note these cards, which often have no magnetic strip, are generally accepted anywhere in New Zealand with credit card facilities.

Travellers Cheques

On arrival, travellers’ cheques in major currencies (British pounds, euros, US dollars, Australian dollars) can be exchanged into New Zealand dollars and accepted at hotels, banks, and stores.

New Zealand Currency

Exciting read: Complete Guide to Buying Bitcoin in New Zealand

About the author

Kamal Kaur

Kamal Kaur

Kamal Kaur has been an integral voice in the New Zealand gaming landscape for years.

As a senior writer for PokiesMobile NZ, Kamal brings rich experiences from her diverse background.

Born in India and later migrating to New Zealand, she effortlessly blends her cultural insights with a deep love for gaming.

Kamal is renowned for her in-depth game analysis, player strategies, and knack for spotting industry trends.