- Normal precautions
- High degree of caution
- Avoid non-essential travel
- Do not travel
- Safety and Security
- Local Laws and Customs
- Natural Disasters and Climate
- Additional Information
- Embassy Contact
New Zealand’s National Terrorism Threat is assessed as ‘low’.
General Travel Advice
The New Zealand Government requires a New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA) for all visiting and transit passengers from Ireland. Please see the requirements and ways to apply here.
A valid passport is required for travel to New Zealand Irish passports should have a minimum validity of 3 months. Passport cards cannot be used.
Visitors to New Zealand are advised to follow the guidance of national and local authorities and stay fully informed of what's going on by monitoring local news and social media.
The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems, try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.
You can contact the emergency services in New Zealand by dialling 111. Specific emergency numbers are:
- Fire brigade: 111
- Ambulance: 111
Our tips for Safe Travels:
- Get comprehensive travel insurance that covers all your planned activities.
- Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly if there’s an unforeseen crisis like a natural disaster or a family emergency.
- Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates.
- Read our ‘Know Before You Go’ guide.
Safety and Security
Safety and Security
Safety and security
- Take the same precautions with your belongings and personal items in New Zealand as at home. Look out for petty crime anywhere and always take sensible precautions:
- Do not carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place
- Do not carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home
- In large cities there are always areas which are better to avoid, particularly late at night. Use common sense and inform yourself locally of safe places to socialise
- Be particularly careful with personal possessions and travel documents in popular tourist destinations such as Auckland, Rotorua and Queenstown. Thefts from accommodation and unattended vehicles, including campervans, can occur.
- Tourism New Zealand has comprehensive safety advice on its website
If your passport is lost or stolen while you are in New Zealand please report it to the police as soon as possible and to the Embassy New Zealand - Department of Foreign Affairs (dfa.ie) on the next working day.
Emergency arrangements are available for those who need to travel but the Embassy will not issue an emergency travel document for purposes other than urgent travel.
If you are a victim of a crime while in New Zealand, report it to the local police immediately. You can contact us at the Irish Embassy in Wellington if you need assistance.
If you are planning to drive in New Zealand, take the same care as you would when driving at home. Road quality in New Zealand is generally very good, however, roads through more remote areas such as ski-fields or National Parks may not be in good condition. There are few motorways, and journey times can be deceptively long. Check before you drive.
If you want to drive:
- Bring your full Irish driver’s licence and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law and you risk being detained, fined or banned from driving if caught
- When you park on a road make sure the vehicle is facing in the direction of the traffic
- If you plan to stay in New Zealand for 12 months or more, you are required to get a New Zealand driving licence.
It is compulsory to carry your driver’s licence with you when driving. There is an instant fine for not doing so. Check the insurance policy of any car you are driving, particularly if borrowing a car from a friend.
Driver fatigue is a major killer on New Zealand roads and we recommend that you take regular rest breaks when driving long distances. It is also important to check the roadworthiness of your vehicle, particularly before setting out on long distance travel in remote areas.
As with driving in Ireland, you should respect the rules of the road including the law regarding drink driving. Use your common sense in avoiding dangerous situations such as travelling as a passenger with a driver who is under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
Hiring a vehicle
If you are hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you are allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.
Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).
Many travellers go to New Zealand to take part in adventure activities. It is important that you inform yourself fully of the risks involved and be sure that tour and activity operators are meeting safety standards. Never take part in these activities unless you are covered by an adequate level of travel insurance.
Make sure lifeguards are on patrol and always swim between the flags on New Zealand beaches. However tempting a remote and unsupervised beach may appear, do not swim there. Many beaches have dangerous currents. Always check the signs before swimming. Never swim after drinking alcohol or taking drugs and avoid swimming alone.
Accident Compensation Corporation
There is no reciprocal health agreement between Ireland and New Zealand. The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) scheme in New Zealand may cover some costs incurred for treatment needed as a result of an accident, but it may not cover all costs. Because of the support available through ACC, it is not possible to sue for personal injury in New Zealand. ACC does not cover any cost of treatment for non-accidental injuries. We strongly advise in obtaining comprehensive travel insurance before travelling to New Zealand.
Local Laws and Customs
Local Laws and Customs
Local laws and customs
Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or may even be illegal.
We recommend anyone in New Zealand on the one year working holiday scheme to apply for a Kiwi Access card – website www.kiwiaccess.co.nz. This is an approved photographic ‘evidence of age’ document under the Sale of Liquor Act. The Kiwi Access card is easier to carry than a passport and can be replaced more easily and with less expense if lost or stolen.
Illegal drug use (no matter what the drug) carries stiff penalties, including fines and long prison terms.
