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Duty Free Shopping in New Zealand

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Grab a bargain!

We’re backpackers. We can’t resist a bargain! So if you are leaving New Zealand or literally just arriving, there are stores where you can buy duty free goods. These are goods that have any government tax (GST) or “duty” lifted. Merchants pass on these savings to the buyers. This could mean you can make some savings on gifts to take home or get some supplies for the start of your New Zealand adventure.

Who can buy duty free goods?

You can only make duty free purchases if you are travelling internationally. Therefore, you must present valid evidence of this, such as your passport and travel ticket. Simple!

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Where can you buy duty free goods?

Typically, you will find duty free stores where there is a lot on international traffic. In New Zealand that means airports, onboard international flights, ports and cruise ships. There is the exception of a duty free store in Auckland CBD, DFS Galleria, but the same conditions apply that you must present your passport and travel ticket then collect the goods at the airport. However, you are not going to make huge backpacker savings here.

For the hardcore duty free buyers, you can buy duty free products online and pick them up from the airport. In order to do this, you need to provide flight details.

DFS Duty Free has a “buy on departure pick up on return” service, which is ideal if you are popping over to one of the nearby countries for a bit.

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What sort of goods can you buy duty free?

Other than Toblerone, you will find: luxury jewellery, watches, perfume, handbags, luggage, accessories, chocolate, alcohol, tobacco, electronics, small gifts and children’s toys. Some brands have their own duty free stores, which usually fashion brands.

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Duty free allowances

The idea of duty free is for you to make savings, not stock up on goods to sell for your own business. This is why most countries have an allowance of how much duty free goods you can bring into the country. If you are planning on filling your suitcase, make sure to check the duty free allowances of your destination country.

The New Zealand allowances per adult are:

  • No more than 3 bottles of spirits (up to a maximum of 1.125 millilitre each)
  • 4.5 litre of wine, port, sherry, champagne (6 bottles) or beer (12 cans)
  • Up to NZ$700 of other goods purchased duty free or overseas.

Grab more bargains

Don’t restrict yourself to just buying Toblerone, Dior perfume and enough cigarettes to guarantee cancer. There is anther cheap shopping option in New Zealand too!

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