Visitor Visa Tips for New Zealand

Updated on Mar 18, 2023 | Online New Zealand Visa

If your travel goals of 2023 include visiting New Zealand on your next trip then read along to explore the best ways to travel across the naturally gifted landscapes of this country. 

Although, popular places like the Hobbiton movie sets, sites to explore within major cities like Auckland and Queensland could have been your first inspiration to visit New Zealand but on your journey through eyes are sure to find more beauty in whichever direction they see. 

Visit Aotearoa with an open heart as you travel through the variety of tastes and places that this land has to offer and you will soon begin to discover why this country is famously called the 'Land of a Long white cloud'.

New Zealand Visa (NZeTA)

New Zealand eTA Application Form now allows visitors from all nationalities to obtain New Zealand eTA (NZETA) by email without visiting New Zealand Embassy. New Zealand Visa application process is automated, simple, and completely online. New Zealand Immigration now officially recommends Online New Zealand Visa or New Zealand ETA online rather than sending paper documents. You can obtain New Zealand eTA by filling out a form on this website and making the payment using a Debit or Credit Card. You will also require a valid email id as New Zealand eTA information will be sent to your email id. You do not need visit an embassy or consulate or to send your passport for Visa stamping. If you are arriving to New Zealand by the Cruise Ship route, you should check the New Zealand ETA eligibility conditions for Cruise Ship arrival to New Zealand.

Find Information Sites for Travellers  

Information sites are specific points within each city of New Zealand to get foreign visitors acquainted with the city's visiting areas, maps and other information which could be needed to explore the area further. 

As a foreign visitor you can easily find an I-site office on your own while travelling through a city. 

At I-site, you can change for intercity transport and book for the next ticket for your journey ahead. 

I-sites or information sites are basically developed to help gather all related information through maps, pamphlets and basic insights about the area. 

You can find every city or town in New Zealand with its own I-site. 

The Two Southern Lands

On your trip to New Zealand you may find a lot of similarities with Australia, but both nations have their own set of differences. 

While you will find the same flags, same greetings and to much extent the same food in both countries, however the stunning landscapes of New Zealand with a mix of mountains, lakes, rainforests and unseen creations of nature are incomparable to any other country in the world! 

But no one wants to choose between two great destinations and you can even plan a combined trip to both countries. 

On one side give yourself the refreshing views of New Zealand's Southern Alps, while not missing out the experience of walking through Australia's gorgeous golden sand beaches. 

On your journey to both these wonderful nations you can begin to explore on your own the many similarities and differences between Aotearoa- 'The Land of Long White Cloud' and the 'Land of OZ'. 

New Zealand has a new entry requirement known as the Online New Zealand Visa or eTA New Zealand Visa for short visits, vacations, or professional visitor activities. To enter New Zealand, all non-citizens must have a valid visa or electronic travel authorization (eTA). Learn more at Online New Zealand Visa.

Auckland and Unique Things 

Auckland is known for being unique on many aspects one of which includes the diverse Pacific community of the area. New Zealand's largest Polynesian population also can be found in Auckland. 

New Zealand's largest metropolitan area is a hub of the country's music, art and vibrant Maori community. 

Besides, the city is best known for its unique mix of urban setting with the backdrop scenery of volcanic islands, the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea, all of which makes Auckland one of the best ways to expose foreign tourists to the multicultural face of New Zealand. 

Seasonal Colours: Best Season to Explore New Zealand 

In a country with stunning landscapes, any season will have to offer breathtaking views as far as the eyes can wander. 

However, to fully grasp the richness of earth's wonders you would want to plan your trip to New Zealand in months between December to March when the weather best complements the greenery, lakes, clear skies and mountains. 

If your enthusiasm for adventure is something which first attracted you to visit this thrilling country, then the time of autumn from the month of March to May would be best suited to explore the sunny outdoors. 

National parks and mountainous terrains are best for hiking, kayaking and trekking through spectacular visual scenery, something for which foreign travellers from around the world come to explore in New Zealand. 

And finally if winter is the only time left when you plan to visit this land far south then be prepared to meet chilly winds and snow-clad mountains, which although still looks astonishing but the cold weather can be very unforgiving in many parts of the country. 

In the cold months of June to August you can glance at some of the most rare gems of New Zealand and explore a range of winter activities too. 

A world class ski experience will await you at Queenstown, then take a turn to relax in the thermal wonderland in Rotorua, and don't miss out whale watching in South Island, something which is specific to the months of June and July. 

