A New Zealand Honeymoon is an Adventurer’s Dream
New Zealand, the island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, is a nature lover’s oasis, an adventurer’s dream, and an all-around great honeymoon destination for the trip of a lifetime.
Geography of New Zealand
When you visit New Zealand you’ll likely fly into the North Island, where major cities like Wellington, Hamilton and Tauranga and its capital, Auckland, are. New Zealand is comprised of two main islands – its North Island and South Island – and several smaller ones. Waiheke Island is close to the North Island, near Auckland, for example. While the Chatham Islands are over 530 miles east of the mainlands.
The water between the north and south islands is named Cook Strait, and the country, overall, is surrounded by the South Pacific Ocean and Tasman Sea.
There are many windy roads in New Zealand. If you rent a car it’s important to beware of this, additionally that they drive on the left side of the road. Additionally, the South Island is quite mountainous.
New Zealand’s Time Zone
The north and south islands of New Zealand are in one time zone, on New Zealand Daylight Time. (Though there are other time zones in New Zealand, this is the main one you’ll need to know.) It’s 18 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST) in New York and 21 hours ahead of Los Angeles, on Pacific Standard Time (PST). New Zealand is usually a day ahead of the United States.
If it’s 1:00pm in California or 4:00pm in New York, for instance, on April 4, it’s 10:00am on April 5th in New Zealand’s north and south islands.
Currency Needs for your Honeymoon in New Zealand
The currency you’ll need for your honeymoon trip to New Zealand is the dollar, but it’s a New Zealand dollar, not a U.S. dollar. One U.S. dollar is equivalent to about $1.40 in New Zealand. However, most places accept major credit cards, Visa and Mastercard being most widely accepted.
Honoring New Zealand’s Residents and Visitors
Is New Zealand LGBTQ+ friendly?
New Zealand is one of the most progressive countries same-sex couples and members of the LGBTQ+ community can choose for their honeymoon.
It’s been legal for gay couples to marry and adopt children there since 2013. Transgender and gay people openly serve in the military and in government. Auckland, especially, has a strong gay community and holds a big Pride parade each year.
Indigenous People of New Zealand
The indigenous culture and people of New Zealand are the Māori. While most people speak English, the country actually has three official languages, and Māori’s language, or te reo, is the second. (The third is New Zealand sign language.) A lot of cities in New Zealand are named with Māori words.
Be sure to look into Māori experiences when you’re in New Zealand for your honeymoon.
COVID-19 Restrictions and Regulations in New Zealand
The nation has been very strict about getting their COVID-19 numbers under control. New Zealand’s travel borders are currently closed to all non-residents and non-citizens. Residents or citizens returning to New Zealand from outside the country must quarantine for 14 days upon return.
If you are planning your New Zealand honeymoon steer clear of any potential pandemic obstacles and plan your trip for when the pandemic is under control, worldwide.
Visitor Requirements and Recommendations for Traveling to New Zealand for your Honeymoon
Visa Requirements for Americans Traveling to New Zealand
If you visit New Zealand from the United States you’ll need a visa, even though they label the United States a “visa waiver country.”
It isn’t hard to obtain an NZeTA visa (New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority) for your honeymoon but you need to allow up to 72 hours for processing, as per their website, even though it may take minutes to go through. You can do so online; the visa costs less than $10 USD.
You must travel in and out of the Auckland Airport with this visa.
Vaccinations Needed for a New Zealand Honeymoon
In terms of vaccinations, you’ll only need routine treatments for your New Zealand honeymoon. This includes the Measles, Chickenpox and Polio vaccines, and potentially Hepatitis A and B vaccines. Simply consult your doctor before traveling.
Honeymoon in New Zealand During Peak or Non-Peak Times
New Zealand is in the southern hemisphere, which means they experience opposite seasons. Summer in the United States means it’s winter in New Zealand.
As many of the wonderful activities to enjoy in this adventure capital are outdoors, including its national parks, wineries, and mountains, the best time to visit is during American fall and winter, which is the New Zealand spring and summer.
Weather in New Zealand
July is the coldest month of the year, ideal for skiers to hit the slopes in the New Zealand Alps mountains. Temperatures range from 45 to 57 degrees Fahrenheit in Auckland on the North Island, to 32 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit in Queenstown on the South Island.
During January, the warmest month of the year, 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit can be expected in Auckland on the North Island, and 48 to 71 degrees Fahrenheit in Queenstown on the South Island. (Though Christchurch, a major city on the South Island east of Queenstown, experiences the hottest summer temperatures in the country, which can reach over 100 degrees.)
Flying to New Zealand for your Honeymoon
New Zealand is far away from the United States, thus flying there entails multiple flights and many hours. It takes almost a full day (if not more, depending on the New Zealand honeymoon flights you book) to get there. And flights can be a significant part of a honeymoon budget. (Read until the end of this post to register for your Honeyfund registry to help pay for it all.)
