New Xenaland
Getting to New Zealand

Don't bother, unless you are sailing your own boat from Fiji.


From the US, Australia, Asia, Britain and Europe

There are a huge variety of international flights into Auckland daily, via many different airlines and routes. A much smaller number of flights serve Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown.
Domestic airlines for connecting internal flights are Air New Zealand and Jetstar.
Rather than link to international airlines (which will rapidly become obsolete) I tend to look at aggregating sites like Expedia to get an overview of routes and fares. Then I may go to a specific airline's webpage to make a booking (or of course, Expedia will be only too happy to book for you). Expedia

Airlines currently flying into Auckland (late 2023) include
Air New Zealand
British Airways
Cathay Pacific
Virgin Atlantic
Air France
and a number of others.

From Los Angeles
The flight is about 14 hours - so be prepared. Most flights leave late evening, so movie and a sleep make up the time. Do the usual anti-jetlag stuff - wear loose clothing, drink lots of water, take toothbrush and other essntial toiletries, include contact lens stuff or wear your glasses. 

Arrival time is usually first thing in the morning - around 7am. Make sure the hotel knows you are checking in early. Adjusting to major time differences takes a bit of conscious effort - I recommend taking a nap when you arrive, then be up and about by 2pm and try and stay awake until 9pm at least. You will be shagged for the first two days.

You cross both the international dateline and the equator. The dateline means that you lose a day eg leave Sunday night - arrive Tuesday morning. Don't worry - you get it back heading the other way.

Crossing the equator means you are now in the Southern Hemisphere and under southern stars - goodbye to the Big Dipper and Pole Star, hello to the Southern Cross.

Check out these maps of the Southern Skies

From Australia
The flight is about three hours and there are many flights every week to major NZ airports - Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown. Compared to the LA flight, this is a doddle. Just time to have a snack, flick through your book and watch the movie.

The time difference is usually (be aware of different daylight savings/summer times) two hours - Auckland is two hours ahead of Sydney (10am Sydney = 12noon Auckland). Auckland will almost always be cooler than Sydney.

From Britain / Europe
The flight is about thirty hours whichever way you go - east or west - and includes one or two short stops, which may involve a change of plane. Going east via the Gulf states (Dubai etc) or Asia (Hong Kong, Singapore) and maybe Australia, most airports have proper arrangements for transit passengers which means you need never go through Immigration or customs until you reach your destination.
Although a 30-hour flight sounds intimidating, a lot depends on the comfort of the airline seat. It's worth checking out the aircraft type and seat width and legroom on line before booking, and remember that some airlines international flights - even in Economy - may be far more comfortably equippped than the same aircraft type in Domestic.

When is the best time of year to come to New Zealand?

Remember that the seasons are the opposite down here from the northern hemisphere. Your winter = our summer etc. 

New Zealand weather is that of a maritime climate - we are a small bunch of islands in the Roaring 40s and that usually means more wind and rain than a continental climate like the US. No jet-stream down here. We sum up NZ weather in three simple words - temperate, temperate and temperate. So it is safe to come anytime - but here are some hints.


Warm, sunny, live at the beach. Temperatures are 22-30 Centigrade (74-90 Fahrenheit).
January - March


Windy, blustery, rainy. Temperatures are 16-24 Centigrade (62-78 Fahrenheit). April - May


Well who can bloody well tell? Two La Nina winters have been warm and very pleasant - with the occasional southerly storm to keep the farms watered and the ski-fields snowed. Frosts down south, snow in the mountains. Temperatures are 10-17 Centigrade (50-64 Fahrenheit).
June - September  
[Note: This was written c. 2000. Since then climate change has made a nonsense of the usual weather.]


Possibly our least pleasant season. Back to windy, blustery and rainy. But at least the days are getting longer again and that counts for a lot. Temperatures are 14-20 Centigrade (58-70 Fahrenheit).
October - December

We stretch quite a long way from south to north - over a thousand miles - in fact we're about the same size as California. The north of the north is distinctly sub-tropical and is warm all year round. Humid. The south is drier and colder - almost sub-arctic in places.

Other Useful Xenite Information

Getting to New Zealand
Getting Around New Zealand
Talking to (and understanding) Kiwis
New Xenalanders Online

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