Saving money on your flights to New Zealand

The most expensive part of most visitors’ travels to New Zealand is the flights. Flying long haul seldom comes cheap, but there are plenty of things that you can to do help cut down the cost. Here we take a look at some useful tips to help you minimise the cost of your New Zealand holiday flights.

If you plan to travel by air throughout New Zealand, you could make big savings by investing in a New Zealand Air Pass. These special tickets can cover three, four, or five interior flights and can save you a lot of money compared to purchasing all of these flights separately. There are several international airports in New Zealand – Auckland, Queenstown, Wellington and Christchurch.

Flight prices can vary from airport to airport depending on how popular flights to these airports are at any one time. It can pay to do some comparing online to see which airport is cheapest to travel to on your preferred date of travel. The savings you make could more than pay for a connecting flight to your preferred airport. Direct flights can be convenient, but they’re often the most expensive way to travel. If you’re keen to explore more of the world en route to New Zealand, then opting for indirect flights that stop off at Pacific Ocean destinations along the way can cut your airfares, as well as giving you the chance to see more on your vacation. January is a good time to buy via Air New Zealand as they release their flight specials around this time.

You should be able to find special deals on flights taking off later in the year up until September. If your travel plans are flexible, avoid high season and book an autumn trip (March to June) or in the spring (August to November). You’ll still find weather to die for, but flight and accommodation prices will be cheaper, and there’ll be fewer tourists around so you can enjoy a more relaxing break too. For the cheapest way to fly, search online rather than booking through a travel agent. Always compare airlines and make use of specialist sites like DialAFlight where you can get instant updates on the latest New Zealand flights all year round.

It is worth shopping around if you want to find the best flight deals to New Zealand

It is worth shopping around if you want to find the best flight deals to New Zealand – check out different travel agents and online flight prices between airlines before making a decision. A useful websites for comparing flight prices is flight to new zealand.

There are daily flights from Australia to New Zealand with Air New Zealand, Qantas, Jetstar, Virgin Blue and Emirates. Many of these airlines have regular price specials and package deals, so it is worth taking your time or booking in advance for a bargain. Keep in mind that at certain times of the year the price of flights may increase, so consider travelling off-peak during the Winter, Autumn and Spring months (avoiding the three midterm school holiday breaks in April, June to July and September to October).

There are seven international airports located across New Zealand including Queenstown, Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington, Hamilton, Palmerston North and Auckland, the largest and most visited international airport in New Zealand. Transfers from international to domestic airports in any part of the country are possible, making it relatively easy to access any part of the country.

When landing in New Zealand you will need to complete an arrival card to present with your valid passport to Customs Passport Controls. These cards are usually handed out during your flight and are available in the arrival area. After collecting your baggage you are able to declare goods or exit to the main part of the terminal.

New Zealand Flight Tips

It is always best to be as prepared as possible when planning for an overseas trip, it is usually expected to be a lengthy and expensive trip although it doesn't have to be like this.

As always it is best to do your research when booking a flight, make sure to check all the different airlines for best deals and be aware of times there may be specials as alot of the airlines will provide an hour or two of online specials for booking flights.

Cheaper flights are mostly available in the middle of the night, during the times when most people don't want to travel. Be flexible as booking a red eye flight could save you a few hundred dollers.

Although these flights may be cheap they are often leaving off the price of baggage and taxes which will be conveniantly added on just before checkout, make sure you have the full price before paying.

Be aware of extra baggage charges, there will be a limit of how many bags you can take with you and what the total weight of luggage per person is, if you exceed this limit you will be charged with a fee for extra baggage. This is especially important on the way home as many people will have done a fair bit of shopping and will be bringing back alot more then what they left home with.

Always be prepared before leaving home make sure you have your passport, itinery and any other documentation you will need on arrival to the airport.

Shop around and be prepared and you will usually have a cheaper trip leaving you more money for more important things, such as enjoying yourself at your destination.

Flying to New Zealand

Many NZ cities offer direct flights.
Strict security measures to protect against terrorism and pestilence

Duty free shopping
Goods up to the value of NZ$700 are exempt from duty

Carrying Cash
You must notify a Customs officer if your are bringing more than NZ$10,000 into the country or its foreign equivalent.


  • Strict NZ quarantine laws are in force
  • Live animals and plants are prohibited by law
  • Some goods may be inspected if they are suspected to be carrying foot and mouth disease
  • You must fill in a quarantine declaration form on your incoming flight
  • Please dispose of any items that are prohibited by law in the disposal bins provided at the airport
  • Please ensure that you fully comply with all customs regulations and procedures
  • Use the red lane to make a declaration or if you're not sure. Otherwise, proceed to the green lane

At the Airport
At the airport, luggage trolleys are free and at the Auckland International Airport, you will be warmly greeted by Kiwi hospitality.

