• Skip to navigation
  • Skip to content
  • Go to homepage
  • Book Accommodation
  • Book Activities
  • Buy Travel Insurance
  • Member Deals

Search

Time & distance calculator

Your location:

Drag and drop to reorder route points

Route results

Search AA Maps

E.g. hotels, restaurants, petrol stations, etc.

Alternatively, plan your route

Search

Traffic information

Traffic flow

Electric vehicle chargers

EV station

Points of interest

Petrol stations

  • Search Please fill out this field.
  • Manage Your Subscription
  • Give a Gift Subscription
  • Sweepstakes
  • New Zealand Travel Guide Overview: New Zealand Travel Guide
  • This Country Is Made Up of 2 Stunning Islands Full of Pristine Beaches and Otherworldly Landscapes
  • This New Zealand Town Is an All-season Destination With Epic Skiing, Hiking, and Wineries
  • 10 Mistakes to Avoid on Your Trip to New Zealand, According to a Local
  • New Zealand Travel Guide This Country Is Made Up of 2 Stunning Islands Full of Pristine Beaches and Otherworldly Landscapes This New Zealand Town Is an All-season Destination With Epic Skiing, Hiking, and Wineries 10 Mistakes to Avoid on Your Trip to New Zealand, According to a Local CLOSE Part of New Zealand Travel Guide

How to Plan the Perfect Trip to New Zealand

See the best places to stay, dine, and experience the beauty of New Zealand, according to a local.

Amy Louise Bailey is a freelance content creator and media specialist. Her work has been published in Vogue , Harper’s Bazaar , Elle , Condé Nast Traveler, Bloomberg Pursuits , and Robb Report .

Bay of Islands

Christchurch, best times to visit new zealand, how to get there, transportation.

Tessa Desjardins/Travel + Leisure

When people learn I’m from New Zealand , I often hear that it’s at the top of their bucket list — or, if they’ve been, that it’s their favorite country in the world.  I may be biased, but I am not surprised. The stunning natural beauty, thriving culinary scene, and unique outdoor activities would charm even the most seasoned traveler.

Everywhere you look, there’s a picture-perfect backdrop filled with greenery and crystal-clear waters. And although it has a lot of untouched land, it boasts the same highlights you would find in any major global city, with art galleries, shopping districts, nightlife, and luxury hotels. Plus, it’s politically stable and very safe, which are increasingly appealing traits.

Geographically, the country is divided into two islands with distinct characteristics: the North Island is full of beaches and is home to the main cities, and the South Island is an alpine wonderland, defined by majestic mountain landscapes, rugged coasts, and world-class ski slopes. There has been a lot of development over the past few years, and travelers have more places to eat, stay, and play than ever before.  Below, see Travel + Leisure ’s essential guide to making the most of this magical South Pacific destination, according to a local.

Angelina Pilarinos/Travel + Leisure

North Island

The North Island is lined with beautiful beaches and islands surrounding the narrow coasts. It’s also where the capital, Wellington, is located, along with the country’s largest and most cosmopolitan city, Auckland , which is an essential destination on any New Zealand itinerary (and the gateway for most international flights). As Annie Dundas, head of the visitor economy for Auckland Unlimited notes, Auckland is “an urban oasis — the perfect fusion of a busy, modern city that looks out to mesmerizing landscapes and islands — all within easy reach and laden with wineries and leisurely places for long lunches.” It is worth spending at least four days in Auckland, but the North Island has many unique areas to explore, and below, we’ve charted the key destinations to prioritize.

Things to Do

Waiheke Island

Waiheke Island is a popular day trip for locals and is accessible by boat, ferry, or helicopter from downtown Auckland. It’s filled with boutique wineries, restaurants, and beautiful beaches, and is especially popular in the summer months, when music festivals and jazz concerts are hosted in sprawling vineyards. There’s also a contemporary art sculpture trail, Sculpture on the Gulf , hosted each summer, enticing many Aucklanders across the harbor for a cultured day out. Pop over for the day, tour the wineries, get a scoop of ice cream at Island Gelato Company , and wander around the artisan boutiques. If you’d like to spend the night, there are high-end rentals available on Waiheke Unlimited and Vrbo , or for a hotel, go for Delamore Lodge .

Visit the Auckland Museum and the Auckland Art Gallery

For a close-up view of New Zealand’s culture and history, visit the stately Auckland Museum , where you’ll find a collection of national artifacts along with a rotation of exhibitions. It’s set at the top of the city’s main park and is within walking distance of Auckland CBD, where the Auckland Art Gallery is located. Here you’ll find some of the country’s most valuable artworks along with various international collections. Both are worthwhile attractions that can be ticked off in half a day.

Explore Commercial Bay and Britomart

Downtown Auckland has been transformed over the past decade and has become the city’s most vibrant shopping and dining hub. It’s bustling from day to night and is especially packed on Friday nights for after-work drinks and dinner. You can find some of the city’s best restaurants and cocktail bars within a small vicinity, and it’s a fashion mecca, with storefronts from major brands and local fashion designers (be sure to check out Karen Walker , Kate Sylvester , and Zambesi ).

Courtesy of Park Hyatt Auckland

Park Hyatt Auckland

Since opening in 2020, the Park Hyatt has become the crème de la crème of the Auckland hotel scene. It has a prime location, excellent views, amenities, restaurants, and spacious rooms with freestanding bathtubs and terraces overlooking the Viaduct Harbor — ideal for room service with some atmosphere. It’s within walking distance of the best bars, restaurants, and shops, but it feels like a serene enclave where you can manage to get a good night’s sleep, despite being right by the action.

The Hotel Britomart

As the name suggests, this chic hotel is located right in the heart of Britomart, surrounded by some of Auckland’s best shopping and dining. Rooms are sleek and modern yet very small, so are suitable for solo travelers and couples. If you’re seeking something more spacious, the suites are some of the finest in the city (with price tags to match). And the restaurant, Kingi, is also excellent. 

Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbor

Located between the Viaduct and Wynyard Quarter, the Sofitel has long been a go-to for celebrities and diplomats visiting New Zealand. It boasts the high standards that you would expect from the French hotel brand, with a fine-dining restaurant, elegant interiors, and an impressive spa and wellness center. 

Restaurants

For a fun atmosphere and Italian-inspired fare, head to Bivacco in the Viaduct. The menu has sharable classics like pizza, antipasto, pasta, and oysters, and on any given day, you’ll find yourself surrounded by well-heeled locals socializing over bottles of rosé and cocktails. 

Soul is a restaurant that has stood the test of time, and for over 20 years, it has been a go-to venue for some of the city’s most stylish soirees. Like Bivacco, it’s also a lively spot in the heart of the Viaduct, where people go for the food as well as the scene. After dinner, there’s a dance floor that attracts a mature crowd, and on the menus you’ll find fresh seafood and bistro classics alongside an extensive wine and Champagne list.

While it’s not the newest or the sceniest place, Prego has been a solid option along Ponsonby Road for years and is just as popular with families as it is for birthday celebrations and dinners preceding big nights out at the bars along the strip. Go for the pizza or the chicken saltimbocca — everything on the menu is great as are the cocktails. Always a reliable destination for a good atmosphere and delicious food.

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Known locally as Te Papa , the country’s largest museum is an essential on any Wellington itinerary. It contains over 800,000 artworks and objects, and it has a rotation of exhibitions including dinosaur skeletons and ancient artifacts that you would expect to find at the American Museum of Natural History. It’s an interesting experience for children and adults alike.

Ride the Wellington Cable Car

For panoramic views of the city, jump on the historic Wellington Cable Car , which boards in the heart of the Lambton Quay shopping district and travels up the hillside of Kelburn. Here you will find a scenic lookout, botanic gardens, and the Cable Car Museum . 

Wander Hannahs Laneway 

Also known as Leeds Street, Hannah’s Laneway is a foodie’s paradise, lined with street food vendors, contemporary art, and cool cafes. You can pick up a variety of distinctly "Kiwi" specialties, from black forest toast to pies and creamy hot chocolates. Just be sure to skip breakfast so you have room to sample everything.

QT Wellington

This centrally located hotel could be equated to the likes of The Standard and Edition Hotels, with quirky, ultramodern design and a lively food and beverage scene.  It’s right across from the Te Papa Museum in the center of town and is popular with both business and leisure travelers. There are 65 hotel rooms with either city or harbor views, and it also has 98 apartments. 

Wharekauhau Country Estate

Although it’s a 90-minute drive from Wellington, this luxury lodge is a popular stop on any Wellington itinerary. It’s set on a 5,000-acre estate overlooking the coast and has welcomed the royal family and many international diplomats visiting the capital. Everything is designed so that you don’t need to leave: food is included and sourced from the farm, it has a spa and fitness center, and a variety of outdoor activities from ATV quad biking to tennis. 

You will need to book a month in advance to secure a table at this intimate prix-fixe restaurant. The menu is seasonal and it changes every day, so there’s always something new. A typical night might feature lamb manti, panfried snapper, and crisp meringue — delicious renditions of local New Zealand cuisine.

Located on the nightlife-centric Cuba Street, Loretta is a place to enjoy crowd-pleasing classics in a fun environment.  It’s renowned for its sourdough pizzas and vanilla cheesecakes and is a great place to go with friends before a night out or for brunch on a Sunday. 

Ortega Fish Shack

This nautical-themed restaurant has some of the best seafood around, from Yellowtail Kingfish ceviche to smoked Moki rillettes and green lipped mussels. It’s a charming and eclectic place that perfectly represents the hip, creative vibe of Wellington. 

Sculptureum

Sculptureum is a lovely and cultured place to spend an afternoon, with six art galleries, three sculpture gardens, a vineyard, and a restaurant appropriately named Rothko. Whether you’re staying in the area or doing a day trip up from Auckland, it’s an essential for contemporary art lovers and is especially great to visit in the summer months.

Matakana Village Farmers Market

Every weekend, Matakana Village comes alive with rustic markets featuring a variety of artisan food stands and fresh local produce. You’ll find delicious local cheese, honey, baked goods, chocolate, and award-winning flat whites.  It’s set up right next to the boutiques in the charming village, where you’ll find everything from quaint homeware stores to shoe shops, and there’s also a cinema and a restaurant within the main village complex.

Omaha Beach

The Rodney District has some of the most stunning beaches on the North Island, and one of the most popular among them is Omaha — a white sand beach that attracts swimmers, surfers, and families setting up for the day. It’s only a 10-minute drive from Matakana Village, and it has ample parking, a café, a boutique with swim essentials, and a playground. For bigger waves, surfers head to Tawharanui Beach , which is also located within the Matakana region. 

Takatu Lodge

This gorgeous boutique lodge is located on a serene hilltop overlooking the Hauraki Gulf. It has only four suites with luxurious furnishings, underfloor heating, and views overlooking the gardens and the vineyards. Meals are provided in the dining spaces and tailored to guests’ preferences. Also, picnics are on offer for those wanting to set up at the nearby beaches for the day. 

Courtesy of Brick Bay

Brick Bay is a similar concept to Sculptureum, with a restaurant, wine tastings, and a contemporary sculpture trail positioned around a pond and throughout a native bush. It’s been around for a long time and is very popular with both locals and Aucklanders, so it’s worth booking in advance, even if it’s just to sample their wine varietals over a cheese platter after the lunchtime rush. 

Cruise the Islands

The Bay of Islands has 144 subtropical islands, and there are many ways to explore them, be it by chartering a yacht, going on a scheduled group boat tour, hiring a kayak, or embarking of a snorkeling expedition. You can see an abundance of enchanting sea life, too, including dolphins, penguins, and whales. 

Visit the Waitangi Treaty grounds

The Waitangi Treaty Grounds is New Zealand’s most important historic site, where the country’s founding document was signed back in 1840. Today, it contains two museums with interactive displays, guided tours to learn about the country’s history, and traditional Maori cultural performances that are staged in the meeting house. 

Kauri Cliffs

Kauri Cliffs was recently added to the Rosewood portfolio, which is testament to its high standards. It’s one of New Zealand’s most iconic luxury lodges, with a golf course that is ranked 37th on Golf Digest ’s Top 100 Greatest Golf Courses in the World, an excellent restaurant, and a fabulous spa nestled into a tranquil forest full of native birdlife. 

Eagle’s Nest

Positioned on a private 75-acre peninsula overlooking the Bay of Islands, Eagle’s Nest is one of New Zealand’s most luxurious boutique retreats. It is an intimate enclave, with only five villas that are beautifully designed. One thing to note is that there is no restaurant, however breakfast provisions are provided and there are on-call chefs available for private dining. 

Duke of Marlborough

The Duke of Marlborough is New Zealand’s first pub, and since opening in 1827 (before the Treaty of Waitangi was signed nearby), it has undergone various reincarnations. Visit today and you’ll find a refined version of a classic pub, with décor that feels fresh while honoring its history. Menus feature locally sourced, seasonal fare with popular items like paua risotto, clam fritters, pork belly, and of course, a solid burger.  

Taylor McIntyre/Travel + Leisure

South Island

The South Island is renowned for its spectacular natural scenery from the golden beaches of the Abel Tasman to the fiords and mountains in the Southern Alps. The vibe is generally more casual, and it’s where many of the country’s best adventure activities can be experienced. In Wanaka and Queenstown , you’ll find pristine ski slopes, dramatic mountain landscapes, and an array of sprawling wineries. It’s also home to many of New Zealand’s Great Walks and multi-day hikes. There are many beautiful places to explore, and as Sarah Handley, Tourism New Zealand's general manager for the Americas and Europe notes, “New Zealand's connection to the U.S. has never been stronger, and Americans can now fly non-stop to Christchurch, in the South Island, with United's direct service from SFO [starting Dec. 8].”

Americans can now fly non-stop to Christchurch, on New Zealand's South Island, with United Airlines' direct service from San Francisco (SFO) starting Dec. 8.

Over the Top Helicopter Tour

For a true bucket list experience, take a helicopter ride and tour through the Southern Alps and the Milford Sound.  It’s the most magical way to see everything, and experience areas that are usually inaccessible, like the secluded Madagascar Beach and snow-capped, sky-high peaks. The "eurocopters" are state of the art, with maximum visibility from any vantage point.  They can be booked privately or as part of scheduled group tours. 

JensenChua/Getty Images

TSS Earnslaw Cruise

Renowned as "the Lady of the Lake," the Earnslaw is a 110-year-old steamboat that tours Lake Wakatipu from Queenstown down to Glenorchy. It’s one of the best ways to observe the natural grandeur of the Remarkables and Cecil Peak and is a particularly popular activity for families. The cruise itself take 90 minutes, but there are various experiences that can be added on arrival at Walter Peak High Country Farm, including horse treks, cycling, or barbecues. 

Arrowtown is a historic gold-mining town that looks like a village out of a fairy tale. Everything has been lovingly preserved and it is lined with quaint artisan boutiques, galleries, cafes, and restaurants. It’s only a 20-minute drive from Queenstown, and on the way, you could stop at Millbrook Resort for a round of golf or a spa session (just outside of the main village). Be sure to stop at The Remarkable Sweet Shop for the crème brulee fudge.  

Eichardt’s Private Hotel

Eichardt’s an iconic Queenstown establishment and one of the most beloved boutique hotels in the country. It has an exceptional cocktail bar, restaurant, and a spa, along with a $20,000-per-night penthouse located above the Louis Vuitton boutique next door. The location could not be better, positioned right on the shores of Lake Wakatipu in the center of the action. Inside the rooms, the interiors are ultra-luxurious and suited to the alpine theme of the town — think crackling fireplaces, marble bathrooms with underfloor heating, and plush beds with fur throws. 

Matakauri Lodge

Matakauri Lodge is another property that was recently added to Rosewood’s portfolio (along with Kauri Cliffs and Cape Kidnappers in the Hawkes Bay) and is a key destination on New Zealand’s luxury circuit, hosting the British royal family and many celebrities over the years. The intimate lakeside retreat has only 13 spacious accommodations and it boasts stunning views of the Remarkables and Lake Wakatipu. Cocktail hour is a social affair, and the food and wine offerings are world class.

The Carlin is new, but it’s already garnered international acclaim, winning Best New Hotel at the Boutique Hotel Awards in 2022. It’s a place that would have "Palace" distinction if it were in France, with ultra-luxe amenities that surpass the typical five-star standard. Guests have access to private jets and Michelin-star dining, and it is home to the largest penthouse in the Southern Hemisphere.

Located just a 15-minute drive from the city center, Amisfield is the most popular winery and restaurant in the region and is an essential daytime excursion for any Queenstown itinerary. Wine tastings are available, and there are excellent Pinot Noirs produced on site. But to make the most of it, do an al fresco lunch in the beautifully manicured courtyard and take in the views of the postcard-worthy mountains.

Botswana Butchery

This lively lakefront bistro is one to book in advance, particularly if you’re visiting on a weekend. It has a charming atmosphere and some of the best representations of hearty New Zealand cuisine sourced from the surrounding farms and waters. It also has an excellent wine list with varietals from vineyards in the area.

