Fire and rescue services
Call 111 or contact the nearest police station.
Call 105 or go online for Police non-emergencies.
Health advice is continually changing as we learn more about COVID-19 and new variants are discovered. Rules and restrictions to prevent outbreaks can change quickly. It’s important to regularly check the rules in the destinations you’re travelling to and transiting through, as well as the requirements at the Australian border. These may differ between state and territory jurisdictions.
Full travel advice: Safety
Full travel advice: Health
Full travel advice: Local laws
Full travel advice: Travel
Full travel advice: Local contacts
Crime rates in New Zealand are similar to those in Australia.
Thieves often target valuables left in cars and campervans.
Protests are generally peaceful. However, public protests and events that draw large groups of people can turn violent.
Follow the advice of local authorities.
Most people enjoy adventure activities safely in New Zealand. However, these activities carry risks.
Several serious accidents involving Australians and other travellers have occurred. People have died.
Some operators have been found to be negligent.
Safety standards can differ both between individual operators, and from standards in Australia.
If you plan to do an adventure activity:
Safety risks can increase in severe weather and remote areas.
Before you do any adventure activities:
If you're trekking or travelling in a remote area:
You can hire personal locator beacons throughout New Zealand.
When you return from a hike, check in with:
To protect yourself in a natural disaster:
Monitor local media and other sources, including:
Earthquakes are a constant risk in New Zealand.
Most quakes are too small or deep in the earth to feel. However, about 150 to 200 quakes are big enough to feel each year.
Large, damaging earthquakes have occurred and could happen again at any time. Aftershocks can continue for days or weeks.
Recent strong earthquakes include:
When an earthquake happens you are advised to drop, cover and hold. If an earthquake is long or strong and you are near the coast or large body of water you are advised to go to higher ground immediately.
If you're indoors during an earthquake:
If you're in bed:
If you're outdoors:
If you're in a car:
If you're in a lift:
After the earthquake finishes:
Because of the region's earthquake risk, tsunamis could happen.
All of New Zealand's coastline is at risk of a tsunami. New Zealand is a member of the Pacific Tsunami Warning System.
The National Emergency Management Agency manages the National Tsunami Advisory and Warning Plan and issues tsunami alerts on its website. These are also broadcast by New Zealand media.
A tsunami could arrive within minutes. There may not be time for an official warning.
Move immediately to high ground, or as far inland as possible, if you're near the coast and you:
Don't wait for official warnings.
Walk or bike if possible because of potential road congestion.
A volcano erupted on White Island in the Bay of Plenty on 9 December 2019. Further eruptions are possible. Avoid the area and follow the advice of local authorities.
Visit GeoNet for information about volcanic activity at:
Volcanic eruptions can happen at any time.
If you plan to visit active volcanoes or surrounding areas:
Weather conditions can change quickly. Severe weather can occur.
Creeks and rivers can experience flash flooding after heavy rains.
Rapid weather changes could leave you stranded or injured, particularly if you're in a remote area.
Monitor weather conditions, forecasts and warnings from Metservice.
Take extra care if you're climbing, hiking or in a remote area. See Travel
Parts of New Zealand experience bushfires in hot, dry conditions.
If there's a bushfire, follow local advice.
Get comprehensive travel insurance before you leave. Be prepared that travel insurance may not cover COVID-19-related claims. Travel insurance is also important to protect you from events not related to COVID-19.
Your policy needs to cover overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. The Australian Government won't pay for these costs.
If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.
If you're not insured, you may have to pay many 1000s of dollars up-front for medical care.
Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition. Consider whether you may be in a vulnerable category for COVID-19.
See your doctor or travel clinic to:
Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.
If you need counselling services in New Zealand, contact:
Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.
If you plan to bring medication, check if it's legal in New Zealand. Take enough legal medication for your trip and are prepared if you have an extended stay.
Carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating:
The risk to COVID-19 in New Zealand is low. However, local outbreaks could occur and authorities may implement local measures at short notice.
If you're in New Zealand and have cold or flu like symptoms, contact Healthline on 0800 358 5453.
For information on New Zealand's COVID-19 vaccination program, refer to the New Zealand Ministry of Health website. You should consult your local health professional for advice on vaccine options, including assistance that may be available locally. The Australian Government cannot provide advice on the safety, quality and efficacy of vaccines that have been approved for use outside of Australia's regulatory process.
