Money can be exchanged at banks which are open from 9 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. or bureaux de change which exist in the major tourist towns, cities and also at airports. There are no restrictions on the amount of foreign currency or travellers checks that can be brought in or taken out of New Zealand.
New Zealand money consists of the following denominations: $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 in notes and 5 cents ($.05), 10 cents ($.10), 20 cents ($.20), 50 cents ($.50), $1 and $2 in coins. Unlike in Australia New Zealand $2 coin is larger than $1 coin. Credit cards are widely accepted including Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Diners Club. The first two being more widely excepted than the later two.
EFTPOS (Maestro, Cirrus) cards are more commonly used than credit cards and almost all businesses accept this method of payment. If you are coming from the UK you will find the use of EFTPOS cards (debit cards) far more advanced than the UK for using at brick and mortar stores. Although you can't use them online like debit cards.
Hiking is free apart from the price of huts and private walks.
If you are planning to stay in New Zealand a few months you may like to save money and buy yourself a tent and camp alongside one of the many excellent camping spots beside the rivers, lakes and streams throughout the country. And don't forget your travel insurance!
Read also: Driving In New Zealand