Getting flights to New Zealand - NZ Holiday Planner

A map with travel distances to New Zealand.

We know there’s a lot to organise for your big holiday here. Getting to New Zealand can feel like an overwhelming task of organisation. Let us help you. No matter where in the world you’re coming from, give us a call or send us an email and we’ll guide you to find the best flight option.

Map flying from North America to New Zealand

Flying to New Zealand

The best way to travel to New Zealand is obviously by air (unless you want to spend a lot of time on a boat). Most major airlines offer direct flights to New Zealand. It’s easy to get here on a non-stop flight from America, Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. Or you can get a connecting flight from these countries to New Zealand from anywhere in the world.

Looking at a map of the world, New Zealand seems kind of out on its own right? Actually, depending on where you’re coming from, it can be easier to fly from the West Coast of the USA to New Zealand than to fly to from the West Coast to Europe. One of the reasons is that New Zealand is about 12 hours flying time (refer to the flying times map) however the time zones are similar (within three hours). This can seriously help to overcome any jet lag issues. 


Map showing flight routes into New Zealand from Australia.

General Flight Times

New Zealand is a three and a half hour flight from Eastern Australia, a non-stop overnight flight from the United States, and around 10 hours flight from most places on the Pacific Rim, like Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo.  Many flights from the West Coast of the USA leave in the evening, taking about 12 hours (14 hours from Vancouver), which means you could hopefully (!) sleep some of the way - once you’ve had your meal, a glass of something and perhaps a movie. Make sure to compare all the options and book nice and early to lock in a good-value fare. Talk to us to ensure you get a great deal on your flights to New Zealand.

Map showing the flight paths from the UK and Europe into New Zealand

Stopovers when Flying from Europe

If flying from Europe, flight times are around 24 hours (two flights of around 11-12 hours). Most travel experts recommend a 24-hour stop over in Asia (think Hong Kong, Bangkok, Dubai, Singapore, Tokyo.) This can be a great way of breaking the trip, with fast trains/transport connecting the airport to hotels in the inner city. You can get a good rest, and spend a few hours exploring an exciting Asian stopover before completing your journey down under. 

Air New Zealand

Let us Book your Flights on Air New Zealand

Try to take advantage of some of the great value offers and book early. We recommend our national carrier Air New Zealand, which was voted airline of the Year in 2016. This airline has flown our skies for more than 75 years and has alliances with several major airlines. Most airlines fly into Auckland International Airport in the north of the country. There are also international arrivals to Queenstown, Dunedin and Christchurch (in the South Island) and Wellington and Rotorua in the North Island.

First Light Travel has partnered with Air New Zealand and can offer great flight prices when booked as part of your New Zealand vacation package. This only applies to those of you travelling to NZ from North America and a few other select destinations. 

As the New Zealand travel experts we can give you the best advice and save you money.

Understanding the International Date Line

New Zealand is one of the first places on earth to see the sun - the inspiration for the First Light Travel name. When you travel from North America, you travel across the International Date Line which means you journey forward in time to get here. So when you leave San Francisco on Friday night you land in Auckland on Sunday morning. Of course you may feel like you’ve lost a day but you’ll gain that back on your return journey. If you’re travelling from Europe you’ll have to move forward in time when you arrive, but you’ll get that time back when you return home.

“Each time you fly from North America to Australia, and without anyone asking how you feel about it, a day is taken away from you when you cross the international date line. I left Los Angeles on January 3 and arrived in Sydney fourteen hours later on January 5. For me there was no January 4. None at all. Where it went exactly I couldn’t tell you. All I know is that for one twenty-four-hour period in the history of earth, it appears I had no being.

I find it a little uncanny, to say the least. I mean to say, if you were browsing through your ticket folder and you saw a notice that said, “Passengers are advised that on some crossings twenty-four-hour loss of existence may occur” (which is, of course, how they would phrase it, as if it happened from time to time), you would probably get up and make inquiries, grab a sleeve, and say, “Excuse me.” There is, it must be said, a certain metaphysical comfort in knowing that you can cease to have material form and it doesn’t hurt at all, and, to be fair, they do give you back the day on the return journey when you cross the date line in the opposite direction and thereby manage somehow to arrive in Los Angeles before you left Sydney, which in its way, of course, is an even neater trick.”

The experience of travelling across the International Date Line in “In a Sunburned Country”, Bill Bryson

More articles to help you plan your trip to New Zealand

What is the Best Time to Visit New Zealand?
New Zealand Passport and Visa Requirements
Smooth as possible on arrival to New Zealand
Travel Insurance for New Zealand
Doubtful Sound or Milford Sound?
Which New Zealand Glacier to Visit?
Driving in New Zealand
Safety in New Zealand's Great Outdoors
What to Pack for a New Zealand Holiday
New Zealand Accommodation Guide
New Zealand's Need to Know Facts
What do things cost in New Zealand

Since 2001 we’ve been helping visitors plan their dream New Zealand holiday. We aim to make visiting our beautiful land effortless. Let our expert holiday planners put together an itinerary for you, no obligation FREE of charge, or get some friendly advice on what small group tour would suit - Just follow the link and answer a few brief questions

Pricing terms

The price is based on current exchange rates but is only an approximation. Please contact us for a final price