Winters can actually be stated as the best time to visit New Zealand, a time when you can truly endlessly explore nature's bounty all by yourself! 

Apply for NZeTA to visit New Zealand

NZeTA application process is a simple online visa application procedure in comparison to a traditional visa application process. 

You can apply for an eTA to visit New Zealand in an all online format in just within 10 minutes. 

Plan in Advance 

It is much better to plan your trip well in advance to avoid last minute rush in anything from booking a place to stay to avoiding missing out on popular places because of heavy crowds. 

During peak season, specifically in summer months, do not expect convenience to be a priority, where rather you are visiting the popular destinations of the North Island or the fiords and many undiscovered treasures of the South Island, booking rooms ASAP should always remain on the top of your list.  

For travellers exploring reasonable rates, getting a cheap lodging in peak season could be challenging. 

Although, lodgings and couchsurfing would be more easy on the money than standard inns, couchsurfing is a much familiar concept around Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington, so it may be hard to find this option around every travel zone. 

Airbnb is another great idea for pre-booking during peak season, but the rentals could be as costly as it gets given the place's popularity, something that is common for most destinations of New Zealand famous for foreign tourists.

While you are in New Zealand, be it during the most popular time of the year or any other month, there would be a lot to explore about the country's vibrance through festivities and cultural events. 

If you happen to visit the country in the months from December to February then there are loads of festivals to explore in each region. 

Some of the most famous cultural festivals which would best expose you to the vibrant energy of the place include; The Auckland Folk Festival, The Traditional Kawhia Kai Festival celebrating traditional Maori food from across the country, Gisborne's Rhythm and Vines, The Rhythm and Alps celebrated as a premier music festival of the South Island and many countless other festivities which you might randomly come across while journeying through the country's cities and towns. 

And winters have their fair share of celebrations too, with winter festivities in Queenstown and Wellington kept for late spring season. 

Since 2019, NZeTA or New Zealand eTA has been made a necessary entry document needed by foreign citizens on arrival to New Zealand. New Zealand eTA or electronic travel authorisation would allow you to visit the country with the help of an electronic permit for a given period. Learn more at How to visit New Zealand in a Visa-Free way.

Budget Your Trip 

Everyone loves a pocket friendly holiday, or atleast most people do. 

For budget friendly options while travelling in New Zealand you might have to search a lot around an area or a town, given that you are on a far end of the world where most commodity items naturally become more expensive than the rest of the world. 

Expect an average breakfast meal to be anywhere between 15 to 30 NZ dollars, which again depends on the area you are visiting and the alternative options available in the region. 

For a list of pricing you can easily get a fair idea through Zomato. Also try New Zealand's cheapest grocery store Pak'nSave, where finding one of these stores should be easiest especially if you are travelling in any major city around New Zealand. 

Try visiting New Zealand with an eTA. 

NZeTA application process is a simple online visa application procedure in comparison to a traditional visa application process. 

You can apply for an eTA to visit New Zealand in an all online format in just within 10 minutes. 

Must Try Public Transport

Intercity transport is mostly dependent on buses and is easy to access in every region. Auckland and Wellington have their own rail systems as well. If travelling from North Island to South Island, taking a ferry through Cook Strait is the only cheapest way rather than choosing to fly. 

In general, buses would be your best travel companion with every town or city connecting through a road transport system. 

For a pocket friendly traveller, nothing can be better news. In case of solo excursions through the quiet countryside you would want to look for renting car services which are popular as well but do make sure to discuss all the terms and conditions with the company before beginning your road trip. 

Tips for Solo Excursions 

Since exploring the natural landscapes through trekking is the most satisfying way to absorb all that nature has to offer, as a foreign visitor to New Zealand it is important to to know the trekking do's and don'ts before planning a hike in the unforgiving wilderness. 

Some of the best hiking destinations include the Tongariro National Park showcasing unseen volcanic wonders, where Tongariro Alpine Crossing is the most well known trails in the area. The hike is challenging but the views are something unique to this terrain hard to find anywhere else in the world! 

For hikes like these, you cannot ignore the essential hiking tips like proper equipment and shoes needed for the journey. 

The rugged terrain cannot be completed with a normal pair of sneakers, so be prepared with all the necessary equipment before planning a visit. 

Remember to bring water, nourishment and medical aid for emergencies and it would be recommended to choose a guided visit instead in order to avoid dangers due to frequent changes in climatic conditions. 

