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