What is the New Zealand Electrical Outlet?
How are you going to charge your phone or plug in your hairdryer in New Zealand?! Well, admittedly, most accommodations have hairdryers provided, but that’s not the point. The point is; New Zealand has Type 1 power plugs with 230/240v AC 50Hz, so if your appliances don’t fit the electrical outlets and/or require a different voltage or frequency, then you’re going to need a travel adapter and maybe even a convertor. Makes sense? If not, this in-depth guide on the New Zealand electrical outlet will make it so.
For more essential travel tips for New Zealand, head on over to 30 Tips for Travelling in New Zealand and The Best Travel Guide to New Zealand.
What is the New Zealand Plug Type?
In New Zealand, the power plugs and sockets are Type 1. It has three flat pins: two angled ones and one straight one. Note that some appliances don’t have that straight bottom pin but they are still compatible with New Zealand electrical outlets.
Other Countries That Use Type 1 Plugs
If you have visited any of the following countries, chances are that you already have a travel adapter that will work in New Zealand.
American Samoa, Argentina, Australia, China, Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tajikistan, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, Uruguay, Uzbekistan and Vanuatu.
Voltage and Frequency
In New Zealand, the electric current is 230/240v 50Hz. This means that the electrical current is 230/240 volts with 50 cycles per second.
Some hotel and motel bathrooms in New Zealand have a 110v outlet for electric razors only. However, they tend to only be available in older buildings and are not something to rely on seeing everywhere.
If your country of origin uses a voltage that ranges between 220v and 240v, then you will be able to use your appliances and gadgets in New Zealand with no problem at all. This includes countries like New Zealand, Australia, Europe, the UK and the majority of Asia and Africa.
If you are from North or South America or any country that uses a voltage between 100v and 127v then you will need to have a power converter or transformer. Many travel adapters include this function so there is no need to get yourself two separate items – check out the Amazon selection.
Will My Appliances Work in New Zealand?
If you’re using appliances from a country that also uses 230v or 240v, then they will work in New Zealand as long as they have a Type 1 output or you have a travel adapter. More on that later.
If coming from a country that uses 110v/120v, for example, then you should find that modern appliances, such as phones and laptops, are designed to use from 110v to 240v. Nevertheless, you should check the labels of all of the appliances that you intend to use in New Zealand.
Appliances that don’t clearly state that they can be used for up to 240v should not be used in New Zealand electrical outlets. Otherwise, the higher voltage than required could damage your appliance (or worse). The most common types of appliances this applies to includes hairdryers, electric razors and irons.
Do You Need a Convertor / Transformer?
If the label on your appliance states a single voltage number, such as 110v or 120v, (i.e. any number other than 230v or 240v), you will need a travel adapter which is also a voltage converter.
If the label has a combined low/high number, such as 120v/240v or 100v/240v, or a voltage of 200 or higher, you don’t need a converter.
Can You Use a 60Hz Appliance?
New Zealand uses a 50Hz outlet. Therefore, it is not recommended to use a 60Hz appliance, even if the voltage of your appliance is compatible with New Zealand. Using the wrong frequency (which is what Hz is) can cause appliances to stop functioning properly.
Again, check your appliance label. Some appliances work on both 50Hz and 60Hz.
Campground Powered Sites
Note that the power outlets on powered sites at New Zealand’s campgrounds are different from the “type 1” power outlet. Find out more about using powered sites in How to Get Electricity When Camping in New Zealand.
New Zealand Travel Adapters
Yes, regardless of the voltage, if your appliances are from a country that doesn’t use Type 1 power plugs then you will need a New Zealand travel adapter. In other words, a Type 1 travel adapter.
Recommended New Zealand Travel Adapters
- AC Power Travel Adapter (cheap)
- Skross World Travel Adapter (use it all over the world)
- BESTEK Travel Adapter (universal and converts voltage for US appliances)
- Kikkerland UL03-A Universal Travel Adapter (world’s smallest universal travel adapter)
For more details on these travel adapters and more, see the 5 Best Travel Adapters for New Zealand.
While USB outlets are available in some of New Zealand’s most modern buildings, you will not find them frequently enough to be relied on.
Some travel adapters, like this OREI Travel Adapter, have two USB inputs on them and are recommended if most of your appliances require a USB input.
See what else to expect from New Zealand buildings, especially accommodations, in our New Zealand Accommodation category.