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Destinations

New Zealand Travel Planning Roundup

19 December 2015

Planning a trip across the ditch? We’ve done the homework for you with our essential list of top sites for NZ travel information and inspiration.

New Zealand is the ultimate destination for nature lovers and road trip enthusiasts. The food and wine scene is pretty amazing too, along with the extreme sports, wilderness adventures and beach hopping. From city to nature, North Island to South Island, and everywhere in between, there are countless ways to do NZ. To help you plan your trip we’ve scoured the internet for the best recommendations and tips on the land of the long white cloud.

ORIENTATION

Your New Zealand travel planning starts with a little look at a map. New Zealand lies approximately 1,491 kilometres to the south east of Australia. The country is made up of two islands, North and South Island.

The North Island is home to the bustling city of Auckland, where Auckland Harbour shows that New Zealand can simultaneously cover both the metropolitan city scene and the serene beauty this nation is known for. Here in the north you can also come face to face with active volcanoes, learn more about Maori culture, smell the sulphur in Rotorua or cruise by some wineries.

On the South Island you’ll find patches of pristine wilderness interspersed with beautiful towns and cities. Queenstown is a favourite for adventurers, offering snow sports, family adventures like white water rafting, hiking and bungee jumping – you can be as adventurous as your imagination will allow.

Smaller towns like Dunedin and Kaikoura offer seaside bliss, with stony beaches to relax on, delicious fresh seafood to indulge in, luxurious accommodation, as well as spots to stay for the backpacker and campervan traveller. Oh, and don’t forget to take a Lord of the Rings tour if you want to see New Zealand as a whole other world.

GETTING THERE

As NZ’s excellent national tourism site puts it “In the early days of New Zealand history, getting here was as much of an adventure as the experience when you arrived. Happily, it’s very different today.”

Indeed there are many ways to reach New Zealand from Australia, the most popular option being a direct international flight out of Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth, Cairns and Gold Coast to Auckland Airport, located in the northern part of the North Island.  Christchurch, Wellington, Rotorua, Queenstown and Dunedin airports also receive a small number of international flights.

Head to newzealand.com for all the info you need on getting to New Zealand from Australia, including airline and cruise options. You’ll also find a guide to NZ’s domestic and international airports and airport shuttles here.

VISAS

Tourism New Zealand publishes up to date information on the country’s visa and immigration requirements. Head here to find out whether you need a visa or permit as well as info on working holidays, allowances and duty free concessions. To hear it from the horse’s mouth, visit Immigration New Zealand here.

THE BEST OF NZ

First timers who want to focus on the main attractions won’t be disappointed. Gunning for the big hitters is an awesome way to do NZ. Let Tourism New Zealand’s scenic highlights list do the thinking for you with NZ’s top spots corralled here for your travelling pleasure.

WEATHER

Doing a smashing job as always, newzealand.com covers the climate and seasons basics including rainfall, snowfall and sunshine.

NZ’s official weather forecaster, Metservice, offers in depth weather updates including regional marine, mountain and ski services. Check out their snow app and subscribe to severe weather emails. Surfers should bookmark Surf.co.nz to see what the waves are doing.

BLOGGERS

FOODIES

Zomato is our go-to for food and drink recommendations in New Zealand’s cities and towns including Auckland, Nelson, Dunedin, Coromandel, Christchurch and Rotorua. They’ve got listings for pretty much everywhere.

For serious foodie recommendations, Tourism New Zealand delivers the good once again with comprehensive regional restaurant guides. Those of you looking to quaff your way through New Zealand will find ample inspiration there too.

You’ll need travel insurance before heading to New Zealand to ensure your dream getaway stays as perfect as possible. Head here to check out our easy and budget-friendly Travel with Jane options.

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