New Zealand Travel Guide

Get the how and what of travel to and within New Zealand from an insider with info on when to visit, where to go, what to do, and what to watch out for.

Travel Sections

1. What do you need to be able to visit New Zealand?

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

3. Getting around New Zealand

4. Where to go in New Zealand?

5. Planning your trip to New Zealand

6. Traveling New Zealand alone

1. What do you need to be able to visit New Zealand?

Before planning a trip to New Zealand, it is a good idea to ensure that you meet the requirements for entering New Zealand.

Typically, you'll only need to have a valid passport, but there are circumstances concerning yourself and/or your nationality that will require you to apply for a visitor's visa before you travel to New Zealand. Official New Zealand government agencies can help you with that.

Planning for arrival in New Zealand

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

After you have checked the requirements for entry, you can start planning your trip. The first thing you may want to decide on are trip dates, so which time of the year you would like to visit New Zealand.

There is no best time to visit New Zealand. It is always a good time to visit New Zealand. New Zealand always looks gorgeous. And New Zealand is almost always busy, but not too busy like Maui or Oahu.

You just need to decide on your interests and match them to what New Zealand has got to offer. Once you've done that, you can easily come up with a suitable time period to visit New Zealand based on your interests and the things you would like to do.

Best time to visit New Zealand

Visiting New Zealand in a particular month of the year

Visiting New Zealand in spring

Visiting New Zealand in summer

Visiting New Zealand in autumn

Visiting New Zealand in winter

Visiting New Zealand during Christmas

3. Getting around New Zealand

To get around the country, you may first want to decide whether you should rent a car or not in New Zealand. While it is not absolutely necessary to rent a car in New Zealand, it does make getting around easier, and it gives you the freedom that other transportation modes won't be able to provide.

If you decide to go ahead and rent a car in New Zealand, it is advisable to know a little bit about driving in New Zealand before you come over. There are free official resources you can access online to read up and learn about the driving rules in New Zealand.

If you decide not to rent a car, there are other transportation modes you can use such as busses, trains, or even airplanes.

Note that hitchhiking is not a safe option anymore in New Zealand, but you can always try it at your own risk.

New Zealand consists of two large islands (the North Island and the South Island) and of a couple of smaller ones. The two main islands are not connected to each other, so you will have to either fly or catch a ferry to travel between the North and South Islands.

Self-driving New Zealand

Getting around New Zealand by bus, train, ferry, or airplane

4. Where to go in New Zealand?

It is really up to you whether you would like to visit the North Island or the South Island of New Zealand or both. When I came here for the first time, I visited both.

But visiting both New Zealand islands also means that you'll need at least more than 5 days to be able to enjoy a decent amount of sights and activities on both islands.

Which New Zealand island is better? North or South?

Must-see places and must-do activities in New Zealand

Sample New Zealand travel itineraries

5. Planning your trip to New Zealand

Budgetting for a trip to New Zealand

Deciding where to stay

6. Traveling New Zealand alone