FCO Advises British World Cup Fans To “Be On The Ball”

The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office has issued advice to British fans travelling to New Zealand, advising them to “Be on the ball”  for the 2011 Rugby World Cup between
9 September and 23 October 2011.

British people visiting New Zealand are advised to take out adequate insurance if participating in adventure activities (check out our adventure tourism page to see why)  ensure they do not breach strict bio-security laws, drive carefully on rural roads (which form the majority of New Zealand’s road network) and plan carefully for long journeys.

There is also a section warning about the risks from earthquakes and treacherous weather conditions and to beware of opportunistic thieves likely to be attracted by  world cup opportunities. There is a strict warning (no doubt based on previous experiences) not to leave valuables in unattended vehicles, even if locked away in the boot.
The weather is likely to be cold so take plenty of warm clothes and waterproofs, one weather forecaster has predicted snow for the coming weeks.

Travellers should also visit the full country travel advice page for New Zealand.

Travel Insurance

You should take out appropriate comprehensive medical and travel insurance before travelling
If you intend to participate in adventure activities, such as bungee jumping, white water rafting, etc, ensure that your travel insurance covers these types of activities
Check for any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for all the activities you want to undertake. See our Travel Insurance page.

Local Laws and Customs

It is illegal to import most foodstuffs (meat and meat products, honey, fruit, dairy produce etc) and strict penalties are handed out to those breaking these rules
New Zealand has very strict bio-security laws. Take care when bringing in food, wood products, golf clubs, shoes/boots, camping equipment (may have soil and dirt attached), animal skin (e.g. crocodile handbags)
Failure to comply with these regulations can result in a heavy fine. As a result of these quarantine procedures, you should expect some delay on arrival. For more info visit the Biosecurity New Zealand website
Do not drink alcohol before driving in New Zealand, drinking and driving laws are strictly enforced and random breathalyser tests are carried out.
New Zealand cities have alcohol free zones which are strongly enforced. Take care and note inner city signage.
It is illegal to drink alcohol on public transport including taxis

Local Travel – Road Travel

New Zealand does not have an extensive public transport system outside its main cities – so do your research. Visit the New Zealand Transport Agency website
In rural areas there can be large distances between service stations so plan ahead. Petrol stations are mostly self-service
An amber light means STOP (if you can do so safely!)
Outside of cities and towns there is little or no street lighting. Watch out for livestock wandering onto roads.


You can send updates about your location and travel movements via your mobile in NZ by texting 7233 (SAFE). These details are kept on a central database which can be accessed by NZ Police if necessary
New Zealand is subject to earthquakes and weather conditions which can quickly become treacherous. Pay attention to local warnings and safety advice
In case of poor mobile phone reception make sure friends and family know your plans/whereabouts
If you intend to participate in adventure activities, such as bungee jumping, ensure that your travel insurance covers these types of activities
The Rugby World Cup is likely to attract opportunistic thieves. Keep all possessions – especially your passport – secure. Do not leave possessions in unattended vehicles even if out of sight in a locked boot. See our Victims of Crime Abroad page.

Entry Requirements

British passport holders can enter New Zealand as a visitor for up to six months on arrival without a visa
Visitors must have an onward ticket
When you arrive in New Zealand, you’ll need to be carrying a passport that is valid for at least three months beyond your intended departure date
For further information please contact the New Zealand High Commission, London.


Seek medical advice before travelling to New Zealand (or other destinations on the way) and ensure that all appropriate vaccinations are up to date. See Travel Health
The ozone layer over New Zealand is thinner than elsewhere and sunburn times are shorter than in the UK. Wear your supporters hat and get high factor sun block (or your team colours) applied
Asthma sufferers may be more at risk of an attack in New Zealand and sufferers should be suitably prepared.

Match Day

Is there enough time for that last pint? Make sure you arrive at the stadium with plenty of time to spare. Expect queues and security checks
Listen to the games on the move. Radio Sport will be the official Broadcaster of the RWC – for local frequency check the website: http://www.radiosport.co.nz
Average temperatures range from 9-15 degrees Celsius across the islands and temperatures can fall to freezing overnight, so make sure you are prepared – watch local weather reports and pack    your waterproofs and thermals for the game!