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33 Reasons Why the Best Time to Visit New Zealand is in the Spring

Posted on: December 1st, 2017 by MelissaM No Comments

Thinking about a vacation to New Zealand and not sure when to go?

We think the best time to visit New Zealand is in the Spring (Sept, Oct, Nov.) The weather is beautiful, the flowers are blooming and the food & wine are at their best!

Don’t believe us? Here are 33 reasons to visit New Zealand in Spring!

1. The weather is gorgeous! Crisp, sunny days perfect for hiking through the gorgeous alpine landscapes.

Weather in New Zealand

Source: weather.com

2. Not as many tourists! New Zealand is very remote – and sometimes left out of world maps altogether! But that just means you can enjoy more of this unique island paradise!

Open roads for Spring travelers

3. World of Wearable Art happens every September! The rule is anything that’s in any way wearable is allowed on stage. The results are unbelievably breathtaking, original and creative! Who needs New York Fashion Week? Check out some of the awesome pieces in the past.

The World of Wearable Art

4. Spring time means so many cute lambs! We’re not kidding – New Zealand has the highest ratio of sheep per person in the world. Currently there’s about 27 million sheep and more than 4 million people. That’s about 7 sheep per person!

spring lamb in New Zealand

5. Perfect temperature for a canopy tour in Rotorua! Just imagine it…zip lining through ancient forest, adrenaline pumping through your veins, soaring through great heights – no better way to experience the natural beauty of Rotorua!

View from the Canopy Tours in Rotorua

6. The gardens are in full bloom! Purple lupins, golden Kowhai flowers, Mount Cook buttercups…colors are bursting everywhere!

Gardens in front of the Dunedin Train Station

7. Adorable baby kiwis are hatching! Though they are flightless, that didn’t stop them from becoming the national bird of New Zealand!

Adorable Baby Kiwi Birds

Photo Credit: kazzy from Instagram

8. The BEST time to see Milford Sound! Perfect for kayaking or a cruise on the glassy water. But for a tour to match this dramatic landscape, a scenic flight over the fiord is just the thing!

Milford Sound in Springtime

9. Whale watching is incredible this time of year, and Kaikoura is the place to be! Known as the whale watching capital of New Zealand, you’ll spot giant sperm whales, fur seals, humpback whales and maybe even blue whales!

spermwhale saddleback breaching Credit: Whale Watch Kaikoura

10. The Whangarei Growers Market happens every Saturday and has some of the best locally grown produce. Here you’ll find anything from bananas to olives, cheeses to salamis and so much more!

The Whangarei Growers Market

Image credit: The Whangarei Growers Market on Facebook.com

11. The lupins and bright blue waters of Lake Tekapo. I mean, come on. This looks like out of a fairy tale picture book!

Gorgeous Lupins at Lake Tekapo

12. Once you’ve see the lupins, why not stay in Tekapo and do a little stargazing? You’ll be in the heart of the Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve, the largest dark sky reserve in the world with a Gold rating from the International Dark Sky Association. Keep an eye out for shooting stars and the Phoenix constellation!

Stargazing in Tekapo

13. Kayak through the Botanic Gardens in Christchurch. In a city known as the Garden City, there’s no way you’ll skip out on its gardens!

Christchurch Botanic Gardens

14. Imagine seeing New Zealand in spring by train. That is an event in and of itself! Pass through looming mountains, green hills and bursts of flowers on the TranzAlpine, known as one of the great rail journeys in the world!

KiwiRail Scenic in the Spring

Image credit: KiwiRail Scenic on Facebook

15. Hiking in the South Island is pretty spectacular this time of year. Check out the Routeburn Track in the Fiordland National Park!

Gorgeous View of Hollyford Valley on Routeburn Track

16. Snow may still be on the ground in certain places, time for a late season shred? Some say this is the BEST time of year to ski. Head to Queenstown for remarkable skiing in the Remarkables mountain range!

Spring Sking in New Zealand

17. Love spicy food? Try New Zealand’s hot sauce – Kaitaia Fire, made from the chilies blooming in spring in Northland. Once you’ve tried Kaitaia you’ll accept nothing else!

Kaitaia Fire from Chilies in Northland

18. Fiordland National Park, New Zealand’s last great wilderness, gorgeous every time of year. In spring, even more gorgeous! This is THE place for hiking with spectacular views – nothing else will come close!

