Travel to New Zealand

Flying to New Zealand

There are plenty of options for flights to New Zealand from all over the world. Seven airports in New Zealand cater for international flights. Auckland Airport and Christchurch International Airport are the principal arrival points for the North and South Island respectively, but Wellington International Airport, Palmerston North International Airport and Hamilton International Airport also serve the North Island, while Dunedin International Airport and Queenstown Airport operate on the South Island.

The national airline is Air New Zealand (, which flies from numerous international destinations, including the UK (via Los Angeles). Flights to New Zealand from the UK are available with a number of different airlines, including Qantas, Emirates, Singapore Airlines and Malaysian Airlines, all involving a stopover. 

From October 2020, Air New Zealand will stop its service connecting London with Los Angeles and instead connect Auckland with New York.

Major airports are: Auckland International Airport, Christchurch International Airport, Queenstown Airport and Wellington International Airport.

Air notes:

The high season for flights to New Zealand is during the summer months (December to February). Although shoulder seasons are slightly less busy, New Zealand’s popularity requires passengers to book well in advance, even during the winter months (when the airports are full of skiers and winter sports enthusiasts).

Flight times:

To Auckland: from London - 24 hours (including stopover); New York - 22 hours (including stopover); Los Angeles - 13 hours.

Given the country’s relative distance from other major destinations, consider purchasing a round-the-world ticket and stop off on the way to New Zealand. Popular stopovers en route include Bangkok, Brisbane, Brunei, Dubai, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Los Angeles, Fiji, Tahiti, San Francisco, Singapore, Sydney, Qatar, Tokyo and Tonga.

Air passes:

Visit Australia and New Zealand Pass: allows travel to more than 60 destinations in Australia and New Zealand on Qantas, LAN and affiliated airlines. Fares vary according to the number of zones covered (between one and four zones). Available through any oneworld airline (

There are often special deals available from major airlines such as Air New Zealand and Qantas, but it's a good idea to shop around for what's on offer for your proposed time of travel.

Air New Zealand Explorer Pass: available exclusively to residents of the USA and Canada who have purchased an Air New Zealand fare from the USA or Canada. Permits travel to a combined 37 destinations in New Zealand, Australia, and the South Pacific Islands. Prices differ depending on the number of zones covered (between one and four zones). Available for purchase through travel agents or by calling Air New Zealand prior to departure (+1-800-262-1234) or after arriving in New Zealand (+64 800-737-000).  


Departure tax:

Usually included in the airfare.

Airport guides

Airport Code: AKL. Location: Auckland Airport is located 21km (13 miles) south of Auckland. Money: Bureau de change facilities and ATMS can be found in both terminals. Read more

Airport Code: CHC. Location: Christchurch International Airport is located 12km (7.5 miles) northwest of Christchurch city... Money: A number of ATMs and bureaux de change are located throughout the terminal complex. A full-service... Read more

Airport Code: WLG. Location: Wellington International Airport is located 8km (5 miles) southeast of Wellington city centre. Money: There are ATMs, banking facilities and foreign exchange kiosks in the terminal building. Read more

Airport Code: ZQN. Location: Queenstown Airport is located 9km (6 miles) to the northeast of central Queenstown, in the lakeside... Money: There are ATMs within the main concourse. There are also services for all foreign currency sales... Read more

Travel by rail

Getting to New Zealand by boat

International shipping lines sailing from the USA and Europe serve the major ports of Auckland, Opua and Wellington in the North Island, and Christchurch, Dunedin, Lyttelton and Picton in the South Island. It’s also possible to sail between New Zealand, Australia and some of the surrounding Pacific Islands on a yacht, although this isn’t a regular way of accessing the country.

There are no regular passenger ships from the UK or Europe to New Zealand. However, a number of round-the-world cruise ships stop here during routes around Australia and the Pacific Islands and on expedition cruises to Antarctica.

Regular freight liners carrying cargo sometimes offer passenger berths, although this is a slow way of reaching the destination and these do not supply the same level of comfort or amenities as dedicated passenger vessels.

For further details on travelling to New Zealand by boat, contact Tourism New Zealand (

Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.