We’ve got our own currency down here in New Zealand, and it’s called the New Zealand dollar (NZ$). Notes are in denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. In 2016, NZ introduced a new series of banknotes showing off famous Kiwis, NZ places, bright colours and native birds. We reckon they’re some of the most eye catching in the world.
The $5 Note was named ‘banknote of the year’ for 2015 (something we’re quietly stoked about)! Our $5 note has famous kiwi mountaineer, Sir Edmund Hillary, on the front of it. Sir Ed was the first person in the world to climb Mount Everest. It also shows off our highest mountain, Aoraki/Mount Cook, and the rare yellow-eyed penguin.
The $10 Note celebrates how NZ was the first country in the world to give women the vote by featuring Kate Sheppard on the front. Kate was one of the main people that pressed for woman’s suffrage in New Zealand. There’s also the white camellia and our rare Whio duck on the note, and it’s a bright, sky-blue colour.
The $20 Note has a cool alpine scene on one side, with a New Zealand falcon, rock daisy, flowering tussock and Mount Tapuaenuku. The other side marks NZ’s Commonwealth heritage, with an image of Queen Elizabeth II and the NZ Parliament Buildings.
The $50 Note is an eye-catching purple colour. One one side is Sir Apirana Ngata, who helped to revive Maori culture back in the early 1900’s. It’s also got our native Kokako bird on one side as well as an image of the Pureora Forest Park in the North Island.
The $100 Note celebrates Kiwi Sir Ernest Rutherford, who won the Nobel Prize in 1908 for splitting the atom. Over on the other size is our rare Mohua bird (yellowhead), which lives in the South Island. This note is a pinky-red (it’s also one of our favourites to have in the old wallet – funny that!)
Our coins are $1, $2, 50c (cents), 20c and 10c; they each have a unique color, pattern or size so it’s easy for you to tell the difference. Plus, how great is it that our lowest cent is 10c? No pockets weighed down with worthless 1 and 2 cent pieces! Although, just to confuse you, prices might still include amounts below 10c. When you see this, e.g. $2.95, don’t worry, Kiwis use something called the Swedish Rounding System. This means everything from 1- 5 rounds to 0 and everything above will be 10. So that $2.95 will become $2.90 – easy!
Check out the currency converter at xe.com to see today’s exchange rate.
When you’re travelling overseas, figuring out unfamiliar currency to pay for things can be a bit of a pain. The cool thing about choosing to explore New Zealand on one of our tours is that most things are paid for in advance – meaning you won’t be digging into your wallet, trying to remember what colour our $20 is! And when you do need to pay for an ice cream or coffee on tour, you’ll have a friendly Kiwi guide on-hand to help out with our currency if you need it.