Attitudes to alcohol can vary from one society to another and New Zealand is generally more conservative in this regard than often imagined. A number of Irish visitors have spent a night in the police cells in New Zealand having been arrested while under the influence.
While minor indiscretions are dealt with quickly by the courts and will usually be dealt with by a fine, it’s surprisingly easy to get a criminal conviction, and this will have a negative effect on your ability to remain in New Zealand, to re-enter in the future, or to get a visa for other countries.
Be aware of the risk of having drinks spiked and take normal precautions.
Finally, remember that New Zealand Police are strict and will not tolerate disrespectful language, much less physical contact, from inebriated revellers.
It is advisable that Irish citizens pay any outstanding fines, in particular parking fines prior to leaving the country. New Zealand has a policy of stopping travellers from leaving the country until such fines are paid. For your information, there is a threshold amount (which changes from time to time) where travellers will be stopped if their fines exceed that amount.
Natural Disasters and Climate
Natural Disasters and Climate
Natural disasters and climate
New Zealand lies along a seismically active area and as such is prone to earthquakes and volcanic activity. For advice on what to do in an earthquake, please check the Get Thru website for more information.
When travelling to or through remote areas, we advise you to check on weather conditions before departing and pack equipment and clothing suitable for extremes of weather.
When travelling through remote areas, make sure you tell the park operators (or someone else) where you’re going and how long you expect to be away. Check New Zealand Department of Conservation for more information about enjoying National Parks and MetService for up-to-date weather forecasts and warnings.
Entry requirements (visa/passport)
Irish passport holders don’t need a visa to enter New Zealand and, on arrival, may be granted a visitors permit for up to 90 days. You’ll still be required to provide:
- travel tickets or evidence of onward travel arrangements, and
- evidence of funds for maintenance
The New Zealand Government requires a New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA) for all visiting and transit passengers from Ireland.
The NZeTA can be requested via the official mobile app or website at https://www.immigration.govt.nz/new-zealand-visas/apply-for-a-visa/about-visa/nzeta.
The NZeTA will cost NZD $17 on the mobile app, or NZD $23 online. Visitors will also be required to pay an International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL). The IVL costs NZD $35 and is paid at the same time as the NZeTA.
Visitors are advised to apply for the NZeTA at least 72 hours prior to travel in order for it to be processed in good time. The criteria for a successful application can be found here.
Visitors who already hold a valid visa, such as Permanent Residents, do not require a NZeTA (or IVL).
Irish passport holders visiting New Zealand should have a passport that is valid for at least 3 months beyond the date they intend to depart New Zealand.
New Zealand law doesn’t require that you carry your passport with you and, to avoid loss or theft, we advise against doing so unless it is absolutely necessary. It is a good idea to take a number of photocopies of your passport with you during your visit.
New Zealand has very strict biosecurity procedures at airports and ports to prevent the introduction of pests and diseases of animals and plants. On arrival, you’ll be given a ‘Passenger Arrival Card’ that you will need to fill in before entering New Zealand. This is a legal document. If you break the law by giving false or incorrect declarations it may result in fines or imprisonment.
People failing to declare biosecurity risk goods can receive an instant fine of $400, be fined up to $100,000 and/or face up to five years in prison.
Risk items include food, plants and plant products, live animals, animal products, salt and freshwater products and items associated with water, sporting and camping equipment. A full list of risk goods that must be declared is on the Passenger Arrival Card or from the MAF Biosecurity website. If you have any risk goods you no longer want to keep, put them in the amnesty bins provided at the airport's arrivals area or declare them on your Passenger Arrival Card. The bins are usually your last opportunity to throw away risk goods before entering MAF's Biosecurity area.
On arrival you may see MAF Biosecurity Detector Dogs that are specially trained to sniff out risk goods. Your bags may also go through an x-ray machine. If any items are found, Biosecurity staff may open your bags for inspection. Make sure that you declare or dispose of any prohibited items before the biosecurity process.
For further advice and information, please contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of New Zealand.
People intending to travel to New Zealand should be fully immunised for measles. If you need an additional vaccination, it should be administered at least two weeks before arriving in New Zealand. Remember, people who aren't immune and have early symptoms of measles (fever, cough, runny nose, sore eyes and/or a rash) shouldn't travel.
Check with your doctor well in advance of travelling to see if you need any vaccinations for New Zealand.
Contact our Embassy in Wellington, New Zealand or the Honorary Consulate in Auckland for assistance.
Level 10, Technology One House
86 Victoria Street
Embassy of Ireland, Wellington
PO Box 11498
Tel: + 64 4 4712252
Honorary Consulate Contact
Honorary Consulate General of Ireland
5 High Street
Honorary Consulate General of Ireland
PO Box 279
Tel: +64 9 9197450
Get travel and medical insurance
Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.