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For first-time visitors and lifelong natives alike, Milford Sound is one of the most immediately breathtaking places in New Zealand. The 22-km-long fjord is dominated by beautiful Mitre Peak and calmed by gorgeous waters that mirror the sheer peaks surrounding them. Although remote, Milford Sound has visitors come from all over the world to admire its raw, unspoiled beauty and rare marine life.
Cruising the sound affords views of Bowen Falls, Mitre Peak, Anita Bay and both Elephant and Stirling Falls. If there's still film (or memory) left in your camera after that, try to catch a glimpse of the dolphins, seals and penguins that pop to the surface on nice days in these calm waters.
Queenstown is picturesque and known for its outdoor and adventure activities. It is famous for introducing the bungy to the world, and was also the backdrop for much of the filming of the Lord of the Rings. Queenstown and its surrounds are also conducive to producing award-winning Pinot Noirs.
The New Zealand dollar is used in New Zealand. A few traders do accept foreign currency, particularly in tourist destinations. The conversion from US dollars to NZ dollars is approximately US$1=NZD1.30.
Automatic teller machines (ATMs), locally known as 'the hole in the wall', are available in just about every town.
English, Maori and New Zealand Sign Language are the official languages of New Zealand. English is universal, and is written with Commonwealth ("British") spelling.
The emergency telephone number in New Zealand is 111.
Many public libraries have public Internet access. Generally there is a charge.
On Christmas day, Easter Sunday and Anzac day morning (25th April) all but a few "essential businesses" must be closed.
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