You will need to time your visit to Fergburger well, as the lines can often exceed an hour in the evenings, but it has the best burgers in Queenstown (and anywhere, really) and is worth factoring in. There is a long menu of options to suit everyone including vegetarian options, beef, lamb, pork, fish, chicken, and also breakfast burgers. The same operators also opened Fergbaker next door where you can pick up a classic meat pie — both delicious options, especially on a cold and snowy day.

Blanket Bay

Glenorchy is very remote, and what to do, where to stay, and where to dine all fall under the same category if you want to do it well. The place to go? Blanket Bay, where apocalypse-weary billionaires are known to escape. It is one of the country’s finest luxury lodges and is the best way to experience all the area has to offer, with an excellent restaurant, bar, spa and wellness center, and a variety of outdoor activities from horse riding to heliskiing and jet boating. Accommodations are split between rooms in the main house and luxuriously decorated standalone villas.

Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve

Located in the Mt. Cook National Park, the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve has some of the clearest and darkest skies for star-spotting. It was the first Dark Sky Reserve to be established in New Zealand, and is a magical way to experience the country’s untouched natural beauty by night. 

Explore the City’s Art Galleries

Christchurch has a thriving art scene and many galleries in the central city that are worth checking out. The main ones to prioritize are the Centre of Contemporary Art (CoCa) , Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu , and the Christchurch Art Centre . 

The Mayfair

Since opening in 2022, The Mayfair has been a welcome addition to the city’s luxury hotel scene. It’s a boutique hotel with minimal, contemporary décor, and sophisticated dining options from high tea to an all-day café and cocktail bar and bistro. The central location makes it popular for both leisure and business travelers. 

The Observatory Hotel

The Observatory is a chic, design-forward boutique hotel that also opened in Christchurch in 2022.  It has rich interiors that give the sense of eternal night, with vivid colors and ambient lighting. Rooms are very photogenic, and there are multiple dining options from the Drawing Room to all-day eatery Bunsen, and more casual options within the broader complex, from food trucks to sushi and dumplings.

Inati is a stylish fine dining establishment helmed by the former head chef of Gordon Ramsay’s The Warrington. If there’s one place to book in advance in Christchurch, this is it. The menu is filled with sharing plates and is divided into earth, land, and sea categories. Guests can park up at elegant stools overlooking the open kitchen and observe their food being artfully crafted. 

If you want to experience the great outdoors (which is the primary drawcard), the best time to visit is over the summer, between December and the beginning of April. During this period, temperatures are balmy and you’re more likely to encounter solid blocks of sunshine. It’s also when the cities come alive, with many music festivals and cultural events, and is the best time to explore the beaches, wineries, and stunning walking tracks. That said, New Zealand is a great place to visit year-round, and it is also a world-renowned ski destination with ski resorts throughout the North and South Island. If you’re looking to ski, the months to consider would be between June and October, when the fields are open. 

Fiona Goodall/Getty Images

The best way to get to New Zealand is to fly into Auckland Airport, which is the country’s primary gateway. Air New Zealand has multiple routes available, including a direct flight from New York City, which takes 17 hours but is surprisingly manageable, given it flies overnight (and the airline is renowned for its excellent cuisine and high standard overall). United Airlines is launching a direct flight from San Francisco's SFO in December, and Qantas also has a route from New York to Auckland. 

Once you arrive at the airport, there are taxis and rideshare services available, including Uber, but given everything is quite spread out, it is definitely worth renting a car. That will allow you to easily explore all of the different areas (some of which don’t have regular public transport options available). Driving is also a great way to visit some of the more remote beaches and destinations off the beaten path. If you’re planning on staying in the city centers, there are buses available, trains (albeit with limited routes), and ferries. 

New Zealand Travel Guide

New Zealand Tourism Guide

  • Accommodation
  • Attractions
  • Destinations
  • About New Zealand

Follow NZTG on Facebook

New Zealand Driving Distance and Time Calculator

Choose a starting destination and final destination. Add in any extra destinations such as a town, city or an actual location. These will be added in-between the starting and final destination.

Also select a mode of travel (driving, biking or even walking). Click the 'Get Directions' button and the driving distance and time calculator will then calculate the route and display the overall distance and time. The map will display the route and it will be itemised. Print out if required.

The route displayed on the map can also be altered by dragging the highlighted route to a new destination, therefore creating a new route.

Starting From:

Final Destination:

Add a Destination

Mode of Travel: Driving Walking Bicycling

Show directions in: Miles Kilometres

More about New Zealand

Relaxing Journeys

Relaxing Journeys

Choose from over 500 New Zealand tours

Introducing the Kiwi VIP Discount Card

Kiwi Holiday Parks

Tour NZ with a Kiwi VIP Discount Card.

ASB Foreign Exchange

Check out what your money is worth.

New Zealand Coach Tours

New Zealand Coach Tours

The largest range of escorted & small group tours

New Zealand road trips - Let's go on an adventure

New Zealand Road Trips

Let's go on an adventure

Want to Ski New Zealand? - NZ's best ski holiday prices, guaranteed!

Want to Ski New Zealand?

NZ's best ski holiday prices, guaranteed!

Boutique touring itineraries designed for you

Specialist NZ Tours

Boutique touring itineraries - designed for you

New Zealand self-drive tours

NZ Self-Drive Tours

Explore NZ on a custom self-drive package holiday

Bluebridge Ferry

Bluebridge Cook Strait ferries

Cross Cook Strait and enjoy Kiwi hospitality.

World Nomads Travel Insurance

Get Travel Insurance

Travel insurance for independent travellers.

new zealand travel times

Home

2024-2025 BROCHURE

How long is the flight to New Zealand from the USA?

  • New Zealand Travel Blog

Views of the Southern Alps from an Air New Zealand flight

This handy guide answers the question "How long is the flight to New Zealand from the USA?", with flight times to New Zealand from all major North American airports.

How long is the flight to New Zealand?

Travelling from the USA to New Zealand is a relatively straightforward journey. The flight time from Los Angeles and San Francisco airports to Auckland, our primary international gateway, is slightly over 13 hours. These flights are both non-stop and direct, minimising any unnecessary hassle. Moreover, there are convenient direct flights available from other US cities: Honolulu (9 hours), Houston (just under 15 hours), Dallas-Fort Worth (15 hours), and New York (18 hours). 

Canadians can either fly directly to Auckland from Vancouver on Air New Zealand or Air Canada, with a flight time of 14 hours, or take a connecting flight from their local airport to San Francisco or Los Angeles before the final 13-hour leg of their journey to Auckland, New Zealand. 

An added benefit of this route is that departures from the West Coast typically occur in the evening. This provides a delightful beginning to your vacation – you can ease into it with a leisurely evening, enjoy a restful night's sleep, and awaken refreshed, conveniently close to New Zealand and the start of your exciting adventure. 

Flight times to New Zealand from major North American cities

Is it longer to fly from the usa to new zealand or to europe or asia.

Interestingly for travellers from North America, some flights to European destinations have similar flight times to New Zealand. Compare the flight times below.

And just consider what is at the end of it. The trip of a lifetime!

Don’t forget New Zealand is one of the first places on earth to see the sun each day – an excellent point to brag about to your whanau (faa-no: Maori for wider family including friends).

Compare flight times from the USA to New Zealand and Europe

Compare flight times from the usa to new zealand and asia, finding a flight is the first step to visiting new zealand.

One of the first things you need to know is how to get here, and you probably think that getting to New Zealand requires a long flight? The good news is that it may not take as long as you think, and airlines (especially our national carrier Air New Zealand) are working really hard to make your flight super comfortable and fun.

You may think it's a long way to New Zealand, and we know it's longer than flying inside North America, but when you compare it to other main holiday spots around, flying to New Zealand stacks up pretty well. Which is longer, the flight to New Zealand or the flights to Paris, London, Tokyo, Shanghai or Bangkok? That's all here too.

Lots of people make the flight from the North America for our small group tours every year and they all tell us is that it's definitely worth it, one sleep on a plane and you're in New Zealand! 

When you look at a world map, you’ll see that New Zealand is isolated. It is surrounded by over 2,500 kilometres (1500 miles) of ocean to the nearest land mass and that’s just in one direction towards Australia. 

Fortunately, New Zealand is very well-connected for folks in USA and Canada.   

Why fly all the way to New Zealand?

To visit places like this, milford sound.

Cruising on Milford Sound

What to expect when you arrive in New Zealand?

When you arrive in New Zealand there will be a few things you notice straight away:

  • Our weather will be different to yours at home. Our seasons are the opposite from the northern hemisphere, so if you left in winter it will be summer here (which you'll love). For more info, read about our weather and climate here so that you pack the right gear (clothing).
  • The pace of life is a bit slower here. There is no hurry; we will have time to get to know you well.
  • Everyone is friendly and smiling at you, even in an airport. Don't worry it's normal, you're in New Zealand now!

Why does everyone love New Zealand so much?

Sure, it's a beautiful country, everyone knows that. But what you'll notice right away is something different, a connection with people and a real sense of caring.

It's hard to explain, you'll just have to come down and find out for yourself. We have a wonderful country and great people, and we want to show you all our favourite spots. We can’t say more than that!

We hope you've found this travel article helpful for your trip.

We're MoaTrek, and we've been running small group tours here in New Zealand since the early 1970s, and we love nothing more than sharing all our favourite spots with visitors.

To start the ball rolling on your "Dream Trip to New Zealand"  drop us a line, we'd love to chat.

Read More New Zealand Travel Articles

When is the best time to visit New Zealand?

How to get to New Zealand?

New Zealand Travel Tips & Common Questions

What's the best way to travel around New Zealand?

North America to New Zealand Flight Route Map

Map showing flight routes and times from North America to New Zealand

Popular Posts

Walking group at the Tasman Glacier Lake in Mt Cook National Park

Kakapo 21 Day Tour

Pricing terms.

The price is based on current exchange rates but is only an approximation. Please contact us for a final price

The best time to go to New Zealand

Oct 3, 2023 • 5 min read

new zealand travel times

Plan the best time of year for your visit to New Zealand with this seasonal guide © Michael Hall / Getty Images

Journeying to New Zealand and exploring Aotearoa is a good choice any time of the year – but your experience will vary depending on what season you choose to visit.

During summer, you can enjoy a southern hemisphere adventure by hiking New Zealand 's Great Walks and partying at the year's best music festivals, while the more affordable months of autumn lend themselves to RV vacations. Winter is the time to combine snow sports with urban experiences, while spring marks the arrival of flavor-packed festivals showcasing local beer, wine and seafood.

Here's our guide to the best time to visit New Zealand. 

December to February is the best time for outdoor activities and festivals

Summer in New Zealand means busy beaches , (usually) good weather for hiking (known locally as "tramping") and leisurely cricket matches. On the festival front, highlights include Gisborne ’s Rhythm & Vines and Wanaka ’s Rhythm & Alps , two DJ and dance music multi-day events. In February, Napier is enlivened with a celebration of all things art deco, while Splore attracts Aucklanders for three days of Burning Man-inspired art, music and dance. Eating and drinking exceptionally well is the focus at the Marlborough Wine & Food Festival . Booking ahead for the most popular festivals is vital – both to score event tickets and secure accommodation.

Summer school holidays from mid-December to early February increase accommodation prices for hotels, motels and holiday parks. Try and book ahead, especially across the Christmas and New Year periods, when popular North Island beach resort towns like Tauranga ’s Mt Maunganui and Whitianga are packed with Kiwi families and revelers. Waitangi Day, New Zealand’s national day, is celebrated on February 6.

If you’ve seen New Zealand’s wild lupin flowers flooding your social feeds, December to February is the best time to view these colorful blooms around Central Otago and the Mackenzie Country. Note that some areas of the South Island (especially around Lake Tekapo, where they once flourished on the shore) are attempting to eradicate the spread of the invasive species.

A person in a white costume and mask at the WOMAD

March to May means more festivals and good-value road-tripping

Transitioning from late summer to a southern hemisphere autumn (fall), March to May in New Zealand offers cool but pleasant weather, and a warmish ocean that’s still okay for swimming and watersports – especially at North Island beaches around March and April. 

With often settled and drier weather in most regions, it’s a great time to explore Aotearoa. Due to fewer Kiwis traveling (the exception being around Easter, when kids are out of school for two weeks) visitors can expect better value accommodation and shorter lines at key attractions . There’s also less traffic for road trips from Auckland to the Bay of Islands and the Coromandel Peninsula , or for motor home journeys on the most popular routes in the South Island.

Popular March festivals include WOMAD NZ ( New Plymouth ’s annual celebration of global beats and world music) and the quirky Wildfoods Festival . The latter, held in the South Island town of Hokitika, is where you can sample local beer, venison and eel, alongside more challenging dishes such as lamb’s testicles and fried locusts. At Auckland’s Pasifika festival, also in March, vibrant music and dance from Auckland’s Pacific Island communities are paired with food from Samoa, Tonga, Niue and the Cook Islands.

A snowboarder jumping off a cliff on a sunny day

June to August is the best time for city breaks and snow sports

Popular summer destinations such as Golden Bay , the Coromandel Peninsula  and the Bay of Islands will be very quiet during the cooler months of June to August. In these areas, many tourist-oriented businesses close down for the winter. It’s also not the best time to embark on many of the country’s Great Walks, with challenging and often dangerous conditions on alpine and sub-alpine tracks in the South Island and Tongariro National Park. It is, however, usually a good time to experience the Abel Tasman Coast Track . Wrap up warmly for cool mornings, but look forward to blue-sky conditions later in the day.

The snow sports season also kicks off at this time of year, especially around Queenstown and Wanaka in the South Island. Booking ahead for accommodation is recommended, particularly during another set of school holidays in July. Note that skiing in New Zealand is increasingly popular for Australian families, so it’s also worth checking when Australian school holidays fall.

In New Zealand’s cities, shorter days and longer nights mean there is a focus on indoor events. Wellington comes alive in August with the craft beer and culinary combination of Beervana and Wellington on a Plate (WOAP) , while the historic South Island town of Oamaru is enlivened by the quirky Steampunk festival in June. Highlights of winter in Auckland include Elemental , the city’s annual July and August festival focused on arts and culinary events. Restaurant Month in Auckland is a great opportunity for discounted dining at some of the city’s best eateries.

First inaugurated as a national public holiday in 2022, Matariki is a celebration of the Māori New Year. The actual date varies depending on the lunar calendar, but incorporates a Friday holiday weekend around late June or early July. Matariki events and cultural celebrations are becoming increasingly popular throughout New Zealand.

Winter is also one of the best times to experience New Zealand’s Dark Sky Sanctuaries, thanks to clearer skies and longer nights. Popular destinations for stargazing include Aotea/Great Barrier Island off the coast of Auckland, and the South Island’s Mackenzie Country.

The tail fin of a whale raises high above the water near a mountainous coastline

September to November is the best time for hiking and foodie festivals

A spring rain shower is never far away from September to November, so definitely pack a lightweight waterproof jacket. New Zealand’s shoulder season usually offers better accommodation prices, although another two-week burst of school holidays in September can impact demand and pricing for hotels and motels. 

The snowsports season largely concludes around early October, meaning October and November can be a good time to visit Queenstown or Wanaka, especially for mountain biking amid still cooler weather. New Zealand’s Great Walks hiking season also kicks off in late October and runs through until April. Bookings to secure trail access and hut accommodation can be made on the Department of Conservation (DOC)’s website , usually from May. It’s essential to book ahead for popular experiences including the Milford, Routeburn and Kepler Tracks.

Spring festivals include Crayfest Kaikōura , pairing everyone’s favorite crustacean (crayfish) with local wine and craft beer. It’s also a good time to incorporate some whale watching at Kaikōura . Toast Martinborough attracts Wellingtonians across the Remutaka Range for a one-day November pinot noir-fuelled celebration of food, wine and music.

This article was first published April 2021 and updated October 2023

Explore related stories

new zealand travel times

Wildlife & Nature

Feb 27, 2024 • 6 min read

April is the ideal time of year for mild-weather hikes, cherry blossom festivals, fresh produce and more.

new zealand travel times

Jan 29, 2024 • 18 min read

new zealand travel times

Jan 24, 2024 • 8 min read

Young adult woman in black swimsuit walking into sea between rocks cliff in Croatia

Jan 17, 2024 • 8 min read

1290933961

Jan 5, 2024 • 20 min read

new zealand travel times

Nov 27, 2023 • 7 min read

new zealand travel times

Nov 22, 2023 • 5 min read

Deepa-Fez-medina-cropped.jpg

Nov 17, 2023 • 10 min read

new zealand travel times

Oct 31, 2023 • 7 min read

Hiking To The Alpine Hut - stock photo

Oct 22, 2023 • 7 min read

Weather & Climate

Top Places to Visit

North Island vs. South Island

Cities to Visit

Getting Around New Zealand

Best Auckland Hotels

New Zealand's Airports

Driving in New Zealand

Visiting New Zealand With Kids

One Week in New Zealand

North Island Road Trip

South Island Road Trip

Top Things to Do

Best Beaches

Skiing in New Zealand

Top National Parks

Museums & Art Galleries

Hot Springs

Wildlife Reserves

Must-Try Food in New Zealand

New Zealand's Wine Regions

Best Restaurants

Nightlife in New Zealand

Best Time to Visit

The Best Time to Visit New Zealand

new zealand travel times

As an island nation that runs roughly 900 miles north to south, the weather and climate in New Zealand varies greatly. You can spend lazy days on subtropical beaches in summer, ski in winter, and do everything in between. In general, the warmer months (October to April) are the best time to visit New Zealand, from late spring to early autumn.