As a traveller, you must want to explore different aspects of a country which are yet to be discovered. To witness New Zealand's tribal culture and scenic beauty, visiting Rotorua must be on your travel list. Learn more at Travel Guide to Rotorua, New Zealand.

Safety Rules for Cyclists

For safe cycling practices, there are general rules for cyclists which you must know before stepping on the road. 

Wear an approved standard helmet, have good working breaks and strictly avoid footpaths. 

Also, stick to cycling trails rather than main highways and busy streets for self safety. 

Check for the Qualmark  

Consider looking for a Qualmark image before choosing a vacationer package. 

A validation that a tourism business is genuine and of assured quality, a Qualmark can be seen as New Zealand's tourism quality reliability image. 

The accreditation depends upon the business's maintenance, rentals, administration, lodgings and other service experiences. 

Qualmark symbol is easy to spot and is a mark for quality experience by a tourism business. 

Know this before Attending a Powhiri or Marae

Travellers usually visit a Marae through guided tours to get a Maori cultural experience. A place of traditional gathering or ceremony, stepping in a Marae is your door to know the variety of Maori customs and practices. 

Usually, guests are received through a Powhiri welcome ceremony, followed by a gathering and collective dinner. 

Proper dress code is recommended for both men and women, along with basic protocols followed by the community. 

Shoes are to be removed at the entrance, and avoid sitting on mattresses while keeping the place clean. 

It is usual to ask elders first for dinner and a prayer is offered before the meal. Getting to know the tribe's customs this close opens many doors for a memorable travel experience. 

If you want to visit the beautiful locations of New Zealand, then there are many hassle-free ways to plan your trip to the country. You can explore your dream locations like Auckland, Queenstown, Wellington and plenty of other gorgeous cities and places within New Zealand. Learn more at New Zealand Visitor Information.

Tipping is More Specific than General 

Do not worry about tipping in every situation as foreign traveller. Tipping for service can be left for cases of special or extraordinary service situations, considered more as a gesture of politeness than a commonly followed standard. 

Paying 10% can be perceived as a safe amount as service tips, not being too much or too little. The same goes for the taxi fare, where it is absolutely fine to pay as per the meter. 

Avoid Bargain at Retails

Consider most prices to be fixed unless in some situations where you might find a room for trading. 

Costs are set fixed in New Zealand for most commodities, so the thought of getting a lower price than actual can be avoided in case of most retail stores in the country. 

Prefer Shade and Carry a Sunscreen

The ozone gets thinner in New Zealand compared to places with similar latitudes hence making UV levels naturally high in summers. 

Although, you might prefer to get tanned but avoid trying to fulfil this desire during summer months when your skin could be exposed to the worst UV radiation you might not have faced in many other countries.

Carrying sunscreen is a priority item and applying sunscreen is equally necessary. As rare as it sounds, you would not want to get under the sun for long here. 

Just in Case You See Jandals Everywhere

A kiwi name for flip flops or sandals, jandals are most common to spot during summers and you would want to use one too if planning to visit during this peak season. 

Apart from their usage, jandals are loved by New Zealanders in general and it is common to see almost everyone wearing these slippers as if they are a trademark of being Kiwis. 

Jandals are not original to New Zealand but represent their closeness to Maori culture with the idea of being closer to earth and nature. 

eTA New Zealand Visa, or New Zealand Electronic Travel Authorization, is a mandatory travel documents for citizens of visa-waiver countries. If you are a citizen of a New Zealand eTA eligible country, or if you are a permanent resident of the Australia, you will need New Zealand eTA for layover or transit, or for tourism and sightseeing, or for business purposes. Learn more at Online New Zealand Visa Application Process.

Mockery Should Not Upset You 

A general comical way of speaking could for some could seem a way of outrageous mockery to others. 

Don't be surprised or bothered if you come across one such experience in New Zealand, as it should more be regarded as a general way of interaction among people. 

Be A Responsible Traveller

New Zealand is a clean country and you would want to cooperate with the laws and regulations regarding cleanliness along with taking care at personal level. 

Be it from reusing, avoiding litter and to all together reducing waste wherever possible, as a foreign traveller you can also add your share for the upkeep of the extraordinary natural environment found here. In view of this strictly avoid dumping waste just anywhere around. 

Four Seasons in a Day!

Be ready to meet various seasons in different parts of the country no matter what time you choose to visit. 

New Zealand is an all weather country, where the North is more subtropical while the South is more temperate. 

