Planning your trip to New Zealand

All trips require some level of planning and a trip to New Zealand is no different. Of course, when you travel with New Zealand Trails, we take the hard work out of it, but you may still have a few questions; we can help you with those.

Our team of New Zealand travel experts have created this section of the blog to help with your New Zealand trip plan and ensure all the fiddly details are taken care of beforehand. No question is too silly (trust us!)  and if there’s something we haven’t covered here, feel free to give us a call or flick us an email at any time.

New Zealand travel planning

We’ve been doing this for a long time, since the mid-90s in fact, so we know exactly what goes into planning the perfect trip and we’re here to help. When you start thinking about your vacation, the first question you might have is, what’s the best time to visit New Zealand? As the locals, let us give you an insider’s perspective on that question.

From there, you may wonder what type of trip to take and how to make the most of your time in New Zealand. We passionately believe that a small group tour is the best way to explore, but how do you go about choosing the right trip for you? What about if you’re travelling solo? We have the answers!

Getting to New Zealand

Why travel to New Zealand? The answer to that is obvious, but how to get here is another question you might not have an answer to so readily. We’ve done these flights enough times now that we’re practically starting to sprout wings, so we know all there is to know about getting to New Zealand, your flight options, dealing with jetlag, what visa you’ll need and other key details.

Couple Sealy Tarns Lookout

Yes, it's all worth it once you get here!

What to pack for your trip?

There are two types of packers, and you’ll probably know which you are by now. There’s the list-makers, the sock rollers, the ones who pack their bags weeks in advance. And there’s the last-minute ones, the throw-it-all-in ones, the ‘relaxed’ ones! While we can’t do your packing for you, we can help in other ways, like answering what to pack for your New Zealand trip, what to wear while you’re hiking, how to choose your hiking boots and how to use trekking poles.

New Zealand Trails pack

Arriving with your boots ready to hit the track is straightfoward; have a squiz at our handy packing articles.

We love walking and hiking and know our New Zealand trails intimately, so we’re extremely well equipped to guide you in making decisions about your hiking gear and ensuring you have everything you need for an enjoyable adventure in our beautiful country.

Ask the experts

We know New Zealand and we’re here to help. With our combined knowledge and experience, there’s no question too big or small. We’ll be adding to this resource over time to assist with your New Zealand travel planning, so let us know if there’s something you’d like to see here.

TSS Earnslaw Queenstown

Our Latest Article

The Most Beautiful Lakes In The South Island

New Zealand's South Island is a land of immense natural beauty. From the towering snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps to the golden sand beaches of...

Happy guests sunset coast views2

Guided Hiking Tours New Zealand

Should I do a guided hiking tour? Making the decision to book a group tour can be big for some people, but oftentimes it can lead to one of the best t...

100 NZ Guides Hayley Lachy Mt Cook copy4

Our New Zealand Hiking Guides

The key to an unforgettable adventure, is unforgettable people, right?We consider ourselves experts in guided New Zealand hiking tours, and just like ...

1. Lake Manapouri Header

Kepler track in January

January is heralded as a time for new beginnings, new goals and new experiences. Whether you’ve done a Great Walk of New Zealand before, or you’re con...

Siberia valley plane

Heaphy Track Weather Guide for Hikers

The Heaphy Track is the longest of the 10 Great Walks of New Zealand, located in the stunning Kahurangi National Park.It’s a glorious 78.4km (48.7 mil...

Milford Track Happy Guests

Milford Track Weather Guide for Hikers

Milford Track, dubbed the ‘finest walk in the world’ by poet Blanche Baughan, is one of New Zealand’s Great Walks, located in Fiordland National Park....

Kepler Blog Header

Kepler Track Weather Guide For Hikers

Kepler Track, located in Fiordland National Park, is open year round, and is particularly popular in Great Walks season from late October to April 30....

kayaking okarito lagoon west coast

10 Best Places to Kayak in New Zealand

Kayaking in New ZealandNew Zealand is a land of plentiful water, with hundreds of beautiful lakes and rivers, and coastlines dotted with pristine beac...

biking the arrow river trail header

Riding the Queenstown Trail

The Queenstown TrailQueenstown’s premier biking and walking trail network, The Queenstown Trail, covers 130km of stunning off-road tracks. Part of the...

New Zealand music

Sounds of New Zealand - New Zealand Music

Now it’s time to tune into the musical sounds of New Zealand, but where to start! New Zealand music has been influenced by so many genres – blues, jaz...

New Zealand movies

9 Must-See New Zealand Movies

Now it’s time to load up the popcorn bowl and take your pick from a variety of movies that will introduce you to the sights, sounds, people and storie...

New Zealand books

10 of the Best New Zealand Books

These New Zealand authors have managed to capture historic events, moments and works of fiction that demonstrate New Zealand’s personality to its full...

That Wanaka Tree

13 Things You May Not Know About New Zealand

What makes New Zealand such a unique place? Well, it’s full of awesome people of course! But that’s not all! Discover some amazing facts about New Zea...

How to book your NZ trip

How to book your New Zealand trip

One thing we're always getting asked is how, when and which trip should I book? Well, here I am to explain it all! It always feels like there’s a lot ...

Travel insurance New Zealand

Why Do I Need New Zealand Travel Insurance?

A recent study by polled almost 5,000 Americans who had all travelled outside the United States in the last 12 months. Of those, 41% adm...

New Zealand Solo Travel

New Zealand Solo Travel and Hiking

People who choose to travel solo do so for a variety of different reasons – their partner or friends don’t enjoy the same type of travel as they do, t...

driving a campervan in new zealand

What Is the Best Way to Travel New Zealand?

Camper or campervan travel in New Zealand has always been a popular choice for visitors. The call of the open road, the freedom to explore with no age...

Australia vs New Zealand

Australia vs New Zealand | Which is Best?

Australia and New Zealand have long enjoyed a good-natured rivalry, with little brother New Zealand often playing second fiddle to the big and bold Au...

View on the Routeburn Track New Zealand

What to Pack for New Zealand

Packing for a New Zealand adventure doesn't need to be daunting. To make life a little easier for you, we have compiled an Ultimate Packing Guide. Dep...