New Zealand ranges from a sub-tropical climate (Northland) to a sub-Antarctic one (several small islands off the South Island), so to it’s important to know how the weather will affect your plans and the kinds of experiences you want to have. To hit the beaches, visit in summer (December-February) and head to the North Island and top-of-the-South. Temperatures can reach 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius) in mid-summer. If you’re into snow sports, visit the mountains of the South Island and the central North Island between June and October. At higher altitudes, the temperatures dip below freezing.

Aside from these extremes, however, New Zealand generally has a temperate climate that makes it a comfortable destination year-round. The main cities on both islands are mostly coastal, meaning daytime temperatures rarely dip below 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius) in the winter, or above 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius) in summer. The cities are generally comfortable for for sightseeing throughout the year.

Rain should be expected at any time, however. As an island nation, New Zealand’s weather is fairly wet, and it can rain in any season. While parts of the country do often experience drought in summer, these are not usually very long-lasting. If going on a multi-day hike, overlook the possibility of rain at your peril. Luckily, all major cities and most smaller towns have a good collection of museums, galleries, and cafes to retreat to.

Many travelers from the Northern Hemisphere (especially those with kids in school) find that they can only visit during the New Zealand winter. If that’s you, it’s advisable to embrace the colder conditions and head to the mountains. Places like Queenstown and Fiordland are spectacular in the winter, whereas northern, coastal areas may be damp, gray, and less enticing. Alternatively, if you can visit in the New Zealand summer, you’ll have the benefit of skipping part of the Northern Hemisphere winter, but be prepared for crowds of domestic and international tourists in the most popular places.

Peak Season in New Zealand

Summer (December-February) is the peak tourism season in New Zealand, but more specifically, the period between mid-December and the end of January. This is when New Zealand’s schools are on summer vacation. As well as international visitors—who justifiably like to visit in summer—New Zealanders themselves take every opportunity to hit the roads and explore their own country. At this time, book accommodation as far in advance as possible, even campsites. Popular hiking trails—such as the Abel Tasman Coast Track—will be chock-a-block.

Summer is popular with international visitors because it’s warm, but if you want to avoid the crowds while still enjoying this benefit, come a bit earlier or later in the season. November is late spring, and very pleasant in much of the country. Similarly, by February the schools have gone back, and even though March and April are autumn, pleasant weather can continue well into these months. In some places, it’s still comfortable to swim in the sea in April.

January is peak season in New Zealand, and for good reason—the weather is warm, the sea inviting, and the outdoors beckon. Don’t forget the sunblock and a hat, wherever you go—New Zealand’s sun is brutal, and the skin cancer rates prove it.

Events to check out:

  • ASB Classic Tennis, Auckland: Watch some of the biggest stars in tennis play over two weeks in January.
  • Bread & Circus World Busker’s Festival , Christchurch: The long, light evenings of a South Island summer are an ideal setting for the outdoor (and some indoor) entertainment of the World Busker’s Festival.

February is still peak season, but as schools go back around Waitangi Day (February 6), after that you can expect far fewer domestic tourists. Temperatures remain warm almost everywhere, although in the mountains and parts of the deep south, it can be surprisingly fresh.

  • Waitangi Day, Waitangi: This day commemorates the day in 1840 when representatives of the British Crown signed a treaty with Maori chiefs, the Treaty of Waitangi. It’s a nationwide holiday, but travelers interested in history should check out Waitangi, in the Bay of Islands.
  • Napier Art Deco Festival : Travel back to the 1930s and celebrate Napier’s Art Deco heritage (the city was destroyed by an earthquake in 1931, and rebuilt largely in the Art Deco style). If you miss the annual February event, Art Deco Weekends are held in July, too.

Warm days and cooler nights characterize the last month of summer —an ideal time to go hiking without the crowds.

  • Wildfoods Festival , Hokitika: At this food festival with a difference, try unusual, weird, or just downright cringe-worthy foods like bull testicles and deep-fried insects. There’s more mainstream food, too.
  • Easter: Many towns hold Easter fairs or markets. Be aware of the restrictions on liquor sales on Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

April tends to feel quite autumnal throughout the country, although you need to be in the South Island to really experience the changing colors of the leaves.

  • National Jazz Festival , Tauranga: This jazz festival began in 1962, making it the longest-running jazz festival in the Southern Hemisphere.

With cooler temperatures and often wetter conditions, May is a good month to attend some cultural festivals.

  • Auckland Comedy Festival : Local and international acts perform throughout Auckland, from tiny basements to large theaters.
  • Auckland Writers Festival : Book lovers won't want to miss this literary event, which brings together writers, thinkers, and readers from around New Zealand, and the world.

June usually marks the beginning of the ski season, although exact dates depend on conditions. Kiwis who aren’t into skiing tend to holiday in the tropical Pacific Islands during winter, meaning there’s more space for international visitors who choose to come at this time.

  • Queenstown Winter Festival : The town surrounded by snowy peaks isn’t afraid of winter, celebrating with free concerts and snowy events.

As in June, July tends to be a month of hibernation in New Zealand. But, Maori New Year, Matariki, is celebrated in July, and cities and towns throughout the country put on their own events.

  • Birdman , Russell: The weird and wacky Birdman Festival, in the small Northland town of Russell, will chase away winter blues. Competitors dress up as birds (or, birdmen) and jump off the Russell Wharf.
  • The New Zealand International Film Festival : The festival tends to kick off in Auckland in July, although it travels throughout the country in the subsequent months.

August is still winter, but with the days stretching out longer again, warmer temperatures are in sight.

  • Beervana , Wellington: New Zealand’s capital has a thriving craft beer scene, which is celebrated during Beervana.
  • Winter Games , Queenstown/Wanaka: Skiing, snowboarding, ice hockey, and curling are the focus of this sporting festival.

Spring has sprung through most of the country by September , and while temperatures can still be nippy, long beach walks and day hikes become appealing again.

  • Whitianga Scallop Festival : Seafood lovers shouldn’t miss this festival in the small Coromandel Peninsula town. 
  • World of Wearable Art , Wellington: This creative extravaganza showcases local and international fashion design with a whimsical twist. The WOW Museum in the South Island-city of Nelson can be visited at any time of year.

Ski season usually winds up in October , so visitors set their sights to warmer pursuits and higher latitudes again.

  • Taste of Auckland : Renowned local chefs compete to prepare a tasting menu that will win them the hearts, and bellies, of the hungry masses.

Although winter can linger in the south, by November in New Zealand , most of the country is starting to feel quite summery. It’s a good shoulder month in which to travel.

  • Toast Martinborough : Several vineyards in this North Island town participate in this annual wine festival, a good way to kick off the summer season.

School’s out for summer by mid-December, and the Christmas and New Year holidays give Kiwis the excuse to take a break. The weather is good (although often not as hot or dry as January or February) and there are events happening around the country, especially in the week between Christmas and New Year. Most things shut down on Christmas Day itself, especially in smaller towns.

  • Rhythm & Vines , Gisborne, and Rhythm & Alps , Queenstown are fun ways to ring in the New Year. Gisborne is the first place in the world to see the new year, being in the far east of New Zealand’s North Island, which is a drawcard for many travelers.

January is the best month to visit New Zealand. The weather is warm, the sea is inviting, and outdoor activities are abundant. Still, visiting anytime between the months of October through April lends a great experience.

The coldest month in New Zealand is July. Yet, most snow falls in the mountain areas and rarely falls in the coastal areas of the North Island and the west coast of the South Island.

May is the cheapest month to fly to New Zealand, as it falls outside of the high season of November through January.

Britannica. "New Zealand." Retrieved March 18, 2021

World Cancer Research Fund. "Skin Cancer Statistics." Retrieved March 18, 2021

The Best Time to Visit Johannesburg

The Best Time to Visit Spain

The Best Time to Visit the Maldives

The Best Time to Visit the Netherlands

The Best Time to Visit Cape Town

The Best Time to Visit France

The Best Time to Visit Boston

The Weather in Greece: Climate, Seasons, and Average Monthly Temperature

The Best Time to Visit the Bahamas

The Best Time to Visit New York City

The Best Time to Visit Disney World

The Top 10 Things to Do in New Zealand's Bay of Islands

Weather in Norway: Climate, Seasons, and Average Monthly Temperature

Weather in New Zealand: Climate, Seasons, and Average Monthly Temperature

The Best Time to Visit Japan

January in New Zealand: Weather, What to Pack, and What to See

  • Work With Us
  • Blogging Bootcamp

Two Wandering Soles

  • Campervan Life
  • Van Conversion Academy
  • Campervan Shop
  • Campervan Rentals
  • Plan a Trip
  • Itineraries
  • Destinations
  • Responsible Travel
  • Family Travel
  • Budget Travel
  • Scuba Diving
  • Travel Credit Cards
  • Digital Nomad
  • Teach English Abroad
  • Blogging Resources
  • Income Reports
  • Travel Shop
  • Meet Katie & Ben
  • About Two Wandering Soles
  • Personal Stuff
  • Portfolio & Press

Best Time to Visit New Zealand: When to Go & When to Avoid!

Home » Blog » Travel Tips » Best Time to Visit New Zealand: When to Go & When to Avoid!

Trying to figure out the best time to visit New Zealand can be a bit overwhelming. We’re going over the pros and cons of all four seasons in New Zealand to help you decide which is the best time of year to visit for your specific travel style. 

Lake Pukaki lupins in New Zealand

New Zealand has four distinct seasons, each with a unique draw to visiting during that time. 

You’ll see all kinds of blossoms in bloom in the spring, festivals, outdoor excursions, and adrenaline-pumping activities in the summer, vibrant foliage in autumn, and powdery snow for an epic ski season come wintertime.

Being located in the southern hemisphere, the seasons in New Zealand are the mirror opposite of those in the north. 

That means while we are shoveling snow and putting up our Christmas trees in the US, New Zealanders are basking in the long days of sunshine, during the warmest months of the year.

While we are watching flowers bloom, New Zealanders are enjoying the changing of the leaves. 

The hottest months of the year in the northern hemisphere are the coldest in the south, and while we are raking leaves and preparing once again for winter, New Zealanders are celebrating spring in full bloom!

Owharoa Falls New Zealand

This makes New Zealand a great winter getaway if you are based in the northern hemisphere because you can leave behind your puffy jackets and boots and trade them in for sunshine and flip flops (or jandals, as the Kiwis call them!).

So this begs the question…

When is the best time to visit New Zealand?

In general, the best time to visit New Zealand is during the summer months, January – March , when the days are long and sunny with warmer temperatures.

However, your answer to that question may fluctuate depending on what you want to get out of your trip. We’re going to go over the pros and cons of visiting New Zealand during each season to help you decide which time of year is ideal for YOU.

Answer these questions to get started:

  • Do you mind hot weather?
  • What about cold weather?
  • Are you easily bothered by crowds?
  • How much of your time do you want to spend outdoors?
  • Which would you rather see: lupins in blossom or colorful fall foliage?

Thinking about your answers to these questions is going to help you start to determine when to visit New Zealand.

Article contents

  • Our experience traveling in New Zealand

New Zealand geography overview

New zealand weather, summer in new zealand, fall in new zealand, winter in new zealand, spring in new zealand.

  • What to pack for New Zealand

Overall BEST time to visit New Zealand

Want a quick recommendation? Jump down to see our personal advice for the best time to visit New Zealand. Plus, we’ll share what times of year we’d avoid visiting!

  • Our recommendation…

Want to save time and energy on planning?

We spent 5 weeks living in a campervan and traveling around New Zealand, and we’ve been able to explore a lot of what this country has to offer!

We’ve complied our experience to create the  perfect New Zealand itinerary . Our itinerary is for  one month of travel  and meant to be explored while traveling in a campervan. It includes the  highlights of both the north and south islands. 

We’ll send you our complete 30-day itinerary, filled with tips and advice. Just click below to get your  perfect New Zealand itinerary  today!

New Zealand Itinerary Banner

Our experience

We visited New Zealand in November – December

Milford Sound South Island New Zealand

When: mid-November – mid-December (2018)

Our experience:

  • Being that November marks the end of spring, we had spectacular weather for nearly every day of our month-long trip.
  • We woke up to a light layer of snow in Queenstown one morning, but it didn’t stick around. Other than that, we only had one other day that was considerably rainy/wind and made our travel plans difficult.
  • On the South Island, we wore mostly jeans and t-shirts, with some warmer layers. Puffy jackets and hats were necessary at night in some places.
  • On the North Island, the weather was considerably warmer and sunnier.

Would we recommend visiting New Zealand in November or December? 

Absolutely! I can’t think of a more perfect time to go! It was before the peak of high season for tourism, yet we had spectacular weather. Prices were higher than in low season, but there were many activities and hikes we just wouldn’t have enjoyed as much with subpar weather.

Drive to Mount Cook, South Island New Zealand

The country of New Zealand is actually made up of an estimated 600 islands in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The two main islands are called North and South Islands respectively. 

While not a large country exactly, New Zealand spans about 1,000 miles (1,600 km) from the top of North Island to the bottom of South Island. The topography across the islands varies from sandy beaches, to mountain ranges, fjord-like sounds to rolling green hills, and glacial lakes to valleys filled with vineyards.

For the purposes of this article, we are going to focus on the two main islands as these are the largest and most visited islands in New Zealand.

weather in New Zealand

It’s important to keep in mind that with such variation in terrain comes differing temperatures and weather patterns. 

The climate in New Zealand can be described as extremely variable . You can find pretty much everything from dry to subtropical , with the exception of true tropical climates.

In just one day, you can experience all 4 seasons in New Zealand, so come prepared!

However unpredictable the weather in New Zealand may be, the climate is pretty mild. The difference in temperatures from winter to summer is usually only about 10°C in any single region. It rarely drops below freezing (32°F / 0°C) or gets above 86°F / 30° C in any part of the country. 

This low temperature range, lacking in extremes, means New Zealand does not experience tropical storms often. It does, however, experience A LOT of earthquakes being situated on two major tectonic plates.

Stats on New Zealand weather & seasons

  • Warmest months in New Zealand: January – February
  • Coldest month in New Zealand: July
  • Rainiest months in New Zealand: July (Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch); December (Queenstown); March (central Otago)
  • Driest months in New Zealand: February (Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch); February & July (Queenstown)
  • Most crowded month in New Zealand: January
  • Least crowded month in New Zealand: May

What temperatures can I expect in New Zealand?

Isthmus Peak Hike South Island New Zealand

This is a tough question to answer because it really depends on where in the country you plan to travel.

It would kind of be like asking, What is the temperature in Europe in January? Scotland is going to have a much different climate than Barcelona. 

Or, What is the temperature in the USA in April? Miami will have a much different answer than Seattle.

For instance, the Bay of Islands in Northland has a subtropical climate, while the mountain towns on the tip of the South Island can experience much colder and more drastic weather.

While it varies quite a bit throughout the country, here are the average daytime temperatures, according to the New Zealand tourism guide:

Spring: September, October, November

  • 61 – 66°F (16 – 19°C)

Summer: December, January, February

  • 68 – 77°F (20 – 25°C)

Fall: March, April, May

  • 62 – 70°F (17 – 21°C)

Winter: June, July, August

  • 53 – 61°F (12 – 16°C)
Psst! If you have your itinerary planned out, you can look at the average temperatures throughout each region here , which will give you a better idea of what to expect in each location.

South Island New Zealand Truman Track Beach

Summer is the peak tourism season in New Zealand, with the warmest temperatures, and it is also the most crowded. While the schools are on holiday break, many New Zealanders take time off work and lots of businesses and restaurants can be closed for weeks on end.

Accommodation can also be hard to come by with so many locals on holiday, so it’s a good idea to book in advance if you plan to visit during New Zealand during this time of year.

Summer months at a glance

December  brings the start of summer, and of course holiday breaks. This month is the optimal time for penguin viewing in the south.

January  is the month when most locals go on holiday and many restaurants and cafes will be closed. Accommodation will also be at it’s peak price wise.

February  is the warmest month of year in New Zealand and the best time to head to the beach. Locals will have gone back to work by this time, so you won’t run into as many business closures.

Waiheke Island New Zealand

Best places to visit in the summer in New Zealand

  • Stewart Island – in December 
  • Dunedin/Otago Peninsula – for penguin viewing
  • Coromandel Peninsula – for beaches
  • Abel Tasman National Park – for beaches & outdoor activities
  • Waitomo Glowworm Caves – Nov – April (the caves get too cold in the winter)
  • Waiheke Island – Feb/March is the best time

Best things to do in the summer in New Zealand

  • Head to the beach
  • Penguin viewing in the south
  • Hiking /kayaking/outdoor sports
  • Check out some of  New Zealand’s best campsites
  • Parihaka Peace Festival – January
  • World Buskers’ Festival in Christchurch (January)
  • Auckland’s Laneway Festival (January)
  • Attend the New Zealand Sevens rugby tournament (January)

New Zealand coast

Summer is the best time to visit New Zealand if…

  • …you don’t mind crowds too much.
  • …you want plenty of sunshine and warm temperatures.
  • …you want to hit up the beach.
  • …you can make your bookings well in advance.

