Prepare for your trip to NZ

Plan ahead for your arrival in New Zealand, so you don’t get stuck at the airport—or find yourself wandering around Wellington with an inside-out umbrella.

What you’ll need at the airport

As well as your luggage, passport and visa, it’s good to bring:

  • a list of important phone numbers, like your bank (in case you lose your credit card), your emergency contact details and your High Commission or Embassy (in case you lose your passport)
  • prescriptions for medicine or glasses, translated into English if they’re in another language
  • a copy of your Offer of Place letter
  • contact details for Victoria International and our airport meeting service.

Keep a photocopy of your birth certificate and passport in your checked luggage—and leave a copy with someone at home, too.

Don’t bring any food—if you bring anything declare it on your arrivals card. New Zealand has very strict biosecurity rules, and strong penalties for breaking them. Find out what you have to declare when travelling to New Zealand.

Check the baggage allowance of your flights before you leave. If you book a domestic flight (for example, from Auckland to Wellington) separately to your international flight, the baggage allowance may be less and you’ll have to pay for any extra luggage.

Making a domestic connection

If you arrive at Auckland International Airport, you’ll need to make your way to the Domestic Terminal to catch your connecting flight to Wellington. There is a free shuttle bus service, but it is an easy walk.

Prescription medication

Every country has a different classification system for medicines—a medicine that’s sold over the counter in your country might be by prescription only in New Zealand.

If you bring prescription medicine with you, you should carry a note (in English) from your doctor that says:

  • what you’re being treated for and for how long
  • the name of the medication and the dosage
  • how much medicine you’ll need over your whole stay in NZ
  • your doctor’s email address and phone number.

You can bring herbal medication, over-the-counter medicine (like paracetamol or hay-fever pills) or dietary supplements into New Zealand without a note or other documentation as long as they’re for your own use.

You should also:

  • bring less than three months’ supply with you (you can bring up to six months’ supply of oral contraceptive pills)
  • keep all your medication in its original packaging
  • declare on your incoming passenger arrival card anything that could be considered a prescription medication or controlled drug.

Money

Find out how banking in New Zealand works and what you’ll need to open an account. 

Bring at least $NZD400 to cover expenses when you first arrive. 

We strongly recommend that you bring most of this money in travellers’ cheques or loaded onto a credit card—don’t bring large amounts of cash. You might want to change about $100 of cash into New Zealand currency, especially if you’re arriving over the weekend.

You can exchange foreign currency at most banks and currency exchange services like Travelex. Auckland and Wellington airports both have Travelex branches—Travelex and banks in New Zealand aren’t open 24 hours, so it might be a good idea to get some cash before you arrive.

What you’ll need in Wellington

You might want to bring with you:

  • sunblock and sunglasses—the sun in New Zealand is strong, and you can be burned even on cloudy days
  • warm clothes and a waterproof jacket—the weather in Wellington can change quickly, even in summer
  • some good walking shoes (sneakers)—you can get around Wellington easily without a car, but there are a lot of hills.

You can leave the umbrella at home—Wellington is famous for its wind. Instead, bring a good raincoat and some strong hair product.

If you bring electrical items, make sure you bring the appropriate adaptor plug and voltage converter. The New Zealand power system is 240 volts, 50 hertz.

Find out what to expect when you first arrive in New Zealand.