How to get to New Zealand

By | May 4, 2022


New Zealand is a country of breathtaking beauty: rugged cliffs, golden beaches, lush rainforests, snow-capped mountains, volcanically hot waters, rivers teeming with rainbow trout and large glacial lakes make New Zealand one of the most diverse countries in the world. It formed an unforgettable film set for the trilogy “The Lord of the Rings”. Combine New Zealand’s countryside with vibrant Maori culture, dynamic cosmopolitan cities, traditional small towns and friendly people and you have a fascinating travel destination. New Zealand is one of the leading countries in the world when it comes to ecotourism and has emerged as one of the cleanest and most environmentally friendly travel destinations. The animal and plant world is diverse and partly unique, for example the shy kiwis, the New Zealand fur seals, the yellow-eyed penguins, the New Zealand sea lions as well as dolphins and whales. Other attractions include renowned New Zealand wine, wonderful cuisine, atmospheric beaches, national parks and alpine hiking trails, not to mention bungee jumping and other adventure sports. See other countries in Oceania on ehealthfacts.

Getting there

Arriving by plane

New Zealand’s national airline is called Air New Zealand (NZ). From Germany, Austria and Switzerland, travelers traveling to New Zealand can choose between the shorter easterly route via Asia (Singapore, Bangkok) and the longer westerly route via North America (Los Angeles, San Francisco). Popular connections to New Zealand are with Lufthansa (LH) non-stop to Los Angeles or San Francisco. From there continue with Air New Zealand (NZ) directly to Auckland or Christchurch or via Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Tahiti or the Cook Islands to New Zealand. Air New Zealand (NZ) and Singapore Airlines (SQ) offer codeshare flights from Frankfurt/M., Dusseldorf, Munich and Zurich via Singapore to Auckland and Christchurch. In codeshare with Cathay Pacific Airways (CS), Lufthansa (LH) fly from Frankfurt/M. and Munich, Swiss (LX) from Zurich and Austrian (OS) from Vienna via Hong Kong to Auckland. Malaysia Airlines (MH) connects Frankfurt/M. via London and Kuala Lumpur with Auckland. Emirates (EK) flies from Dusseldorf, Frankfurt/M. and Munich via Dubai and Sydney to Christchurch.

Flight times

Frankfurt/M. – Auckland: from 23 hrs 55 mins; Zurich – Auckland: from 24 hours; Vienna – Auckland: from 23 hours 35 minutes (each with intermediate stops).

Departure fee

The airport taxes are already included in the ticket price.

Arrival by car

Tolls: The few toll routes in New Zealand are on SH 1 (Auckland Northern Gateway, length: 7.5 km) and SH 2 (Tauranga Eastern Link, length: 15 km and Takitimu Drive, length: 5 km). The toll can be paid in cash or by credit card at selected petrol stations. For more information contact NZ Transport Agency. Documents: Either a certified English translation of the national driver’s license or, in addition to the national one, the international driver’s license must be carried.

Arrival by ship

The port cities of Auckland, Wellington, Lyttleton, Dunedin, Picton and Opua are served by shipping companies from the USA and Europe.

Cruise ships

Cruise operators such as Holland America Line, Costa, Cunard and Princess Cruises have New Zealand on their itineraries.


Traveling by plane

Air New Zealand (NZ) and Qantas subsidiary Jetstar Airways (JQ) fly to a variety of airports across the country. Air carriers Mount Cook Airline and Air Nelson are subsidiaries of Air New Zealand (NZ) and collectively known as the Air New Zealand Link. They fly to other domestic airports on both islands. Sounds Air (S8) also offers domestic flights. Air Chathams is a New Zealand regional airline primarily serving the Chatham Islands and Pitt Island.

Traveling by car/bus

New Zealand has a well-developed road network of around 93,000 km on both the North and South Islands. State Highways (SH) connect most places in the country. Tolls: The few toll routes in New Zealand are on SH 1 (Auckland Northern Gateway, length: 7.5 km) and SH 2 (Tauranga Eastern Link, length: 15 km and Takitimu Drive, length: 5 km). The toll can be paid in cash or by credit card at selected petrol stations. For more information contact NZ Transport Agency. Petrol stations: The New Zealand petrol station network covers the entire country.

Right-hand traffic/left-hand traffic


Condition of the roads

The road network is in good condition and regularly maintained. About two thirds of the entire network is asphalted. In more remote areas there are also unpaved roads, for which a four-wheel drive vehicle is recommended.

Road classification

In contrast to our freeways, the New Zealand State Highways (SH) are often only two-lane roads that have passing lanes at regular intervals (marked in white letters on a red background).

Car rental

Rental cars are available from international and regional car rental companies in almost all towns. Drivers must be at least 20 years old (may vary depending on vehicle category) and have held their driving license for at least one year; A young driver fee is often charged locally under the age of 25.


Metered taxis are available everywhere.


Bicycles and scooters can be rented in larger towns. Guided bike tours with luggage transport are also offered.


The bus company InterCity Coachlines runs regular bus services across the country. Regional bus lines connect almost all parts of the country. Seat reservation is recommended.


Traffic regulations: – left-hand traffic; – right before left at intersections; – seatbelt obligation; – 0.5 ‰; under 20 years: 0.0 ‰; – Telephoning is only permitted with a hands-free system. Speed ​​limits: – in built-up areas: 50 km/h; – extra-urban: 100 km/h.

Roadside Assistance

The ADAC foreign emergency call offers ADAC members and holders of ADAC foreign health and accident insurance comprehensive assistance in the event of vehicle breakdowns, traffic accidents, loss of documents and money, and medical emergencies. The emergency number is available around the clock; for vehicle damage: Tel. +49 (89) 22 22 22, for illnesses: +49 (89) 76 76 76. The ADAC partner club is the New Zealand Automobile Association Inc. (NZAA) in Auckland, Tel. +64 (9 ) 966 88 00; In the event of a breakdown, you can reach us on Tel. 0800 500 222 or *222.


Either a certified English translation of the national driver’s license or the international driver’s license in addition to the national driver’s license must be carried. Contact the New Zealand Automobile Association for more information. Tel. +64 (9) 966 8688.

Traveling in the city

There are excellent regular bus networks in almost all cities. Trolleybuses and a tram operate in Wellington. The city center can also be explored very well on foot. There are regular bus services throughout the Auckland metropolitan area. Transdev Auckland trains serve city and suburban services. Ferries connect the city centre, the North Shore and the East and call at the islands around Auckland.

Locally on the way by train

Rail transport in New Zealand is operated by both state and private companies. The largest rail company in New Zealand is Kiwi Rail. TranzScenic and Rail New Zealand trains operate on scenic routes: – The Northern Explorer runs from Auckland to Wellington via Palmerston North, Ohakune, Tongariro National Park and Hamilton. – The TranzAlpine operates between Christchurch and Greymouth. Further information is available from the tourist offices (see addresses).

Traveling by ship

The North and South Islands are linked by modern passenger and car ferries that operate between Wellington and Picton across the Cook Strait (journey time: approximately 3 hrs 30 mins). Interislander ferries operate between Wellington and Picton several times a day throughout the year and connect to the railway lines of the two islands. Reservations are recommended, especially for the car ferries. Bluebridge Ferries also connect Wellington and Picton several times a day. Further information is available from Tourism New Zealand (see addresses).

How to get to New Zealand