Hooker Valley Track to Mount Cook South Island New Zealand

Autumn is the best time for hiking as the temperatures start to cool down just a bit, but the sun usually stays out for long crisp days.

Locals have gone back to work and the peak tourist season has died down so trails aren’t as crowded. New Zealand also experiences the seasonal changing of the leaves from green to bright orange, yellow and red hues, which can be a fantastic sight to behold.

Fall months at a glance

March  brings with it the start of autumn, however, temperatures are usually still fairly warm and skies are sunny. This is a great “shoulder season” month to visit some of the big tourist destinations without all the crowds.

April  in New Zealand is the prime month for viewing the changing of the leaves. Tourism also dies down significantly after the Easter holiday so accommodation may be easier to come by.

May  is the month in which temperatures really start to drop in New Zealand and you’ll want to break out the thermals and start dressing in layers. May is also the cheapest month to fly to New Zealand from the US (according to  Kayak ). 

Sauvignon Blanc New Zealand Food

Best places to visit during fall in New Zealand

  • Marlborough wine region + Blenheim – in March
  • Central Otago wine region – vineyards are in full bloom in the fall, but it’s also the wettest season
  • Hawkes Bay – changing of the leaves in April
  • Lake Tekapo and the wider Mackenzie Country – changing of the leaves in April
  • Alpine region S. Island – for hiking in April
  • Auckland – fall/winter (to avoid the crowds of the spring/summer)

Best things to do during fall in New Zealand

  • Visit some of New Zealand’s best wineries
  • Leaf peeping & photographing fall foliage
  • Get outdoors and tackle one of the  best hikes in NZ
  • Pasifika Cultural Festival in Auckland
  • Hamilton’s Balloons Over Waikato Festival in March
  • Wanaka’s Festival of Color (April)
  • The Auckland Royal Easter Show (April)
  • Great New Zealand Food Show in Hamilton (May)

Fall is the best time to visit New Zealand if…

  • …you are seeking comfortable temperatures for outdoor activities.
  • …you would like to see (and photograph!) fall foliage.
  • …you like to avoid crowds.
  • …you enjoy cool and crisp air.
  • …you’re into wine tasting and plan to visit vineyards.

helicopter tour in New Zealand

With the winter comes the snow. Ski season brings with it the snow birds from the Northern Hemisphere, looking for some “off-season” skiing.

During this time roads can be a bit hazardous, particularly in high country. However, the snow rarely makes its way down to the lowlands and the temperatures in the valleys are actually quite mild.

The North Island tends to see more rainfall during the winter months than the South Island. Winter is the wettest season in Auckland and the driest season in Queenstown.

Winter months at a glance

June  is the start of the ski season in New Zealand. As snow begins to fall in the mountains, ski areas open their doors for tourism. Matariki (the New Year of the indigenous Māori people) is also celebrated in June.

July  and  August  usually receive the most snowfall and are the best months for skiing. Aside from ski resorts, this is typically off-season in New Zealand and you’ll find the best rates and most availability for travel during this time.

South Island New Zealand Milford Sound

Best places to visit during winter in New Zealand

  • Tongariro National Park – winter (best to be avoided during their busy season Nov – April)
  • Queenstown  – while Queenstown is a great place to visit all year round, it is particularly fun in wintertime
  • Pancake rocks in the South Island
  • Glacier Country/Franz Josef Glacier – winter (to avoid peak season in the summer!)
  • Fiordland – winter brings clear/crisp days, but be warned, it will be cold!

Best things to do in the winter in New Zealand

  • Skiing/snowboarding
  • Queenstown annual winter festival (Jun/Jul) – music, snow sports and entertainment
  • Dunedin Midwinter Carnival (June)
  • Lyttelton’s Festival of Lights (June)
  • Dunedin’s Chocolate Carnival (July)
  • New Zealand’s International Film Festival (July)
  • Auckland restaurant month (August)
  • Visa Wellington on a Plate (August)
  • NZ Fashion Week (August)

Brewsters Hut New Zealand

Best places to go Skiing in New Zealand

Ski season typically runs from June – 1st week in October in New Zealand.

  • Ruapehu and Taranaki are the main ski areas on the North Island
  • Wanaka, Otago and Canterbury are the main ski areas on the South Island

Winter is the best time to visit New Zealand if…

  • …you don’t mind colder temperatures
  • …you want to ski or snowboard
  • …you want to avoid the crowds
  • …you want to save money and travel during off-peak season

Lupin Lake Pukaki Things to do in New Zealand

Spring in New Zealand is in full bloom, and hiking and outdoor adventures become popular once more. As temperatures begin to warm up, the greenery comes alive. Spring is also New Zealand’s windiest season, so be sure to pack your windbreaker!

With white peaks still visible on the mountain tops, the scenery is picture perfect. This is the best time for whitewater rafting as the snow is melting in the mountains and the rivers are high and strong.

Spring months at a glance

September ’s weather can be a bit volatile and inconsistent. Most ski resorts are still open in September, but spring is coming into bloom in the lowlands.

October  brings with it the close of the ski season. But fear not, because the spring weather is at it’s best during this month.

November  is sometimes considered to be the start of summer in New Zealand. Temperatures are rising and tourism starts to pick up as well.

garden in New Zealand

Best places to visit during spring in New Zealand

  • Wellington – October is typically the best weather here, but try to avoid September when Wellington sees their worst weather.
  • Hawkes Bay – trees in blossom
  • Christchurch – known as “the garden city,” spring is the best time to take in the gardens and parks while they are in full bloom.
  • Rotorua/ Te Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley
  • Milford Sound

Best things to do in the spring in New Zealand

  • Taranaki Rhododendron and Garden Festival (North island)
  • Alexandra annual blossom festival (September)
  • Nelson’s Cherry Blossom Festival (September)
  • Auckland Heritage Festival (October)
  • Hawke’s Bay Arts Festival (October)
  • Diwali celebrations in Aukland & Wellington (October)

Auckland New Zealand

Spring is the best time to visit New Zealand if…

  • …you want comfortable temperatures (not too cold or too hot)
  • …you want to see flowers in bloom
  • …you don’t mind a bit of unpredictable weather

In our opinion…

Hike to Pinnacles Hut North Island New Zealand

Spring (September, October, November) is the best time to visit New Zealand if you are looking for mild temperatures ( great for hiking! ) and fewer crowds. 

Summer ( December, January, February) is the best time to travel to New Zealand if you’re looking for warm temperatures, long hours of daylight, and days spent at the beach. 

Fall (March, April, May) is the best time to visit New Zealand if you want to avoid major crowds while still having enough daylight and comfortable temps to enjoy an array of outdoor activities.

Winter (June, July, August) is the best time to go to New Zealand if you want to enjoy winter sports or are on a tight budget, as this season brings the most discounted rates and the fewest crowds of the year. However, you must also be okay with colder temps, shorter hours of daylight, and some activities being shut down for the season. 

Our personal pick would be to visit New Zealand during the shoulder season between spring and summer (November/December). 

Avoid visiting during the Christmas/New Years holiday season if you don’t want to pay premium pricing for accommodation and run into large crowds.

What to pack for your trip to New Zealand

We know it can be overwhelming packing for a trip to a new destination. That’s why we spent hours creating this super helpful PDF just for you.

In this free New Zealand packing list PDF download , we’ve provided packing checklists for everything from clothing and toiletries (for both women and men!) to what shoes to pack and extra medicines you may want to have on-hand just in case.

Plus, we’re sharing tons of packing hacks and tips for traveling in New Zealand that you won’t find anywhere else!

New Zealand Packing List | Two Wandering Soles

Are you planning a trip to New Zealand?

We have TONS of resources on travel in New Zealand and destinations throughout the country. Check out our  Ultimate New Zealand Travel Guide  for all the answers to your most burning questions, or read some of our favorite articles below.

  • Adventurous Things to Do in Queenstown
  • Top Things to Do in New Zealand on Your First Visit
  • Money-Saving Tips for New Zealand on a Budget
  • Guide to Planning Your Campervan Trip in New Zealand

Save this article for later on Pinterest!

Best time to visit New Zealand | Two Wandering Soles

We want to hear from you!

Have you ever been to New Zealand before? During what season did you visit and what was your experience like? Comment below and let us know!

Comments (4) on “ Best Time to Visit New Zealand: When to Go & When to Avoid! ”

I’m planning on going mid June. I will be doing a road trip from north to south and staying along the way. Will this be dangerous driving this time of the year?

Curious about your comment “January is the month when most locals go on holiday and many restaurants and cafes will be closed.” Is this still true, post-pandemic? We’ve been planning a trip since before COVID and are bummed to read this, especially as we’re vegan and finding food can be challenging enough.

In 1986 i travelled to NZ with a CANADIAN ice hockey team called the ONTARIO CANADIANS we played in CHRISTCHURCH at a rink called THE BIG APPLE and helped their assoc. to apply to enter the IIHF travelled from Auckland to CHRISTCHURCH played there and went on to QUEENSTON and played on a outdoor rink on a tennis court and also skied there . We ended out trip in the bay of islands and then flew back to TORONTO . We spent 3 incredible wks and while in CHRISTCHURCH we were billeted with locals and had just a wonderful time .I am now 74 my wife is 67 and i hope to return for a couple of months when covid is over . cheers PAUL

Wow, what a cool memory. Thanks so much for sharing! It’s pretty cool how sports can connect people from all over the world. I really hope you and your wife are able to get back soon. It’ll be so special to be able to share your memories with her. Happy planning!

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Travel and Leisure Asia | Global

Southeast Asia

North America

  • Central & South America
  • Middle-East
  • Australia & South Pacific
  • Luxury Awards
  • Family Travel
  • Solo Travel
  • Beaches & Islands
  • Zodiac Travels
  • Wellness & Spas
  • Accessories
  • Points and Miles
  • #TheGreenEdit
  • T+L Tastemakers
  • Sustainable Travel
  • T+L Experiences
  • Destinations

Your Ultimate Guide To Choosing The Best Time To Visit New Zealand

Follow our guide on the best time to visit new zealand to revel in a harmonious mix of adventure, relaxation, and great weather..

By Esha Dasgupta Published on Dec 20, 2023, 03:00 PM UTC

Your Ultimate Guide To Choosing The Best Time To Visit New Zealand

Whether you seek sun-kissed shores, adrenaline-pumping adventures, or serene wildlife encounters, understanding the nuances of the seasons will guide you towards the best time to visit and savour the myriad wonders that New Zealand has to offer.

Nestled in breathtaking natural beauty, New Zealand is home to diverse landscapes – from stunning coastlines and sandy beaches to snow-capped mountains and lush green forests. The North Island showcases geothermal wonders and springs, while the South Island houses the much-revered Mount Cook and the dramatic fjords of Fiordland. One of the biggest attractions of New Zealand is its unique flora and fauna, featuring the iconic kiwi bird. Adventure enthusiasts are drawn to outdoor sports such as bungee jumping, hiking , and watersports, making the country a must-visit.

The mean annual temperature in the country ranges from 10°C to 16°C. The peak season in New Zealand is from December to March (summer), with the off-season from June to August (winter). Two shoulder seasons – March to May (autumn) and September to November (spring) – offer mild temperatures perfect for sightseeing and outdoor activities. Summer is ideal for outdoor adventures , while winter attracts skiing enthusiasts and snow lovers.

Sunny delight: Best time to visit New Zealand for great weather

Best time to visit New Zealand

The best time to visit New Zealand is during the summer season, spanning from December to February. Experience bright and sunny days with temperatures ranging between 20°C and 25°C, making it the perfect time for outdoor activities such as hiking, beach sports, and biking. The warm weather in January also sets the stage for numerous local festivals and concerts throughout the country.

Related Stories

What's The Best Time To Visit The Maldives? Here's A Breakdown For You!

What's The Best Time To Visit The Maldives? Here's A Breakdown For You!

VIDEO: Why New Zealand Is the Ultimate Self-Care Vacation Destination

VIDEO: Why New Zealand Is the Ultimate Self-Care Vacation Destination

Sun-kissed shores: best time to explore beaches & islands in new zealand.

For sunny beach days, invigorating bush walks, thrilling watersports, and island exploration in New Zealand, the best time to visit is summer, spanning from December to February. This period aligns with the country’s peak season, coinciding with school summer holidays, resulting in moderately crowded beaches. Notably, events such as the Splore music festival take place on the beach towards the end of February.

Celebrate love: Best time to visit New Zealand for a honeymoon

New Zealand

The best time to visit New Zealand for a romantic getaway is from December to February, offering pleasant weather conducive to sightseeing. Couples can embark on adventurous day trips, such as a sky-jump off the Sky Tower, trekking up Rangitoto Island, or indulging in the gorgeous views of the Tasman Sea. For a more laid-back honeymoon, soaking in the Rotorua geothermal hot springs is a delightful option. Pleasant temperatures also invite couples to explore places like Milford Sound and Waiheke Island, known for their verdant landscapes and picture-perfect natural beauty.

Wallet-friendly wanderlust: Best time to visit New Zealand for prime deals

The off-season, spanning from June to October, is the best time to visit New Zealand and avail a plethora of deals on sightseeing, adventure sports, and affordable accommodation options. While prices in resort towns with ski fields remain relatively stable, travellers can anticipate fewer crowds, autumn-coloured foliage , and lower temperatures during this period.

Shop the best travel experiences here

Extreme escapes: Best time for adventure activities in New Zealand

New Zealand is one of the best destinations to indulge in a plethora of adventure activities, including ziplining, rafting, bungee jumping , canyoning, heli-skiing, and off-roading. The best time to engage in these thrilling activities is during the summer, from December to February.

Clear skies and pleasant weather ensure the enjoyment of various watersports and adventurous escapades. Raglan offers the best waves for surfing, Abel Tasman Canyons are ideal for canyoning and hiking, Auckland and Rotorua are prime locations for skydiving, and Queenstown stands out for its perfect conditions for bungee jumping.

Hang Tight And Jump High: Explore The World's Ultimate Bungee Destinations

Hang Tight And Jump High: Explore The World's Ultimate Bungee Destinations

13 Coolest Surf Towns in the World for Epic Sunshine and the Best Waves

13 Coolest Surf Towns in the World for Epic Sunshine and the Best Waves

Off-season realities: worst time to visit new zealand.

Best time to visit New Zealand

The least favourable time to visit New Zealand is from June to August, marked by dropping temperatures and reduced daylight hours. With limited time for outdoor activities and exploration of various points of interest, this period is not ideal. The mountainous and southern regions can become quite chilly, potentially restricting access to higher altitudes due to adverse weather conditions. Nature’s vibrant colours fade, and much of the wildlife either migrates or hibernates during this season. However, there are a few advantages, such as fewer crowds, opportunities for snowsports, and lower prices.

(Feature image credit: Jakkapan/Shutterstock)

Related:  Coming to You Live From New Zealand With a Whale of a Tale

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

-What is the best time to explore adventure activities in New Zealand? The best time to visit New Zealand to indulge in adventure activities is during the summer season, from December to February.

-What is the best time to explore wildlife in New Zealand? The best time to explore wildlife parks and natural biodiversity regions is during the summer season, from December to February, and in the spring season, from September to November.

-What is the best time to visit New Zealand for a solo trip? For a solo trip across New Zealand, it is advisable to travel during the peak season, from December to February, and during the shoulder seasons, which are from March to May, and September to November.

-How can I avoid extreme temperatures while visiting New Zealand? To avoid extreme temperatures, plan your visit during the peak season, from December to February, when temperatures are pleasant.

-What are the specific seasonal attractions in New Zealand? Seasonal attractions include places like the Glowworm Caves in Waitomo village, best visited during summers from December to March. Resort towns on ski slopes are also notable seasonal attractions.

-What are the best festivals to attend in New Zealand? Some of the most renowned festivals in New Zealand include the World of Music, Arts and Dance (mid-march), Hokitika Wildfoods Festival (early March), Rhythm and Alps (end-of-December), Matariki Festival (mid-July), and the Earth Beat Festival (from end-of-March).

  • Best time to visit
  • New Zealand

Esha Dasgupta

Esha Dasgupta

Esha is a traveller at heart, with a penchant for exploring the unchartered. She has previously worked with TravelTriangle and Internet Moguls. When not in work mode, she can be found downing endless cups of coffee while reading Enid Blyton/Sidney Sheldon.

