Travel.State.Gov > International Travel > Country Information > New Zealand International Travel Information
U.S. Consulate General Auckland
Citigroup Centre, 3rd Floor,
23 Customs Street East
Auckland, New Zealand
Telephone: +(64) (9) 303-2724
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(64) (4) 462-6000
Fax: +(64) (9) 303-1069
U.S. Embassy Wellington
29 Fitzherbert Terrace, Thorndon
Wellington, New Zealand
Telephone: +(64) (4) 462-6000
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(64) (4) 462-6000
Fax: +(64) (4) 499-0490
Consular services to U.S. citizens are available only at the U.S. Consulate General in Auckland. Consular services are unavailable at the U.S. Embassy in Wellington even in case of emergency. Contact the U.S. Consulate General in Auckland for consular assistance.
See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on New Zealand for information on U.S – New Zealand relations.
Please visit the Consulate General’s COVID-19 page for more information on entry/exit requirements related to COVID-19 in New Zealand. Currently, entry for foreigners is extremely limited. The information below may not be accurate during the COVID-19 pandemic. Instructions on how to apply for exemptions to the border restrictions are available on the COVID-19 page.
New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA):
International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL):
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to, or foreign residents of, New Zealand.
Cook Islands: Cook Islands is self-governing in free association with New Zealand. U.S. citizen visitors do not require an entry permit for stays up to 31 days. Your passport needs to be valid for at least six months past the arrival date in the Cook Islands.
Crime: The crime rate in New Zealand is relatively low, but theft from cars, recreational vehicles, and hostels is common, especially in areas frequented by tourists.
Do not leave passports or other valuable items in unattended vehicles.
Violent crime against tourists is rare; however, if you are traveling alone, you should be especially vigilant and avoid isolated areas.
Internet romance and financial scams are prevalent in New Zealand. Scams are often initiated through Internet postings/profiles or by unsolicited emails and letters. Scammers almost always pose as U.S. citizens who have no one else to turn to for help. Common scams include:
Victims of Crime: Report crimes to the local police at 111 and contact the U.S. Consulate General Auckland at +64 9 303 2724.
Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crime.
If you are on the Cook Islands, the emergency police number is 999.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence are encouraged to contact the Consulate General for assistance.
Tourism: The tourism industry is generally regulated and rules [with regards to best practices and safety inspections] are regularly enforced. Hazardous areas/activities are identified with appropriate signage and professional staff is typically on hand in support of organized activities. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is widely available throughout the country. Outside of a major metropolitan center, it may take more time for first responders and medical professionals to stabilize a patient and provide life-saving assistance. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Individuals establishing a business or practicing a profession that requires additional permits or licensing should seek information from the competent local authorities, prior to practicing or operating a business.
Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in New Zealand are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.
In New Zealand, driving under the influence could land you in jail. Roadside sobriety checks by police are common. The blood alcohol limit in New Zealand is lower than that in most U.S. states.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Consulate General immediately. See our webpage for further information.
Natural Disasters and Weather Conditions: Natural disasters occur in New Zealand and include earthquakes, tsunamis, volcano eruptions, and cyclones. In addition, weather conditions can change quickly leaving you stranded or injured, particularly if you are in an isolated area.
On December 9, 2019, the volcano on Whakaari/White Island erupted while tourists were visiting. This led to numerous casualties, including deaths of U.S. citizens. The volcano remains active and further eruptions are possible. Avoid Whakaari/White Island and follow the advice of local authorities.
There are many areas in New Zealand with active volcanoes. Tourists are encouraged to visit geonet.org.nz for up-to-date information on volcanic alert levels, as well as other geological hazards in New Zealand. As always, follow the advice of local authorities.
The National Emergency Management Agency provides timely information to citizens and visitors through an Emergency Mobile Alert. This service is broadcast from local cell towers to all capable phones in the area and is designed to provide targeted messaging to areas affected by serious hazards. Messages will only be sent when there is a serious threat to life, health, or property.
Adventure Sports: Injuries and death can result from participating in extreme adventure sports, such as bungee jumping, sky diving, hiking, rappelling, climbing, motorcycling, and kayaking. Use caution and common sense when engaging in these activities. Make sure you have travel medical insurance and that it covers your sport.
Never participate in adventure sports alone. Always carry identification and let someone else know where you are at all times. Before kayaking, check the river conditions and wear a life jacket. When hiking, rappelling, or climbing, carry a first aid kit and know the location of the nearest rescue center.
Visit the New Zealand Department of Conservation website for advice and direction on how to safely and legally hike, bike, etc. in New Zealand.
Imports: New Zealand is an island nation, and the government is serious about preserving its delicate ecosystem. The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) strictly regulates what can be imported into New Zealand.
For more information visit the Biosecurity New Zealand website.
Faith-Based Travelers: See the following webpages for details:
LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in New Zealand.
Travelers with Disabilities: The law in New Zealand prohibits discrimination against persons with physical disability or impairment; any other loss or abnormality of psychological or anatomical structure or function; reliance on a guide dog, wheelchair, or other remedial means; and the presence in the body of organisms capable of causing illness. The law is enforced. Social acceptance of persons with disabilities in public is as prevalent as in the United States. The most common types of accessibility may include accessible facilities, information, and access to services. Expect accessibility to be limited in public transportation, lodging, and general infrastructure.
Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.
Please visit the Consulate General’s COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in New Zealand.
For emergency services in New Zealand, dial 111.
Ambulance services and quality medical care are widely available in New Zealand. Waiting lists exist for certain types of treatment. Access to medical care may be less available in rural areas.
We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas. Most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept U.S. health insurance.
Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. If they do not, consider emergency or comprehensive traveler’s insurance. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage. Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information on type of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas.
We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.
Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription. Check with the government of New Zealand regulations at New Zealand MedSafe to ensure the medication is legal in New Zealand.
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further health information:
Air Quality: Visit AirNow Department of State for information on air quality at U.S. Embassies and Consulates.
The U.S. Consulate General maintains a list of doctors and hospitals. We do not endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic.
Assisted Reproductive Technology and Surrogacy:
Adventure Travel: Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about Adventure Travel.
General Health Language: Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about Resources for Travelers regarding specific issues in New Zealand.
Road Conditions and Safety: While in New Zealand, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States.
Renting a car or a camper is a popular way to enjoy New Zealand's natural beauty, but if you are unfamiliar with local conditions, you should be extremely careful. New Zealand has only 100 miles of multi-lane divided motorways. Most intercity travel is on narrow, two-lane roads. While these roads are in good condition, New Zealand's rugged terrain means motorists often encounter sharper curves and steeper grades than those found on the U.S. Interstate Highway System.
Traffic Laws: All traffic moves on the left in New Zealand, and you should exercise extra caution if you are accustomed to driving on the right.
Public Transportation: New Zealand has public transport systems in all major cities and some towns. The public transportation system in New Zealand is generally easy to use and reliable.
Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of New Zealand’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of New Zealand’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.
Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to New Zealand should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website, and the NGA broadcast warnings.