Home: Travelling to New Zealand

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Travelling to New Zealand

Being an island the main form of transportation to the country is by air, although several cruise ship companies incorporate New Zealand ports into their schedules.

Australia is the nearest major landmass and is approximately 3 hours away by air.

For travellers beyond Australia, a longhaul flight of 10-12 hours must be undertaken from either Asia or North America.

Many airlines fly into New Zealand from as far a field as London and Frankfurt. Air New Zealand's Frankfurt-Auckland flight via Los Angeles is the longest flight in the world.

Due to recent terrorist attacks in the USA. Travel via America and other countries is currently subject to increased security checks, delays, possible cancellations. These changes have been implemented to insure the safety of all aircraft passengers. However do insure you allow yourself enough time during transit stops.

As New Zealand is an isolated destination within the southern hemisphere, the country is considered a SAFE destination and has observed an increased tourism trade during times of conflict within the northern hemisphere.


Arrival in New Zealand.

Being in possession of an undeclared apple when arriving in New Zealand could cost you $400NZD. Read on to find out why.

Being an island nation New Zealand has avoided many of the pests and diseases that have plagued the agricultural, horticultural and forestry industries of some nations. As these industries are three of New Zealand's biggest export markets, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry intends to maintain this status.

When you enter NZ, you pass through both Customs and Bio-Security checks. The two are independent of each other.

When you enter New Zealand from overseas, it's important to follow New Zealand law. That means you must declare or dispose of biosecurity risk goods at our international borders. You might have goods with you that could be carrying pests and diseases. These pests and diseases could cause millions of dollars in damage to our country's environment and economy.

When you arrive at a New Zealand border you will need to:

  1. Correctly fill out your Passenger Arrival Card. Any risk goods must be declared - for a full list of biosecurity risk goods, visit www.biosecurity.govt.nz.
  2. Dispose of any risk goods you have not declared in the amnesty bins.
  3. Present your Passenger Arrival Card to the MAF Biosecurity Inspector. Declared risk goods may then be inspected.

    Your bags may be sniffed by detector dogs, x-rayed or searched.

    If you have any questions ask one of the MAF Biosecurity Inspectors.

For further information, click here to download a MAF Biosecurity brochure. (1.5MB, PDF document)

A single item of food containing a fruit-fly larvae, moth egg or disease could destroy any of New Zealand's major export industries, costing 100's of millions of dollars and thousands of jobs.
For this reason, any person travelling to New Zealand MUST DECLARE any animals, animal products, plants or fruits being brought into New Zealand.

If you're unsure. Declare it.

You are required to declare the following items:

Animal and animal products

  • Meat and meat products. Fresh or cooked.

  • Dairy products, including cheese, milk, milk powder, butter.

  • Egg and egg products, including egg powder and instant meal products.

  • Honey, pollen, honeycombs and bees wax.

  • Fish, fresh. Dried and frozen.

  • Feathers, bones, tusks, furs, skins, hunting trophies, stuffed animals and reptiles.

  • Biological cultures and organisms.

  • Coral, turtle shell, tortoise shells and ivory.

  • Unprocessed wool and animal hair, including yarns, rugs and apparel.

  • Sea shells.

  • Live animals, pets, birds, fish and insects.

Plants and plant products

  • Fruit and vegetables. Fresh, dried, frozen or cooked.

  • Nuts. Unprocessed and raw.

  • Herbs and spices

  • Plants. Live and dried, including plant cuttings

  • Cut flowers, dried flowers and leaves

  • Bulbs, corns, rhizomes and tubers

  • Seeds

  • Mushrooms and fungi. Fresh or dried.

  • Pine cones and pot pourri.

  • Noodles and rice.

  • Bamboo, cane, rattan, straw, basket ware and mats in any form.

  • Wood carvings and artefacts

Other items

  • Camping gear and boots

  • Soil and water in any form.

  • Animal remedies, foods and vaccines.

  • Riding equipment, including clothing, footwear and grooming equipment.

  • Equipment and clothing used in association with farm animals

Failure to declare items of produce MAY result in a fine of up to $100,000 or imprisonment for up to 5 years.
All undeclared items WILL result in a $400NZD instant fine.