Fiordland National Park

19. Ohau Waterfall & Seal Pups. Don’t know what this is? Check this out! It’s a bunch of baby seals having an epic cuddlefest!

Seal in Kaikoura

20. Abel Tasman National Park! Perfect for hiking, kayaking, snorkeling or just relaxing at the beach. You can do it all in the spring!

Abel Tasman Beach

21. Dunedin Craft Beer and Food Festival. (This happens in late spring!) Taste craft brews from all over New Zealand – from crisp pale ales, juicy saisons to refreshing lagers and heavy stouts, you’re sure to find something that hits the spot!

Dunedin Craft Beer and Food Festival

Image credit: Dunedin Craft Beer and Food Festival on Facebook

22. Warm, sunny days in Nelson wine region. And absolutely incredible Chardonnay. I mean, if you’re into that kind of stuff. The Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and aromatics aren’t too shabby, either.

nelson vineyards spring

 

23. Better deals on hotels and airfare during non-peak seasons! Who doesn’t like to save?

24. It’s fishing season in New Zealand, where you’ll find the world’s best wild trout fishing! Anglers are welcome! Be on the look out for “Anglers Access” signs. They’ll help you find the best fishing spots.

Spring Creek, West Coast Fishing Season

25. Baby yellow-eyed penguins in Dunedin! These babies may grow over 2 feet tall and are the rarest penguins in the world.

Yellow-Eyed Penguins

26. Golf courses in New Zealand. Enough said.

Kauri Cliffs Northland Golf Course by Amos Chapple

27. Hiking in Rotorua along the awesome volcanic and geothermal landscapes is a must. Get a light workout in and hike to the world’s largest hot spring in the Waimangu Volcanic Rift Valley – the surreal landscapes will make you feel like you’re walking on another planet!

Hiking in Rotorua

28. Seeing the gorgeous peaks in Wanaka with an experienced guide is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It’s a dreamland of mountains, glaciers, river valleys and lakes so blue you won’t believe there’s not an Instagram filter overlaying them.

Man Hiking in Mount Aspiring Lake Wanaka

29. The weather in the Bay of Plenty is perfect for full gardens, vibrant wildlife, amazing beaches and spectacular sunsets! It’s easy to see why this is a favorite holiday destination for many locals.

30. Visit the rain forest in the Coromandel Peninsula in spring and have your own personal safari without the hustle and bustle of lots of tourists. Even better, try it by bike! Pedal along the Ohinemuri River to see the spectacular Owharoa Falls, or try the Coromandel Mountain Bike Track for more of a challenge.

Hauraki Rail Trail Waikato

31. The culture and sights in Northland in spring. Ancient Kauri forests, healing waters of Ngawha Springs, paddling a traditional Waka (maori war canoe) – the cultural sights and experiences are out of this world.

Northland-Sara-Orme

32. Do you have a green thumb? Check out the Taranaki Garden Spectacular, an event filled with gardens, landscape design ideas, tours, garden walks and community events. Find inspiration for your next gardening projects or simply admire the colorful and exotic plants around you.

 

Taranaki Garden Spectacular

Image credit: Powerco Taranaki Garden Spectacular on Facebook.com

 

33. And best of all, longer daylight hours means more time you can spend in the beautiful landscapes on the North and South Islands. If only there were more hours in a day!

Castle Point in Wairarapa

If you’re not convinced yet, give us a call Toll Free 888-359-2877 (Mon-Fri 8:30am – 5:00pm Central US)! Our Destination Specialists are experts in planning the best vacations in New Zealand. Tell them what you like and let them give you 33 more reasons to visit New Zealand!

Start planning my trip

Most Unique New Zealand Wildlife

Posted on: July 19th, 2017 by About Australia Staff No Comments

When it comes to New Zealand wildlife, you might be thinking sheep, sheep and more sheep. And you wouldn’t be wrong, either! Until recently, New Zealand’s sheep-to-human ratio sat at about 22 sheep for every man, woman and child in the country.

That’s a lot of sweaters!

But that’s not all that the island nation has to offer. A diverse collection of unique animals make this coastal county their home. In fact, there wasn’t a single mammal to be found for millions of years before humans arrived. Instead, a plethora of wild bird species, reptiles and marine life thrived in the region.

This includes a lizard whose DNA goes back 200 million years, unchanged since the days it walked the land with dinosaurs.

What you won’t find though, are snakes. That’s right, not a single snake slithers around New Zealand. Great news for all the ophidiophobics out there (that means fear of snakes!).