The main airport, or gateway to New Zealand, is Auckland Airport (code AKL), though there are many airports in the country. You must, however, travel through Auckland Airport for the visa Americans need to visit the country.
Here are three sample flight paths from major United States cities during fall in the United States (summer in New Zealand):
- NYC:From $1,000 to $1,500 per person, round trip, with 20 to 30 hours of travel time including one stop.
- Houston: $1,200 to $1,830 per person, round trip, and 15 to 30 hours of travel time with one to two stops.
- LAX: $1,000 to $1,760 per person, round trip, between 13 to 30 hours travel time with an average of one stop depending on the chosen flights.
How to Spend a Honeymoon in New Zealand, on Either Island
New Zealand is known for being an adventure capital of the world. The perfect New Zealand honeymoon may include a mix of some activities for an adrenaline junkie but activities in the city too.
The North has more of a balance of options between urban and rural, whereas the south offers more suburban and rural nature activities.
Honeymoon Activities on New Zealand’s North Island
- Take a tour through Waitomo Caves, on the west coast of the Northland, where glow worms light up the dark caves like twinkle lights.
- Lounge on the sand at Hot Water Beach, whose thermal hot springs provide a relaxing New Zealand honeymoon retreat.
- Visit the Sky Tower, a skyscraper that defines Auckland’s skyline. Foodies can have a memorable dinner at their 360 degree rotating restaurant, Orbit. Thrill seekers can participate in the SkyWalk or SkyJump at Sky Tower.
- A fan of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings? New Zealand is a haven for fans! Visit Hobbiton Village between the cities of Hamilton and Tauranga. Here, you’ll step into the movie set with its fairy tale like scenery. You can even have a brew at the Green Dragon Inn during your visit.
- Take a day trip to Waiheke Island, which is only a 40-minute ferry ride from Auckland. Enjoy any number of activities here, including a wine tour, helicopter ride, Hop On Hop Off bus tour, or a meal at a picturesque vineyard. There is a beautiful view of Auckland’s skyline from certain vantage points on Waiheke Island.
Honeymoon Activities on New Zealand’s South Island
There is primarily nature to explore on the South Island, with mountains scenery, fjords and lakes.
Here’s some amazing ways to spend your time outdoors in the south during your New Zealand honeymoon:
- Stay in Te Anau or Queenstown, and take a day trip cruise boat ride to Milford Sound, with scenic waterfalls.
Kayak on Lake Wakatipu, next to Queenstown.
- Take a road trip on Arthur’s Pass through Arthur’s Pass National Park. It’s touted as the most beautiful route on the South Island. Consider the TranzAlpine train journey to travel the pass if you aren’t renting a car. The complete train ride lasts about 5 hours, and takes passengers from the east to west coast of the South Island.
- Go dolphin and whale watching in Kaikoura, on the southeast side of the island.
- Snorkel at Tonga Island Marine Reserve, part of Abel Tasman National Park.
- Visit Fox Glacier and Franz Josef Glacier with the aid of an experienced guide.
- Mountain climbers can climb the tallest mountain in New Zealand, Aoraki Mount Cook, for unforgettable honeymoon memories.
- Visit the Bleinhem wine region while you’re on your honeymoon trip if you and your spouse like wine tasting and viticulture. Check out Brancott Estate in the Marlborough area, and book reservations for a meal overlooking their vineyards. Alternatively, take a bike tour of the area’s wineries.
- Tour Larnach Castle on the Otago Peninsula, New Zealand’s only castle. You can stay overnight on property with some advanced planning to truly feel like royalty during your honeymoon in New Zealand.
Where to Stay for your Honeymoon in New Zealand
Where to stay for your New Zealand honeymoon largely depends on where you want to go. Hotels are available, all over the country. Generally, Air BnB is a good option to look into for something other than hotels or honeymoon resorts.
Camping is also plausible all over most of the country, outside the urban areas.
Here are a few notable New Zealand honeymoon-worthy hotels in the country:
- Park Hyatt Auckland, waterfront hotel overlooking Waitematā Harbour.
- Huka Lodge on the Waikato River, very close to Lake Taupo.
- Delamore Lodge on Waiheke Island, with luxury suites facing the Hauraki Gulf and a stunning infinity pool.
- Rainforest, in the Southern Alps mountains by Franz Josef Glacier on the west coast of New Zealand’s South Island.
- Lilac Rose Bed and Breakfast in Christchurch, a restored historic home that’s about 125 years old.
Your Honeymoon Registry for your Honeymoon in New Zealand
Make your honeymoon dreams for New Zealand a reality with the help of Honeyfund! Sign up for your honeymoon registry and have family and friends contribute to the cost of traveling to Oceania for your dream trip. Start with our New Zealand sample honeymoon registry.
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