Fire and rescue services
Call 111 or contact the nearest police station.
Call 105 or go online for Police non-emergencies.
We haven't changed our level of advice:
Exercise normal safety precautions in New Zealand.
Full travel advice: Safety
Full travel advice: Health
Full travel advice: Local laws
Full travel advice: Travel
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.
The Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management 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.
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. Your policy needs to cover all 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.
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.
Carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating:
There’s 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:
Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you're overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders.
Make sure you meet all entry and exit conditions. If you don't, the Australian Government can't help you.
You don't usually need a visa to visit New Zealand if you:
However, check your visa requirements if you've been:
In these cases, contact a New Zealand Visa Application Centre for advice well before you travel.
From 1 October 2019, you may need to follow new visa rules.
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.
Entry and exit conditions can change at short notice. Contact NZ Immigration for details about visas, currency, customs and quarantine rules.
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 countries won't let you enter unless your passport is valid for 6 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 6 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. 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. 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.
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, Price Waterhouse Coopers 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.