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New Zealand is open to Australian travellers

Times are tough for travellers. But with the world preparing to reopen in 2021, we're here to keep you dreaming and planning for your next adventure - whether that's a staycation or flying off to parts unknown. Until then, we've got the latest COVID-19 travel advice and updates to keep you up to date and ready to go.

From impressive mountain ranges to abandoned beaches to lively cities, New Zealand is an incredible place to explore. New Zealand is now open to Australian travellers under the Safe Travel Zone, a trans-Tasman travel bubble that’s formed between the two countries.

If you’re thinking of experiencing the beauty of New Zealand for yourself, here is all the information you’ll need to know.

Please note: Restrictions implemented by airlines, such as the type of test you need to board or the vaccination proof you need to provide may not be aligned with New Zealand’s restrictions and entry conditions. We recommend that you double-check the latest entry and exit conditions with individual airlines as well as New Zealand’s national guidelines on the New Zealand COVID-19 official website.

Everything you need to know about travelling to New Zealand

On 19 April 2021, New Zealand and Australia opened their borders to one another. If you’ve always wanted to see New Zealand, now may be your chance.* Here’s the information you need to know before you go.

*Travel will not be permitted for travellers coming from areas deemed to be COVID-19 outbreak locations.

Do I need proof of vaccination to enter New Zealand?

Travellers coming from Australia do not need to show proof of vaccination to enter New Zealand. Australia and New Zealand have formed the Safe Travel Zone, a travel bubble where travellers do not need to quarantine to travel in between the two countries. Any traveller who has been in either New Zealand or Australia for 14 days may take part in this travel bubble, you don’t need to be a resident or citizen of either country to participate.

COVID-19 outbreak locations are exempted from the Safe Travel Zone. At the time of publishing, quarantine-free travel between Victoria and New Zealand has been paused due to a rise of COVID-19 cases in Melbourne. Parts of the Safe Travel Zone can open and close at any time, so flexibility is key when it comes to booking your flights and hotels.

Do I need a test before entering New Zealand?

Travellers from Australia do not need a test before entering New Zealand if they are coming from a non-COVID-19 outbreak area. However, to be eligible to enter New Zealand, you must have spent 14 days in Australia (outside of an outbreak location), not have had a positive COVID-19 test within these 14 days, and cannot have a pending COVID-19 test.

At the time of publishing, travellers who were in Victoria from 20-25 May and are now in another Australian state will need to get a COVID-19 test taken 72 hours before departing to New Zealand.

You will be asked to complete a travel questionnaire from the New Zealand Ministry of Health that requests information about your travel itinerary and location information for contact tracing purposes. You may also be asked questions about your health prior to departure.

Upon return to Australia, you will also be asked to complete an Australia Travel Declaration that asks for information regarding your travel details and health status. Travellers in the Safe Travel Zone are exempted from needing to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result to return to Australia.

Australia and New Zealand citizens do not need a visa to travel between Australia and New Zealand. However, non-citizens will need to apply for a visa to take part in the travel bubble.

New Zealand open now to Australian travellers; New Zealand road

How can I find out the current travel restrictions between Australia and New Zealand?

Before your trip, you’ll want to check the official government advice of your current resident state or territory, Australia, New Zealand, and any restrictions currently in place from the airline you’ll be travelling with.

For official Australia information, consult Smartraveller.gov.au for international travel advice administered by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The Department of Home Affairs also has a resource detailing the current requirements to participate in the Safe Travel Zone. You will also want to check the government websites of the state or territory you reside in, as state governments can enact their own restrictions at any time.

Learn more about the latest domestic travel restrictions:

For New Zealand travel advice, check out the official immigration and dedicated COVID-19 websites for the latest requirements to enter New Zealand. Here, you can find a breakdown of the latest restrictions on a state-by-state basis as well.

Some airlines and airports may enact requirements outside of government advice. We’ve seen an uptick in social distancing measures at airports in both countries. Qantas, Jetstar, and Air New Zealand require passengers to wear a face mask while in the airport and in flight (travellers with medical conditions and children under 12 years old exempted).

What things can I do in New Zealand?

Most of New Zealand’s major points of interest are open to tourists with social distancing and other safety precautions in place. With fewer crowds to compete with, there’s never been a better time to enjoy some of New Zealand’s iconic attractions all to yourself.

Hike your heart out

With so much wilderness to explore, there’s no shortage of hiking trails from New Zealand. If you want to get the full top-to-bottom experience, venture out on New Zealand’s Te Araroa Trail, a 3,000 kilometre journey that spans from Cape Reinga on the North Island to Bluff on the South Island.

If 3,000 kilometers is a bit much, you can complete the Tongariro Alpine Crossing in just one day, spot fur seals on a hike through Abel Tasman National Park, or admire the views from peaks found at Mount Aspiring National Park.

Hiking in New Zealand; New Zealand is open now to Australian trekkers
New Zealand is open now to hikers ready to hit the trails

Wine and dine

New Zealand’s wine regions benefit from a maritime climate, cool nights, and plenty of daylight, making it home to some of the best wine in the world. On the North Island, enjoy a glass or chardonnay or merlot at Hawke’s Bay. Or, venture south to Wairarapa for a glass of sauvignon blanc. Many tasting rooms offer wine pairings with dishes made from ingredients also sourced from the region, a true farm-to-table (and vineyard-to-wineglass) experience.

Ski and snowboard at world-class ski fields

Most ski fields of New Zealand are expected to open around mid June, snow conditions permitting. Save some space in your suitcase for ski gear and enjoy skiing and snowboarding down the slopes of Coronet Peak or Cardrona near Queenstown, Treble Cone near Wanaka, or the off-piste backcountry of Craigieburn Valley. No matter if you’re just finding your snow legs or an experienced rider already, there’s an ideal ski field for you.

Immerse yourself in Māori culture 

Enjoy learning more about New Zealand’s past and present through Māori culture. Travellers can visit the Tāne Mahuta, one of the county’s largest kauri trees, with a local guide and hear stories from years gone by. For an immersive experience, venture to Tamaki Māori Village where you can sample food cooked from a hāngī, a traditional underground oven, and watch dynamic dance performances.

Admire geothermal wonderlands

Boiling mud pits, lava fields, and steaming thermal vents all await in New Zealand. Soak in hot springs, wander through limestone caves illuminated by glow worms, walk around the Moeraki boulders, and watch as technicolour pools puff steam into the sky like cloud factories.

While long-distance international travel may not be in our near future, there are plenty of adventures to be had in New Zealand. For the latest updates and advice, be sure to check out our regularly updated article, When can Australians travel to New Zealand?.

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