disclosure: this is a paid post
Travelling to New Zealand and visa requirements
As regular readers of the blog will know, my youngest niece moved to New Zealand a couple of years ago and her adventures have made me realise just how little I know about the country and its diverse landscape. It’s such a beautiful country, and somewhere I know that we would love to explore ourselves. I can remember the procedures she had to go through at the time to get a working holiday visa for New Zealand and if we are ever in the position to be able to visit her there, we will also now need to obtain an NZeTA visa which will cover us for visits of up to six months as we are British nationals. The NZeTA is a new requirement, brought into force in October 2019, which requires visitors from visa waiver countries (including the UK) to obtain this visa before being able to enter New Zealand.
The New Zealand visa application process is easy and is all done on-line, the system is efficient and the NZeTA is normally issued within 5 working days. You just need to make sure that your passport has more than three month’s left on it when applying.
When we do have the funds to make a trip to New Zealand possible in the future and we have our visas in place, I already have a list of places that I want us to explore. My niece lives in Auckland (and all the photos I’m sharing with you here were taken by her or her partner) so obviously that would feature high on our list of places to explore.
My son would be very eager to see some of the many volcanoes that can be found on the North and South Islands of New Zealand. My niece helped him with his school volcano project not long after she moved to the country, and it would be lovely to show him some of them for real.
Being a Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit fan, any trip to New Zealand would have to include a visit to the Hobbiton movie set and the landscape of Middle Earth. I’d be in my element. Throw in Cathedral Cove which features in the Chronicles of Narnia and I wouldn’t know where to point my camera next.
Cathedral Cove is just one of the beaches on the Coromandel peninsula. From white sandy beaches to the rainforest, this part of North Island has something to offer everyone and is high on my list of places to explore.
For a bit of Maori culture, I think we’d head to Rotorua and make our first stop at the Mitai Maori Village. I’d like my son to learn about the history of New Zealand and the traditions of the Maori people. Then a bit more of a geography fix with a visit to the geothermal landscape of Wai-o-tapu thermal valley would be in order I think. None of us has ever seen a geyser in full flow, and I can only imagine what the hot thermal pools will be like. Experiencing a thermal spa treat on the shore of Lake Rotorua also sounds like fun. My son would certainly love covering himself in the mud!
Lake Taupo is somewhere else I’d love to see for myself. When I first saw my niece’s photos from her visit there, I thought she was by the sea, not on a lakeside. The area is stunning and the lake itself is the size of Singapore. A boat trip here would be a must as well as some hiking.
No visit to the South Island would be complete without a road trip through the mountains. With snow-capped peaks, the island has so much to offer adventure seekers. We would enjoy spending some time in the city of Christchurch before taking the Tranz Alpine train through the Waimakariri Gorge before heading on through Arthur’s Pass.
Queenstown would also be a must for our trip, starting with a trip on the Skyline Gondola so we could get our bearings and enjoy a panoramic view of the town and area beyond. I think we’d also try to visit Arrowtown and see what life was like in the height of the 1860s gold rush.
Whilst I’m not one for bungy jumping and white water rafting, I do love helicopter flights, and seeing New Zealand from the air is probably top of my list of things to do in any trip to the country. It gives you such a good viewpoint of any country and would be a fabulous way to see the landscape. I’d also like my son to see the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers to get a better understanding of how mountain valleys have been formed over thousands of years.
There would be so much to enjoy with any time spent travelling to New Zealand, so once we’ve got some pennies in place and have the visa requirements sorted, then we would love to book our flights to the other side of the world and explore the country my niece has fallen in love with. Wouldn’t you?