Information on New Zealand

Find out about New Zealand including a pre-conference tour from 27-28 June.

Customs regulations

New Zealand, as an agricultural economy with a temperate climate, has very strict rules about bringing in food and agricultural products. If you have any food or sports equipment with you, please make sure you check the yes box on the customs form you will receive on the plane. This will not slow down your entry into the country but failing to declare something that is then caught by the customs scanners certainly will (not to mention the $400 instant fine, even for just an apple).

For more information, please visit the New Zealand Customs Service website.


New Zealand uses the New Zealand dollar and most places will not accept foreign notes. Credit cards are widely accepted and cash machines are available at the airport for withdrawing notes. On 23 October 2015 $1NZD = $US0.67. However, the exchange rate is highly volatile so you should check it close to your departure.


New Zealand does not have a culture of tipping but tourists are common enough that it is not unknown. You may choose to round up your meal cost for good service, but it is not required or expected.


New Zealand is a relatively safe country. However, petty crime does occur, so use common sense such as not leaving valuables in plain sight when you park your car.


New Zealand’s official languages are English, Maori, and NZ Sign language. Everyone you encounter is likely to speak English.


There is a lot do around Auckland with many other North Island tourist destinations nearby. Most visitors to Auckland typically undertake a trip to Rotorua, which is well known for its thermal springs. Rotorua is about a three hour drive from Auckland. Other attractions include the Bay of Islands (about a 4 hour drive away) and the Coromandel peninsula (about 2.5 hours). A trip to the Waitomo glow-worm caves (about 1.5 hours south of Auckland) is also worthwhile. In order to get the most out of these trips, we suggest at least an overnight stay.

Visit the following web pages to make the most of all that the City of Sails and beyond has to offer.

MSOM pre-conference tour

We have arranged for Exclusive Tours Limited to be onsite at the conference to answer any tourism questions you may have email: Also, they have arranged the pre-conference two-day tour below. 

Auckland to Waitomo Caves to Rotorua

Monday 27 June, 9am depart Auckland

For Waitomo Caves. Travel through the southern areas of Auckland city and through the Waikato and King Country farmland areas. On arrival at Waitomo Caves participate in a walking and boat tour of the world famous limestone glow worm caves.

A stop will be made for an independent lunch. On arrival in Rotorua participate in a guided tour of Te Puia (geysers, mud pools, hot springs, Māori wood carving school, Māori weaving school and a great shop) followed by a Māori concert and Māori hangi dinner.

9pm approximate arrival time at accommodation - Millennium Hotel (or similar hotel), Rotorua.

Meal included today is hangi dinner.

Rotorua to Hobbiton to Auckland
Tuesday 28 June

Free time this morning in Rotorua to perhaps walk in the Government Gardens or soak in the hot mineral waters at the Polynesian Spa etc.
10.30 am depart hotel bound for the Agrodome.    Enjoy a 1 hour sheep show including sheep shearing.
At the conclusion of the Agrodome sheep show travel on to The Shires Rest for an independent lunch before the tour of Hobbiton which is world's largest green movie set Hobbiton.
Following the tour of Hobbiton travel to Auckland. 7 pm approximate arrival time in Auckland. Meal included today is breakfast.


Per person price based on twin occupancy is NZD$795.00.
Per person price based on single occupancy is NZD$895.00.

Prices include road transport, driver and guide, guided tour of Waitomo Caves, entry to and guided tour of Te Puia, Maori concert, Maori hangi dinner, accommodation at Millennium Hotel (or similar hotel), breakfast at hotel, Agrodome sheep show, guided tour of Hobbiton, bottled water and New Zealand Goods and Services Tax at 15%.

In addition to the Star Alliance discounts, Air New Zealand will be offering discounted travel for flights booked from 11 April to 11 May, for travel in the period 15 June to 15 July on flights booked from their website. Details of the discounts, the promotional code and website addresses will be provided upon registration. Find out more on the Travel and Accomodation webpage.

Find out more about:

Exclusive Tours Limited
Waitomo New Zealand
Rotorua New Zealand
Hobbiton Movie Set Tours