Are you tempted to New Zealand by the beauty of its black sandy beaches, sparkling lakes and snow-capped mountains? Or perhaps you are an adventure seeker, looking to push your fear to the test with a famous New Zealand activity?
Whatever your reason, New Zealand is a must visit at least once in your life time.
Here are all your questions answered with everything you need to know about visiting this stunning and enticing country.
“When is the best time of the year to visit New Zealand?”
The seasons in New Zealand are the opposite to ours here in the UAE. That said, New Zealand offers a different experience in the summer to the winter, so depending on what you want to do, will really depend on when you should visit.
Summer – December to February: This is the busiest and most expensive time to visit New Zealand. That said, the country offers the best of the weather at this time.
Autumn – March to May: It is at this time of year that the colours change in nature and it is absolutely spectacular. Tourism at this time is lower, so are the prices.
Winter – June to August: Up in the mountains the weather is cold, and the ski season starts, running from June to October. Down on the lower ground the winters are relatively mild, with the North Island tending to be a little wetter. Snow generally stays up in the mountains and is rare on the lower land, so self-drives are lovely at this time of year.
Spring – September – November: Spring is the time for adventure seekers to head to New Zealand for some white-water rafting! If you love flowers and gardens, the spring bloom is stunning, particularly in Christchurch, aka, “the garden city.”
“How long does it take to get to New Zealand?”
From the UAE you can get a flight to Auckland (North Island) with one stop, or Wellington (North Island) and Christchurch (South Island) with two stops. You can fly direct to many other airports around the two islands also, but these three are the most popular. Flight time can be between 15 and 17 hours, plus stop over time.
“Do I need a visa to visit New Zealand as a UAE resident?”
Currently, if you hold a UAE passport you do not need to apply for a visa in advance of travelling to New Zealand if you plan to stay less than 3 months. If you are looking to stay for longer than this time or looking to work or study, you will need to apply for a visa.
You can apply for a New Zealand visa online here
“Do I need travel insurance to visit New Zealand?”
Travel insurance is important in covering your belongings from theft, loss or delay, plus medical and health expenses. Travel insurance is not a legal requirement for visit New Zealand however
If you are considering any extreme activities such as white-water rafting, hiking, skiing/snowboarding etc. you will need to take out an additional cover with Winter Sports Cover and/or Hazardous Activities Travel Insurance. Be careful to make sure that the activity you are looking to do is covered specifically with your provider.
Winter Sports Cover: This is for activities such as Skiing, Snowboarding and more. This will cover you for not only medical costs as a result of such activities, but also additional cover for ski equipment and piste closures. Find out more about our Hazardous Activities Cover here
Hazardous Activities Cover: For other activities that are regarded as hazardous, such as rock climbing, hiking, glacier walking, kayaking and more, you must take out this additional cover. Accidents, loss, cancellation and medical costs that are a result of a hazardous activity will not be covered otherwise or in your standard travel insurance policy.
We currently include 83 different activities under this cover. Please visit our terms and conditions to check what activities are included, and classed as hazardous here
To find out more about our hazardous activity cover for visiting New Zealand, please visit here
“What are your top recommendations of things to do in New Zealand?”
Good question. There is so much to do in this country, it is hard to narrow it down, but here we go…
Top things to do in the North Island of New Zealand.
Hot Water Beach: Create your own hot water spa pool on the beach! Hot Water Beach in the Coromandel offers exactly this. For 2 hours either side of low tide you can reach a patch of sand in front of a rocky outcrop. Beneath this patch, hot water comes up from beneath the surface. So, head on down with a spade, dig a hole, take a seat and et voila.
Cathedral Cove: Up in the Coromandel’s you can find this well photographed Cathedral Cove (pictured). This area is full of natural beauty including beautiful beaches, hot water beach and bush walks.
Auckland City: Auckland is a large city in the north of the North Island. Here you can head up the epic Sky Tower (which you can also jump off too, safely of course) visit the harbour, which is lined with restaurants and super yachts, and do a good bit of shopping.
Frying Pan Lake: This unique looking lake is called Frying Pan Lake. It gets its name from the fact that it is one of the world’s largest hot springs! It is shallow, and bubbles in at a deadly 110-130-degree Fahrenheit. Obviously, you can’t get in it, but you can view it plus all the wonderful scenery around it.
Whangarei Falls: Visit the most photogenic waterfall in New Zealand. It is very easy to access, and you can enjoy a lovely day with a picnic or a walk in the native bush.
Waitomo Caves: Enjoy a spectacular site in these underground caves thanks to galaxies of glow worms lighting up the caves like stars in the sky. You can take a guided walk or board a tour of the caves by boat, or enjoy an exhilarating Black Water Rafting trip through the waterways.
Tip things to do in the South Island of New Zealand.
Milford Sounds: Explore 1,599km of New Zealand’s South Island coastline with secluded bays, marine reserves and historic sites. You can grab a boat cruise and even hire a kayak to work your way around the sounds.
Mount Cook: New Zealand’s highest peak, Mount Cook, spectacularly dominates the landscape above the shimmering turquoise Lake Pukaki. Many visit this stunning part of the world to climb the peak, gaze at the stars, enjoy winter sports, cycle or hike the area.
Whale Watching: Visit Kaikoura, a famous destination for sperm whale watching. It has a 95% success rate, and we like those odds.
Lord of the Rings tour: Much of this trilogy was filmed in New Zealand, and you can take a helicopter ride for a 3.5 hour journey to see some of it. During the tour you will travel into Isengard, Misty Mountains and the Ford of Bruinen.