New Zealand, Aotearoa, Land of the Long White Cloud. Whatever you call it, travelling New Zealand is an adventurous, nature-loving, cultural tour de force through some of the finest countryside you’ll find in the world.
Be a beach bum during the long summer evenings or ski your heart out during the northern hemisphere summer — it’s all here waiting for you.
New Zealand is a country located in the South Pacific Ocean, making it part of Oceania. Its nearest neighbours, Australia and the Pacific Islands of Fiji, New Caledonia and Tonga (among others) aren’t actually that close – you need to fly for around three hours to reach another country.
New Zealand is made up of two principal islands – the North Island (Te Ika a Maui) and the South Island (Te Wai Pounamu), as well as hundreds of smaller islands. New Zealand’s geography is diverse – you’ll find mountains, lakes, rivers, deserts, forests, beaches and glaciers. Just about whatever you want to find, you’ll discover it in New Zealand.
Adventure sports are a popular pastime in New Zealand – bungee jumping as a commercial enterprise was started there by AJ Hackett, and the country enjoys a good safety record for bungee jumping. You can also try skydiving, luging or zorbing, as well as the more traditional winter sports of skiing and snowboarding.
Since the epic Lord of the Rings trilogy was released on film, tens-of-thousands of people have flocked to New Zealand to spot their favourite backdrops. While Lord of the Rings tours exist, the best way to see the sights is to hire or buy your own vehicle and grab a copy of The Lord of the Rings Location Guidebookhttps://amzn.to/39er3VB to guide you.
- What to eat and drink in New Zealand
- Top 10 things to do in New Zealand
- Top 5 things to do in the New Zealand summer podcast
- Top 10 cheap things to do in Auckland, New Zealand
- Going tramping — planning your summer hikes in New Zealand
Getting to and from New Zealand
Flying and cruising are the only two options for arrival in New Zealand. Most international flights arrive into Auckland Airport, with a smaller number flying into Christchurch. If arriving from Australia, there are several more options to popular holiday spots.
New Zealand’s national flag-carrier, Air New Zealand, is part of the Star Alliance network and has the best wine-list in the sky — including in economy class. They have interesting budget options for trans-Tasman flights, but have an innovative line of customer service on the long-haul, ensuring that you’re well served on longer flights.
The airlines servicing NZ have some great cheap flight deals for both domestic and internationals mainly to Australia and the Pacific Islands. COVID-19 has greatly reduced the options, but they are starting to come back again.
There are several cruise-ship harbours in New Zealand, with Auckland’s being the most modern and closest to the city centre.
Best Travel Options in New Zealand
New Zealand is quite spread out, and many of teh best attractions are ‘off the beaten path’. Because of this, it’s best to hire a car or camper — we almost always use Spaceships — see below.
Book a Spaceship Camper
If we’re aware of it, we’ll update promotions in the tabs below. You can also compare all campers in New Zealand, Australia and the campers and motorhomes in the UK to see if Spaceships is right for you.
We’ve hired Spaceship Campers since 2011 (and most recently for Easter 2022), so we’ve seen a lot of them! If you have questions that aren’t answered here, please ask in the comments.
Train travel is fine around Auckland and between Auckland and Hamilton on Te Huia. Other train journeys are scenic and slow: designed to showcase amazing scenery rather than commuter speed. Enjoyable!
Coaches and busses or flights are the most effective way to get between cities and regional centers if you don’t have access to your own vehicle.
New Zealand travel resources
Check out our New Zealand in four weeks itinerary podcast or browse the articles below.