Can I use my appliances in New Zealand?
Here's a handy guide for travellers to New Zealand to help work out whether you can use your electrical appliances from home when you visit. Specifically for travellers from North America, the UK and Australia.
Got your big trip to New Zealand booked and getting down to the details like packing, trying to work out what to bring and what you can use when you’re here, like your phone, tablet, laptop, camera and hairdryer?
We’ve been hosting overseas visitors for decades now and have fielded our fair share of questions about which appliances you can use in New Zealand, what the voltage here is, what the plugs look like, whether you need an adaptor and more, so here's our handy little guide to which appliances from home you can use in New Zealand.
Can I use my appliances from home in New Zealand?
This question relates to the voltage of appliances, not the compatibility of the plugs, which we’ll answer next.
If you bring electrical appliances from North America to New Zealand you should be able to use them here, as long as they’re relatively modern, but you’ll need an adaptor for the power plug.
Be sure to check that you can safely use them at New Zealand voltage, 240 volts. Modern appliances have been designed for use from 110-240 volts, so you should be OK as long as it’s not a 1980s electric razor you’re bringing!
But this is electricity, so make sure you check - if it doesn't state clearly on your appliance that it’s safe for use up to 240 volts the chances are you won’t be able to use them and you might destroy them or even hurt yourself if you do so don’t do it!
The good news is that most modern appliances, the things that you’re most likely to bring with you, are built to be safely used in both your home country and here in New Zealand, but you’ll need an adaptor for the plug.
If you bring appliances to New Zealand from the UK or Australia then yes, you can use them at New Zealand voltage (as long as you have an adaptor for the plug).
What is the voltage in New Zealand?
The voltage in New Zealand is 230/240 volts, which is different than in the USA (110 volts), Canada (110/120 volts) but the same (or close enough to use) as in the UK and Australia.
You may see some 110 volt sockets in older buildings in New Zealand, the only place we’ve ever seen them is in the bathrooms for plug in razors.
What do electric sockets in New Zealand look like?
Electric sockets in New Zealand look like the one in the picture below, most plugs are the 3 pin type as shown in the picture.
The bottom pin is the Earth plug, some smaller appliances don’t have this and they’re safe to use as long as they are from an approved manufacturer and pass the safety standards in your home country.
To help you work out whether you need an adaptor, see the main picture at the top to see what sockets and plugs look like in your home country, and in New Zealand.
Again, it depends where you come from to work out if you need to get an adaptor. Coming from the USA, Canada or the UK, you will need a New Zealand power adaptor. If you’re coming from Australia, then you don’t have to worry about a thing cobber, you’re good to go!
What kind of adaptor will I need in New Zealand?
Once you’ve checked your appliance and you’re sure that you can use it at our voltage, and then all you need is a really simple adaptor that you can plug your appliance into, which then lets you plug into the sockets here.
Most of these are very small and light, so super easy to use and carry around. Something like this:
Handy travel tip - bring a multi appliance board from home
If you’re planning on bringing a few small appliances with you, here’s a great tip.
Buy a multi socket power board (the compact cube types are great for travelling with) in your home country and one adaptor for this power board.
When you’re here you plug the power board into the NZ socket with the adaptor, and all your other appliances plug right into the board without needing an adaptor! Easy, but just make sure the power board can be used at 240 volts!
If you get one which has both traditional sockets and USB ports as well it's even more useful. A lot of hotel rooms nowadays have USB charging sockets but just to be safe, bring your own.
You can plug your smart phones and tablets straight into the USB ports, and traditional appliances like a hairdryer into the traditional socket. If everything you're bringing has a USB lead, then save space and get a small USB only charger.
Do New Zealand hotel rooms have hairdryers?
Most do, yes. If you’re staying in 4 to 5 star hotels, like the ones we do on our tours, they will have hairdryers in the room, or at worst, you’ll be able to get one from reception.
Same with motels, you should be able to get one but if you’ve got a small hairdryer you like travelling with, then bring it along, just to be safe.
At the hotels we stay at on our tours, hairdryers are provided in your room every night.
Any questions about visiting New Zealand?
We hope you've found this travel article helpful for your trip.
It’s natural that you’ll have a few questions about your travelling to New Zealand, and if you’re coming over to see us and join one of our small group tours, a big part of what we do is helping you with any questions you may have, so feel free to get in touch any time.
To start the ball rolling on your "Dream Trip to New Zealand" drop us a line, we'd love to chat.