There was an outbreak of measles in New Zealand. Make sure your vaccinations are up to date before you travel. Follow advice from local health authorities.
Medical facilities and services are of a similar standard to those in Australia.
New Zealand and Australia have a reciprocal health care agreement. This lets Australians access public medical facilities and care.
To access services under the agreement:
If you're injured in an accident, the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) covers the costs of hospital treatment.
The cover provided by ACC:
You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that may appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling.
If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.
Penalties for possessing and using drugs may include fines and prison sentences.
You'll need photo ID to buy alcohol or enter licensed premises.
You can't use your Australian driver's licence.
Approved IDs include:
New Zealand has strict biosecurity rules.
If you don't declare items for quarantine, you'll get an instant fine.
If you make a false statement, you'll face heavy fines and prison sentences.
When you arrive, customs officers may check electronic devices they suspect are being used in criminal activity. Devices may include:
Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you're overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.
Most Australian citizens don’t need a visa to enter unless you have a criminal record or if you've been deported from any country.
Australian permanent residents need to apply online for a New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA) to enter New Zealand. Australian citizens are exempt from this rule.
For more information refer to the NZ Government Immigration website.
If you enter New Zealand and are granted a new resident or temporary visa you'll be subject to specific visa conditions requiring you to comply with:
This includes Australian citizens and permanent residents of Australia granted resident visas on arrival in New Zealand, regardless of their intended length of stay. If you don't comply with these requirements, you may be liable for detention or deportation for breaching the conditions of your visa.
New Zealand has extended the expiry date of some visas for people already in New Zealand. For more information refer to the NZ Government Immigration website.
If you've been:
contact a New Zealand Visa Application Centre for advice well before you travel.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. Make sure you meet all entry and exit conditions. Contact NZ Immigration for details about visas, currency, customs and quarantine rules. If you don't meet the conditions, the Australian Government can't help you.
If you're not a New Zealand citizen, you’ll need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter or transit New Zealand. You’ll need proof of vaccination with your last dose of an approved vaccine at least 14 days before you travel. See NZ COVID-19 for more details.
Travel zone arrangements are in place between Australia and New Zealand. The arrangements may be paused or suspended at short notice if there is a COVID-19 outbreak in either country. See our Travel zone status page for further details.
Travel into New Zealand from some countries is restricted. Additional measures apply if you meet the conditions to be permitted to enter New Zealand from a country considered to be very high risk.
A Managed Isolation Allocation System is in place for people travelling to New Zealand. You’ll need to register on the system as the first step to securing your place in managed isolation. Once you’ve completed your registration you'll receive a voucher which you'll need to present at the airport. You can't board your flight if you don't have a voucher.
You'll need to declare your vaccination status as part of your booking. If you’re fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with an approved vaccine, the MIQ period will reduce from 14 days to 7 days, followed by isolation at home until the result of a day 9 test has been received. See NZ COVID-19 for details.
You may need to contribute to the cost of your managed isolation on arrival. People who need to pay the managed isolation charge will receive an invoice at the end of their stay. You'll generally have 90 days to pay unless staying in New Zealand for a shorter period. In some circumstance a waiver may be granted. To apply for a waiver you'll need to visit the Managed Isolation and Quarantine website.
If you’re travelling to New Zealand from locations other than Antarctica and some Pacific Islands, you'll need to provide written evidence of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours before departure. For more details, see NZ COVID-19.
If you’re travelling to New Zealand and transiting a country not on the exempt list for more than 96 hours, you'll need a test before you depart the transit location.
There are some exemptions to pre-departure testing. Children under 2 years of age (24 months) do not need to take a pre-departure test. If you can't take a test due to medical reasons you’ll need to provide a medical certificate stating this and that you don't have any symptoms. For further information see NZ COVID-19.
Without evidence of a negative COVID-19 test or medical certificate, you may incur an infringement offence fee or a fine of up to $NZ1,000.
New Zealand’s maritime border is currently closed to foreign vessels. Any foreign vessels, or vessels with foreign crew, must be approved to arrive in New Zealand through an exemption process authorised by the Ministry of Health. Exceptions remain for cargo ships, fishing vessels, and those with humanitarian reasons, or other compelling needs, to arrive in New Zealand.
If you're travelling by yacht or small craft you're not exempt from New Zealand border closures and may be refused entry unless you meet one of the exceptions. Exemptions need to be sought before travelling to New Zealand. More information on the Ministry of Health Maritime Sector website.
