Great stuff in here but can update on the mobile simcards and discounts cards as a new product was launched in October.
The NZ Holidaycard includes a 2degreesmobile simcard which is a lot cheaper than Vodafone.
(Telecom is not not really into the prepaid simcard business ). With 2 degreesmobile you can call for 22c per minute and 9 c for a text message. No charges for incoming calls.
(Vodafone is around 44c pm and 20 c per ptxt- depends a bit on which prepaid option you take. Note that a Vodafone Simcard is $29.95 to buy)
With the 2degreesmobile you can also spend $6.00 on getting 50mb of data.
The NZ Holidaycard also includes $10.00 calling credit that can be used from a landline and call for only 5 c pm to most countries, or 25 c when using your mobile.
Naturally you want to have internet access which can be a bit confusing in NZ . Each internet cafe has its own charges, so if you prepaid for 30 minute but only use 20 minutes, too bad.
By having an account with the Internet Access Company, you have access to over 290 internet kiosks and or hotspots around the country. They are located in holidayparks, backpackers, motels, hotels, some information centres and attractions. The first 30 minutes are free, than top up your account, and use it whereever you are in the country.
So now your communication is sorted. Great thing is , if you order it online for just $39.00NZD, you will have your simcard and number before you leave home, so you can let friends and family know what your mobile nr is NZ. Great idea.
While travelling around enjoy over $ 2000.00 worth of discounts and offers. As this card is not just for backpackers ( Like the BBH, VIP, YHA seem to target) there is a wide range of discounts to suit all tastes. You can get a free DVD when you bungy jump, or a free cup of coffee when you visit a garden,$50.00 diso*#$% for spa treatment, or go fishing for 2 hours and get 1 hour free ( save $70.00).
There is so much more to this card and for $39.00 it is a crazy price and you make you money back really quickly. They are not strong on accommodation offers but the backpacker cards focus on giving you $3.00 discount per night plus discounts on a samller range of activities.
I think the great benefit of the NZ Holidaycard is that all your communication is arranged for you before you arrive in the country. Such a time saver.