Customs and etiquette
New Zealanders are friendly and easy to talk to and always happy to converse with strangers and to lend assistance. They have a classless society, much like in Australia, but are perhaps not as abrupt as their larger neighbor and also do not appreciate being associated as Australian.
Although Queenstown is a party town, dressing appropriately will see you received better. Even though it is packed out with bars, drunken behavior on the streets, particularly during the day, is not well tolerated. Tipping is a non-issue in Queenstown, as with anywhere in New Zealand, apart from top-end restaurants.
Kiwis use the New Zealand dollar (NZ$), which is widely available and can be had in your home country and on arrival at New Zealand airports. Queenstown's banks and exchange booths, such as BNZ and Thomas Cook, have the best exchange rates.
Making use of your local debit card, or a credit card, at an ATM is far more convenient for obtaining local currency. Credit cards and travelers checks are accepted at the larger shops and restaurants. Although Queenstown is on the pricey side, prices for food, shopping and accommodation are reasonable and much less than anywhere else in the West for comparable quality.
Queenstown is at altitude and experiences warm summers and freezing winters. Being a ski town, winter is also high season and goes from May through August, while summers (December through February) are generally peak season with backpackers and thrill seekers. January is the wettest month, and March and October are quieter, transitional months.