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New Zealand Shopping and Entertainment

New Zealand has many vibrant shopping malls, markets and towns. We have a vast variety of music, concert and theatre entertainment to suit everyone.

New Zealand Shopping

Most shops and businesses are open 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, as a minimum. Many stores also open Saturdays and some open on Sundays. In resorts you will find most stores open in the evenings. Banks are closed at weekends.

What to Buy

New Zealand offers a huge variety of shopping from arts and craft markets, galleries and museum shops to exclusive designer stores.

For traditional New Zealand souvenirs look for examples of superb Maori carvings in wood, bone and pounamu (greenstone). You can also find jewellery and ornaments made from the iridescent paua shell (abalone), treasured by Maori for centuries.

New Zealand potters have been recognised as among the world's finest ceramicists and today many fine artisans are also working in stone, wood, glass and metals. The country's vast wool industry makes it possible to find wonderful hand-knitted wool sweaters, beautiful wall hangings, homespun yarns and top-quality sheepskins.

Alongside top international fashion in boutique stores in the main city areas, you will also find New Zealand's own award-winning fashion labels, including Zambesi, NomD, Karen Walker and World.

Food and Wine

New Zealand's 'Pacific Rim' cuisine style takes its inspiration from Europe, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Polynesia, Japan and Vietnam. This unique blend of influences has created a mouthwatering range of flavours and food available from cafes and restaurants nationwide.

For dishes that have a distinctly New Zealand style look out for lamb, pork and venison; salmon, crayfish, Bluff oysters, paua (abalone), mussels and scallops; kumara (sweet potato); kiwi fruit and tamarillo; and pavlova, our national dessert, made from meringue and lashings of fresh whipped cream topped with fresh fruit or berries.

While the main cities support a few elegant, silver-service restaurants, the trend is towards more relaxed cafe-bar dining. There is a wide variety of international food available including Japanese, Indian, Halal, Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Malaysian, Thai and more than 900 Asian restaurants throughout New Zealand.

Our whites wines, particularly Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, have achieved an international reputation for excellence - and the reds are catching-up fast!

Alcohol

Most night spots, restaurants and cafes serve liquor seven days a week. You can purchase alcohol from liquor outlets (beer, wine and spirits) and supermarkets (beer and wine only) seven days a week. Legally you must be 18 years old to buy alcohol or consume it in a public place, and you may be asked for a photo ID.

Night Life in New Zealand

Lively DJ and band scenes, particularly in the larger cities, have given New Zealand's night life a renewed vibrancy. You will find a variety of night clubs, cabarets, pubs, concerts and live performances to choose from, and there are also six casinos. New Zealand’s casinos are located in Auckland, Hamilton, Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown and are open 24 hours a day.

Shows

Most cities stage first-class concerts and shows. Theatre, orchestral concerts, ballet, rock and jazz are well represented.