New Zealand Travel Guide - Travel Insights and Tips

Traveling to New Zealand? Our detailed New Zealand insights, blogs and travel tips will help you plan the best trip.

Broadly divided into the lush North Island and the rugged South Island, New Zealand is a stunner: a land of pristine beaches, soaring peaks, steaming volcanoes, primeval forests, gastronomical delights, and rich Maori culture. Our New Zealand Travel Guide will help you navigate this remarkable country — find out how many days you need to spend in New Zealand, the best time to go to New Zealand and its dreamiest destinations.

Though you can cover the major tourist spots in a week, we recommend spending at least 2 weeks in New Zealand. Roam the idyllic vineyards of Waiheke Island or try adventurous activities like zip lining here. Head to the Tongariro National Park, which is home to active volcanoes and offers plenty of hiking opportunities. Visit the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington and discover the country’s art, culture, heritage and history. Watch splendid superyachts, grab a coffee by the bay and stroll on Auckland’s waterfront.

While traveling to New Zealand in the summer is an excellent idea, winter in New Zealand is also a lovely time of the year. New Zealand in January falls in the middle of the peak tourist season, so plan in advance to get the best deals. If you want to skip the tourist rush, you can also visit New Zealand in March. Read our expert guide to learn more about epic tours to New Zealand.

Top Destinations in New Zealand

Discover the highlights of New Zealand.

City Exploration in Queenstown

City Exploration in Queenstown

Enjoy public artworks at the center of Queenstown, such as the sand and glass work in the Post Office Precinct. Visit St. Peter’s Church, built in the 1930s, and admire the stained glass, painted organ and bird-shaped cedar lectern. Don’t forget to stop by the Saturday Creative Queenstown Art and Craft Market to pick up locally-made merchandise.

Witness natural beauty at Milford Sound

Witness natural beauty at Milford Sound

Home to unique plant and animal life, Milford Sound is an astounding destination, a fjord shaped by ancient glaciers. One of the best ways of experiencing Milford Sound is by taking a boat cruise or kayaking to explore the pristine waterways. See eleven-legged sea stars and the black coral at the underwater observatory.

Relax in a hot spring in Rotorua

Relax in a hot spring in Rotorua

Rotorua’s boiling streams, thermal mud pools, lush forests, volcanic craters and cycling trails make it a popular destination. Sit back and relax in a natural hot stream, or pamper yourself in a new-age spa. There are kayaking tours too, and you can take a boat across a lake to see how the 1886 volcanic eruption altered the landscape.

New Zealand at a Glance

Quick facts about New Zealand.

CAPITAL CITY

Wellington is the capital of New Zealand and the southernmost capital in the world. The port settlement was named in 1840 after Arthur Wellesley, the first duke of Wellington. Today, Wellington is the country’s communications and transportation hub as well as New Zealand’s cultural capital with a sophisticated arts and food scene.

SIZE

268,021 square kilometers. Wellington has a vast public transport network, and you can get around easily using buses and trains. Smart Cards are better for longer stays.

COUNTRY CODE

+64 is New Zealand's country code for making calls from another country. Add an area code after the country code for areas, such as 4 for Wellington.

CURRENCY

New Zealand uses the dollar (NZD$). All major credit cards are accepted in the country, and Visa and Mastercard are widely used. Many retailers also have Apple Pay. Banks are usually open from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm Monday to Friday in all towns, big and small. ATMs can be found easily in towns and cities.

MAIN AIRPORT

Auckland Airport (AKL), 20 kilometers south of the city center, is the main airport for international flights to New Zealand. It is also New Zealand’s busiest and largest airport. Visitors can get connecting domestic flights by Air New Zealand and Jetstar. SkyBus, shuttles and taxi services connect the city to the airport, making for easy transportation. Code: AKL Closest City: Auckland

VISAS

Residents of Australia and the UK don’t need visas to travel to New Zealand. Australian residents can stay in New Zealand indefinitely, while UK visitors can stay up to 6 months. Some 60 countries, including the US, have visa waiver agreements with New Zealand and can visit New Zealand for up to 90 days. Residents of other countries must apply for a visitor visa. Check your country’s travel advisories before booking a trip.

