Follow the sun to New Zealand

Where to start?

Planning a vacation can be overwhelming at first, but it's incredibly easy to visit New Zealand, simple to get around  and easy to experience all of the best bits. If you’re a self planner read on for some handy information. If you want some help then get in touch with your travel agent, or contact our friend's at STA Travel who are experts in planning a New Zealand adventure.

Getting here and getting around.

Air New Zealand and Qantas fly multiple times per day directly to Auckland from Los Angeles and San Francisco. A number of other airlines fly to New Zealand via Australia as well.

Once you arrive in New Zealand there are plenty of fun ways to get around our beautiful country. Pick up a rental car or campervan/motorhome from the airport and hit the open road for a classic kiwi road trip. Or if you want the ease of a fully guided tour, take advantage of one of the many coach tours. For more flexibility, try a hop-on, hop-off bus pass.. Whether you’re looking for a one week tour or a one year flexible pass, there are many easy options to explore the country.  No matter what you choose, you’ll make new friends and have a blast!  Short on time? Domestic flights are usually inexpensive and are never longer than 90 minutes!


Our fantastic backpacker accommodations are plentiful and reasonably priced,  which means more money for the fun stuff! (Hello Bungee!). Our high quality hostels are a great place to meet other travelers. And there's a huge variety of quality hotels and motels too. There’s something for every budget. If you've decided to rent a campervan or motorhome, then make sure you camp responsibly by parking at Holiday Parks, Department of Conservation camping grounds, or other designated areas. 

What to do

We've got beaches, volcanoes, rainforests, lakes, rivers, fiords, mountains, glaciers, vineyards, crazy wildlife and a unique culture. And you won't believe what activities you can do in these stunning settings! Whether you've got five days or five weeks, you can pack a lot into your vacation. Check out all of the activities on offer or download our pretty funky map just for backpackers that's plastered with ideas to get you started. You might also want to watch this short video from a couple of US travelers road tripping around the South Island for some inspiration.

We want to make planning your New Zealand vacation as easy as possible. We also want to make sure you see the best our country has to offer. So here are Five Simple Itineraries covering the must-see regions of New Zealand to help get you started. Also check out the Top 10 Backpacker Experiences on the North and South Islands.

Summer Music

New Zealand rocks during summer. Literally. We love to party in the summer months and have some great unique celebrations and festivals to do just that. While the rest of the world is still working, Kiwis can pop the bubbly and start the party early because New Zealand is the first place on earth to ring in the New Year. And what better way to bring in 2012 then partying in paradise.

Rhythm and Vines is a three-day New Year festival experience of a lifetime based on a beach side Gisborne vineyard on the East Coast of the North Island. It is definitely New Zealand's #1 festival to tick off your list! Read more about Rhythm & Vines. As well as R&V, festivals can be found the length of the country, all of them set in unique kiwi locations. Here are some of the main ones.