We’ve rounded up a few of the most unique creatures you’ll find, so that your next trip will have you doing more than just counting sheep.

Albatross

new zealand wildlife

Photo: DunedinNZ

A storied history riddles this legendary bird’s past. Sailors once thought that seeing an albatross in the sky meant good luck. The giant bird was said to have carried the souls of dead sailors to protect the ship from danger. However, if one were to kill an albatross, certain doom would come to all aboard.

These days the albatross isn’t as rife with superstition, but the real facts behind the bird are just as interesting. They are among the largest seabirds on the planet. At their largest, their wings can span more 12 feet across – almost 6 times the average seagull!

The albatross is kind of like the drone of the bird-world. They use nearly autonomous, micro-wing movements to stay aloft using little to no effort. For the albatross, this makes flying a breeze.

They can even sleep while flying and have been known to stay out to sea for years, only returning to land to mate and feed their young. Scientists tracked an albatross recently circling the entire globe – more than 10,000 miles – in just 46 days.

Tip: Before you see an albatross in person, keep tabs on the newest addition to the Taiaroa Head albatross colony via live web-stream! This albatross chick hatched in late January and will remain until it’s old enough to fly away in September. The chick’s parents return from sea daily to feed their young. An amazing look at New Zealand wildlife up-close.

Tuatara

new zealand wildlife

What has three eyes, zero ears and has called New Zealand home for more than 200 million years?

The tuatara, New Zealand’s “living dinosaur”, still carries the same DNA since it walked side-by-side actual with the famed mega-reptiles. A third-eye on top of it’s head (physical, not metaphorical) is thought to help produce vitamin D and regulate night and day cycles, but even scientists still don’t know what it’s really used for.

At the very least, it makes up for having no ears!

As mammals like wildcats and rodents were introduced to the mainland, tuataras became quick and easy prey and populations were decimated. These days they thrive solely on the islands off the New Zealand coast – like Jurassic Park, right in New Zealand.

However, being banished to an island turned out to be a good thing. Without any natural predators, the tuatara can live to be more than 100 years old. The benefits of island life.

Kea Parrot

new zealand wildlife

If you thought you had to travel to the tropics to see parrots, think again. This New Zealand exclusive is the world’s only alpine parrot and is found only in select parts of the South Island. Like most parrots, the Kea is an intelligent bird. Researchers estimate that the Kea is as smart as a 4-year old – without ever having stepped foot in pre-school.

The Kea is notorious for it’s brash personality. They’ve developed almost non-existent boundaries and humans, a blessing and a curse that makes getting an up-close picture of the Kea possible, but also less savory encounters. Because of the bird’s hyper-curious nature and general trust around people, they have been known to peck and damage cars and rifle through bags and clothing. One Kea even made off with a tourist’s unguarded wallet in Fiordland National Park.

It’s no wonder they call these pick-pocketing parrots the “clowns of the mountain”.

You’ll want to see this beautiful bird in person and the best place to do it is in Fiordland. Take a nature cruise of Milford Sound for beautiful landscapes and wildlife spotting. Kea have been known to hang out in the parking lot of Milford Sound so be sure to keep an eye on your wallet!

Glow Worms

new zealand wildlife

Photo: Corin Walker Bain

No other animal can stake the claim of attracting more than 400,000 visitors to New Zealand every year. In fact, the Waitomo Glowworm Caves are the most popular cave in all of Australasia, which includes New Zealand, Australia, New Guinea and other islands.

How do they do it?

Tourists flock to the Waitomo Caves to see the hypnotic, blueish glow that lights up the subterranean site. Millions of glowworms cover the cavernous interior and light up like blue fireflies during their feeding stage. The best part about seeing the glowworms is the silent, “black-water” river raft ride that you take to see them. You’ll float along the water beneath the canyon in total darkness, with only the star-like light of glowworms above.

Tip: Waitomo Glowworm Caves make a great back-to-back trip with Rotorua’s amazing geothermal features. Take a tour of both for a day tour you’ll never forget.

Dusky Dolphins

These quirky marine-mammals are best known for their aerial-acrobatics. While all dolphins exhibit breaching behavior in order to breathe from their blowholes, dusky dolphins seem to perform out-of-water stunts like aerial jumps, spins, tail-over-head dives, barrel rolls and more – seemingly for no other reason than their own enjoyment!