Leaving New Zealand
In order to get a visa, you must provide evidence of sufficient funds to cover your journey back home.

Air travel to New Zealand

Getting to New Zealand is easy with a number of major airlines making direct flights to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and other destinations in the ‘land of the long white cloud’. The very reputable Air New Zealand airline as well as Qantas, Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Cathay Pacific and many more can get you there in a matter of hours.

Once you have arrived

New Zealand has a very unique ecosystem with many species of animal and plant found nowhere else on the planet. It has been described as an “ancient life raft” and a hotspot for biodiversity.

To protect this precious biodiversity, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry enforces very strict quarantine requirements with many animal and plant products banned when entering the country.

Play it safe and Declare Everything

You will need to complete a Declaration form when you travel to New Zealand. These are usually handed out during your flight there, but will also be available in the Customs area of the airport. New Zealand adheres to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Be sure to declare any animal or plant items you have or put them in the special bin at the airport. Also remove any dirt and debris from camping equipment, shoes or other belongings. Even accidentally bringing an apple into the country in your carry-on luggage could result in a hefty fine, so take care!

Airport collection and transfers

Your college or university will usually arrange for collection of students at the airport and take you to your accommodation, but otherwise all public transport is clearly sign posted in the terminals. Also well signed Tourism Information booths can provide you with maps and local information.

It can take up to 3 hours to be processed by customs when you arrive at an International terminal so bear this in mind if booking connecting flights elsewhere within New Zealand. You will also need to check in for any domestic flight at least one hour before flight time.

In Auckland the domestic terminal is located about 10 minutes’ walk from the international terminal. Follow the sign-posted walkway. There is also a free inter-terminal bus.

Returning home

The Internet is the cheapest and most efficient way to get air tickets for a return home at the end of your course or a holiday, but be sure to book well ahead during peak times like December and other school holiday periods to ensure a good price and a seat!

Carrying cash

You cannot bring more than NZ$10,000 or the equivalent amount of foreign currency into New Zealand without declaring it on a Border Cash Report to a customs officer. If you do bring in more than NZ$10,000 it is likely you will be penalized and lose a percentage of your money.

Air Travel to New Zealand

Ki Ora from New Zealand.  If you’re reading this, you’ve accepted an offer to study at one of our beautiful universities, or are considering applying for a place.  Congratulations, you’ve made the right choice!  Now that you’ve got your studies sorted, it’s time to organise a flight.  Air travel to New Zealand is a piece of cake if you keep the following points in mind.

Booking your ticket

In almost all cases, the internet is the best place to purchase airline tickets.  Not only is it convenient, it is also quite often the cheapest option.  Keep in mind that your flight will be cheaper if you book early.

The availability of direct flights to New Zealand to your chosen city depends on where you’re coming from. Nearly all cities worldwide offer direct flights to Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch; direct flights to smaller cities (such as Hamilton, Queenstown or Rotorua) are often harder to find.  If you can’t find a direct flight to your city, you will have to organise a connecting flight from one of the international airports.  Alternately, you may find it cheaper to hire a car or catch a train or bus.
When booking connecting flights, be sure to take into consideration the time it will take you to pass through customs.  You also need to check in one hour early.  Typically, you should allow four hours between entering the country and boarding a domestic flight.

Entering the country

The New Zealand Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has imposed tight quarantine guidelines in order to protect New Zealand’s delicate agricultural, horticultural and forestry industries. When you board your flight to New Zealand, you will be given a declaration form.  You need to declare anything in your possession (in your luggage and carry-on) that contains plant or animal matter.  This includes (but, of course, is not limited to) lei’s, dried fruit and jewellery made from coral, bone or similar.  Even a wooden key ring needs to be declared.

If you’re not sure, declare it anyway – nobody will care if you declare something unnecessarily, but not declaring something can result in a large fine or, in extreme cases, a denial to enter the country.

It is a good idea to place anything that is likely to be inspected at the top of your luggage. You also need to thoroughly clean all footwear and outdoor equipment, such as sporting equipment (including surfboards and ski’s) and camping gear.
If you are carrying more than NZ$10 000 (or the foreign currency equivalent), you will also need to declare that.

Allow three hours to be processed by customs.

Getting around

If you are catching a connecting flight, you’ll be happy to know that most airports in New Zealand offer inter terminal shuttle buses.  This service is quite often provided free of charge.  Someone at the check in desk should be able to direct you to the inter terminal bus depot.

All New Zealand airports offer a transfer service.  This can cost up to $20.  In most cases, your university should provide the same service free of charge.  It is a good idea to organise this before you leave.

Follow these guidelines and you’ll enjoy a hassle free journey to your new home.  Kare manamanata!