Inclusive and accessible travel

Inclusive tourism is about minimising barriers, reducing uncertainty and increasing accessibility when exploring New Zealand.

Getting around New Zealand

Tour companies 

Using an inclusive travel tour company to plan your visit to New Zealand means that you don’t need to worry about logistics as they will ensure that the transport, accommodation and activities will suit your needs and any equipment hire is organised on your behalf. 

Tour companies like Ability Adventures specialise in New Zealand holidays for people of all abilities and have expert knowledge of inclusive tourism providers around New Zealand. 

Flying  

International airports in New Zealand have great accessibility and helpful ground staff. You can find out more about the special assistance available at the links for these main airports: 

Air New Zealand staff are trained to assist passengers who are with flying with a wheelchair and passengers who have a visual or hearing impairment. Plan your arrival in New Zealand with the Air New Zealand assisted travel site. 

If you are flying domestically in New Zealand, let your airline know if you will require assistance.  

 

Public transport (bus, train, ferry) 

Most public transport services in New Zealand provide wheelchair access. You can find out more about accessibility on specific bus, train and ferry services around New Zealand on their websites. The New Zealand Transport Agency has a list of public transport providers for each region here

InterCity national bus network 

There is special assistance available on the InterCity bus network when travelling around New Zealand.  

Taxis 

Most New Zealand taxi companies, including Uber, have vehicles that can accommodate wheelchairs, walkers and scooters. You may need to book these in advance.  

Self-drive and mobility parking  

A road trip is one of the best ways to see New Zealand. Specialist rental companies like Freedom Mobility and Disability Rentals have fleets of accessible vehicles, including hand-controlled, wheelchair-suitable vehicles, left foot drive and swing-out seat vehicles.  

Mobility parking permits from overseas are not recognised in all regions of New Zealand, so you’ll need to organise a visitor’s mobility parking permit prior to your trip. You can find more information here and a link to the application form here(opens in new window).

Things to do

Whether it's skydiving, kayaking or exploring outdoor tracks around New Zealand, with the right resources you can find activities to suit you.  

The Accessible Day Out Library lets you search a range of accessible venues, attractions and activities around New Zealand and their facilities. 

Accessible beaches and tracks  

There is more than 15,000 km of coastline in New Zealand, so you're never far from the ocean. Some beaches offer beach wheelchair hire, or beach access mats to make it easier to get from the dunes to the water. You can find a directory at Accessible Beaches New Zealand or local i-SITE Visitor Centre staff can also give you more information. 

If you're visiting any of the many beaches in the Auckland region you could also hire a beach wheelchair. 

Accessible outdoor tracks 

Some of New Zealand’s bush tracks are wheelchair accessible. These are searchable on the Department of Conservation (DOC) website. The AllTrails website also has listings and details of wheelchair-friendly trails in New Zealand. 

Adventure activities 

There is a range of adventure tourism operators offering inclusive experiences for people of all abilities – from bungy jumping or kayaking to jet boating, rafting and more. Making Trax Foundation specialises in connecting travellers with inclusive adventure tourism. It has a directory of inclusive operators and experiences and offers equipment hire and some package trips too.  

Places to stay 

Most major accommodation providers (hotels, motels and backpackers) throughout New Zealand will have wheelchair access and cater to varied abilities. If you are booking a smaller boutique, B&B, bach (holiday home), campground or other rental accommodation it is a good idea to call or email beforehand to double-check that it will be suitable for your needs.  

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