COVID-19 alert: Travel requirements are changing rapidly, including need for pre-travel COVID-19 testing and quarantine on arrival.

New Zealand
Travel Guide

Tongaporutu featuring a sunset, mountains and a bay or harbor

Explore the glacially carved country of Aotearoa, “the land of the long white cloud,” to discover volcanic mountains, ancient forests and scenes immortalized by Hollywood directors.

With snow-capped peaks, primeval forests, and active volcanoes, New Zealand’s stunning natural diversity has played a staring role in movies like Avatar and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. It’s not just movie directors who are drawn here; outdoors enthusiasts also come in droves to trek mountains, ski glaciers, abseil into limestone caves and experience white-knuckle rides down river rapids. With Maori society dating back over 700 years, and English settlement almost 200, Aotearoa, as New Zealand is traditionally known, is a place of diverse cultural riches too.

At the top of the North Island, discover the “City of Sails”, Auckland, then lose yourself in the fabulous Bay of Islands. Just to the south, the geysers and bubbling mud pools of Rotorua await. Visit the Whakarewarewa Thermal Village to learn how the Maori coexist with the unpredictable nature of the landscape. Near the North Island’s center, hike through herb fields and forests near the active volcanoes of Tongariro National Park.

New Zealand’s political and cultural capital Wellington, sits at the southern tip of the North Island. Ride the Wellington Cable Car, tour the city’s museums and galleries, and order a short black in Cuba Street, the city's bohemian enclave.

From Wellington, it’s just a short ferry ride to the South Island. Explore the glaciers and lakes of the Mount Cook region or take a TranzAlpine rail journey though Arthurs Pass. If you’re into mountain biking or skiing, carve up the slopes around Queenstown, or saddle up for a multi-day adventure along the Otago Rail Trail. New Zealand is the birthplace of bungee jumping, so leap off the Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge, or take a jet-boat ride through the swirling waters below. For a change of pace, paddle a sea kayak across the pure waters and silence of Milford Sound.

Located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, New Zealand is a three-hour flight from Australia. Its major cities have direct connections to over 20 major cities worldwide.

Popular cities in New Zealand

Sky Tower featuring a high rise building, central business district and general coastal views
Auckland
Known for Dining, Shopping and Port
Nature experiences abound in this city surrounded by harbors and rain forest. Go island hopping, dine out on the water or peer into the crater of a volcano.

Reasons to visit

  • Queen Street Shopping District
  • Sky Tower
  • Piha Beach
Christchurch
Christchurch
Known for Seafood, Shopping and Family-Friendly
Known for its green spaces, New Zealand’s “Garden City” also offers plenty of restaurants, bars, boutiques and outdoor adventure sports.

Reasons to visit

  • New Brighton Beach
  • Willowbank Wildlife Reserve
  • Sumner Beach
Mount Victoria Lookout showing night scenes, a bay or harbor and mountains
Wellington
Known for Seafood, Shopping and Walking
New Zealand’s capital city relishes the good life with its natural beauty, arts, culture and thriving movie industry.

Reasons to visit

  • Wellington Central Business District
  • Wellington Waterfront
  • Oriental Parade
Queenstown which includes a sunset, mist or fog and a bay or harbor
Queenstown
Known for Scenery, Recreation and Tours
This alpine resort town in New Zealand’s South Island is an adventure-lover's paradise and the birthplace of bungee jumping and jet boating.

Reasons to visit

  • Lake Wakatipu
  • Cardrona Alpine Resort
  • Skyline Gondola
Rotorua featuring a hot spring
Rotorua
Known for Spas, Family-Friendly and Recreation
Visitors flock to this geothermal site to enjoy its hot springs, mud pools, watersports and fascinating Maori culture.

Reasons to visit

  • Lake Rotorua
  • Lake Rotoiti
  • Polynesian Spa
New Zealand
Hamilton
Known for Spas, Family-Friendly and Surfing
Hamilton has the appeal of a country town and the cultural attractions of a city, and is close to many of New Zealand’s popular attractions on the North Island.

Reasons to visit

  • Hobbiton Movie Set
  • Hamilton Gardens

Popular places to visit in New Zealand

New Zealand