a green hills with a body of water and a small island
Scenic panorama of Cape Brett lighthouse on the coast of New Zealand during sunset. Located in Bay of Islands, popular tourist destination for its natural beauty.

No more quarantine, no more visa restrictions. New Zealand has fully reopened its international border for the first time since the beginning of the global health crisis, marking an exciting change for travel ahead.

Cruise ships are back, visas being processed and international airline routes are quickly beginning to reboot, so here’s everything worth knowing, with this exciting travel milestone in place!

New Zealand Fully Reopens Border For Travel

In May, New Zealand began accepting select visitors on visa waiver programs along with proof of vaccination and testing. It was an exciting milestone after more than two years, but it wasn’t for everyone.

a body of water with trees and mountains in the background

Many travel groups were still excluded, varying quarantines remained in place and many forms of travel, such as cruising on ships, remained banned. Other than a lone remaining requirement for vaccination, travel is effectively “back to normal” in New Zealand.

“We, alongside the rest of the world, continue to manage a very live global pandemic, while keeping our people safe, but keeping people safe extends to incomes and wellbeing too.”

Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zelaand

If you could enter the country using a visa waiver before, you can again. If you needed a visa to enter before, you can once again obtain one. The entry process is now mostly seamless and without quarantine, a trip never sounded better.

For any sporadic planners, just remember that New Zealand requires a return ticket before you depart for the country, so be sure to have something in place.

Before the effective global travel shutdown, New Zealand launched an enhanced ‘ETA’ visa, which visitors are required to obtain. The visa purports to cover fees to help New Zealand’s sustainability initiatives to counteract the impact of visitors.

For the latest official protocols for entering New Zealand, be sure to visit their official travel information website. It’s an exciting time to visit the South Pacific again. If you do, don’t miss these essential tips for Queenstown — a must visit!

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. Since vaccinations don’t stop the spread of Covid… what’s the scientific reason for mandating them?

    1. Don, I suspect the reason for requiring vaccinations is because if an unvaccinated person catches COVID, they are more likely to end up needing medical care than someone who is fully vaccinated – this is true especially if they are older, or if they have other health problems – and despite the fact that they may have insurance, New Zealand simply doesn’t want ill tourists adding unnecessary extra burden onto their already overstretched hospitals.

  2. I’m not returning there as long as that looney tune is in charge, you never know what may happen.

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