Dusky dolphins are found off the the south African coast, South America and many oceanic islands, but the largest concentrations are found all over New Zealand waters, including the Kaikoura Coast. Guided tours allow you to swim with these curious creatures in their natural environment.

Dusky dolphins are curious around humans and interaction with them is possible without the need for feeding, changing their environment or otherwise disrupting their natural habitat. 

Tour-goers have reported dusky dolphins in pods numbering in the hundreds. The dolphins swim with and seem to mirror the behavior of humans (diving in as humans dive in) without being coaxed in to an encounter. 

Yellow-Eyed Penguin

new zealand wildlife

This tuxedoed New Zealand native is the rarest species of penguin in the entire world. The distinct, yellow banding around their eyes sets these quirky creatures apart from their Antarctic cousins to the south.

Yellow-eyed penguins, also known by their Maori name hoiho, are increasingly endangered. They generally breed on the South Island of New Zealand and habitats are found off the coast of Dunedin.

You can catch a glimpse of the rare land-bird with a cruise to Penguin Place wildlife refuge where conservation efforts are underway to increase the animals decreasing population.

Kiwi

You didn’t think we’d get away without mentioning New Zealand’s most iconic animal, did you? This large, flightless bird is an icon that is inseparable from New Zealand. The word Kiwi is used as a term of endearment for native New Zealanders and even adorns the country’s $1 coin.

Not bad for a bird that can’t even fly.

The Kiwi’s arrival to the island nation remains sort of a mystery. Some say the bird descended from an ancestor capable of flight. Others say they arrived before New Zealand broke off from Australia millions of years ago. Essentially, just walking right over.

The Kiwi is a cherished part of New Zealand wildlife and culture, whichever way they arrived.

Unfortunately, the Kiwi is an increasingly endangered species, so they may be hard to spot in the wild. The best way to see a Kiwi up-close is through conservation projects and nature reserves, like Rainbow Springs Nature Park in Rotorua and Zealandia in Wellington.

Plan a Trip to See New Zealand Wildlife

We’ll set you up with the perfect trip for wildlife watching in beautiful New Zealand. Whether you’re Albatross-spotting off the coast of Dunedin or staring in awe at glowworms, you’ll be sure not to miss anything on your trip.

We’ll even send you to Fiordland National Park, but make sure to watch your valuables around the Kea!

Add New Zealand Wildlife to My Trip

Want to start planning your trip now?

Phone us Toll Free on 1-888-359-2877 (CT USA, M-F 8.30am – 5pm) and speak to one of our expert Destination Specialists today.


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10 of the Most Scenic Places in New Zealand – Amazing 360-Degree Images

Posted on: May 15th, 2017 by About Australia Staff No Comments

Sometimes seeing a place in photos is all it takes to get yourself excited to take a trip. You browse through photos imagining yourself in far off places. But plain old photos are officially a thing of the past. These 360-degree images show off some of the most scenic places in New Zealand in the second best way possible – right behind seeing them live in person.

Be sure to click and drag around these breathtaking 360-degree photo-spheres and you’ll get a taste of what it’s like to be there yourself.

Aoraki / Mt. Cook National Park

Aoraki / Mt. Cook is the highest peak in New Zealand and offers incredible views. Alpine flora and crystal lakes dot the landscape of this incredible mountain trek.

Zoom in close on the crater lakes at the foot of the mountain for a small look at how glacial minerals give the waters that beautiful sapphire look.

Tip: Want to see more amazing glacier-lakes? Jump right over to Franz-Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier for guided tours through these amazing natural wonders. You’ll fly in on a helicopter to hike these icy landscapes – truly incredible!

Horuhoru Rock / Waiheke Island

Waiheke is the second largest island in New Zealand, just behind Great Barrier Island. Horuhoru Rock sits just off the coast of Waiheke and is most notable for being a a safe nesting site for more than 2500 Australian gannets, a large seabird native to New Zealand. Access to Horuhoru Rock is limited, but we love the remoteness of this uninhabited isle! Not to mention that great panorama of the Hauraki Gulf.

If you look up and to the left of the island and the distance you can even see an Australian gannet swooping in to Horuhoru Rock!

Mt. Ngauruhoe

This active volcanic vent is located in Tongariro National Park. Mt. Ngauruhoe breaths sulphurous gases in to the atmosphere from the cone. This volcano shot to worldwide stardom with the release of the Lord of the Rings films. Director Peter Jackson used Mt. Ngauruhoe to represent Mt. Doom in the films.

