Passports, Visas And Documentation
All visitors who are not citizens of New Zealand need a passport to enter. Australian passport holders and current permanent residents of Australia may enter New Zealand without a visa and stay as long as they wish without restrictions including on employment. British passport holders can be granted a visa-free Visitor's Permit for up to six months on arrival. Citizens of a large number of other countries including the other European Union countries, Japan, Israel, Malaysia, Oman, Singapore, Taiwan and the United States can be granted a visa-free visitor's entry for up to three months on arrival, check the list of Visa Free Countries (http://glossary.immigrati...). All these waivers, including the one for Australians, can be refused. In particular, potential visitors with criminal records or who have been refused entry to or deported from any country should check with New Zealand immigration about whether they need to apply for a visa.
Visitors from countries not in the visa-free list or those wishing to stay longer than the maximum visa-free period for their nationality, will need to apply for an appropriate visa. Check the Immigration New Zealand (http://www.immigration.go...) web page for details.
If entering as a tourist you must have a return ticket or evidence of onward travel to enter NZ and even check-in with airlines. If you do not then you will have to purchase one at the airport to be allowed to check in.
New Zealand is a long way from anywhere else in the world, so for most visitors, the only practical way to enter New Zealand is by air. Even the shortest flights between Australia and New Zealand take over 3 hours.
In order of traffic, international gateways are at Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, Queenstown and Dunedin.Auckland services more than 20 destinations and a dozen airlines, and there are direct connections from Christchurch to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Buenos Aires, Santiago de Chile and Tokyo. The others are largely restricted to flights from Australia. If you do take a flight via Australia, make sure that you have a transit visa, if you need one, or you'll be turned back. (http://www.immi.gov.au/vi...)
Due to its large Polynesian and Melanesian expatriate communities, New Zealand has extensive direct flight options to and from South Pacific nations such as Samoa, Fiji, Tonga and the Cook Islands.
Departure tax is included in the ticket price if flying out of Auckland and Christchurch. If you are departing internationally from other centres, you must pay $25 at the Bank of New Zealand counter or kiosks. Children under 12 are exempt, but still have to obtain an exemption sticker from the bank. If you don't have the sticker, you can check in, but you will not be allowed to progress through security. The departure fee can be paid by credit card, cash or a mixture. Use the opportunity to get rid of the last of your notes and coin, and pay the difference by credit.