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Duty Free Shopping in New Zealand


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.

So with all that in mind, here is a quick guide to duty free shopping in New Zealand! For more ways to save money while you shop in New Zealand, check out Outlet Shopping in New Zealand: Grab a Bargain!

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, when purchasing duty free items in store. Simple!

Haka Tours

 Ryan Wick on Flickr

Where can you buy duty free goods in New Zealand?

Typically, you will find duty free stores where there is a lot on international traffic. In New Zealand that means airports, on-board 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.

 Colleen Galvin on Flickr

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.

For inspiration, check out 14 New Zealand Souvenirs for Your Friends and Family.


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
  • 50 cigarettes, or 50g of tabacco.
Duty Free Allowances for Other Countries
  • Australia – 2.25 litres alcohol, 25 cigarettes or 25 grams tobacco
  • Canada – 1 litre alcohol, 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars
  • China – 1.5 litres alcohol, 400 cigarettes
  • Fiji – 4.5 litres wine or beer or 2.25 litres spirits or liqueur, 250 cigarettes or 250 grams tobacco or 250 grams cigars
  • Hong Kong – 1 litre of alcohol, 19 cigarettes or 25 grams of tobacco or 25 grams of cigars
  • Japan – 3x 750ml of alcohol, Residents: 200 cigarettes, Non-residents: 400 cigarettes or 250 grams tobacco
  • Korea – 1 litre of alcohol, 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars
  • Malaysia – 1 litre of alcohol, 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 225 grams tobacco
  • New Caledonia – 2 litres of spirits except Aniseed or Absinthe and 2 litres of wine, 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 400 grams tobacco
  • Norfolk Island – 1 litre alcoholic beverage, 200 cigarettes or 250 grams tobacco/cigars
  • Samoa – 2.25 litres of alcohol, 200 cigarettes or 250 grams of tobacco/cigars
  • Singapore – 1 litre spirits and 1 litre wine or beer, No cigarettes, all tobacco goods must be declared
  • South Africa –  2 litres wine and 1 litre spirits, 400 cigarettes and 250 grams tobacco and 50 cigars
  • Taiwan – 1 litre of alcohol, 200 cigarettes or 25 cigars or 500 grams of tobacco
  • Thailand – 1 litre of alcohol, 200 cigarettes or 250 grams of tobacco or equal weight of cigars
  • Tonga – 2.25 litres of spirits or 4.5 litres of wine, 400 cigarettes or 500 grams of tobacco/cigars
  • UK – 2 litres wine and 1 litre spirits, 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 100 cigarillos or 250 grams tobacco
  • USA – 1 litre alcohol, 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 1,350 gms tobacco or combination, *Cuban cigars are not permitted to be imported
  • Vanuatu – 2 litres wine and 1.5 litres spirits, 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250 grams tobacco

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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