About New Zealand
About New Zealand
Getting Here – Flying To and Around New Zealand
There are many airlines that fly to/from New Zealand. Please note that some of the airlines code share, a practice that allows them to share each other’s aircraft. We recommend you contact the airlines directly for detailed information about flights. New Zealand has a comprehensive network of international and domestic airports. While Auckland Airport serves the largest number of international arrivals and departures, airports in Wellington, Rotorua, Hamilton, Christchurch and Queenstown also receive flights from other countries. Domestic airports make every part of the country accessible, from Kaitaia Airport in the far north to Ryan’s Creek Aerodrome on Stewart Island. Airport facilities vary according to the size of the local population.
Although we do not book international flights – we can assist you with domestic flights if required.
Passports & Visa Requirements for New Zealand
Is your passport ready to travel?
Before you travel to New Zealand, please check that your passport is ready for the trip. Your passport must be:
- Valid for at least three months beyond your intended departure date
- Not damaged, defaced or excessively worn
- Showing a visa or permit, if you require one.
Do you need a New Zealand visa or permit?
You do not need a visa or permit to visit New Zealand if you are:
- A New Zealand citizen or Resident Permit holder
- An Australian citizen travelling on an Australian passport
- An Australian resident with a current Australian resident return visa
- A British citizen and or British passport holder who can produce evidence of the right to reside permanently in the UK (you can stay up to six months)
- A citizen of a country which has a visa waiver agreement with New Zealand (you can stay up to three months).
Countries that have a visa waiver agreement with New Zealand:
If you are from a visa-waiver country and you intend to visit New Zealand for no more than three months (or six months if you are from the United Kingdom), you don’t need a visa to enter New Zealand. To find out if your country qualifies for a visa waiver, please visit the Immigration New Zealand website for a list of eligible countries.
You are however still required to provide:
- Travel tickets or evidence of onward travel arrangements
- Evidence that you can support yourself in New Zealand (approximately NZ$1000 per month per person).
How do you apply for a New Zealand Visitors Visa?
If your country is not on the visa waiver list, or you wish to stay longer than three months (or six months if you’re British), you will need to apply for a Visitor’s Visa. You can download application forms from the Immigration New Zealand website, or contact your nearest New Zealand Embassy .
Weather & Climate in New Zealand
New Zealand has mild temperatures, high rainfall, and lots of sunshine. You can also enjoy hot summers, beautiful spring and autumn colours, and crisp winter snow.
Climate – Land of the Long White Cloud
Since the Maori people named New Zealand ‘Land of the Long White Cloud’, climate has been of paramount importance to the people of New Zealand – many of whom make their living from the land. New Zealand has mild temperatures, moderately high rainfall, and many hours of sunshine throughout most of the country. Its climate is dominated by two main geographical features – the mountains and the sea.
New Zealand has a largely temperate climate. While the far north has subtropical weather during summer, and inland alpine areas of the South Island can be as cold as -10°C in winter, most of the country lies close to the coast, which means mild temperatures, moderate rainfall, and abundant sunshine.
Because New Zealand lies in the Southern Hemisphere, the average temperature decreases as you travel south. The far north of the country has an average temperature of about 15°C, while the deep south has a cooler 9°C average. January and February are the warmest months of the year, and July is the coldest.
Four Seasons in One Day
New Zealand does not have a large temperature range, lacking the extremes one finds in most continental climates. However, the weather can change unexpectedly – as cold fronts or tropical cyclones quickly blow in. Because of this, you should be prepared for sudden changes in weather and temperature if you’re going hiking or doing other outdoor activities. You can check on weather conditions in New Zealand on the New Zealand Met Service website.
The seasons in New Zealand are as follows:
Summer: December to February
Autumn: March to May
Winter: July to August
Spring: September to November
New Zealand’s summer months are December to February, bringing high temperatures and sunshine. Days are long and sunny, nights are mild. Summer is an excellent time for walking in the bush and a variety of other outdoor activities. New Zealand’s many gorgeous beaches are ideal for swimming, sunbathing, surfing, boating, and water sports during summer.
March to May are New Zealand’s autumn months. While temperatures are a little cooler than summer, the weather can be excellent, and it is possible to swim in some places until April. While New Zealand’s native flora is evergreen, there are many introduced deciduous trees. Colourful changing leaves make autumn a scenic delight, especially in regions such as Central Otago and Hawke’s Bay, which are known for their autumn splendour.
New Zealand’s winter months of June to August bring colder weather to much of the country, and more rain to most areas in the North Island. Mountain ranges in both islands become snow-covered, providing beautiful vistas and excellent skiing. While the South Island has cooler winter temperatures, some areas of the island experience little rainfall in winter, so this is an excellent time to visit glaciers, mountains, and other areas of scenic beauty.
Spring lasts from September to November, and New Zealand’s spring weather can range from cold and frosty to warm and hot. During spring buds, blossoms, and other new growth bursts forth throughout the country and new born lambs frolic in the fields just before dusk.. Both Alexandra in Central Otago and Hastings in Hawke’s Bay celebrate spring with a blossom festival. If you’re into white water rafting, this is the time when melting spring snow makes river water levels excitingly high!
Dress is informal and relaxed on most occasions. Smart casual clothes are acceptable at most restaurants and night-spots. Men are generally not expected to wear suits and ties, except in a few of the top formal bars and restaurants in major cities. In summer a medium weight jacket and sweater should be included in your luggage should the weather turn cooler or you visit higher altitudes. You can expect some rain, so also include a light rainproof jacket or coat. If visiting between May and September, pack warm winter garments including a hat, gloves and scarf and layer your clothing. Many activities in New Zealand may involve getting “off the beaten path” – we recommend bringing comfortable, waterproof walking shoes that can handle non paved walkways and/or walking tracks.
New Zealand is one of the first places in the world to see the new day, 12 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time).
In Summer, New Zealand uses ‘Daylight Saving’, with clocks put forward one hour to GMT +13. Daylight saving begins on the last Sunday in September and ends on the first Sunday of the following April, when clocks are put back to GMT+12.
Many businesses and all banks close on public holidays; all shops are closed on Christmas Day and Good Friday except for a few dairies (convenience stores) and some petrol stations.
Click here for a list of all New Zealand Public Holidays
When the public holiday falls on weekend, some of the public holiday will be recognised on the following working day. We recommend you to check the open dates and time with the attractions that you would like to visit with the operator directly.
Offices and businesses generally operate Monday to Friday, 8.30 am to 5.30 pm. Some tourist agencies and airlines have longer hours.
Petrol (gas) stations are often open 24 hours, stocking food and newspapers. Shops are usually open 9.00 am to 5.30 pm Monday to Friday, with late shopping until 9.00 pm varying from city to city throughout the week.
Many supermarkets, grocery stores, some large retail chains, most shopping malls and markets also operate Saturdays and Sundays. Large supermarkets are often open 24 hours while local convenience stores/dairy’s are usually open 7.00 am to 7.00 pm daily.