7in7 Blog | Kia Ora! Important details for your arrival to New Zealand

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Kia Ora! Important details for your arrival to New Zealand

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With the Wellington edition of 7in7 a mere 60 days away, here is some useful info for your arrival into New Zealand.


If you are from the list of visa waiver countries, you won’t need to apply for a visa before travelling to New Zealand. Your visitor visa will be granted on arrival. Countries include USA, Canada, United Kingdom and others on this list.

HOWEVER, passport-holders from visa waiver countries must get an NZeTA before you travel to New Zealand. This is a new requirement for travellers arriving from 1 October 2019. 

This is an Electronic Travel Authority – similar to a US ESTA or Canada ETA. You should allow 72 hours to receive your NZeTA, so it’s a good idea to get onto it early. You will need this before you are allowed to board the plane! 

The NZeTA costs NZD$12 (NZD$9 if you use their app) and lasts for two years. Apply now at: https://www.immigration.govt.nz/new-zealand-visas/apply-for-a-visa/about-visa/nzeta

You’ll also need to pay NZ’s new IVL International Visitor Levy of NZD$35 (about US$22 or €20) when applying, in support of conservation and sustainable tourism. You will pay this when you request the NZeTA.

Australian passport holders: You can travel without an NZeta, but make sure to check the latest info to be sure.

Is your country of nationality not on the visa waiver list? You’ll need to apply for a visitor visa in advance of coming to New Zealand. You may need to allow time for sending off your passport to a Visa Application Centre or having an interview, so get onto this early. Check the full details here.


As you’ll hear repeatedly on the plane and on airport arrival, New Zealand “has very strict biosecurity procedures at our international borders to prevent the introduction of harmful pests and diseases.”

They aren’t messing around! This is one country that takes protecting their environment very seriously. Make sure to declare any food, animal or plant products on your Passenger Arrival Card. 

If not, you might get an on-the-spot fine of NZD$400. I have had travel companions be fined for not declaring they had a couple of lemons with them. Don’t risk an expensive start to your stay. If you are unsure, declare it or throw it away before you arrive!

Note: You’ll go through customs and quarantine at your first point of arrival into New Zealand. If you are arriving to another NZ airport first (eg. Auckland), remember that you’ll need to collect your bags there to clear customs, before you check them in again for your onward flight to Wellington.


If you’re flying into Wellington (you can also take the scenic train ride, bus or rent a car from Auckland), you can take the Airport Flyer bus into the city for $12, running every 10-20 minutes. When you come out of the terminal, turn right to get to the Flyer bus stop at the south end of the terminal. Info is available here.

You can also catch the Metlink public bus Route #2 (Seatoun direction) for around $5.00. Check the timetables here or call the Metlink hotline at 0800 801700 for info. 

The CBD is around 8 kilometres (5 miles) from Wellington Airport and takes about 15-20 minutes by car. Using Uber to the CBD will cost around NZD$25. (Remember: NZD$10 is about US$6 or €5.)

You can read about all transport options at: https://www.wellingtonairport.co.nz/transport/

Let the 7in7 team know if you have any questions. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Michelle Wigg Michelle is the creator of Frugality and Freedom and an apprentice for 7in7 Year Four! She's also a freelance Event Manager & Travel Coordinator, passionate world traveler, and proud Aussie.