It all starts with an idea, doesn’t it? As soon as you’ve decided to start traveling to New Zealand, there appear a lot of details you need to consider.
Firstly, the most important thing to get is a plan! You need to think of as many details as possible. We tried to collect the most useful tips to prepare for your traveling to New Zealand.
Passports and visas
When you travel internationally, you need to have a valid passport and any documentation required for entry. This includes all of the countries you will be visiting during transit and when returning home. Depending on your passport nationality and destination, additional requirements may include:
- A minimum period of passport validity
- A return or onward ticket
- A returning resident visa
- Sufficient funds for your stay
Check your passport for any signs of damage as this may make it invalid for travel. If you have any concerns, contact your local passport issuing office.
If your travel documentation is incomplete or inadequate you will not be permitted to board your flight. To avoid any inconvenience and possible additional costs, please check that you meet the requirements for your destination(s) as well as any of the countries/regions you will pass through in transit.
We strongly recommend travel insurance for the entire time you plan to be overseas. Your policy should cover emergency medical situations, baggage loss or damage, and expenses incurred from disrupted travel plans.
Air New Zealand offers some insurance options for purchase both at the time of ticket purchase or anytime before the start of your travel.
Vaccinations and other medical precautions are recommended and in some cases required for travel to some countries/regions and are easily obtained through your doctor. Have them well before you leave to allow time for them to become effective and to recover from any possible side effects.
What if plans change?
If your travel plans change, no matter how late, please let Air New Zealand or your travel agent know immediately. Someone else may need a seat, and your call could make the difference! Sometimes changes to your travel plans are unavoidable. Depending on when such changes are made and your ticket type, associated cancellation or change penalties may or may not apply.
Arrival advice: biosecurity and customs in New Zealand
Once you start exploring New Zealand, you’ll see how this is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. There’s still vast areas of wilderness and native wildlife living here. Much of the plants and wildlife would be worse off or completely wiped out if there wasn’t a strict biosecurity system in place to stop people bringing in foreign pests and diseases. For this reason, you will need to declare a few specific items when traveling to New Zealand.
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) governs biosecurity in New Zealand.
What to expect from biosecurity when you land in New Zealand
- Complete the Passenger Arrival Card
- Arriving at the airport: declaring items
- What happens if a risk item is found in your bags
- What you should declare
- Declaring used equipment
The passenger arrival card for traveling to New Zealand
Part of your in-flight entertainment on your flight to New Zealand is filling out the Passenger Arrival Card for New Zealand. The card/form will be handed out to you by the flight crew during your flight. Once you have filled out the card, keep a hold of it so you can hand it into Passport Control and Customs once you arrive in New Zealand.
What you should declare
The restricted and prohibited goods that you must declare on your Passenger Arrival Card and arrival in the airport are:
- All food items down to the smallest ingredient.
- All plants and plant products, including items made from wood.
- Live animals.
- Animal products like shells, feathers, and hides.
- Water products like fish, shellfish, diving, and fishing equipment.
- Used equipment.
English is New Zealand’s official language. Though, you will definitely hear people speaking the language called Maori.
Noone expects you to learn the local language before you get to New Zealand, though you can try to remember some simple phrases at least try to sound more friendly if you wish.
- Kia ora – Hello
- Kia ora tatou – Hello everyone
- Tena koe – Greetings to you (said to one person)
- Tena koutou – Greeting to you all
- Haere mai – Welcome
- Nau mai – Welcome
- Kei te pehea koe? – How’s it going?
- Kei te pai – Good
- Tino pai – Really good
- Haere ra – Farewell
- Ka kite ano – Until I see you again (Bye)
- Hei konei ra – See you later
Money: currency, tipping
- Currency: New Zealand Dollar
- Tipping: not customary – reward excellent service only
- Paying: ATM and credit card payment available almost everywhere
New Zealand is all in length, so the climate varies significantly between the North and the South islands, mainly as the latest is covered with high mountains. Here are few things to know:
- There are four distinct seasons with cold winter and warmish summers, beautiful autumn foliage and colorful springs
- Summers climb to 20-25 degrees Celsius and winter drop to 5-10 degrees Celsius
- Rainfall and humidity is higher in the west than the east of the country
- It can get very windy, especially in the Center through Cook Strait
- Weather can change very quickly. Check out the forecast and plan for change before starting a long hike.
Clothes & other things to pack
- Layers, especially in South Island
- wind shell,
- Hat, gloves, leggings (especially if you are camping)
- Good hiking shoes and hiking equipment
In the pharmacy
- Motion sickness pill for the ferry crossing and boat to swim with dolphins
- Sun cream (ozone layer hole)
Extra to consider
- Flynet & insect repellent (for the west coast of South Island)
- Mask at your eyesight to swim with dolphin
- A travel adapter for New Zealand.
Undoubtedly the list of unimaginable things for traveling to New Zealand does not end on the listed items. We tried to select those that are of prior importance.