New Zealand is very far from any other country, so most travellers fly to New Zealand. The flight time alone from the east coast of Australia is over 3 hours.
Auckland and Christchurch are the main entry points. More than 20 airlines connect Auckland Airport with over 35 destinations in Australia and the South Pacific, East Asia, North America, Santiago (Chile), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Dubai and even London Heathrow (via the London-Los Angeles-Auckland route, Air New Zealand’s flagship). Christchurch International Airport offers flights to and from East Australia, Fiji, Singapore, Bangkok and Dubai, as well as seasonal services to and from Perth, Rarotonga and Taipei.
The smaller international airports of Wellington and Queenstown offer flights to and from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. There are also flights between Dunedin and Brisbane, and Wellington and Fiji. If you are travelling via Australia, make sure you have a transit visa if you need one. Otherwise you will not be able to catch your flight.
You no longer have to pay a separate departure tax – it is included in the price of your ticket.
Some of the airlines are:
- Air New Zealand: This highly respected national airline and Star Alliance member offers direct flights to New Zealand from 29 destinations in Australia and the Pacific Islands, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo, Vancouver, Honolulu, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, London (via Los Angeles), Buenos Aires. The airline offers the “Skycouch Economy” on its wide-body aircraft – a set of three economy class seats that convert into a versatile flat surface by folding up the leg rests. They recommend it for couples who want to lie down and sleep, although at 74 cm by 155 cm you either have to be a hobbit or intimate enough with your partner to do so comfortably.
- Emirates: Four flights from Dubai to Auckland: direct, via Brisbane, via Sydney and via Melbourne. Also flies from Dubai via Bangkok and Sydney to Christchurch.
- Hawaiian Airlines: Flights from 11 continental American cities to Auckland via Honolulu.
- Qantas: Flights from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne to Auckland, Queenstown, Wellington (excluding Brisbane) and Christchurch (Sydney only).
- Singapore Airlines: Direct flights from Singapore to Auckland and Christchurch, and from Singapore to Wellington via Canberra.