Best Time to Fly to New Zealand

Peak season:
December, January and February (New Zealand’s summer months) are the best time to travel. Average temperatures are between 68 and 86 degrees (F). The autumn months of March through May are good times to book trips to New Zealand. The temperatures are slightly cooler than summer, but the weather can still be excellent and this is the time of year for beautiful autumn foliage.

Off season:
Traveling is cheaper during July and August and visitors can likely find cheap flights to New Zealand during this time. Average winter temperatures are 50-59 degrees (F).

Why you should take a flight to New Zealand

New Zealand is surrounded by mountains, fast-flowing rivers, lakes, forests, and miles-long beaches. Travelers seeking peace, nature, and paradise book flights to New Zealand to gain tranquility from the general chaos of everyday life. Thanks to an excess in tourism, the country's economy continues to grow at a steady pace. Add tourism to New Zealand's main export business -- meat, wool, and dairy -- and the country continues to thrive and produce. 

Travelers booking trips to New Zealand will find there is plenty to taste. Dine on a dozen different varieties of fish and shellfish fresh from the New Zealand waters. The vast land mass and farming gives diners some of the best prime beef, lamb, venison, and ostrich. And what meal is complete without a glass of wine. New Zealand wines are revered around the world and continue to be praised by some of the best sommeliers in the world. 

Once your flight to New Zealand arrives, take in some hiking, rafting, swim with the dolphins, whale-watch, and, of course, take a turn at bungee-jumping. New Zealand is a country of adventures just waiting for travelers to set foot and explore.

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New Zealand climate

The New Zealand climate changes throughout the year. There are mild winters and warm, humid summers on the North Island, while the South Island is colder and has huge glaciers and snowfields. The mountains get snow in the winter and the west coast sees most of the rain. Summer lasts from November to April.

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Getting around New Zealand

Air New Zealand

The following chart gives approximate journey times from

Wellington

(in hours and minutes) to other major cities and towns in New Zealand.

 AirRoadRail
Auckland1.009.0010.00
N. Plymouth1.008.30-
Christchurch0.457.20*5.20*
Dunedin1.2012.20*-
Note:

*Plus ferry crossing of three hours.

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New Zealand Travel Information

  • Kapiti Island, north of Wellington on the North Island, is home to a nature reserve that protects some of the rarest birds in the world. These include Robin, Saddleback, Stitchbird, Kaka, Kakariki, Weka, Kereru, Bellbirds and the extremely rare flightless Takahe. The nocturnal Kiwi, the emblem of New Zealand, also lives here.
  • Rotorua in central North Island, is a geothermal area. There are several geysers including the spectacular 20-metre Pohutu geyser at Whakarewarewa (the thermal village) and hot mud pools. It is also the heartland of Maori culture. There are 16 lakes around Rotorua, 11 are fishable and stock trout (rainbow, brown, brook and tiger).Major fishing lakes are Rotorua, Rotoiti, Tarawera, Okataina and Rotoma. Ask your Rotorua hotel for sight-seeing recommendations, as you'll like get a couple discounts if you book in bulk.
  • Larnach Castle is New Zealand’s only castle and Dunedin’s (South Island) top visitor attraction. The castle was built in 1871 by William Larnach for his first wife. It is owned by the Barker family, but it is open for tours and celebrations. The views over the Otago Peninsula are breathtaking. Dunedin is also home to the Cadbury Factory, which features a unique chocolate fall in a five-storey high silo.
  • Queenstown is the birthplace of commercial bungee-jumping. The city lies on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, and is surrounded by the Remarkables mountain range, the youngest ski area in the region. The Lindauer Queenstown Winter Festival takes place in late June and July, so be sure to book your Queenstown hotels well in advance if you plan on attending the festival.
  • The Lord of the Rings trail: Mount Aspiring National Park, named for one of New Zealand’s highest peaks, is part of Te Wahipounamu, the South West New Zealand UNESCO World Heritage Area. The park, to the south of the Southern Alps, is popular for walking and mountaineering. Many locations around Glenorchy village (Lothlorien, Amon Hen, Orthanc, and Isengard) were used in the films.
  • Hotels in Auckland City are a great starting point for first-time New Zealand travelers, and available for all budgets and personalities.

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New Zealand airports

Auckland International Airport (AKL). The airport is situated 14 miles south of Auckland.

Christchurch International Airport (CHC). The airport is situated eight miles from Christchurch.

Wellington International Airport (WLG). The airport is situated five miles east of Wellington.

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Passport and Visa Information

Visitors need a valid passport and proof of a return ticket or sufficient funds to enter the country.

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Entry requirements

US citizens need a valid passport, but no visa is required as long as your stay doesn’t last more than three months.

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Melisse Hinkle
A New England native but explorer at heart, Melisse has lived in four U.S. cities, spent a summer in Hawaii, made her way through wine-producing regions in Australia and New Zealand, and traveled around Europe while studying abroad in London. She is the Content Manager for the U.S. and Canada at Cheapflights.
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    Cheap flights to New Zealand

    New York (NYC) to Auckland, New Zealand (AKL)
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    Approx flight times

    John F. Kennedy International to Auckland International:
    20 hr 25 mins

    In-flight reading

    Be My Valentine

    Jane BeckenhamA swashbuckling time-travel romance set in the late 17th century.

    The Bone People

    Keri HulmeThis book traces the lives of Kerewin Holmes, who is, like Hulme herself, part-Maori, part-Pakeha (European), Joe, and Simon, who live in a remote part of New Zealand.

    The Penguin History of New Zealand

    Michael KingAn accessible and thought-provoking treatment of New Zealand history.