We want all visitors to have a safe and enjoyable time in New Zealand.
New Zealand is a safe place to travel - it just pays to prepare and take a few precautions. Here are simple, responsible travel tips to help you keep safe while travelling.
While travelling around New Zealand, take the same precautions you would in any other country. To make sure you have a comfortable and trouble-free trip, we recommend these steps.
Most visitors come to New Zealand to enjoy our unique natural environment but visitors can underestimate the risks associated with the great outdoors.
A walk in a city park is very different to a walk in a National Park. Take the time to learn about where you are going and to seek advice from others, especially your local i-SITE or Department of Conservation (DOC) Visitor Information Centre on how to be best prepared.
For more information visit the AdventureSmart(opens in new window) website.
New Zealand’s extensive coastline and network of waterways provide ample opportunity for swimming, boating and fishing. However many people are unprepared for the potential dangers of the water.
We recommend that you visit Water Safety(opens in new window) or AdventureSmart(opens in new window) for advice on how to stay safe on New Zealand's beaches and waterways.
New Zealand is home to active and dormant volcanoes and many geothermal destinations. If you plan to visit a region with volcanic activity, it's essential to keep updated with the latest travel warnings.
With a bit of care and common sense, your visit to New Zealand should be accident-free. If you are injured here, you may need the help of the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) - New Zealand's accident compensation scheme.
In New Zealand, you cannot sue anyone for compensatory damages if you are injured. Instead, ACC helps pay for your care - and that means paying towards the cost of your treatment and assisting in your recovery while you remain in New Zealand.
You still need to purchase your own travel and medical insurance because ACC does not cover everything:
ACC only covers treatment and rehabilitation in New Zealand, and usually, you must pay part of the cost yourself.
ACC does not pay any additional costs resulting from an accident, for example, delayed or curtailed travel costs, travel home, treatment at home and loss of income in your home country.
We strongly advise you to arrange your own health insurance. New Zealand's public and private medical/hospital facilities provide a high standard of treatment and service, but it is important to note these services are not free to visitors, except as a result of an accident.
Vodafone, Spark and 2degrees offer a txt messaging service for visitors.
You can send updates about your location and travel movements via txt to number 7233 [SAFE]. These details are kept on a central database which can be accessed by police if necessary.
Each text message sent to 7233 will be acknowledged by an automated response, which advises you to call 111 and request police assistance if you are in danger.
Police and the New Zealand tourism industry encourage you to use this service as another way of letting people know where you are and what you are doing while in our country.
Visitors bringing in a quantity of medication are advised to carry a doctor's certificate to avoid possible problems with New Zealand Customs. Doctor's prescriptions are needed to obtain certain drugs in New Zealand.