Frequently Asked Questions

This page provides answers to common questions from travelers to New Zealand.

Visitor visas and passports

From 1 October 2019, visitors from visa-waiver countries(opens in new window) must request an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) prior to coming to New Zealand. You may also have to pay an International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL). For more information on the ETA and IVL, visit Immigration New Zealand.(opens in new window)

You will only need to apply for a visitor visa if you are not from a visa waiver country. Please refer to the Immigration New Zealand(opens in new window) website for more information.

Your passport(opens in new window) must be valid for at least one month after departure from New Zealand if your country has consular representation in New Zealand or three months after departure if it does not.

Working in New Zealand

If you are under 30 years old or under and come from a participating country, you may qualify for our youth working holiday scheme. Find out more about the youth working holiday scheme here(opens in new window). Please refer to the Immigration New Zealand(opens in new window) website for other information on work visas.

Migrating to New Zealand

For official information on migrating to New Zealand please go to Immigration New Zealand(opens in new window).

Study in New Zealand

Immigration New Zealand(opens in new window) also provides official information on study visas.

The Study New Zealand(opens in new window) website provides information on courses, institutions and scholarships.

Customs and Quarantine Requirements

Please visit the Ministry for Primary Industries (Biosecurity/Quarantine) website(opens in new window) for what food, plant and animal items can be bought into New Zealand Please refer to the Customs New Zealand website for a list of any other items that are prohibited to bring into New Zealand(opens in new window).  There are specific cleaning requirements for fishing equipment.

General itinerary planning and finding a tour

You'll find a variety of awesome landscapes in New Zealand, all within easy reach of each other. Please refer to our Recommended Trips page for a collection of itineraries that range from 3 to 30 days. If you would like more information about tours in New Zealand, please visit our tours page.

Air New Zealand Enquiries

This is the official website for Tourism New Zealand. For information and enquiries about Air New Zealand, please visit their official website at in new window).

Is it safe to book with a New Zealand company?

All New Zealand companies must operate within our consumer protection laws. Please visit Consumer Affairs(opens in new window) for information on the Consumer Guarantees Act, which covers a consumer’s rights after purchase.

If you have concerns before booking you can ask what customer protection insurance a business has in place.

Many tourism companies are Qualmark(opens in new window) licensed.  Qualmark is the New Zealand tourism industry's main quality assurance system. Look for companies that are Qualmark licensed as a mark of quality business practises.

Do I need to book ahead?

Our peak season runs from October through to April, centred on summer December to February. During this full period it is strongly recommended that you book any tours, events, accommodation and transport ahead of time to ensure availability. Outside of these months there is a less of a need to book in advance, except in ski resort towns such as Queenstown and Wanaka.

Travel Agent/ Finding tourism collateral

Tourism New Zealand has a dedicated Trade website(opens in new window) that’s specially designed for travel agents.  You may wish to apply for images for New Zealand webpage or brochure design from our Visuals library(opens in new window). There is an application process as copyright remains with photographers.

Walking & Hiking in New Zealand

New Zealand is a walking and hiking paradise, and is home to many impressive single and multi-day walks for all abilities. Guides and packages are available, or it is possible to walk independently.  It is recommended that you book ahead if trekking on any of our Great Walks. Find out more about walking and hiking in New Zealand.



There are three long distance train routes in New Zealand, and a handful of shorter scenic rail experiences. You can find more information about travelling by rail here.

Buses and coaches

New Zealand has daily scheduled passenger bus services available throughout the country. There are also backpacker coach networks and many other coach companies serving the major tourist routes. Find out more about bus & coach transport here.


There are passes that cover the national Intercity(opens in new window) coach network, the three scenic rail journeys and combine rail and Cook Strait ferry passage.

Cook Strait Ferries

Bluebridge (opens in new window)and Interislander(opens in new window) operate Cook Strait ferry services between Wellington in the North Island and Picton in the South Island.  We recommend that you pre book if travelling with a car or campervan.  Some rental car companies offer vehicle swap between these places.


The most popular places to board a cruise to New Zealand are Australia and the South Pacific. Options for day trips depend on the port that you are docking at.  Find out more port information or to link through to global cruise line websites.

Driving in New Zealand

You can legally drive in New Zealand for 12 months if you have either a current full driver’s licence from your home country in the English language or an International Driving Permit.  You must carry your licence or permit at all times when driving and you are only able to drive the same types of vehicles you are licensed to drive in your home country.

You can find out more about driving in New Zealand here. And to find out whether your driving licence is valid in New Zealand click here(opens in new window).

The Automobile Association(opens in new window) provides national highway updates online.  Any weather related driving updates are also widely covered in the New Zealand media.


New Zealand is home to a temperate climate with high sunshine hours and moderate rainfall. Much of the country lies near the coast, which means mild temperatures. The average temperature decreases as you travel south; January and February are the warmest months with July being the coldest month of the year. Find out more about New Zealand climate and weather here.

Connect with us

Follow 100% Pure New Zealand through our social media channels. Connect with us through Facebook(opens in new window), Instagram(opens in new window), Youtube(opens in new window), Pinterest(opens in new window), or Twitter(opens in new window).

Research Queries

All of Tourism New Zealand’s research is available from our corporate website.  The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment(opens in new window) and Statistics New Zealand(opens in new window) sites are also worth visiting for tourism research.  If you’re researching a general New Zealand topic the New Zealand Encyclopedia website is a good place to start.

Drone use in New Zealand

If you are intending to use a drone for capturing footage while on holiday in New Zealand, it is important to be aware of New Zealand's rules and regulations surrounding their use.

Please visit the Airshare website to find out more.(opens in new window)