Blissful Baku And Beyond: Top Things To Do In Azerbaijan

Blissful Baku And Beyond: Top Things To Do In Azerbaijan

By Pyusha Chatterjee

Discover The Stunning Shooting Locations Of Netflix's <i>Avatar: The Last Airbender</i>

Avatar: The Last Airbender ">Discover The Stunning Shooting Locations Of Netflix's Avatar: The Last Airbender

By Priyaja Bakshi

Enjoy Wine, Music, And Exceptional Georgian Hospitality At Tsinandali Estate, Kakheti

Enjoy Wine, Music, And Exceptional Georgian Hospitality At Tsinandali Estate, Kakheti

By Chaitali Patel

From Fortresses To Lakes, Exploring The Most Beautiful Places In Hyderabad

From Fortresses To Lakes, Exploring The Most Beautiful Places In Hyderabad

By Esha Dasgupta

The Transcontinental Treasures Of Azerbaijan: Most Beautiful Places In The Country

The Transcontinental Treasures Of Azerbaijan: Most Beautiful Places In The Country

By Yashita Vashishth

Seoul-ful Charm Of <i>Doctor Slump</i>: Explore The K-Drama's Shooting Locations

Doctor Slump : Explore The K-Drama's Shooting Locations">Seoul-ful Charm Of Doctor Slump : Explore The K-Drama's Shooting Locations

A Trip to This Super Sustainable Austrian Region Is Fresh, Green and Sunnyside Up

A Trip to This Super Sustainable Austrian Region Is Fresh, Green and Sunnyside Up

By Belinda Luksic

20 Best Places To Visit In Colombia, According To Locals And Experts

Central &amp; South America

20 Best Places To Visit In Colombia, According To Locals And Experts

By Carley Rojas Avila

5 Meditation Retreats That Teach Vipassana Meditation In Thailand

5 Meditation Retreats That Teach Vipassana Meditation In Thailand

By Paint Chayanin

Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest on travel, stay & dining.

You’re all set

Thank you for your subscription.

Change location

  • UK / International
  • Call toll-free from 9am EST 617-223-4521 617-223-4580 or
  • REQUEST A QUOTE

Lake Hawea, New Zealand

When is the best time to visit New Zealand?

  • The Otago Peninsula
  • Month-by-month

The best time to visit New Zealand is during the summer months of December to March. Expect long, bright, sunny days and temperatures between 61°F and 75°F. It’s an ideal time to visit the lovely beaches or enjoy the many outdoor activities available, such as hiking and mountain biking.

However, New Zealand’s rugged beauty and varied landscapes make it a spectacular destination to visit at any time of year. Just be prepared for a fair sprinkling of rain whenever you decide to visit.

Snow often arrives in the South Island between June and September, as well as in some of the North Island’s more mountainous areas, attracting skiers from far and wide.

The spring and fall months herald milder weather and fewer visitors, but this is still a very pleasant time to visit. Temperatures normally sit in the fifties and sixties.

Conde Nast Traveler Award - Favorite Specialist Tour Operator

  • Make an inquiry
  • Request a brochure

Month-by-month guide for traveling in New Zealand

Lake Taupo, New Zealand

Visiting New Zealand in January - February

The warm sunny days of summer make this an ideal time to visit, particularly for snorkeling or outdoor pursuits, but it can be harder to find accommodation. School vacations run into the first two weeks of January, while tourists arrive in large numbers to make the most of the warm climate until the end of February. It's also a great time to spot dolphins and fur seals off the coast of the South Island.

Events & Festivals

  • Marlborough Food and Wine Festival (February): This is New Zealand's longest running wine festival, right in the heart of the world-famous wine producing region.
  • Rugby Sevens (January to February): Thousands flock to watch the country's favorite sporting event in New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington.
  • Wellington Fringe Festival (February to March): This lively festival brings masses of entertainment in the form of music, comedy and theater to venues across Wellington.

Picton & The Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand

Visiting New Zealand in March - May

The arrival of fall brings cooler days and quieter roads. While the weather will be more changeable, there is still a fantastic array of wildlife to be seen and the changing colors of the leaves add a new dynamic. If you are happy with cooler weather then this is a great time to make the most of lower prices and fewer crowds.

  • Bluff Oyster Festival (May): This festival celebrates the season's oyster harvest with music, food and wine.
  • Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow (every other year over Easter weekend): This thrilling air show brings historic aircraft and modern fighter jets to the skies in the South Island.

Franz Josef Glacier, West Coast

Visiting New Zealand in June - July

Winter in New Zealand can be both beautiful and challenging. While the North Island  sees much rain, snow in the South Island  can make mountain passes more difficult and many excursions cease to operate. It is, however, a spectacular draw for skiers and a fantastic time to see the country away from the crowds that the summer brings.

Whale from the air, Kaikoura

Visiting New Zealand in August

As winter continues, areas in the North Island such as Rotorua and the Bay of Islands remain relatively popular as they benefit from milder weather than the south. The South Island holds its own charms, though, as humpback whales pass by Kaikoura on their way north to warmer waters.

Glenorchy, New Zealand

Visiting New Zealand in September - October

Temperatures begin to rise and snow on the mountains starts melting, making this a fantastic time for white-water rafting as the rivers are full and fast. The weather is changeable, but as most tourists are yet to arrive the roads are quiet and accommodation is easier to secure. September is also a brilliant time to see newborn lambs gamboling in the fields and orcas gracing the coastline with their presence.

The Coromandel Peninsula

Visiting New Zealand in November - December

The warmer weather isn't the only draw of the start to New Zealand's summer; stunning wild gorse and vibrantly colored lupins spread across the country, making it one of the most impressive times to visit. As peak season begins, prepare for busier attractions and book early to secure accommodation in the more remote areas.

New Zealand Climate Guide

Why travel with audley.

  • 100% tailor-made tours
  • Fully protected travel
  • Established for over 25 years
  • 98% of our clients would recommend us

Travel advice aircraft image

Travel advice

Practical tips for traveling to New Zealand, from social protocols to guidance on money matters, with a link to the latest US State Department travel advice.

The World Your Way Brochure

Request our brochure

Covering all seven continents, The World Your Way shows you how you can see the world with us. It features trip ideas from our specialists alongside hand-picked stays and experiences, and introduces our approach to creating meaningful travel experiences.

Trip ideas and travel guides for exploring New Zealand

New Zealand fur seals, Kaikoura

Highlights of New Zealand

13 days from $6,555pp

Uluru, Central Australia

Australia & New Zealand uncovered

20 days from $11,900pp

Walking in the glaciers, New Zealand

7 experiences to try on your outdoor activity vacation in New Zealand

Queenstown, Queenstown

Driving vacations in New Zealand: 3 great routes

10 min read

View itinerary ideas

  • facebook-official
  • pinterest-circled
  • youtube-play

31 Tips for Travelling in New Zealand [2024] (Including COVID Advice)

The ultimate list of new zealand travel tips.

Ah, New Zealand! Known to the local Maori as “Aotearoa”, New Zealand is a remote country in the South Pacific famous for its dramatic scenery. At about 1,600km (1,000 miles) long and 450km (280 miles) at its widest point, the country is easy to explore. And explore you will, with a range of landscapes to entice you, adventure activities to excite you, and friendly locals to guide you. But as is the case with exploring any new country, there are common first-timer pitfalls that may get between you and an idyllic Kiwi getaway. As New Zealand’s largest travel guide, we at NZ Pocket Guide are delighted to make your travels much more seamless with this list of tips for travelling in New Zealand.

1. Be Up to Date with the Latest Travel Restrictions

Let’s start with our most important travel tip for New Zealand; can you actually travel to New Zealand? Unless you’ve been living in a hole for the past few years, you know that COVID-19 has introduced a plethora of restrictions for travelling that is constantly changing. For the latest travel restrictions and border closures for New Zealand, the best source is the New Zealand Government-run website customs.govt.nz .

2. Plan a Realistic Itinerary

Now onto the fun stuff; travelling in New Zealand! Our first tip on the subject is don’t try to do everything. New Zealand might be a small country but there’s a lot to see, a lot of ground to cover, and a lot of tours and activities. Plan a realistic itinerary that fits your timeframe. If you only have a week in New Zealand , just explore one of the two main islands. We say two weeks is the absolute minimum to enjoy a trip to both the North Island and South Island, but we highly recommend stretching it to three or even four weeks . With New Zealand being far from pretty much everywhere on the planet, it’s a once-in-the-lifetime destination for many. Try to save your New Zealand trip until you have enough time to make the most of it.

For advice on planning your itinerary, see  How to Create the Perfect New Zealand Road Trip Itinerary and How to Plan a Trip to New Zealand .

3. Remember to Pay the NZeTA and IVL or Choose a Different Visa

If you’re visiting New Zealand on a visitor visa and you come from a visa-waiver country , you are required to have an NZeTA (New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority) as well as pay the IVL (International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy) before arriving in New Zealand. You may not have to pay these arrival fees if you are on another type of visa, such as a work visa or student visa . While we’re on the subject, you might want to look into different visa types if you want to be able to work and stay longer in the country, such as the popular working holiday visa .

For more tips on the arrival fees, check out the 10 Things You Need to Know About the NZETA .

4. Pack Lightly with Versatility in Mind

There is a bit of a misconception that New Zealand isn’t a developed country, but it’s not that bad! You can get a lot of goods and services very easily. With that in mind, you don’t have to pack a ton of food (or any, for that matter), months’ worth of toiletries, nor your whole wardrobe; you can get all that and more in New Zealand. Plus, with New Zealand being a destination where you’re encouraged to explore the country rather than staying in one place, you’ll find that a lighter bag is easier to move between accommodations. On a note about clothing, choose versatile outfits, preferably those to explore the outdoors comfortably. New Zealand tends to have a casual dress code, so there’s no need to pack a ton of different outfits.

For more packing advice, head over to our New Zealand Packing List: What to Pack for New Zealand .

5. Declare!

On the subject of packing, you need to be aware of what not to pack and what to “declare” when arriving in New Zealand . This is because New Zealand has strict biosecurity rules in order to protect its ecosystem. In short, you will be given a   Passenger Arrival Card to fill out during your flight or cruise to New Zealand. Tick the boxes if you have, for instance, any food, sports gear, animal products or plant products packed in your luggage. If you are unsure, just tick the relevant box anyway. You’ll be asked more questions about the answers you give on arrival. Be honest, declare anything you’re unsure of. Otherwise, if you don’t declare something you should have, you could face a NZ$400 fine. Eek!

Get more details using our guide on What Do You Need to Declare When Arriving in New Zealand? and  Everything You Need to Know About Arriving in a New Zealand Airport .

6. Be Aware of All of the Transport Options

Everyone seems to have an opinion on the “best way to travel New Zealand” but choosing the right transport is an extremely personal choice. Travelling by car , campervan , the bus network or a bus tour are the main ways to explore the country, but there are flights , trains and ferries that might be incorporated into your trip too. Start doing your research by checking out our New Zealand transport guides:

  • Renting a car/campervan
  • Buying a car/campervan
  • Buses and bus tours
  • Plane, train and ferry .

And if you don’t know where to start, check out our article, What is the Best Way to Get Around New Zealand?

7. Travel in the Shoulder and Low Season

Summer in New Zealand is from December to February , but expect things to get busy from November to March . During this time, flights are more expensive, car rentals are costlier, accommodation books up quickly, attractions are more crowded… With those in mind, we recommend travelling in the low season , from June to August , or better yet, the shoulder seasons from April to May and September to October . The weather is not that bad, just check it out in The New Zealand Seasons and Climate .

For more tips on the best months to travel, see our article on The Best Time to Visit New Zealand .

8. Book Well in Advance if Travelling in Summer

Ok, so for those of you who can’t resist visiting New Zealand when the weather is at its warmest, be sure to do your bookings well in advance. The country goes crazy between the months of December and February so we recommend booking accommodation and vehicle rentals as soon as possible in order to get your first choice. Activities don’t tend to need booking too far in advance, but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared.

For more advice on how to book your trip around New Zealand, head to  What You Need to Know About Booking Transport in New Zealand and  The Essential Guide to Booking Activities in New Zealand .

9. Travel from South to North

Due to most international flights landing in Auckland , the majority of tourists travel from the North Island to the South Island . The best tip to break away from the crowds and get better deals on transport is to simply travel from south to north! Take a quick flight from Auckland to Queenstown or Christchurch and travel your way back up to Auckland.

Another bonus is for those wanting to rent a vehicle . Car and campervan rental companies have an influx of vehicles being dropped off at their South Island depots, so tend to charge less or even provide more car relocation opportunities with pick-ups in the south and drop-offs in the north.

10. You Can’t Camp Just “Anywhere”

If you plan to stay in a tent or a campervan in New Zealand, be sure to know where you are allowed to camp. Most of the time, you will need to be driving a certified self-contained campervan if you want to park up and stay the night somewhere for free. Otherwise, you will need to stay in campsites and holiday parks . Oh, and you can’t really stay “anywhere” for free, as different regional councils have different laws – see the Freedom Camping Rules in New Zealand: Region by Region . In short, you’ll need to plan where to camp for the night.

For more information, see  What it’s Really Like to Freedom Camp in New Zealand .

11. Always Carry an Extra Layer!

New Zealand has a famous phrase to describe the weather: “four seasons in one day.” In other words, the weather changes so rapidly and unexpectedly that you’ll be glad to have an extra layer with you in case it gets cold. We even suggest carrying a rain jacket in your day pack in the likely case that you experience one of New Zealand’s frequent showers. For hikes, you’ll need to take the preparation to the next level, so check out How to Prepare for a Great Walk in New Zealand for tips.

12. There are Only Three Types of ID You Can Use to Prove Your Age

With the legal drinking age being 18 years old, you may need to show your ID to prove your age when buying alcohol. The only forms of ID that are accepted are your passport , a New Zealand driver license and the Hospitality New Zealand 18+ Card . So if you are on a short trip to New Zealand, keep your passport with you for the bar or for buying a bottle of wine from the supermarket. Even if you are actually 30, your ID still might be checked. If you are in New Zealand for a while, keep your passport safe and get yourself an 18+ Card instead.

For more information, see our guide on  What ID is Valid for Buying Alcohol in New Zealand?

13. Choose the Right Type of Accommodation for You

Accommodation comes in many forms in New Zealand, which might be different from what you’re used to when travelling. Motels typically consist of self-contained units, while holiday parks are similar but also have campsites and powered sites for campervans. Hostels have private and shared rooms with communal facilities, while hotels offer more premium rooms with facilities such as a restaurant. There are also homestays and holiday homes available. Browse our Accommodation category to see which type of accommodation appeals to you and your budget.

14. Pay in New Zealand Dollars (+ Know About Swedish Rounding)

The currency used in New Zealand is the New Zealand Dollar . You’ll find cheaper currency exchange bureaus in New Zealand’s cities compared to its airports. While cash is accepted everywhere, most vendors also accept Visa and MasterCard . Bonus tip: New Zealanders know “paying with card” as “paying with EFTPOS”. Note that when paying with cash, New Zealand follows Swedish rounding, i.e. rounding prices up or down to the nearest multiple of 10 due to the currency not having any 1, 2 or 5 cent coins.

Get more payment tips in  The Best Way to Pay in New Zealand .

15. Know the New Zealand Road Rules

To keep yourself and others on the roads safe, check out the New Zealand road rules before heading out. The obvious thing to remember is that traffic flows on the left in New Zealand, but there are some rules about intersections and one-way bridges that are essential to know. If you are not used to roundabouts, you should also learn how they work. Wise up by checking out our guide on How to Drive in New Zealand .

For more tips on driving in New Zealand, take a look at the 12 Safe Driving Tips for New Zealand .

16. Cyclists, Stick to the Bike Trails

For safety reasons, it’s not recommended for cyclists to travel via the highways in New Zealand. New Zealand drivers are not used to cyclists on the road, so often don’t give enough room when overtaking. On the other hand, the country has a myriad of off-road bike trails of various grades to enjoy car-free cycling. Learn more in our article, Mountain Biking in New Zealand: A Complete Guide .

For cycling rules on the roads, however, check out the City Cycling Rules in New Zealand .

17. New Zealand Might Be More Expensive Than What You’re Used To

Everyday items, such as food and drink, are likely to be more expensive than what you might be used to at home. That’s the downside of being in an isolated country with very little competition. Take a look at the typical prices listed in How Expensive is New Zealand? and plan your budget accordingly.

Check out our tips on how to budget for New Zealand in the 11 Ways to Save Money in New Zealand , as well as   How Much Does it Cost to Travel New Zealand?

18. Plan More Travel Time Than What Your GPS Suggests (+ A Warning About Google Maps)

New Zealand’s highways are not multi-lane straight roads (or, at least very few are). Most are single-lane winding roads and some are even gravel, so you’ll unlikely be travelling at 100km/h for the entire journey. For this reason, it usually takes a little longer to cover the same distance in New Zealand than in other countries. Plus, considering that you’re probably going to New Zealand to soak up the scenery and do amazing things, you’ll want to plan some extra time to allows for photo stops. On a similar note, Google Maps is notorious in New Zealand for taking drivers on the shortest route to a destination but not necessarily the easiest. If travelling to a more remote destination, double-check that Google isn’t taking you onto some obscure farm track or logging road.

For more driving tips like this, take a look at our Road Trip Tips category .

