New Zealand Travel Guide
Hours of Operation
Banks are open weekdays 9–4:30, but some cease trading in foreign currencies at 4.
Gas stations are usually open, at the least, from 7 to 7 daily. Large stations on main highways are commonly open 24 hours.
Museums around the country do not have standard hours, but many are open daily from 10 to 5. Larger museums and government-run collections are generally open daily, but the hours of small local museums vary, as many are run by volunteers. The New Zealand Museums website (www.nzmuseums.co.nz) is a helpful information source; you can search by collection, region, or museum name.
Pharmacies are generally open from 9 to 5, Monday through Saturday (and Sunday in cities). You will also find basic nonprescription drugstore items in supermarkets, many of which are open until 10 pm. During off-hours there will usually be emergency-hour pharmacies in the major cities. Phone the local hospital or i-SITE Visitor Centre for details.
Shops are generally open Monday through Saturday 9–5:30, although in small towns many shops close early on Saturday. In cities shops are generally open on Sunday as well, while in smaller towns Sunday trading hours vary greatly from place to place. In many rural areas, stores are closed on Sunday. Liquor stores are often open daily. In major cities supermarkets and convenience stores, called "dairies," are usually open from 7 am to 10 pm; a few stay open 24 hours.
On Christmas Day, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, and the morning of ANZAC Day, everything closes down in New Zealand except for a few gas stations, some shops selling essential food items, and emergency facilities. On other public holidays many museums and attractions stay open, as do transportation systems, though on a reduced schedule. Local anniversary days, which vary regionally, pop up as once-a-year three-day weekends in each particular area; some businesses close but hotels and restaurants stay open. Around Christmas and New Year's Kiwis go to the beach, so seaside resorts will be difficult to visit unless you have booked well in advance. You'll get plenty of sunshine and far fewer crowds if you visit from late January through to the colder period of late March. Cities such as Auckland and Wellington are pleasantly quiet over Christmas and New Year's. Fewer cars are on the road, and you'll get good prices from hotels making up for the lack of corporate guests, though some restaurants will be closed.