Immigration New Zealand provides the most up-to-date information on visa requirements to enter the country (http://www.immigration.govt.nz). Australian and British citizens do not need a visa and many other countries are covered under the Visa Waiver Program for tourists. Travelers from 57 nations currently do not require a visa if coming on vacation and planning to stay less than three months. This includes the US, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, and Netherlands, to mention a few.
Health and Safety
New Zealand is generally a safe place to visit; however, petty crime is common, especially breaking into parked vehicles. Never leave any belongings in plain sight and try to park in areas that are densely populated. Leaving a vehicle for days in secluded areas can be risky.
There are no vaccinations required for travel to New Zealand. Most health risks occur from outdoor activities. If hiking or exploring areas off the beaten path, always carry a map and extra provisions. Check the weather before departing and know how to seek help if in trouble – note that cell phones in remote areas may not work. The weather in the mountainous regions can change quickly, so always bring extra layers. Organized outdoor activities are generally safe and many precautions are taken by providers to keep visitors happy and healthy.
Dehydration and sunstroke are risks during the summer months, when pursuing outdoor activities. Visitors should take care to use sun block, wear appropriate clothing, and keep hydrated. Some coastal areas will have sand flies and mosquitoes, so bug repellent and after-bite medicine are recommended. Visitors are recommended to have health insurance when traveling in New Zealand and should note that many standard insurers will not cover injuries sustained from extreme sports or dangerous activities.