19. Come for Nature; Not for Cities

New Zealand does nature so damn well. It’s the home of two UNESCO World Heritage Areas , two International Dark Sky Reserves/Sanctuaries , 13 national parks which are free to visit, by the way, and countless other conservation areas. On the other hand, cities in New Zealand don’t offer quite as much and to the same majesty as in other countries, such as Australia. Cities are where people live and work in New Zealand; the wilderness is where people play. The latter is far more interesting.

Add some of New Zealand’s natural attractions to your bucket list using our guide to the Natural Wonders of New Zealand .

20. Protect Yourself from the Sun and the Sandflies

Between New Zealand and Australia is the nasty hole in the ozone layer. This means that the UV rays are pretty intense in New Zealand. Just seven minutes of sun exposure can leave you with sunburn, while dehydration can come on quickly too. Lather up with at least SPF factor 30 before spending time outside, even when it’s cloudy in summer and even when it’s sunny in winter . Also in summer, sandflies are prolific. Learn how to protect yourself from these insects that leave an itchy bite in the 7 Ways to Stop Sandfly Bites .

For more health tips, check out  Health Tips For Travelling in New Zealand .

21. Don’t Underestimate the Amount to Do in New Zealand

Just scroll our  101 Things to Do in New Zealand: The Ultimate List and you’ll get an understanding of the staggering number of things to do. And that list just scratches the surface! Many travellers make the mistake of coming to New Zealand after doing little research then finding themselves doing impulsive tours and activities in fear of missing out. Stick to your budget and timeframe by doing your research – our Activities category is a good place to start – and being choosy. Make a list of your must-dos!

22. Hiking Will Be Your Best Friend

Don’t be put off by the word “hiking” in New Zealand. The Department of Conservation (DOC) of New Zealand has made it easy with hundreds of easy-to-follow walking trails across the country, ranging from 10 minutes to 10 days! Some trails are stroller and wheelchair-friendly , while others are short and easy for beginners, while more still offer a challenge. Hiking trails are a fun and free way to see many of New Zealand’s top natural attractions and landscapes.

Check out some of the Top 50 Hikes in New Zealand to get an idea of the types of walks available.

23. Know the Difference Between the North Island and the South Island

If it hasn’t been obvious by the time you’ve hit point #22 on this list of tips for travelling in New Zealand, the country is split into two main islands; the North Island and the South Island . Some travellers have to make the tough decision to travel either the North Island or South Island when they are on limited time.

In short, the North Island is where you’ll find the most volcanic activity, Maori culture and cities, while the South Island is where you’ll find snow-capped mountains, glaciers, and, well, scenery, scenery, scenery. Contrary to popular belief, there are some things that you can find on both islands though, like ski fields, glowworms and wineries. Therefore, it’s always worth checking if an activity is available on your chosen island, even if it’s not famous for it.

See our full comparison of New Zealand’s two main islands in Should You Travel the North Island or South Island?

24. Try the Local Cuisine But Also Cook Your Own Meals to Save Money

Of course, you’re travelling in a new country with a new culture and flavours, so you’ll want to eat out in New Zealand to try staples like fish and chips, a Maori hangi, savoury pies and more . But as discussed earlier in this list of tips for travelling in New Zealand, everyday items like food are expensive, especially in restaurants, cafes and even takeaways. If you’re on a budget , we highly recommend that you make at least one meal for yourself per day. Many accommodations have self-catering facilities, as do campervans, so there’s no excuse! Get the lowdown on grocery shopping in New Zealand by following the tips in our article, Food Shopping in New Zealand .

25. Luxury, Budget, Family, Working Holiday… New Zealand Suits a Range of Travel Styles

There’s room for everyone to enjoy a holiday in New Zealand. Make a luxury getaway by enjoying once-in-a-lifetime bespoke experiences or explore the country extensively by simply doing all of the free things to do ! New Zealand is also extremely family-friendly , while couples on a honeymoon can find many places to get secluded together. Backpacking and doing a gap year on a working holiday is also a top reason to come to New Zealand.

26. Don’t Expect a Good WiFi Connection

New Zealand is a little behind on the times when it comes to accessible WiFi. On the odd occasion when a cafe offers “free WiFi”, it’s usually slow or only for a small amount of data. Accommodations are getting better with offering WiFi, but don’t be surprised if an accommodation advertises free WiFi then gives you a coupon for 20Mb, i.e. barely enough to email your granny! There are solutions to the WiFi problem, which we offer in How to Get Internet and WiFi in New Zealand , but disconnecting with the world to reconnect with yourself and those around you is not a bad way to experience New Zealand.

27. Tipping is Not Mandatory

Tipping is not common practice in New Zealand, bearing in mind that the minimum wage is quite high so workers’ livelihoods don’t depend on it. If you feel like the service has been exceptional, however, then a tip will always be welcomed.

Need more of an explanation on tipping? See out guide to Tipping in New Zealand .

28. Make Sure You Have the Right Travel Adapter

Ok, so this is a pretty basic travel tip for New Zealand but essential nonetheless. New Zealand’s power outlets use the type 1 three-pin connectors, so get yourself an adapter so you can plug in your electronics from overseas. See our recommendations in the 5 Best Travel Adapters for New Zealand .

29. The Tap Water is Drinkable

Yes, tap water in New Zealand is safe to drink. Many towns even get their tap water fresh from the spring! With that in mind, there’s no need to contribute to the world’s plastic problem by buying bottled water; just refill your reusable water bottle as you go.

30. Don’t Be a D*ck to the Environment

On the same note as the point above, be aware of the extra environmental customs in New Zealand. Otherwise, it just gives tourists a bad name! For instance, clean your shoes properly at cleaning stations to prevent Kauri dieback , keep your distance from seals and penguins , don’t feed kea , etc. Obviously littering is pretty insulting to the environment and the locals so try to avoid that! See the  31 Ways to Travel More Sustainably in New Zealand for more tips for the eco-conscious traveller.

31. Use NZ Pocket Guide

Finally, as New Zealand’s largest travel guide on the web, we’re here for you every step of the way for free! Have a look at our Destinations category for every single city, region and national park to discover.

Our   Travel Tips section gives you answers to all those questions you may have about visiting New Zealand, from arrival to departure.

When it comes to filling up your days with exciting experiences, our   Activities section is sure to inspire you.

When looking for places to stay, head to our Accommodation section covering all types of stays in New Zealand.

See full sample itineraries completed for you in our Trip Ideas section.

And those staying in New Zealand longer to work or study will find plenty of tips in our   Work in NZ category, including job listings .

For a more personal touch,  join us for our live Q&A session on YouTube where you can ask us your New Zealand travel questions.

More Tips for Travelling in New Zealand

That’s it for our tips for travelling in New Zealand. For more New Zealand travel tips, check out the following links:

30 Tips for Backpacking in New Zealand

  • New Zealand Travel Advice: How to Plan a Trip to New Zealand
  • The Complete Travel Guide to New Zealand

Happy travels!

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.

Was this article useful?

Related posts, 11 life hacks to make travelling in new zealand so much easier, the essential guide to booking activities in new zealand, backpacking in your 30s in new zealand, sending mail overseas from new zealand ✉️ [2024], 10 mistakes & faux pas to avoid in new zealand, recommended for you, 15 best cruises in the bay of islands: boat tours, sailing & more, 15 best things to do in kerikeri 🍇 [2024], 10 best things to do in kawakawa, destinations, travel tips, connect with us, accommodation.

Welcome/Kia Ora By using this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and terms of use within it which includes sponsored posts and affiliate links.

Connect with us

Welcome/Kia Ora! By using this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and the terms of use within it.

© 2024 NZ Pocket Guide. Contact – Disclaimer

New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA)

Some people can use an NZeTA to travel to New Zealand without applying for a visa first. This depends on your passport, how you are travelling and if you are visiting or only transiting.

2 years for travellers

Processing time

With an nzeta you can.

  • Travel to New Zealand or transit Auckland International Airport without first applying for a visa.
  • Visit up to 3 months, or 6 months for UK citizens.

Things to note

  • If you are already in New Zealand and want to stay longer, you must apply for a visa not an NZeTA.
  • If you have a valid New Zealand visa, you do not need an NZeTA.

Download our app on to your iOS or Android device

Get it on Google Play

Summer is the busiest time for travel to New Zealand, so NZeTA requests may take longer. Request yours now.

Use the filters below to display relevant tips as well as detailed fees and receiving centre information

Who is it for

Check if you need an NZeTA or a visa before travelling to New Zealand.

Most travellers need either an NZeTA or a visa to travel to New Zealand. This depends on the passport you are travelling on, and if you will be a visitor or a transit passenger .

Check if you need an NZeTA or a visa

You can use your NZeTA to travel to New Zealand multiple times while it is valid. An NZeTA is valid for 2 years for travellers, or 5 years for crew members.

You may not be allowed to visit or transit New Zealand if you do not meet the good character requirements. If you are not sure you will meet the requirements — for example you have a criminal conviction — you should apply for a visa and have one before you travel. Check the character requirements under 'What you need to apply'.

What you need to apply

Visiting new zealand.

'Visiting' means you are entering and staying in New Zealand as a visitor.

If you are passing through a New Zealand airport — other than Auckland International Airport — on your way to another country, you will be a visitor because you have to enter New Zealand. 

If you already have a current New Zealand visa, you do not need an NZeTA.

If you give the wrong information in your NZeTA request, we may give you an NZeTA that only lets you transit through Auckland International Airport as a transit passenger  — you cannot visit New Zealand as a transit passenger.

Arriving on a cruise ship as a passenger

If you are arriving by sea as a cruise ship passenger, you must have an NZeTA — unless you are on the list of travellers who do not need an NZeTA. You can be any nationality.

Travellers who do not need an NZeTA

Arriving by cruise ship

Citizen of a visa waiver country

If you are travelling on a passport from a visa waiver country, you must have an NZeTA — unless you are:

  • on the list of travellers who do not need an NZeTA, or
  • coming for medical treatment or consultation — you will need to apply for a Medical Treatment Visitor Visa, not an NZeTA. Medical Treatment Visitor Visa

Visa waiver countries and territories

Australian citizen or permanent resident

Australian citizen.

If you are travelling on an Australian passport, you do not need a visa or NZeTA before you travel. We will normally give you an Australian Resident Visa when you arrive — but you must meet the character requirements of this visa.

Australian Resident Visa

You may not be allowed to travel to New Zealand if you do not meet the good character requirements. If you are not sure you will meet requirements — for example you have a criminal conviction or have been deported before — you should apply for a visa and have one before you travel.

Australian permanent resident

If you are an Australian permanent resident wanting to visit New Zealand, you must have an NZeTA — unless you are on the list of travellers who do not need an NZeTA.

You also need:

  • a current Australian Permanent Resident Visa or Australian Resident Return Visa — these cannot be 'provisional' visas, and
  • travel conditions on that visa to let you return to Australia.

Other visitors who need a visa

You must have a valid visa before you travel to New Zealand, if you are:

  • not a citizen of a visa waiver country or territory
  • not an Australian permanent resident
  • not arriving on a cruise ship, and
  • not on the list of travellers who do not need an NZeTA.

If you are coming to New Zealand for medical treatment or consultation, you need to apply for a Medical Treatment Visitor Visa, not an NZeTA.

Medical Treatment Visitor Visa

Explore visa options

How long you can visit for

When you arrive at the New Zealand border with your NZeTA, we may give you a visa that lets you stay:

  • up to 3 months at a time, or
  • up to 6 months at a time if travelling on a UK passport.

We usually give Australian permanent residents and citizens an Australian Resident Visa.

Your visa expires when the 3 months or 6 months have passed — or if you leave earlier. When you arrive in New Zealand next time with an NZeTA, we give you a new visitor visa.

You can only be in New Zealand for up to 6 months within any 12-month period. This period is the 12 months counting back from your intended departure date (when you plan on leaving New Zealand).

You are travelling on a passport from Canada. This means you can stay in New Zealand for visits of up to 3 months. You visit for the first time for 3 months, from 1 January 2023 to 31 March 2023. After your visit, you return home.

You decide you want to make a second visit, again for 3 months. You plan to arrive in New Zealand on 1 July 2023, and leave on 30 September 2023 (your intended departure date). This means you will be in New Zealand for a total of 6 months in the period 1 October 2022 to 30 September 2023 — this is the 12-month period counting back from your intended departure date.

You can make this visit because you will be in New Zealand for no more than 6 months in that 12-month period. Refer to Figure 1.

Calendar showing example time in New Zealand between 1 October and 30 September 2023.

After your second visit you return home. You decide you want to visit New Zealand again for the whole month of November 2023.

You cannot make this third visit because you will be in New Zealand for a total of 7 months in the period 1 December 2022 to 30 November 2023 — this is the 12-month period counting back from your intended departure date. You can only spend a total of 6 months in New Zealand in any 12-month period. Refer to Figure 2.

Calendar showing example time in New Zealand between 1 December 2022 and 30 November 2023.

Transiting to another country through Auckland International Airport

Some travellers can use an NZeTA to transit Auckland International airport as a transit passenger  on their way to another country. You can stay in the transit area for up to 24 hours and cannot visit New Zealand. Auckland International Airport is the only airport in New Zealand where you can be a transit passenger. 

If you are passing through a different New Zealand airport on your way to another country, you will be a visitor not a transit passenger. This is because there is no transit area, so you have to enter New Zealand. Refer back to the section on 'Visiting New Zealand'.

Check who needs an NZeTA, a Transit Visa or neither to transit through New Zealand.

Transit passengers

Crew member of a cruise ship or commercial airline

You need to get a Crew ETA through your employer if you are a crew member of a:

  • cruise ship — this includes if you are flying in to join the ship in New Zealand, or
  • commercial airline.

Crew of planes and cruise ships

Checking your NZeTA status

After you request an NZeTA you can check its status or update your details.

Check your NZeTA status

How to request a change to your NZeTA

We usually process NZeTA requests within 72 hours — many are processed faster, but some may take longer. To avoid delays, you should request an NZeTA well before you travel.

The criteria and evidence below will provide you with the information you need to meet the requirements of an NZeTA.

View All Evidence

You must provide proof of your identity

We use your passport details to check your identity.

You may not be allowed to check in to your flight if your passport is close to expiring. Check that it will not expire while you are in New Zealand or close to when you plan to leave New Zealand.

Before you travel to New Zealand

You must be in good health

You must be of good health. When you request your NZeTA you will be asked whether you are coming to New Zealand for medical consultation or treatment. 

If you want to come for medical consultation or treatment, you need to apply for a ‘Medical Treatment Visitor Visa’ before travelling to New Zealand.

You must be of good character

When you request your NZeTA, you will be asked some questions about your character.

You may not meet our good character requirements if any of the following apply:

  • you have a criminal conviction
  • you have been deported, removed or excluded from another country
  • we have reason to believe you may be a risk to New Zealand's security, public order or public interest.

If you are visiting New Zealand, you must meet all the requirements to get a visa and entry permission.

You must not be a person described in sections 15 and 16 of the Immigration Act 2009:

Section 15 Certain convicted or deported persons not eligible for visa or entry permission to enter or be in New Zealand – New Zealand Legislation

Section 16 Certain other persons not eligible for visa or entry permission – New Zealand Legislation

Australian citizens and permanent residents who are visiting New Zealand must meet the character requirements of the Australian Resident Visa. Australian Resident Visa

Other visitors must meet the character requirements for temporary visas. Good character for temporary visas

If we have reason to believe you are not of good character, you will not receive a NZeTA.

People who may be considered a risk to New Zealand’s security, public order or public interest, include those who are registered sex offenders or associated with a gang.

If we have reason to believe you are not of good character, we can stop you from travelling to New Zealand at check-in, or refuse you entry permission when you get here.

If you are not sure you will meet our requirements for good character, you should apply for a visa before coming to New Zealand.

You can be any nationality if entering New Zealand as a cruise ship passenger

We use your passport to check your citizenship when you request your NZeTA.

Arriving by plane

You must be a citizen of a visa waiver country if entering New Zealand by plane

In transit through Auckland International Airport

You must be a citizen of a visa waiver country or transit visa waiver country if passing through Auckland International Airport as a transit passenger on your way to another country

If you are from any other country, you can get an NZeTA if you are passing through Auckland International Airport as a transit passenger on your way to or from Australia.  

Transit passengers must remain in the transit area at Auckland International Airport.

Transit visa waiver country

You must have enough money to live on while you’re in New Zealand

You must have at least NZD$1,000 for each month of your stay, or if you have already paid for your accommodation, NZD$400 for each month of your stay.

You may be asked for evidence you will have access to your funds when you check-in or arrive in New Zealand.

If you are pregnant, there are additional requirements.

Paying for maternity care

You cannot meet the funds requirement for visa waiver travel by arranging a sponsor. If you want to arrange sponsorship , you have to apply for a visa before you travel to New Zealand.

Onward travel

You must have a ticket out of New Zealand

When you check-in, you will be asked to present your travel ticket out of New Zealand to a country you have the right to enter .

Your departure date must be within 3 months of your arrival, or if you are from the United Kingdom, within 6 months.

