Travel: How to Get to New Zealand – Getting to NZ from the USA, UK and Australia With Travel Times

According to the legend of an indigenous tribe on the East Coast of New Zealand, the first Maori arrived in the country a little over 700 years ago by riding a whale to the shore. Others claim the first ancestors arrived in a fleet of canoes. Historians tell the story of Abel Tasman, the first European to discover New Zealand, and how he arrived in a ship. I say, thank God they’ve now invented planes.

New Zealand is a small set of islands found southeast of Australia and is just about as remote to get to as its larger neighbour. It has two main islands, the North Island and the South, and four major airports, Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown, with Auckland seeing the most international traffic. In fact Australia is the only country you can fly from direct to any of the other major cities.

Flying From Australia

Being such close neighbours, Australia and New Zealand have a lot of traffic going between them. This has streamlined air traffic with faster routes and more direct flights between each country’s major cities. In fact, for people living on the East Coast of Australia, it is quicker and cheaper to fly to New Zealand for the weekend than it is to some other parts of Australia!

Airlines that fly between the country range from low budget local carriers such as Jetstar and Virgin, to higher classed airlines such as Air New Zealand, Qantas and Emirates. Air New Zealand provides the most direct flights to cities such as Christchurch and Queenstown from Australian cities Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. These direct flights range from three to four hours, depending on you’re departure and arrival city. Keep in mind New Zealand is two hours ahead of the East Coast of Australia and so you will arrive later in the day.

Flying From the US

The most direct flights from the US to New Zealand fly out of Los Angeles into Auckland with Air New Zealand. Other airlines flying this route are United Airlines, Continental Airlines and QANTAS. Direct flights take around thirteen hours.

United Airlines and V Australia also have flights out of New York but these are not direct and depending on transit times, start at a duration of 21 hours.

Flying From the UK

Flights leave from London and Manchester but are not direct. Air New Zealand, Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines take from 25 hours including transit hours, while Singapore Airlines fly out from Manchester and take from 26 hours.

Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand is a reputable, comfortable airline with affordable fares and taxes, and excellent customer service. With the welcoming air stewards and the opportunity to learn of New Zealand culture, it’s a taste of the country before you’ve even stepped in it.