New Zealand: airports, South and North islands


Flights to New Zealand, airport guides and key destinations.

Flying to, and around, New Zealand


Getting from the airport to your hotel, tips for hiring a car, trip planners, and what symbol to look out for when booking accommodation - download the New Zealand travel guide.

Flights to New Zealand

Flight time from Australia: 3+ hours

  • Regular direct flights connect major Australian airports with the New Zealand cities of Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Queenstown and Dunedin.
  • The main airlines that fly between Australia and New Zealand include Qantas, Jetstar, Virgin Australia, Emirates and Air New Zealand, but fares can also be found with international carriers that use New Zealand (particularly Auckland) as a stop-off point on long haul flights. These include SAS, LATAM, Thai Airways, and American Airlines.

At the airport

Most Australians don't need a visa to enter New Zealand. You'll simply need to fill in a passenger arrival card and show your Australian passport.

If you're carrying any of the restricted or prohibited items listed on the passenger arrival card, including prescription medication, you'll need to declare them to customs. You can take prescription medication into New Zealand as long as it's in its original packaging, you have the original prescription or a letter from your doctor, and you're carrying no more than three months' supply (a six month supply of oral contraceptives is the exception). For more information, see customs.govt.nz.

  • 20km south of CBD.
  • Taxis and shuttles leave from outside the arrivals area (see the airport website for average fares and to pre-book a vehicle if you have any special needs).
  • The SkyBus runs 24 hours a day to central Auckland via two different routes. The journey takes about 45 minutes, depending on traffic.
  • The 380 Airporter bus connects Manukau with Onehunga via Auckland Airport and the nearby Papatoetoe train station.
  • Car hire desks are located in the arrivals area of the international terminal and on the ground floor of the multi-level carpark opposite the domestic terminal. Operators include Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz and Thrifty.
  • Campervans and motorhomes can also be booked in advance and collected from the airport.
  • A free shuttle bus runs between the international and domestic terminals every 15 minutes from 5.00am to 10.30pm. Otherwise it's about a 10 minute walk.
  • Airport website: aucklandairport.co.nz
  • 5km south-east of CBD.
  • Taxis and shuttles leave from outside the baggage claim area on level 0 of the main terminal. You can pre-book a vehicle if you have any special needs.
  • The Airport Flyer bus (route 91) runs to Lower Hutt via central Wellington. The service leaves at least once every 20 minutes from level 0 (exit from the baggage claim area and turn right).
  • Car hire is available from Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz and Thrifty.
  • Airport website: wellingtonairport.co.nz
  • 12km north-west of CBD.
  • Taxis leave from outside the International Arrivals Hall and from outside the Regional Lounge, between the terminal and the car park.
  • Shuttle services can be booked in advance, or through the i-SITE desk in the International Arrivals Hall.
  • Buses to the city centre and to other destinations depart from outside the far end of the international arrivals terminal.
  • The Airport Hopper is a free shuttle bus that runs between the international terminal and the nearby EconoPark.
  • Car and campervan hire desks are located in the arrivals hall. Companies include Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, Thrifty and Ezi Car Rental.
  • Airport website: christchurchairport.co.nz

Domestic flights

If you have limited time, a domestic flight is the easiest way to get from one end of the country to the other, with flights from Auckland in the north to Queenstown in the south taking less than two hours. Fares between the major cities are competitively priced, but you’ll pay more if you’re travelling to remote or regional areas.

The main domestic airlines are Air New Zealand and Jetstar New Zealand, with some smaller operators offering services off the beaten (flight) path.

Search for fares at airnewzealand.com.au or jetstar.com/nz/en/cheap-flights or look for special deals at grabaseat.co.nz.

See our tips on using airline booking websites.

Key destinations and their airports

North Island
Destination Airport Distance from city
Auckland Auckland Airport (AKL) 20km south of central Auckland
Wellington Wellington Airport (WLG) 5km south-east of central Wellington
Rotorua Rotorua Regional Airport (ROT) 240km drive from Auckland
Bay of Islands Bay of Islands (Kerikeri) Airport (KKE) 260km by road from Auckland
Coromandel Peninsula No local airport; nearest is Auckland Approx. 150km by road from Auckland
Tongariro National Park Taupo Airport (TUO) (100km from the national park) 315km by road from Auckland / 330km from Wellington / 156km from Rotorua / Train (Northern Explorer) from Auckland or Wellington (three services per week)
South Island
Destination Airport Distance from city
Christchurch Christchurch Airport (CHC) 12km north-west of CBD
Queenstown Queenstown Airport (ZQN) 8km east of CBD
Milford Sound Milford Sound Airport (MFN) 280km by road from Queenstown / Scenic plane or helicopter from Queenstown or Te Ana 
Dunedin Dunedin Airport (DUD) 28km south-west of CBD
Nelson Nelson Airport (NSN) – close to the Abel Tasman National Park 400km by road from Christchurch / Ferry from Wellington to Picton, then 200km by road
Stewart Island Ryan's Creek Aerodrome (SZS)
Flight from Invercargill / Ferry or helicopter from Bluff

Explore other ways to to travel around New Zealand, such as by train or driving.


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