If after you leave New Zealand you will be travelling to a country that also has an onward travel requirement, we may ask to see that ticket too.

Your tickets must be paid for before your travel.

If you will be leaving on a private craft or cruise ship, we will accept a letter from the craft owner or a cruise itinerary as proof of your travel arrangements.

If your only reason for coming to New Zealand is to renew a visa for another country, we recommend that you apply for a visa before travelling.

Time in New Zealand

You can only visit New Zealand for up to 6 months in any 12-month period.

We will check our records to see how much time you have spent in New Zealand.

If you do not meet this requirement, you must apply for a visitor visa and have it before you travel to New Zealand.

Relationship with family

Your family must meet the same requirements to travel to New Zealand with an NZeTA.

To travel to New Zealand with an NZeTA, your family must:

  • be in good health
  • be of good character
  • be bona fide applicants
  • be citizens of a visa waiver country – except if arriving by cruise ship
  • have enough money to live on while in New Zealand
  • have a ticket out of New Zealand to a country they have the right to enter .

Genuine intentions to visit, study or work in NZ

Evidence that you are a genuine visitor

If family members do not meet the requirements they should apply for a visa before visiting New Zealand.

Process and costs

Find out the process, timeframes and costs of requesting an NZeTA, based on your passport and if you are visiting or transiting. Visitors must pay an International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL).

We cannot display any process or costs information until you have provided your personal details. Enter your details in the panel above to view information relevant to your situation.

When you arrive

You need to apply for entry permission and meet the conditions of the visa we give you.

Entry permission

All travellers visiting New Zealand must complete a traveller declaration before arriving.

As part of the declaration, you apply for a visa and entry permission . We check your identity and other information to make a decision.

You can complete the traveller declaration online up to 24 hours before your trip to New Zealand starts. Find out how to submit your declaration on the New Zealand Traveller Declaration website.

New Zealand Traveller Declaration

If you are a transit passenger  at Auckland International Airport, you do not have to complete a traveller declaration. This is because you cannot leave the transit area to visit New Zealand.

Visa conditions

If we decide you meet the requirements, we give you a visa.

Australian permanent residents may get an Australian Resident Visa.

If you are a citizen of a visa waiver country, we may give you a Visa Waiver Visitor Visa to stay up to 3 months — or 6 months for UK citizens.

Visa Waiver Visitor Visa

If you are arriving by cruise ship you will be deemed to hold a visitor visa .

Stay longer

If you are in New Zealand now and want to stay longer, you need to get another visa.

Extend your visit

If you are in New Zealand now and want to stay longer than the conditions of your visa, you must apply for another visa and have it before your current visa expires.

Find the visa that is best for you.

Staying after your visa expires

You can be deported if you stay in New Zealand after your visa expires. If you are deported you risk not being able to return to New Zealand in the future.

If you do not leave before your visa expires

Request an NZeTA

New Zealand Travel Tips

Let us inspire your New Zealand travels with local knowledge.

The ultimate NZ guide

Whether this is your first time in Aotearoa New Zealand, or you’re exploring your own backyard, let’s work together to get the most from your travels.

We’ll help you find hidden gems, get practical advice and save money in the process.

Explore our content by location or use the search to find exactly what you’re looking for.

Unmissable New Zealand Locations

Sea kayaking out to Rangitoto Island in Auckland.

Trending information

White campervan driving next to the ocean in New Zealand.

on Facebook

We are almost ready for our trip to NZ, in just three weeks And, thanks to you and your group, I feel it’s the most well-prepared trip I’ve ever done! Thank you so much! Elena Weinstein

New on the blog

We’re always on the hunt for exciting new activities, attractions and accommodations.

Discover for yourself why we’re considered one of New Zealand’s top travel blogs!

A man with Māori tattoos, holding a piece of pounamu greenstone that he has carved in Rotorua.

Mountain Jade promo code – Join a pounamu carving tour or take a special piece home

A couple sitting on deck chairs, out on the grass, in front of their white Star RV campervan.

Star RV promo code – Enjoy discounts on campervan hire in NZ and Australia

A couple sitting by an open JUCY campervan door, enjoying a New Zealand forest.

JUCY promo code – Save on campervans and car hire in New Zealand & Australia

Two people riding bikes over a narrow bridge, with a beautiful blue river in the background near Wānaka.

Wānaka Bike Tours promo code – Cycle Lake Dunstan and more

A collection of blue and white pills spilling out from a medicine bottle.

What medication can I bring into New Zealand?

A view of Cordis Hotel, Sky Tower, and the buildings in the city of Auckland.

“I’m struggling to find suitable accommodation in New Zealand – help!”

We’re here for you.

If you find yourself overwhelmed while planning your NZ travels, don’t panic.

We offer private consultations where we answer your questions and help plan your own personalised itinerary.

Let’s work together to finalise the trip of your dreams.

The tips we got for our family holiday to the Coromandel were invaluable.

Grab a pen and paper mate because you’re going to need it., everyone on this site has been so helpful and very detailed.

Photo credits: Miles Holden, Vaughan Brookfield and Fraser Clements.

Speaker badge for the TBEX Asia 2022 in Phuket, Thailand.

Accessibility Links

times logo

I’m hiking the length of New Zealand on honeymoon

A 1,880-mile walk might not sound romantic, but for one newlywed it’s proved the perfect start to married life — blisters and all.

Cape Reinga, the start of the Te Araroa trail

I ’m on honeymoon but it’s a far cry from the Maldives. I am nearing the end of a five-month trek from one end of New Zealand to the other — a 1,882-mile route called the Te Araroa (TA) — with my new husband, Andrew Murray. Right now we’re staying in a historic mountain shelter in South Island — Martin’s Hut, dating from 1905, and have less than 50 miles to go.

I’d been thinking about doing a long-distance hike for years when a colleague — I’m a scientist — bought me a book called The Pants of Perspective by Anna McNuff, who ran the TA from south to north (I was running marathons and ultramarathons at the time), so my attention switched to New Zealand.

Andy and I met in 2019 on an overlanding trip through central Asia, and we got together on another overlanding holiday through Africa — to Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe — just before the pandemic. We had both hiked independently in the Himalayas and Patagonia, so it was definitely something we had in common.

Vikki and Andy on the hike

We got engaged in Scotland in 2021 and married in December 2022. When Andy had the opportunity to take early retirement from the police force in May 2023 (I’m 42, he’s 55) we decided this was the time for a big adventure, which could also be an extended honeymoon, and so we chose New Zealand.

People normally get in shape for their wedding, but we trained for our honeymoon by walking the West Highland Way.

Advertisement

The trail runs from Cape Reinga, near New Zealand’s northernmost point, to Bluff in the south. We started in the north, so we are known as Sobos (southbound); those going the other way are Nobos.

From Auckland, Cape Reinga was an eight-hour bus ride then another two hours by taxi to the start. I was nervous, it felt like a huge challenge, but I kept reminding myself that we were just going for a long walk.

The trail is mostly a set route and we generally plan two or three days ahead, working out how far we want to go, where we’re going to sleep (we have a tent but sometimes stay in huts and hotels) and where to get food — very important! On most sections we’ve followed trail markers: orange triangles nailed to trees, or orange poles (in the mountains), but sometimes they’re non-existent, so we just have to manage (we have GPS apps).

The real beginning of our adventure was Ninety Mile Beach, a vast stretch of sand (closer to 60 miles) on the west coast of North Island, which takes four days to cross, with camping allowed only at certain points. The tide comes right up the beach and at times we found ourselves sitting among the sand dunes for protection. After a while the sand feels like concrete against your feet and most people (including me) end up with blisters. We are both on our third pair of shoes.

The Kiwis have been amazingly friendly. We have been stopped many times by locals keen to know our story. Offers of free accommodation or a hot shower are part of our daily encounters.

Highlights of Northland were the stretch near Kerikeri, with incredible forests and waterfalls, and views over the beautiful Bay of Islands.

• When to go to New Zealand and what to do • 14 best walking holidays in the UK to get your blood pumping

Another further south was the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, with its volcanic landscapes emerging from dense forest. We stayed overnight in a mountain hut with glorious views of snow-capped peaks.

The TA isn’t for the faint-hearted, or those with a fear of water, heights or being miles from help. Other hikers have been a real support network; there’s a logbook system in the mountain huts, with hikers logging in and out and writing their plans for the next day.

Most people undertake the trek only after a lot of research and training, and most carry a PLB (personal locator beacon). With no phone reception days at a time, this is vital if the emergency services need to find you.

We’ve witnessed several rescues for everything from a sprained knee to late-stage hypothermia. The response time and professionalism of the mountain rescue and helicopter rescue service are astonishing.

Cape Reinga Lighthouse at sunset

Of course, things go awry. In the Raetea Forest we were up to our thighs in mud trying to climb a mountain. We fell so many times and lost our shoes so often that a strange kind of lunacy took over — when things like that happen, you just end up laughing.

After about a month of walking (about 380 miles) we took the commuter ferry from Devonport back to central Auckland — our first significant goal. I felt quite emotional about what we’d achieved. We got to our hotel, drank some sparkling wine and felt very proud of ourselves.

Then we hiked towards Whanganui, then down to Wellington (the 1,000-mile point), where we had a week of rest before crossing by ferry to Picton on the South Island.

What we really wanted from the trip was to spend time together in a beautiful place and achieve something amazing in the early years of our marriage. We have certainly done that and we have hugely enjoyed the physical challenge too.

• Best things to do in New Zealand • 21 best walking holidays in Europe

Over the course of the trail we’ve lost 7-8kg each — it doesn’t matter how many pies we eat, the weight comes off. We always feel tired, physically, mentally or both, so sometimes we need to stop and recharge, although after two months we stopped hobbling in the evenings, and we’re so much quicker than the average hiker now.

The South Island is immediately different from the North Island. The landscape is much more arid and the mountains and river systems are more dramatic, which means the hiking is more challenging — we walked through incredible mountain ranges towards Queenstown (the 1,700-mile point).

One of South Island’s highlights is the Queen Charlotte Track (45 miles) in Marlborough, a relatively easy and beautiful three-day walk. We hiked through bays (Ship Cove, Resolution Bay, Mistletoe Bay) that resemble the Caribbean and swam with stingrays in warm water as the sun set.

The hardest and most remote section was the Richmond Ranges and Nelson Lakes in Tasman, where we had to carry enough food for nine days. We scrambled up high mountain passes and made multiple river crossings each day, then slept soundly in mountain huts, each with a resident mouse — you have to hang your food in bags from the rafters.

Nelson Lakes in Tasman

Breast Hill in Otago has the best view of the trail; it emerges after a challenging section in the mountains — you suddenly see right over the Southern Alps and Lake Hawea.

We budgeted NZ$13,500 (£6,605) for the five months to cover accommodation, food, transfers and some indulgence when visiting trail towns. We have managed to sleep free of charge in some random places such as someone’s private garden, in a local radio station’s building and a Baptist ministry.

On the South Island, the mountain huts are incredible (some are privately owned, others are included if you buy a Hut Pass through the Department of Conservation, which runs 950 huts in New Zealand; bookings.doc.govt.nz/web/). On New Year’s Day we were in Mount Rintoul Hut watching the sun set over the Nelson coastline, and we liked the Royal Hut in Te Kahui Kaupeka Conservation Park, so called because King Charles and Princess Anne reportedly stayed there as children, although it’s very basic with bunks and a tin roof.

We have occasionally treated ourselves, most memorably at the Puhoi Pub Hotel in Puhoi, Auckland, which dates to 1879, with paraphernalia all over the bar, and recently restored after being flooded last year by Cyclone Gabrielle (room-only doubles from £70; puhoipub.com).

If this journey has taught us anything it’s to rely on each other and make decisions together. You have to truly love the person you’re with — we don’t see anyone else for days.

At the official endpoint at Bluff, we plan to celebrate with a bottle of champagne and will possibly shed a few tears of relief. Then we’re going to Australia for the relaxing part of the holiday, just to lie on the beach and chill out — no more walking! Vikki Flemington travelled independently. For more information on hiking the Te Araroa see teararoa.org.nz. Fly to Auckland

The kit list for our New Zealand trek

Kit MSR Hubba Hubba two-person tent, pegs and emergency blanket for use as a groundsheet, sleeping pads and bags, dry bags, walking poles, sandals/flip-flops for after walking, Osprey backpacks — 65 litre.

Clothes Short-sleeve top (mostly to walk in), long-sleeve top (mostly for camp), fleece, waterproof jacket, woollen hat, sun hat, gloves, shorts, waterproof trousers, long johns, four pairs of socks, underwear, compression socks, trail-running shoes.

Equipment Stove, pot, fuel, spoon, water bottles, lighter., phones, GPS apps on phones, personal location beacon, torch, emergency shelter, power banks, duct tape, needle and thread, tent-repair kit.

Personal care Hand towel, sunscreen, toothbrush and paste, toilet paper, sanitising hand gel, first-aid kit, soap, deodorant, lip balm, eye drops, sunglasses, game of Monopoly Deal.

Sign up for our Times Travel newsletter and follow us on Instagram and X

Related articles

Top wellness breaks for balance

New Zealand immigration: Migrant staff shocked after Buildhub liquidation

Lincoln Tan

Lincoln Tan

Share this article

Norma Schwenke is helping a group of former Buildhub employees from South America. Photo / Michael Craig

More than two dozen migrant workers at labour hire company Buildhub who used their life savings to move to New Zealand say their future is in limbo after the firm went into liquidation a week ago.

The company, an approved employer under Immigration New Zealand’s (INZ) Accredited Employer Work Visa scheme, has been actively recruiting migrant workers from South America.

It was also at the centre of an INZ investigation after allegations about duping migrant workers into coming to New Zealand on fake job contracts, but was cleared of any criminal wrongdoing earlier this month.

In a notice issued to employees on February 16 about the liquidation, Buildhub claimed employees had “stolen hours” from clients - marking more hours than worked.

South American migrant workers say they are still waiting to be paid following news of Buildhub's liquidation / Michael Craig

The letter also addressed issues the company claimed contributed to the point where it had to be put in receivership.

The company said employees missed work on purpose, worked for “cash under the table” and had been directed by external organisations and individuals on “how to abuse the immigration system and apply for migrant exploitation visas”.

It also accused employees of sharing private and sensitive information “with a view to harm the reputation of the company”.

Previous director and major shareholder Mariela Andrea Ehijo Contreras resigned on February 9 after the appointment of Daniel Ramirez Ordas two days earlier.

The notice said after a long investigation, the company said INZ concluded from the information it held from current and former employees that their claims “turned out to be false, fabricated or taken out of context”.

“Considering the insolvency risk BH finds itself in, the company has been put into liquidation.”

Nicole Orostica and Victor Ortega with their daughter Victoria, 5 (left), and Camila Ortega and her daughter Amparo, 4. Photo / Michael Craig

According to the Companies Register, Gareth Russel Hoole of Ecovis KGA has been appointed liquidator.

Norma Schwenke of Mano Amiga, a charity that is helping former Buildhub employees, said most were still waiting to be paid and news of the company liquidation came as a shock for many.

“Many sold everything they owned, left their jobs, moved with their families and took up huge loans for their move to New Zealand to work for Buildhub,” Schwenke said.

“They are just stunned and are confused and at a total loss of what to do next. They knew things were not right at the company, but it kept telling them things were going to be okay.”

Schwenke also acted as an interpreter when 26 former Buildhub employees came to speak with the Herald on Sunday .

Fernando Gonzalez with his wife Ximena and their children Emilia, 11, and Vincente, 9. Photo / Michael Craig

Plumber Fernando Gonzalez, 42, took a $36,000 loan to bring his wife Ximena and children Emilia, 11, and Vincente, 9, here from Chile.

After arriving in New Zealand, he said Buildhub made him buy a car as part of a work requirement, which required him to take a further loan of $14,000.

“This is a huge amount, and it can be devastating for me and my family if I’m not able to find work and a way to get out of this debt,” Gonzalez said.

Architect Victor Ortega, 40, also from Chile, wanted to warn others because he believed those linked to the liquidated Buildhub were setting up businesses and were continuing to recruit South Americans “under different company names”.

Ortega is here with his wife Nicole Orostica, their daughter Victoria, 5, his sister Camila with her daughter Amparo, 4.

“The company directors can just resign, move on, and start new companies doing the same thing, but we are stuck in the predicament they left us in,” Ortega said.

Norma Schwenke of Mano Amiga (foreground), a charity that is helping former Buildhub employees. Photo / Michael Craig

Christian Torres, 32, whose wife is due to arrive on Wednesday, is worried her visa will no longer be valid and she will not be allowed into New Zealand because Buildhub has gone into liquidation.

Buildhub’s website says it placed 200-plus workers with 4800-plus hours of work every week.

Companies Office records show it was set up in July 2019, and the company was 50 per cent owned by Monsan Enterprises and Investments, and 50 per cent owned by Mariela Andrea Ehijo Contreras.

INZ said in a statement that due to the developing nature of the situation, it was unable to confirm any details at this stage but was addressing the situation.