After you see Mt. Ngauruhoe, see the rest of Tongariro National Park. Go with a guide on a trek of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing – a hike you’ll never forget in one of the most beautiful places on Earth.

Fiordland National Park

This park is the largest national park in New Zealand. Its giant fiords were carved out by glaciers little by little for hundreds of thousands of years. What’s left is an amazing natural wonderland that is pure New Zealand. Fiordland is consistently voted one of the best places to go in New Zealand. Milford and Doubtful Sound’s amazing landscapes are some of the top travel destinations in the world. Take a guided tour of Milford Track, one of New Zealand’s Great Walks.

Mt. Aspiring National Park

Just north of Fiordland, Mount Aspiring National park is located in the Southern Alps in New Zealand. Some of the country’s greatest walks and hiking sites are located in the park. Incredible rock formations and crater lakes are some of the best and most accessible in New Zealand.

Take Me There!

11 Amazing New Zealand Beaches You Don’t Want to Miss

Posted on: February 9th, 2017 by About Australia Staff No Comments

New Zealand has more than 9,000 miles of coastline, making it a premier destination for beach-goers. Whether you prefer active adventures like surfing and kayaking, or tranquil days soaking up the sun with a backdrop of the world’s most beautiful scenery, New Zealand’s diverse beach culture is worth a top spot on your vacation to-do list.

We’ve compiled 11 of the most amazing New Zealand beaches to check out on your next vacation to Kiwi Country.

Rangitoto Beach

Rangitoto Island

Alright, so you’re on your way to Rangitoto Island. You’ve got your flip-flops, your sand buckets. You’re all set.

But wait… where’s the sand? Where are the umbrellas? The lifeguard stands??

New Zealand isn’t your average country and this isn’t your average day at the beach. You didn’t fly halfway around the world to see the same old thing you could see back home!

What you will find is a 600 year old (just a baby in geological terms!) volcanic island with its rugged, black volcanic rock. Rangitoto Island and Scenic reserve is part nature hike and part sea kayaking adventure.

Take a sea kayaking tour, ending up with a hike to the top of the island that provides vast 360-degree views of the water and land around you. Along the way, you can explore the native flora and volcanic rock.

Start things off with a unique visit to this island reserve and we assure you won’t even miss the sand!

Cathedral Cove

Cathedral Cove, Coromandel Peninsula

Despite Cathedral Cove being tucked away from the main roads, it still proves to be one of the most popular – and picturesque – New Zealand beaches.

The 2,100 acre marine reserve, accessible only by foot or by sea, still manages to attract more than 150,000 visitors per year.

A one mile hike in over gorgeous terrain takes you deep in to the heart of some of New Zealand’s most beautiful topography, rock formations, and coastline.

Sure to be worth the trek, Cathedral Cove’s crystal clear waters provide some of the best snorkeling in the area, while white sand beaches provide the perfect spot to simply sit and relax surrounded by some of the most pristine, undeveloped natural land in New Zealand.

Hot Water Beach

Hot Water Beach

A staple among all New Zealand beaches, Hot Water Beach is notable for its heated mineral water that naturally springs up through the sand.

The interesting thing about the beach and the hot natural spring below the sand, is that you can dig your own personal hot spring beneath the sand.

Forgot to pack your shovel? Local cafes and stands have taken to renting shovels out for curious tourists.

Be sure to arrive two hours before or after low tide, as the stretch of sand that is hiding the hot water will be exposed enough to dig.

Both Hot Water Beach and Cathedral Cove are ideal to visit in one New Zealand visit. Check out a potential itinerary for taking in both beaches here.

Kaikoura Canterbury

Kaikoura, Canterbury

A small coastal city on the northeast portion of the South Island, Kaikoura is a must see just a short drive from Christchurch.

While the coast has plenty of great recreation options such as kayaking, white water rafting, and mountain biking, the real highlights in Kaikoura are the numerous wildlife experiences available.

Whale watching trips leave throughout the day and the coastal area is home to many of New Zealand’s native animals, such as dolphins and fur seals.

Piha Beach

Piha Beach, Auckland

Best known for its striking black sand, Piha Beach – on the west coast of Auckland – is a must see for your New Zealand trip.

The shining feature of this rugged coastline is Lion Rock, a large rock formation eroded from a volcanic neck some 16 million years old.

In fact, the black sand of the beach is caused by its high iron content, a by-product of its volcanic beginnings.