LANGUAGE

New Zealand has three official languages: English, Te Reo Maori (Maori language) and New Zealand Sign Language. English is the most widely spoken language, making traveling to New Zealand a breeze. Once neglected, Te Reo Maori is undergoing a revival. Samoan and Hindi are some of the other languages that are spoken.

EMERGENCY CONTACT

The free-to-call emergency number is 111 if you need a quick response from the police, ambulance, fire service, or search and rescue.

WHAT'S UNIQUE

When paying with cash, follow Swedish rounding, that is rounding prices to the nearest multiple of 10, since there are no 1, 2 or 5 cent coins in the local currency.

When to visit New Zealand

Read the below travel guides to find the best time to visit New Zealand.

°C°F
  • Excellent
  • Good
  • Fair
  • Poor
  • JanAvg Daily: 20.2 ° CAvg Nightly: 15.9 ° C
  • FebAvg Daily: 20.2 ° CAvg Nightly: 16.5 ° C
  • MarAvg Daily: 19.6 ° CAvg Nightly: 15.3 ° C
  • AprAvg Daily: 17.6 ° CAvg Nightly: 14 ° C
  • MayAvg Daily: 15.5 ° CAvg Nightly: 12.3 ° C
  • JunAvg Daily: 13.6 ° CAvg Nightly: 10.8 ° C
  • JulAvg Daily: 12.6 ° CAvg Nightly: 9.7 ° C
  • AugAvg Daily: 13.1 ° CAvg Nightly: 10.1 ° C
  • SepAvg Daily: 13.7 ° CAvg Nightly: 10.3 ° C
  • OctAvg Daily: 15.1 ° CAvg Nightly: 11.3 ° C
  • NovAvg Daily: 16.7 ° CAvg Nightly: 12.7 ° C
  • DecAvg Daily: 18.8 ° CAvg Nightly: 14.8 ° C
Best Time to Visit New Zealand

Best Time to Visit New Zealand

Pristine beaches, soaring mountain peaks, sprawling national parks, bubbling volcanoes and lush forests—New Zealand’s natural beauty spans from the panoramic to the pristine, making it one of the world’s most incredible travel destinatio...Read more

Summer in New Zealand: Destinations and Weather Tips

Summer in New Zealand: Destinations and Weather Tips

From the beaches on the Bay of Plenty to paddleboarding around the Abel Tasman National Park to hiking around Mount Tongariro, summer in New Zealand is a wonderful time for visitors wanting to explore this iconic, rugged and absolutely stunning country. T...Read more

Winter in New Zealand: Top Destinations and Weather Advice

Winter in New Zealand: Top Destinations and Weather Advice

Characterized by snowfall all over the southern Alps, wintry hiking experiences, and uncrowded major cities, winter in New Zealand is a beautiful time to visit. If you’re really into snow sports or aren’t bothered about exploring the main sigh...Read more

New Zealand in January: Great Weather for a Trek

New Zealand in January: Great Weather for a Trek

Many visitors travel to New Zealand in January, as the country enjoys pleasantly warm weather. The month is ideal to enjoy outdoor activities, such as trekking Northland's Waipoua Forest, sailing in Auckland, or surfing in Shipwreck Bay. New Zealand also...Read more

New Zealand in February: A Summer Island Hopping Trip

New Zealand in February: A Summer Island Hopping Trip

February is the last summer month in New Zealand. Families on summer break will be heading back home during this time. So the beaches and campgrounds will not be as crowded as in January, making February an ideal time to travel to New Zealand’s famo...Read more

New Zealand in March: Great Weather For Exploration

New Zealand in March: Great Weather For Exploration

Although it is already the start of autumn in New Zealand in March, you can still enjoy summer conditions in some parts of the country. While the southern part of the country begins experiencing chilly autumn weather around this time, the North Island is...Read more

How long to stay in New Zealand

Read about the ideal duration to stay in New Zealand.