Remember to pack all season stuff regardless of the time you choose to visit as in case of a surprising turn of events you might even experience four seasons in a single day! 

And what else would you expect from a country that is bestowed with everything from the Pacific, to the volcanic islands, to rainforests, to many lovely beaches and so much more! 

Wildlife Without Snakes 

Wildlife in New Zealand is unique to this country, but many of the deadliest ones are missing from the scene, including snakes! 

Yes, this southern country has no snakes but you will come across many species endangered and unique to New Zealand, the list of which obviously includes the nation's flightless bird 'Kiwi'. 

Being far away from the rest of the world, you will come across the never seen before wildlife and in case you don't come across any such random encounter then visiting the Auckland Zoo is well prepared to introduce you to hundreds of species and creatures, many of which are native to the country. 

When landing in New Zealand on a cruise ship, cruise passengers of all nations can apply for an NZeTA (or New Zealand eTA) instead of a visa. Tourists who arrive in New Zealand to board a cruise are subject to different laws. More information is provided below. Learn more at New Zealand eTA for Cruise Ship Travelers.

Ocean's Greatest and Smallest 

Start your journey by getting a glimpse of wildlife in summers when the temperate water is best to discover the experience of swimming with ocean's most magnificent creatures. 

One such place like the Akaroa is not on the list of many tourists in the country but the region offers many best ways to explore the underwater wonders. 

Bay of Islands is another popular choice, which is endemic to world's rarest and smallest Hector Dolphins. 

Always Near the Sheep  

New Zealand is more home to more sheep than anyplace else, with the highest density of sheep per unit area. 

The country is known for a massive sheep farming industry and if you are wondering what could be another reason for this many sheeps on the island nation, then the reason goes to the earlier times when the settlers to the isles brought sheep as livestock from the other lands. So yes, all of this strange phenomenon is not random! 

As a surprising fact, only 5% of New Zealand shares a human population! 

Do You Need An E-visa? 

NZeTA application process is a simple online visa application procedure in comparison to a traditional visa application process. 

You can apply for an eTA to visit New Zealand in an all online format in just within 10 minutes. 

Tribes & Cultural Experiences 

While New Zealand has some of the best cities of the world, you must involve yourself in Maori Culture and tradition through guided tours and visits all of which gives a good look into Maori culture. 

Te Pa Tu or the Tamaki Maori Village is the most acclaimed cultural experience in New Zealand, something which every foreign tourist must explore. 

Plan a Hike to this Impressive Mountain 

The tallest mountain in New Zealand, Mount Cook has a lot to offer within its national park area. 

Great viewpoints, beautiful walks and hikes await you to this popular destination of the country. Named after a Maori myth, Aoraki Mount Cook is your gateway to witness the charm of the Southern Alps. 

They Love Rugby 

Given the sporting and dancing traditions in Maori culture, Rugby somewhat is synonymous with the country's name, especially among the Maori community. 

No doubt the strong folks here make for the world's best rugby team both in male and female leagues. 

The game forms the backbone of sports in the country, and no doubt you can see people's obsessiveness, and don't be mistaken as the sport is not believed to be ruthless but plays a great part in uniting the country. 

Don't Miss the Stunning South 

The now booming South Island has wonderful scenic views for tourists and is generally considered more beautiful than the North Island making the region the perfect representative of New Zealand's spectacular natural beauty. 

Explore fiords, forests, glaciers, golden beaches and all things magical resting in the lap of the Southern Alps. 

NZeTA application process is a simple online visa application procedure in comparison to a traditional visa application process. 

You can apply for an eTA to visit New Zealand in an all online format in just within 10 minutes. 

Citizens belonging to 60 nationalities are eligible for NZeTA and if you plan to travel to New Zealand then you are also eligible to apply for an eTA to travel to New Zealand

In case you are travelling from some other country, you must check your country's eligibility for NZeTA before entering New Zealand.

Ensure that you have checked the eligibility for your Online New Zealand Visa. If you are from a Visa Waiver country then you can apply for an Online New Zealand Visa or New Zealand eTA regardless of the mode of travel (Air / Cruise). United States citizens, European citizens, Canadian citizens, United Kingdom citizens, French citizens, Spanish citizens and Italian citizens can apply online for New Zealand eTA. United Kingdom residents can stay on New Zealand eTA for 6 months while others for 90 days.

Please apply for an Online New Zealand Visa 72 hours in advance of your flight.