Although this beach is also known as the birthplace of surfing in New Zealand, its calm looking waters hide deceptive rip currents invisible to the untrained eye. For this reason, surfing and swimming at Piha Beach are recommended for confident swimmers, while lifeguards are on duty.

Piha Beach is also part of the overall Piha Canyon area, where more adventurous visitors can participate in canyon adventuring.

Taking you rappelling through narrow canyon crevices, through waterfalls, swimming through canyon waterways and jumping in to natural pools, a canyon adventure is the most heart pounding way to experience the entirety of the Piha Beach and Canyon Area.   

Eastland Gisborne

Eastland, Gisborne

In Eastland, you can truly be the earliest riser in the entire world. Due to its geographical location, Eastland holds the unique distinction of being the first land in the world that the sun touches every morning.

Whether from the soft sand beach or standing atop Mount Hikurangi, the sunrise in Eastland is a breathtaking event not to be missed. After the sunrise, the beach area is pure New Zealand splendor with its quintessential white sand beaches and clear waters.

Don’t forget to take some time out to walk along the pier at Tolaga Bay, the longest pier in the country at nearly half a mile in length.

Buffalo Beach

Buffalo Beach

Located on the eastern side of the Coromandel Peninsula, Buffalo Beach is another of New Zealand’s beaches famous for its white-sand coast and surrounding local beach culture.

While named for a ship that crashed off the coast in 1840, Buffalo Beach has calm waters suitable for all swimming during all tides of the day.

While you are in the area, check out the surrounding Lost Spring Thermal resort close to Buffalo Beach.

Tunnel Beach

Tunnel Beach, Dunedin

Located in Dunedin, in the southeast region of the South Island, the tunnel for which Tunnel Beach was named was hand carved nearly 150 years ago to provide an entrance to a small, secluded beach at the bottom of a rock cliff.

Tunnel Beach is popular for its stunning views, interesting geology, and crystal clear waters. It’s one of the most popular of New Zealand’s beaches, attracting both locals and tourists all throughout the year.

Even in the colder months, the views and rock formations make Tunnel Beach a must visit no matter when you travel. The walk to and from tunnel beach features a fairly steep grade, so wear your walking shoes and come prepared for an experience well worth the short hike in and out.

Scrubby Bay

Scrubby Bay

Located on a private stretch of coastal bay, Scrubby Bay is perfect for those seeking a private beach retreat that features everything New Zealand nature has to offer.

Surrounded by high cliffs, vistas, and beautiful rock formations, Scrubby Bay features a semi-open air farmhouse nestled in a valley overlooking the water.

A lush, green meadow takes place of sand on this coastline just east of Christchurch, making Scrubby Bay a unique inclusion on our list, but its feeling of seclusion and relaxation is unprecedented.

Spend your day in nearby Christchurch before taking the 1.5 hour drive on a highway that takes you through the beautiful rolling vistas of New Zealand, straight to your own private bay.

Sumner Beach

Sumner Beach

Very much a locals hang out spot, Sumner Beach is sure to provide an intimate look at local beach culture in New Zealand, besides being a spectacular natural site to behold.

Surrounded by a quintessentially coastal, beachy town, Sumner Beach provides both your standard feet in the sand beach experience, along with easy walks and strolls along the promenade, giving you picturesque views of coastal New Zealand.

Along the promenade, take some time to stop in to local cafes and restaurants, many of which provide open air café-style outdoor seating, allowing you to drink in the local scenery with your latte.

Easily accessible by car, with ample public parking, Sumner Beach is best visited as a stop along a self-drive tour through New Zealand.

Birdlings Flat

Birdlings Flat

Dangerous rip currents, rough breaching waves, and not a speck of sand in site, Birdlings Flat is not your average day at the beach.

Due to dangerous conditions in the actual water, it is not advised to swim in the ocean here, but what Birdlings Flat lacks in water sport, is made up for with wildlife spotting, gemstone hunting, and walking along the unique flat, pebbly surface of the coast.

Birdlings Flat is worth a visit for those not looking to take a dip, but simply enjoy the natural beauty of a beach that trades tons of sand for millions of tiny flat rocks, hiding agates and other semi-precious stones.

Also keep an eye out for the local wildlife like dolphins, whales, and seals that are known to call this coast home. Birdlings Flat is by far one of the most unique New Zealand beaches and a can’t miss on your next trip!