“Providing a timely outcome is a number one priority for us,” the agency said.

“We appreciate that this situation will be very difficult news for these employees.

“We are working closely with the employer, the employees and other interested parties to ensure these workers can remain in New Zealand lawfully.

“We are also exploring options for those who are still overseas.”

new zealand travel times

Latest from New Zealand

Tesla airborne for 28m during crash that killed young lawyer, court hears

Tesla airborne for 28m during crash that killed young lawyer, court hears

Tesla then skidded 60m into bank, slid, smashed through pole, rolled, court hears.

'Not the story we thought we would be covering today': Newshub reports its own demise on 6pm bulletin

'Not the story we thought we would be covering today': Newshub reports its own demise on 6pm bulletin

Fa’anānā Efeso Collins: Big crowds expected at late MP's public memorial

Fa’anānā Efeso Collins: Big crowds expected at late MP's public memorial

Tory Whanau finally reveals Wellington’s secret Reading Cinema deal

Tory Whanau finally reveals Wellington’s secret Reading Cinema deal

Cyberthreats set to evolve in 2024

Cyberthreats set to evolve in 2024

  • Logout Login
  • Adventure Holidays
  • Weekend Getaways
  • Driving Holidays
  • Travel News

5 countries that offer ‘Parent Visa,’ allowing your family to join you

TRAVEL TRENDS , WORLD Updated : Feb 22, 2024, 11:58 IST

new zealand travel times

First things first. What is a ‘Parent Visa?’ This visa is known by various names depending on the country, and serves as a medium for reuniting citizens or residents with their parents residing outside the country. These visas come in diverse forms, allowing new residents to work or necessitating some form of investment. However, in the case of New Zealand, the parent visa permits parents to stay in the country for a maximum of 6 months at a time, likewise, the conditions will vary in different countries.

If you were not aware of this, read on to know more about such countries that offer Parent Visa.

New Zealand

In New Zealand, the Parent Resident Visa empowers residents and citizens to sponsor their parents for residence in the country. To be eligible, the New Zealand resident must have sufficient income and agree to sponsor their parents. This visa encompasses living, working, and studying in New Zealand, allowing the inclusion of partners in the residence application. The process involves submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI), and if selected, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) issues an Invitation To Apply (ITA). Only those who receive an ITA can proceed with a residence application, which must be submitted within 4 months of ITA issuance.

Australia implemented a Parent Visa classification and made revisions to the Migration Bill to streamline the process of family reunification. Eligibility requires the applicant to have a child who is an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or an eligible New Zealand Citizen, residing in the country for a minimum of two years before the application. The parent is also required to act as a sponsor. Initially, the Parent Visa grants temporary residence for a period of two years, with the possibility of later converting it to permanent residency.

Canada offers two types of parent visas. The Super Visa, which is a temporary option, remains open to parents and grandparents of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. It allows multiple entries for up to 10 years, with individuals permitted to stay for up to two years at a time. Financial support from the child is a prerequisite. Then there is another option, the Parents and Grandparents Program, which has higher requirements as it allows the holder to reside and work in the country.

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, a parent will be able to secure a visa only if their child is under 18, a British citizen, or a permanent resident with seven consecutive years of residency. Active participation in the child's upbringing, including involvement in school-related activities and healthcare, is a requirement. The visa is initially issued for a period of 2.5 years, which can be later extended.

Germany facilitates family reunification with the issuance of a specialized Family Reunion Visa. This avenue is open to parents of individuals from non-European countries living in Germany, as long as these parents hold citizenship from the European Union, the European Economic Area, or the European Free Trade Association. Relatives and partners are eligible to apply for this visa, affording them the privilege to reside and work in Germany without the need for a distinct work or residence permit.

Visual Stories

new zealand travel times

10 super cool hill stations to visit in India in March

new zealand travel times

9 Indian cities named after a Hindu goddess

new zealand travel times

Europe's cultural treasures: Iconic art and heritage attractions await

new zealand travel times

India’s most expensive wedding venues where expenses can surpass INR 50 lakh!

new zealand travel times

10 happiest countries of 2024

new zealand travel times

Places in India that are peaceful and calm

new zealand travel times

8 most beautiful cycling paths in the world!

new zealand travel times

Top senior-citizen friendly nations for hassle-free travel experiences

new zealand travel times

11 countries offering citizenship by birth

new zealand travel times

Places around the world that look unreal

Join Us On Facebook Close

Poll of the day, which of these is one of earth's oldest geographical feature, comments (0).

new zealand travel times

Refrain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks, name calling or inciting hatred against any community. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines by marking them offensive . Let's work together to keep the conversation civil.

Comments ( ) Sort: Newest UpVoted Oldest Discussed Down Voted closecomments

userthumb

SIGN IN WITH

Or post without registration, trending stories.

new zealand travel times

10 countries that will likely survive the climate change

new zealand travel times

Voynich Manuscript: World's most mysterious book; where is it now?

new zealand travel times

Mumba Devi Temple, the guardian of Mumbai: Interesting facts

new zealand travel times

New heli service introduced in Haldwani, Munsiyari, Pithoragarh, and Champawat

new zealand travel times

Will Tuvalu disappear in the next few years?

new zealand travel times

5 favourite vacation spots of Ambanis and 4 of them are in India!

new zealand travel times

9 oldest civilisations on earth that shaped the humans

new zealand travel times

From around the web

Popular galleries.

10 countries that will likely survive the climate change

7 reasons why March is the best time for wildlife adventures in India

logo

Follow us on

Latest news.

  • How to plan a successful trip to Bangkok? A complete guide
  • 10 countries with the best quality of life
  • Best islands to explore in the Andamans
  • Discover the charms of India's pretty coastal towns
  • What not to miss in Jaisalmer?
  • These are the world’s most powerful passports for 2024!
  • Places in India that are a bird watcher's paradise
  • Diwali 2023: Gorgeous photos from India's mega-festival
  • Kyiv, Lviv in Ukraine on UNESCO’s 'in danger' list
  • Mystery behind the Hanging Pillar at Lepakshi in Andhra Pradesh
  • Real-life Hogwarts Express from Harry Potter
  • 15 cities every foreign traveller should visit in India
  • Singapore becomes world’s most powerful passport!
  • Europe's most beautiful places
  • Oh so pretty! World’s prettiest castles
  • Offbeat island destinations in Asia
  • Must-visits on the Golden Triangle
  • What makes Hornbill Festival the Festival of Festivals?

Congratulations!

You have been successfully added to the mailing list of Times of India Travel. To complete the subscription process, kindly open your inbox and click on the confirmation link which has been emailed to you.

Share with friends

Thank You for sharing! Your friend will receive the article link on email mentioned.

  • (For more than one recipient, type addresses separated by commas)

5 countries that offer ‘Parent Visa,’ allowing your family to join you

First things first. What is a ‘Parent Visa?’ This visa is known by various names depending on the country, and serves as a medium for reuniting citizens or residents with their parents residing outsid...

new zealand travel times

Looking for deals

Franz Josef Glacier Valley

Franz Josef Glacier Valley

Milford Sound

Milford Sound

Picturesque countryside

Picturesque countryside

Auckland, the City of Sails

Auckland, the City of Sails

The Bay of Islands

The Bay of Islands

Milford Sound

Stunning expanses

Wai-o-Tapu, Rotorua

Wai-o-Tapu, Rotorua

Kensington Tours

2207 Concord Pike #645 , Wilmington , United States of America .

Every itinerary is created by a Kensington Tours Destination Expert based on your specifications. With expert planning & first-hand, local knowledge we make sure every detail is looked after while you get to enjoy a personalized trip to New Zealand.

kensingtontours.png

Known for its breathtaking landscapes, ruggedly beautiful New Zealand is filled with otherworldly terrain to explore. From seemingly galactic glow worm caves to mythical forests and dramatic mountains, we’ll help you plan the immersive trip of a lifetime in New Zealand. Whether cruising amongst fjords or flying above them in a helicopter and landing on a glacier, our Destination Experts’ intimate knowledge will help you take your travel dreams one step further. With your own expertly planned and personalized trip to New Zealand, you will get to meet with local private guides who will share with you their passion and insight into the breathtaking landscapes, creating a vacation in New Zealand you won’t forget.

Opening times

Open in larger map

Language support

  • Share on Facebook
  • Share by email

The content on this page was created by Kensington Tours

This website helps visitors connect with providers of great New Zealand tourism experiences. It is not intended to give any assurance that any particular provider meets certain quality standards or legal obligations. Please contact this business for more information. See also: newzealand.com terms of use .

IMAGES

  1. How to plan your New Zealand Road trip (North and/or South)

    new zealand travel times

  2. Maps & Travel Times

    new zealand travel times

  3. Travel times and distances New Zealand

    new zealand travel times

  4. How Long Does It Take To Travel Through New Zealand

    new zealand travel times

  5. New Zealand Driving, Driving in New Zealand

    new zealand travel times

  6. New Zealand Driving Times You Need to Know

    new zealand travel times

VIDEO

  1. PART 2: NEW ZEALAND TRAVEL EXPERIENCED AND TIPS

  2. Stop dreaming about New Zealand and go

COMMENTS

  1. Travel time and distance calculator

    Plan your journey. While this journey planner tool gives distances in New Zealand, all times are approximate and do not allow time for stops, windy roads, heavy traffic or the impact of weather conditions. Because of the variable road conditions, travel times can often take longer than you expect. We recommend you allow extra time to enjoy your ...

  2. Travel Time and Distance Calculator

    Time & distance calculator. Your location: Drag and drop to reorder route points. A. B. Add a stop. Fastest Shortest. Clear route. Calculate route.

  3. 9 things to know before going to New Zealand

    Introducing New Zealand. 2. It's okay to dress down. Casualness rules in New Zealand, even in urban areas. Depending on what region you're in, even a wedding might see some Kiwis in jeans, their cleanest bush shirt (a tough woolen shirt) and gumboots (rubber boots) or jandals (flip flops). This is unremarkable.

  4. Guide to travelling to New Zealand

    Getting around New Zealand. Whether you want to self-drive, fly, join a tour, or hop on a bus or train, there are plenty of options for getting around New Zealand. Find out what's best for you with our practical advice on travel and transport in New Zealand. Find more transport options >.

  5. How to Plan the Perfect New Zealand Itinerary

    But don't let that stop you - it is still totally possible to explore New Zealand on a budget. If you are on a tight budget and watch your spending closely, you could get by with a daily budget of $60 - $90 per person. If you want a few splurges and to stay in nicer accommodation, plan to budget $100 - $150.

  6. New Zealand Travel Guide

    New Zealand Travel Guide-8401870 This Country Is Made Up of 2 Stunning Islands Full of Pristine Beaches and Otherworldly Landscapes ... Best Times to Visit New Zealand .

  7. New Zealand Driving Distance and Time Calculator

    These will be added in-between the starting and final destination. Also select a mode of travel (driving, biking or even walking). Click the 'Get Directions' button and the driving distance and time calculator will then calculate the route and display the overall distance and time. The map will display the route and it will be itemised.

  8. The New Zealand Travelling & Driving Times You NEED to Know ️

    North Island Driving Times. What are the driving times in New Zealand between the North Island's popular cities? Auckland Central to:. Paihia - 240 km, 149 miles, 3h35min Gisborne - 480 km, 298 miles, 6h30min Waitomo - 200 km, 124 miles, 3h10min Rotorua - 233 km, 145 miles, 3h35min Napier - 422 km, 262 miles, 5h05min Tongariro National Park - 326 km, 203 miles, 4h

  9. New Zealand travel guide: all you need to know

    Best time to visit. New Zealand is at its best during the summer months between December and February, but for fewer crowds and lower prices, consider a visit in the autumn (March to May), or ...

  10. Flight times from the USA to New Zealand

    A handy guide to flying to New Zealand from the USA. Flight times to Auckland from Los Angeles (13 hours), San Francisco (13 hours), Houston (14.5 hours), Vancouver (14 hours), Chicago (16 hours), New York (21.5 hours) and more. Compare flight times to New Zealand between the main airports in the USA and Europe.

  11. The best time to visit New Zealand

    Journeying to New Zealand and exploring Aotearoa is a good choice any time of the year - but your experience will vary depending on what season you choose to visit.. During summer, you can enjoy a southern hemisphere adventure by hiking New Zealand's Great Walks and partying at the year's best music festivals, while the more affordable months of autumn lend themselves to RV vacations.

  12. Best time to visit New Zealand: when to go and what to do

    Head to New Zealand in June-July, when pods of humpbacks, southern right whales, pilot whales and blue whales migrate up the eastern coast. En route, they stop for a well-earned rest near Kaikoura ...

  13. The Best Time to Visit New Zealand

    Aside from these extremes, however, New Zealand generally has a temperate climate that makes it a comfortable destination year-round. The main cities on both islands are mostly coastal, meaning daytime temperatures rarely dip below 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius) in the winter, or above 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius) in summer.

  14. Best Time to Visit New Zealand: When to Go & When to Avoid!

    Spring (September, October, November) is the best time to visit New Zealand if you are looking for mild temperatures ( great for hiking!) and fewer crowds. Summer ( December, January, February) is the best time to travel to New Zealand if you're looking for warm temperatures, long hours of daylight, and days spent at the beach.

  15. Your Ultimate Guide To Choosing The Best Time To Visit New Zealand

    The best time to visit New Zealand is during the summer season, spanning from December to February. Experience bright and sunny days with temperatures ranging between 20°C and 25°C, making it the perfect time for outdoor activities such as hiking, beach sports, and biking. The warm weather in January also sets the stage for numerous local ...

  16. Welcome to New Zealand

    Welcome to New Zealand. Get official travel information, maps, itineraries, best time to travel & things to do to help you plan your next holiday to New Zealand.

  17. When is the best time to visit New Zealand?

    Best time to visit. The best time to visit New Zealand is during the summer months of December to March. Expect long, bright, sunny days and temperatures between 61°F and 75°F. It's an ideal time to visit the lovely beaches or enjoy the many outdoor activities available, such as hiking and mountain biking.

  18. 31 Tips for Travelling in New Zealand [2024] (Including COVID Advice)

    The Ultimate List of New Zealand Travel Tips. Ah, New Zealand! Known to the local Maori as "Aotearoa", New Zealand is a remote country in the South Pacific famous for its dramatic scenery. At about 1,600km (1,000 miles) long and 450km (280 miles) at its widest point, the country is easy to explore.

  19. New Zealand Itineraries

    To explore more of the regions and get off the beaten track, you could easily spend three weeks or more exploring. Whether you are going for just a weekend, or for a whole month, you can find an itinerary to suit you. 3-7 day itineraries. 8-14 day Itineraries. Longer itineraries.

  20. New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA)

    Most travellers need either an NZeTA or a visa to travel to New Zealand. This depends on the passport you are travelling on, and if you will be a visitor or a transit passenger. You can use your NZeTA to travel to New Zealand multiple times while it is valid. An NZeTA is valid for 2 years for travellers, or 5 years for crew members.

  21. New Zealand Travel Guide: Information and Discounts

    The ultimate NZ guide. Whether this is your first time in Aotearoa New Zealand, or you're exploring your own backyard, let's work together to get the most from your travels. We'll help you find hidden gems, get practical advice and save money in the process. Explore our content by location or use the search to find exactly what you're ...

  22. I'm hiking the length of New Zealand on honeymoon

    I'm on honeymoon but it's a far cry from the Maldives. I am nearing the end of a five-month trek from one end of New Zealand to the other — a 1,882-mile route called the Te Araroa (TA ...

  23. New Zealand immigration: Migrant staff shocked after Buildhub

    Plumber Fernando Gonzalez, 42, took a $36,000 loan to bring his wife Ximena and children Emilia, 11, and Vincente, 9, here from Chile. After arriving in New Zealand, he said Buildhub made him buy ...

  24. 5 countries that offer 'Parent Visa,' allowing ...

    TRAVEL TRENDS, WORLD Updated : Feb 22, 2024, 11:58 IST 5 countries that offer 'Parent Visa,' allowing your family to join you First things first. What is a 'Parent Visa?' This visa is ...

  25. COVID-19 travel safety and information

    Antigen tests. Travellers entering New Zealand do not need pre-departure tests or proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enter New Zealand. Check with your travel provider as they may still require proof of vaccination. If you have COVID-19 symptoms when you arrive in New Zealand, it is recommended to take a rapid antigen test (RATs).

  26. Itineraries 8-14 days

    Christchurch to Queenstown via Lake Tekapo. Cycling & Mountain Biking — Nature & wildlife — Walking & hiking. 8 Days — 600 km. Lake Tekapo / Takapō > Wānaka > Queenstown. Discover the South Island on this 8-day campervan itinerary from Christchurch to Queenstown. Explore Christchurch and the UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve in Lake Tekapo.

  27. Kensington Tours

    Travel, time & distance calculator All itineraries All itineraries 3-7 days 8-14 days 15+ days North Island trips South Island trips ... With your own expertly planned and personalized trip to New Zealand, you will get to meet with local private guides who will share with you their passion and insight into the breathtaking landscapes, creating ...