What is the i-SITE?
What is the i-SITE?

What is the i-SITE?

© ChristchurchNZ

New Zealand’s Visitor Information Centres

As you start travelling around New Zealand, you will notice these “i-SITEs” more and more. To clear things up, we made this quick guide to what is the i-SITE in New Zealand?

With more than 80 i-SITEs in New Zealand, these tourist information centres are a hub of information on local activities and accommodation. They are a free service to help plan and book your travel. Plus, it’s just a great place to stock up on leaflets.

Check out the quick guide to i-SITEs in New Zealand below to find out their services, as well as some i-SITEs that have become an attraction on their own.

While you’re here, find more essential travel advice in the 31 Tips for Travelling in New Zealand.

A Quick Guide to the i-SITE

What are these places with the big ‘i’? This short guide will answer these questions:

  • What are the i-SITEs (visitor information centre)?
  • Where are the i-SITEs in New Zealand?
  • What funky i-SITEs can I visit?
  • What services do the i-SITEs provide?
What is the i-SITE?© Hamilton Waikato Tourism

What are the i-SITEs?

The i-SITE brand was created by Tourism New Zealand in 1990. It allows accredited members to open tourist information centres in the main cities or tourist attractions of the country. In exchange, i-SITE members offer booking services to tourists much like a travel agency

As towns and cities in New Zealand are quite small, i-SITEs often become a landmark in each city being a main pick up point for services providers. Getting to know the location of your closest i-SITE is a must when arriving in a new town! Don’t forget to check the bottom of this article for advice on how to best use your local i-SITE.

There are more than 80 i-SITEs in the country. Most places with a tourist attraction there are lots in NZ! have an i-SITE, whether it is a city or a gateway to a national park.

The i-SITE Locations

© iSite
© iSite
Pixabay© Pixabay

Funky i-SITEs

Some of the i-SITEs are also a bit of a tourist attraction themselves:

Fuwuyuan© Fuwuyuan

i-SITE Services

  • Leaflets! So many leaflets!
  • Free maps.
  • Accommodation options and bookings
  • Activity bookings
  • Transportation options and bookings
  • Local advice places to eat, shop, etc.
  • Weather and mountain safety
  • Information on national parks and Great Walks
  • Some have gift shops
  • Some have free WiFi and free phone calls.

Other Things Worth Mentioning About the i-SITEs

  • The i-SITEs are usually a pick-up point for transportation and activities.
  • You can grab the information you need from an i-SITE, but remember to check the pricing for booking directly through an activity provider it is sometimes cheaper.
  • Some of the i-SITEs have short opening hours, especially in small towns.
  • i-SITEs can often be very busy so make sure to extend your parking ticket if necessary!

The i-SITE is a great way of getting information on national parks. Another good source is The Department of Conservation, which you can read about here.

Author

Robin C.

This article was reviewed and published by Robin, the co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. He has lived, worked and travelled across 16 different countries before calling New Zealand home. He has now spent over a decade in the New Zealand tourism industry, clocking in more than 600 activities across the country. He is passionate about sharing those experiences and advice on NZ Pocket Guide and its YouTube channel. Robin is also the co-founder of several other South Pacific travel guides.

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