Make Birdlings Flat a part of a driven tour of New Zealand as you ride the beautiful coast at your own leisure.

Ready to See New Zealand’s Fantastic Beaches?

The diversity of beaches and relative ease of getting to them make New Zealand’s coast a must visit for anyone planning a trip to the country. Because New Zealand is such a great country to rent a car and get around yourself, you can easily jump from some of the larger cities to several beaches in no time, at your own pace.

If you’re ready to see all that New Zealand has to offer, let us do the work for you and book your next custom New Zealand vacation today.

If you’re not convinced yet, give us a call Toll Free 888-359-2877 (Mon-Fri 8:30am – 5:00pm Central US)! Our Destination Specialists are experts in planning the best vacations in New Zealand. Tell them what you like and let them give you 33 more reasons to visit New Zealand!

Start planning my trip


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Quick Guide To Major New Zealand Airports

Posted on: October 14th, 2015 by MelissaM No Comments

Looking for information on New Zealand airports for your future trip?

Check out our quick guide on major New Zealand airports, both international and domestic.

New Zealand International Airports

With five international airports, traveling to different areas in New Zealand has never been easier. Christchurch & Auckland are the largest airports, housing millions of passengers each year! All of the New Zealand airports have facilities and transportation options to make traveling to and from this beautiful country more comfortable.

New Zealand International Airport Map

Auckland International Airport – AKL

Considered the main hub for international travel to New Zealand, Auckland airport recorded over 15 million passengers in 2014. The airport services all major airlines for international flight as well as domestic flights all over the country.

Transportation Options

Bus: Bus fares from AKL to Auckland city average $16 per adult with an approximate travel time of 45-60 minutes. The bus operates 24/7 to accommodate all travelers. The bus schedule can vary, so check online for departure times. Tickets can be purchased online ahead of time or at one of the kiosks in the airport.

Shuttle: Costing a little over $30 a person, plan to take an hour from the Airport to the city with a shuttle ride. Shuttles are shared with other passengers and depending on peak traffic time, travel may take longer.

Taxi: Taxi fares from the Auckland airport range from $75-$90 on average and can take 30 minutes from the airport to the city center. All taxi drives carry a value and service guarantee, so travel should be smooth. Traffic can present problems, so it is best to leave early during peak driving hours.

Facilities

Wifi is available (first 30 minutes free), toilets and showers, pharmacy, Luggage Trolleys, VIP Lounges, Family Facilities, Medical & First Aid, Foreign Exchange & Banking, Telephones & Chapel, playground for children.

More information on: https://www.aucklandairport.co.nz

Christchurch International Airport – CHC

Christchurch Airport recently completed an upgrade in 2013 to accommodate the growing number of passengers coming in and out of this airport. Christchurch has had over 727,000 international passengers this year and is the stop for travelers visiting the South Island. The Christchurch airport services major airlines including Air New Zealand, Jetstar, China Airlines, Emirates, Fiji Airways, China Southern Airlines, Qantas, Singapore Airlines and Virgin Australia.

Transportation Options

Taxis: Travel time by taxi to the city center of Christchurch averages 15-20 minutes and costs $45-$65 per fare, though prices may vary.

Buses: Christchurch airport buses operate 7 days a week and offer an inexpensive option to the city center. Expect bus fare around $8 one way. Tickets can be purchased directly with the driver.

Shuttle Shuttle rides average about 30-40 minutes for travel time from CHC to the city center and cost around $25 for one passenger, $30 for two. Shuttle rides can be scheduled ahead of time or at the airport. Make sure to allow plenty of time due to the amount of drop offs on one trip.

Facilities

Unlimited Free Wifi available to all passengers, Toilets & Shower facilities, Foreign Exchange & Banking (open for all international flights), wide array of food options, 20+ of retail & service stores

More information on: http://www.christchurch-airport.co.nz

Dunedin International Airport – DUD

The Dunedin airport, located 30 kilometers south of the city, services the Lower South Island & international flights to and from Australia. Major airlines include Air New Zealand, Jetstar, Virgin Australia Airlines and Mainland Air.

Transportation Options

Shuttle: It takes about 35 minutes from DUD to the city with a far of $30 per person or $40 for two. The DUD shuttle provides an inexpensive way to travel but travelers should allow extra time when using the shuttle for transportation, due to the number of drop-offs.

Taxi: Taxis to Dunedin from the Dunedin airport can cost about $90 fare and take 20-30 minutes. Please allow extra time depending on peak traffic periods.