2 weeks in New Zealand: Top 2 Recommendations

2 weeks in New Zealand: Top 2 Recommendations

New Zealand boasts an impressive wealth of breathtaking landscapes, delectable food, and a friendly vibe unlike anywhere else you would find on the planet. From exploring the vibrant capital of Wellington to traveling significant sites in Auckland and the...Read more

Great New Zealand Itineraries: How Many Days to Spend?

Great New Zealand Itineraries: How Many Days to Spend?

New Zealand is a stunning country with a remarkable cultural history and incredible natural wonders, from sprawling alpine vistas and caves illuminated by glowworms to geothermal springs. This hotspot for adventurous travelers and outdoor lovers guar...Read more

10 Days in New Zealand: Top 4 Recommendations

10 Days in New Zealand: Top 4 Recommendations

New Zealand is a compact country comprising two main islands. But within these two islands you will find incredibly diverse landscapes. The ideal length of your New Zealand trip should be at least 10 days. In this duration, you can explore the country&rsq...Read more

7 Days in New Zealand: Top 5 Recommendations

7 Days in New Zealand: Top 5 Recommendations

For a country just a wee bit larger than the US state of Colorado, New Zealand is incredibly diverse. From white sandy beaches to snow-clad mountains and from active volcanoes to pristine fjords and glacier lakes, the country has it all. It’s a true...Read more

3 Weeks in New Zealand: Top 4 Recommendations

3 Weeks in New Zealand: Top 4 Recommendations

Home to a myriad of vibrant cities, charming lakes, soaring peaks, and pristine nature reserves, New Zealand is a dream come true for city dwellers and nature lovers alike. Soak up the sights and tick off the major highlights at your leisure with three we...Read more

Sustainable travel — How to travel through New Zealand responsibly

In line with Bookmundi’s vision, we wish to provide our travelers with a sustainable travel experience through Nepal. As part of this effort, we carbon offset any Nepal tour that you purchase through us. Read more details about our carbon offsetting program.

Here’s what you can do to travel to New Zealand more responsibly:

  • Carbon offset your transport to New Zealand via Ekos. If you purchased your New Zealand tour through Bookmundi, we will carbon offset your tour from its starting point to its ending point.
  • You can donate to organizations like Greenfleet (which operates in Australia and New Zealand) and Carbon Neutral NZ Trust to aid their green efforts.
    You can travel sustainably to New Zealand by visiting the country in the low season to prevent overtourism, packing reusable items such as water bottles and tote bags, and using public transport instead of domestic flights.

New Zealand travel tips and insights

  • New Zealand is an excellent country for road-tripping. But always plan ahead as shops and petrol stations are not abundant in remote places.
  • Invest in some insect repellent and cover your ankles and head to avoid being bitten by sandflies. If you are bitten, your saliva can act as a temporary itch relief before you can buy proper cream.
  • Get a data pack, as free wifi is scarce in remote areas.
  • New Zealand law allows people to camp just about anywhere (unless posted otherwise). Consider renting a campervan for an incredible trip across the country.
  • It is always useful to learn a few Kiwi phrases. “Bush” means forest, while “togs” are swimsuits and the local “dairy” is the corner store.

Ready to customize your New Zealand Vacation

Book your trip when it is perfectly designed and customized, just for you.

David Tupper
David TupperTravel Expert in Australia & New Zealand
Geoff Venning
Geoff VenningTravel Expert in New Zealand
Looking for a different destination? Explore here
Customize Tours Bookmundi

Why book with Bookmundi

FINEST SELECTION

Hand-picked selection of the best multiday tours and trip packages globally.

BEST PRICE

We guarantee you the best price. Found a lower price? We will match it.

CUSTOMERS  US

4.8 stars of more than 25,000 trip ratings.

Reviews.io badge

Tour Types

Popular Destinations

Popular Activities

Upcoming Departures

Trips per Duration

COOKIE POLICY

We use cookies to analyze traffic and give you personalized content and ads. It's an essential part of giving you a great site experience. Click on the 'Accept' button if you agree with our use of tracking and analytical cookies. Please refer to our Cookie Policy for more information.