Kia Ora, pals! In news that has thrilled just about everybody in the Trans-Tasman, the travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand has been confirmed and is set to open from April 19.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that “Cabinet was presented with advice today that conditions for opening up quarantine-free travel with Australia had been met.”
That means Aussies will be able to travel into New Zealand – without quarantining – from Monday, April 19. As the ABC has reported, this is valid for all areas in NZ where flights are operating.
So, what should you do once you make it across the ditch? NZ is well known for its incredible national parks, its selection of high-adrenaline activities, its rich Māori culture and its food and wine scene.
Depending on what you’re after you may want to consider all of the above, or just a handful of options (if bungee jumping isn’t your thing). But what’s clear is that there is a lot to do and see in New Zealand.
If you’d like a little help in designing your itinerary, we have come across a few options that you may enjoy.
Consider a tour
Luxury Escapes’ travel deals are a pretty sweet option for folks hoping to find NZ experiences with loads of flexibility. The travel provider shared that on all of their New Zealand packages, travellers will get “unlimited date changes, extended travel dates for up to 18 months in advance and our unique ‘buy now book later’ feature which allows members to choose travel dates after they purchase”.
Included in that list is a number of tour options that will take you across New Zealand, and introduce you to some of its greatest elements.
New Zealand West Coast 5 Day Walking Tour:
Travelling through Christchurch, Punakaiki, Franz Josef, Wanaka and Queenstown – with a scenic flight over Milford Sound.
South Island 7 Day Luxury Self Drive Tour:
This experience sees you driving through Christchurch, Franz Josef, Wanaka and Queenstown and includes a flight over Milford Sound and the ‘Big Five’ glaciers.
North Island 7 Day Luxury Self Drive Tour:
Drive along from Wellington to Napier, Taupo and Auckland with a helicopter flight over Lake Taupo and a gourmet wine tour of Wellington.
10 Night All-Inclusive Cruise:
This option includes a flight from Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne into Auckland, followed by a stay at The Sebel Auckland before you board the Norwegian Spirit ship.
The 10-night cruise travels from Auckland back across to Sydney, with stops in Tauranga, Napier, Wellington, Akaroa, Dunedin (Port Chalmers), Doubtful, Dusky & Milford Sound along the way.
Maruia River Retreat, Murchison:
This adults-only wellness retreat is set along the Maruia River and blends the practice of forest bathing with long nature walks, private hot tubs and yoga classes.
Contiki has announced that it too is getting into the Kiwi-Aussie travel bubble. With tours ranging from 7 to 19 days in length, the tour operator offers experiences on the North and South islands – or both – and boasts options like traditional Māori performances, yoga at a world-leading eco-retreat and glacier hikes.
Hire yourself a caravan
New Zealand is a road-tripper’s dream. Between the rolling landscapes, picturesque lakes and charming towns along the way, the country is not short of exciting itinerary options for those hoping to hop into a caravan and really see the land.
According to Camplify CEO, Justin Hales, bookings have already spiked for Aussies travelling across the Tasman. In a statement on the news he shared:
“We’re thrilled to see Aussies heading back to New Zealand to enjoy some of the world’s most scenic road trips across both islands. We have already seen huge demand for road trips across the country, with families looking for socially distanced holiday options within the Trans Tasman bubble. With self-contained caravans and campervans socially distanced by design, we understand that this style of travel offers holidaymakers an extra feeling of safety and control.”
If you’d like to get involved in the action, check out the options with Camplify here.
Stay somewhere a little quirky
Airbnb is full of fun and unusual accommodation options for visitors of New Zealand.
If you’re looking for more travel inspo, check out our list of suggestions for where to go with Australia’s discounted flights here.