Car Rental: Car rental services are available at the Dunedin airport with a number of major car rental services. Bookings are recommended to ensure a car is available.

Facilities

Dining options, Toilets & Shower facilities, exchange facilities for international flights, bars, fast food, parenting room, arcade room, tax-free shopping and souvenirs, wheelchair access, conference facilities

More information on: https://www.dunedinairport.co.nz

Wellington International Airport – WLG

Wellington services destinations in Australia (Brisbane, Sydney, Gold Coast & Melbourne) & domestic flights to Lower North Island. Major airlines include Qantas, Virgin Australia, JetStar, Fiji Airways and Air New Zealand.

Transportation Options

Shuttle: Shuttle Rides can be found outside of baggage claim. Discounts apply to travelers in groups of two or more ($20 for one person, $25 for two). Plan for about a 25 minute trip from WLG to Wellington city.

Bus: Bus trips cost no more than $6 per person with a travel time of 30 minutes from WLG to the city. The bus leaves every 20 minutes from the airport till about 9:20PM at night. Check the schedule online to plan ahead.

Taxi: Taxi trips average about 20 minutes from the WLG airport to the city at a rate of $40, though prices vary on peak traffic times. All taxi drivers must possess special license, so they are considered “knowledge experts” in Greater Wellington.

Facilities

Toilets, Showers; lots of shopping options including tax-free souvenir shops, bookshops, clothing, fine clothing, music and movies, dining options including cafes, restaurants and bars; banking and currency exchange options, wifi, wheelchair access, parenting room, Wildcard programme offers exclusive deals for shopping food & beverage, parking, competitions and giveaways.

More information on: www.wellingtonairport.co.nz

Queenstown International Airport – ZQN

Queenstown is an international hub for travelers and out of all the New Zealand airports, this one has the most scenic landing strip next to a gorgeous mountain range. Air New Zealand, Jet Star, Qantas and Virgin Australia flights are serviced here.

Transportation Options

Bus: Bus fare to the city is $8 a person and can take about a half hour from ZQN to the city. The bus travels to all major hotels in the area.

Shuttle: Shuttles from the Queenstown airport cost about $10 a person and travel time takes about 20 minutes. Discounts apply for two or more travelers.

Taxi: Fare costs average $30 and take about 15 minutes to the city center. Please allow more travel time for peak traffic hours.

Facilities:

1st hour free Wifi available to all travelers, toilets, shopping, retail stores including jewelry, souvenirs, clothing, reading material, food and drink options like bars, cafes, lounges available open and pay-for-use, disabled access, parents room with toys, telephone areas

More information on: http://www.queenstownairport.co.nz

New Zealand Domestic Airports

Map of New Zealand's Domestic Airports

Domestic airports are located throughout the country to accommodate travel inside the North & South Islands. Travel accommodations for each airport depend on location and size.

  • Hawke’s Bay Airport – NPE
  • New Plymouth Airport – NPL
  • Palmerson North Airport – PMR
  • Nelson Airport – NSN
  • Invercargill Airport – IVC
  • Tauranga Airport – TRG
  • Blenheim Airport – BHE
  • Rotorua Regional Airport – ROT

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If you need assistance planning your flight or trip, our destination experts are ready to help you. Our ARC Accreditation ensures you’ll get the best experience when book your flight to New Zealand with the help of seasoned travel agents. Call us Toll Free 888-359-2877 (Mon-Fri 8:30am – 5:00pm Central US).

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About New Zealand Reviews
Rating of  Average of 4.83 on a total of 12 Ratings
Carol Strickler
Thanks!

Thanks to Layla for planning our trip to New Zealand. Our hotels were lovely & well situated and our travel transportation worked well. The only glitch was we had to wait for our pickup shuttle(...)

Janet H. Rust
Wonderful Time!

We had a fabulous time in Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji. You arranged fun excursions that we all enjoyed and then a relaxing time in Fiji before we returned to the US. Especially enjoyed(...)

Bonnie Kelly
Our trip to New Zealand was fantastic.

Darin our coordinator with About Australia did a fantastic job coordinating our trip for us. Everything went smoothly with accommodations,car rentals and all of the attractions we were going to(...)

Eric Olberding
My wife and I had a wonderful trip to New Zealand.

About New Zealand did an excellent job of covering all the details which led to a very organized and stress free vacation! A couple of the IBIS hotels we stayed at were disappointing but on the(...)