Staying in New Zealand
My Vaccine Pass is required to access most businesses and services except for supermarkets, pharmacies, and healthcare. To obtain a My Vaccine Pass your vaccination must be registered on New Zealand’s COVID Immunisation Register (CIR). You can apply to have vaccinations administered overseas added to the CIR through the Ministry of Health. There is currently a delay with processing, and it may take more than 14 days to have your overseas vaccine recognised.
The COVID-19 Protection Framework (also known as the 'traffic lights') is now in place. To find the traffic light setting for any area of New Zealand visit NZ COVID-19 Traffic Light Map. Traffic light settings may change at short notice.
Life at Red
Life at Orange
You’ll be legally required to provide your My Vaccine Pass to enter places that have vaccination requirements in place under the traffic light system. This may include hospitality venues, events, gatherings, and gyms. You cannot be asked to provide your My Vaccine Pass to access basic needs services, such as supermarkets, public transport, and essential health care. For more information see NZ COVID-19.
The New Zealand Government recommends that you carry a face covering in the event you are out and about and where social distancing is not possible. More information on face coverings is on the NZ Government COVID-19 website.
It's mandatory for everyone aged 12 years and older to keep a record of places you have visited. This can be done by using the NZ COVID Tracer app, by providing your details to the location, or by using a location's existing record keeping details.
Download the NZ COVID Tracer App and remember to scan QR codes and turn on Bluetooth tracing to keep track of where you’ve been and who you’ve been near. If you don't use the app, keep track of where you’ve been and remember to sign paper registers.
The quarantine free travel arrangement between Australia and New Zealand may be paused or suspended at short notice if there is a COVID-19 outbreak in Australia or New Zealand. See Travel Zones and the NZ Government COVID-19 website for more information.
Some countries won't let you enter unless your passport is valid for six months after you plan to leave that country. This can apply even if you're just transiting or stopping over.
Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.
You can end up stranded if your passport is not valid for more than six months.
The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport's expiry date before you travel. If you're not sure it'll be valid for long enough, consider getting a new passport.
Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.
Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.
If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible:
The local currency is the New Zealand Dollar ($NZ).
Declare all amounts over $NZ10,000 or equivalent on arrival and departure. This covers all forms of currency, not only cash.
ATM availability is similar to Australia.
You can use debit or credit cards in most places as you would in Australia.
Contact your bank to let them know you'll use your cards overseas.
You can drive for up to 12 months with your Australian driver's licence.
After that, you'll need to get a local licence.
City roads and highways are in good condition.
Ice, snow, fog, high winds and roaming animals can cause hazardous conditions. Heavy rain can cause landslides across roads.
Outside major cities, there aren't many motorways. Overtaking opportunities are limited.
Prepare for longer travel times than in Australia.
Railway crossings don't always have barriers, particularly in country areas.
If you're driving in mountain areas or to ski fields, be aware that roads:
It’s illegal to use a mobile phone while driving, but there is an exemption for 111 calls in genuine emergencies. Hands-free devices and 2-way radio are permitted.
If you plan to drive in New Zealand:
Make sure your travel insurance covers using a motorbike, quad bike or similar vehicle.
Always wear a helmet.
Taxis are generally reliable. Drivers are required to wear a face covering. This is not a requirement for passengers. The standards are similar to in Australia.
The New Zealand Transport Authority regulates taxis and rideshare apps.
Buses, trains and ferries operate throughout New Zealand. It is a requirement to wear a face covering on public transport. State-run services are also regulated by the New Zealand Transport Authority.
Take care of your belongings on public transport.
Several international cruise lines stop over in New Zealand. Cruise ships are unable to dock in New Zealand.
DFAT doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.
Check New Zealand's air safety profile with the Aviation Safety Network.
Depending on what you need, contact your:
Call 111 or contact the nearest police station.
Call 105 or go online for Police non-emergencies.
Always get a police report when you report a crime.
Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.
Contact your provider with any complaints about tourist services or products.
You can also lodge a complaint with New Zealand Consumer Affairs.
Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.
For consular help, contact the Australian High Commission in Wellington, or the Australian Consulate-General in Auckland.
Level 7, HSBC Tower
186-194 Quay Street
Auckland City, New Zealand
Phone: (+64 9) 921 8800
Fax: (+64 9) 921 8820
Check the High Commission website for details about opening hours and any temporary closures.
In a consular emergency, if you can't contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:
Be the first to know official government advice when travelling.