COVID-19: travel health notice for all travellers
New Zealand travel advice
Latest updates: The Health section was updated - travel health information (Public Health Agency of Canada)
Last updated: ET
On this page
- Risk level
- Safety and security
- Entry and exit requirements
- Laws and culture
- Natural disasters and climate
- Need help?
NEW ZEALAND - Take normal security precautions
Take normal security precautions in New Zealand.
Safety and security
Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, occurs, especially in major cities. Theft generally occurs in the following places:
- hotel rooms
- tourist sites
- recreational areas
- unattended vehicles
Make sure that your belongings, including your passport, are secure at all times.
There is a threat of terrorism. Far-right domestic terrorists have carried out attacks in New Zealand, the most recent being the 2019 shootings in Christchurch at two mosques.
Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places. Terrorist attacks could occur at any time. Targets could include:
- government buildings, including schools
- places of worship
- airports and other transportation hubs and networks
- public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners
The Government of New Zealand maintains a public alert system on terrorism and communicates threat level changes online and through social media.
Local terrorism threat - New Zealand Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
There is credit card and ATM fraud.
When using debit or credit cards:
- pay careful attention if other people are handling your cards
- use ATMs located in public areas or inside a bank or business
- avoid using card readers with an irregular or unusual feature
- cover the keypad with one hand when entering your PIN
- check for any unauthorized transactions on your account statements
Demonstrations may occur. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.
- Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations
Mass gatherings (large-scale events)
Adventure tourism, such as zip-lining, rock climbing or trekking, can be dangerous, especially if they are not well-organized. Trails are not always marked and weather conditions can change rapidly, even in summer.
Serious accidents have occurred in New Zealand and some activity operators have been accused of negligence.
Tour operators may not meet international standards.
If you are participating in adventure tourism, such as zip-lining, rock climbing, trekking, hiking, parasailing:
- obtain detailed information on the activity before setting out
- never do so alone and always hire an experienced guide from a reputable company
- make sure your travel insurance covers the recreational activities you choose
- make sure your physical condition is good enough to meet the challenges of your activity
- make sure you’re well-equipped and informed about weather and other hazardous conditions
- consider purchasing or renting a distress or personal locator beacon (PLB)
- tell a family member or friend about your itinerary, including when you expect to be back
- know the symptoms of acute altitude sickness, which can be fatal
- don’t venture off marked trails
- don’t use the facilities or equipment if you have doubts about their safety
Some regions in New Zealand are very isolated and have small populations. Services may be scarce.
You may have difficulty getting adequate mobile phone coverage if you travel in a remote area by car.
- Avoid travelling alone
- Inform relatives of your itinerary
- Check with local authorities before travelling if alerts have been issued for your destination
- Alerts – New Zealand Department of Conservation
- AdventureSmart – New Zealand Search and Rescue Council
- Distress beacon information – New Zealand Department of Conservation
Coastal waters can be dangerous. Riptides are common and can be dangerous. Several drownings occur each year.
In certain areas, sharks, seals and other wildlife pose a risk to swimmers.
- Avoid unsupervised beaches
- Follow the instructions and warnings of lifeguards
- Respect the flag warning system, which provides notice of water conditions and safety risks on beaches
Diving and snorkelling
Ensure that your aquatic equipment is safe and in good condition.
Never dive alone. Choose excursions with experienced tour operators.
- Beaches – Water Safety New Zealand
- Free diving and snorkelling safety – Water Safety New Zealand
- Water safety abroad
Road conditions and road safety are very good throughout the country.
Roads can be narrow, curvy and cover hilly terrain. Mountain roads, including those leading to ski hills, may be unpaved and without safety barriers.
Weather conditions can change quickly, particularly during winter. Snow, ice, fog, rain and strong winds can lead to dangerous driving conditions.
Landslides caused by heavy rain can block or wash away roads.
Railway crossings may not have barriers, and bells may ring only during daylight hours, especially in rural areas. Drinking and driving is common. Many road fatalities involve alcohol or drug use. Drivers often drive at excessive speeds.
Roaming animals in rural areas may pose further hazard. Dairy herds often cross main roads at milking time.
Pedestrians should use caution when crossing streets and be mindful that traffic is coming from the opposite direction than what they may be used to.
- Road closures and warnings – New Zealand Transport Agency
- Route planner – New Zealand Automobile Association
- Driving times, tips and road rules – Drive Safe, Tourism Industry Aotearoa
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
Entry and exit requirements
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the authorities of New Zealand. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with the Foreign Representatives in Canada.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for at least 3 months beyond the date you expect to leave from New Zealand.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Passport with “X” gender identifier
While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.
Tourist visa: not required for stays of up to 90 days
Business visa: required
Student visa: required
Electronic travel authority
Canadian tourists entering New Zealand without a visa need to get an electronic travel authority (NZeTA) online before their arrival, even if transiting to another country.
The NZeTA is valid for up to 2 years and allows multiple entries.
NZeTA – Immigration New Zealand
The following documents are required to visit New Zealand:
- an onward or return ticket
- a visa for the next destination if required
- proof of sufficient funds
Children and travel
Learn more about travelling with children.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
Relevant Travel Health Notices
- Global Measles Notice - 8 September, 2022
- COVID-19 and International Travel - 17 March, 2023
This section contains information on possible health risks and restrictions regularly found or ongoing in the destination. Follow this advice to lower your risk of becoming ill while travelling. Not all risks are listed below.
Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations.
Be sure that your routine vaccinations, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date before travelling, regardless of your destination.
Some of these vaccinations include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Pre-travel vaccines and medications
You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines may be right for you, based on your destination and itinerary.
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.
Before travelling, verify your destination’s COVID-19 vaccination entry/exit requirements. Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Safe food and water precautions
Many illnesses can be caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites, toxins, or viruses, or by swimming or bathing in contaminated water.
- Learn more about food and water precautions to take to avoid getting sick by visiting our eat and drink safely abroad page. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
- Avoid getting water into your eyes, mouth or nose when swimming or participating in activities in freshwater (streams, canals, lakes), particularly after flooding or heavy rain. Water may look clean but could still be polluted or contaminated.
- Avoid inhaling or swallowing water while bathing, showering, or swimming in pools or hot tubs.
Insect bite prevention
Many diseases are spread by the bites of infected insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas or flies. When travelling to areas where infected insects may be present:
- Use insect repellent (bug spray) on exposed skin
- Cover up with light-coloured, loose clothes made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester
- Minimize exposure to insects
- Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in buildings that are not fully enclosed
To learn more about how you can reduce your risk of infection and disease caused by bites, both at home and abroad, visit our insect bite prevention page.
Find out what types of insects are present where you’re travelling, when they’re most active, and the symptoms of the diseases they spread.
Some infections, such as rabies and influenza, can be shared between humans and animals. Certain types of activities may put you at higher risk of contact with animals, such as travelling in rural or forested areas, camping, hiking, and visiting wet markets (places where live animals are slaughtered and sold) or caves.
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, livestock (pigs, cows), monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats, and to avoid eating undercooked wild game.
Closely supervise children, as they’re more likely to come in contact with animals.
Stay home if you’re sick and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette, which includes coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Reduce your risk of colds, the flu and other illnesses by:
- washing your hands often
- avoiding or limiting the amount of time spent in closed spaces, crowded places, or at large-scale events (concerts, sporting events, rallies)
- avoiding close physical contact with people who may be showing symptoms of illness
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; use condoms, practise safe sex, and limit your number of sexual partners.
Medical services and facilities
Health care is good and available throughout the country.
If you are injured in a work or a car accident, you may receive treatment at a public hospital.
Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
Some prescription medication may be illegal in New Zealand.
If you take prescription medication, you’re responsible for determining their legality in the country.
- Bring sufficient quantities of your medication with you
- Always keep your medication in the original container
- Pack your medication in your carry-on luggage
- Carry a copy of your prescriptions
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect lengthy prison sentences and heavy fines.
There are very strict rules and quarantine measures regarding the importation of food, animal products and medications.
Information about items which you can and cannot bring to New Zealand is available from New Zealand Customs Service.
List of prohibitions and restrictions - New Zealand Customs Service
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in New Zealand.
If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of New Zealand, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.
Travellers with dual citizenship
International Child Abduction
The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. The convention applies between Canada and New Zealand.
If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in New Zealand, and if the applicable conditions are met, you may apply for the return of your child to the New Zealand court.
If you are in this situation:
- act as quickly as you can
- contact the Central Authority for your province or territory of residence for information on starting an application under The Hague Convention
- consult a lawyer in Canada and in New Zealand to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
- report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children’s Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre
If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.
Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country’s judicial affairs.
- List of Canadian Central Authorities for the Hague Convention
- International Child Abduction: A Guidebook for Left-Behind Parents
- Travelling with children
- The Hague Convention - Hague Conference on Private International Law
- Canadian embassies and consulates by destination
- Emergency Watch and Response Centre
Traffic drives on the left-hand side of the road.
You can drive in New Zealand with your Canadian driver license for up to 12 months. If you plan to stay for more than 12 months, you’ll need to get a New Zealand driver licence.
You should carry an international driving permit.
New Zealand’s Accident Compensation Act covers you for personal injuries if involved in an accident. However, the Act bars you from suing for losses stemming from personal injury resulting from the accident.
- Road regulations - New Zealand Transport Agency
- Information in case of an accident - New Zealand’s Accident Compensation Corporation
- International Driving Permit
The currency is the New Zealand dollar (NZD).
Natural disasters and climate
New Zealand is prone to extreme weather events, floods, landslides and avalanches.
Cyclones usually occur from November to April. During this period, even small storms can quickly develop into major cyclones. These severe storms can put you at risk and hamper the provision of essential services.
If you decide to travel to New Zealand during the cyclone season:
- know that you may expose yourself to serious safety risks
- be prepared to change your travel plans on short notice, including cutting short or cancelling your trip
- stay informed of the latest regional weather forecasts
- carry emergency contact information for your airline or tour operator
- follow the advice and instructions of local authorities
Severe rainstorms can lead to flooding and landslides. Flooding and landslides have resulted in significant loss of life and extensive damage to infrastructure. These events hamper the provision of essential services. Disruptions to air services and to water and power supplies may also occur.
- Keep informed of regional weather forecasts
- Avoid disaster areas
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Weather forecast - Meteorological Service of New Zealand Ltd
- Hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones and monsoons
- Large-scale emergencies abroad
Bush and forest fires are common between October and April across the country. The air quality in areas near active fires may deteriorate due to heavy smoke.
In case of a major fire:
- stay away from the affected area, particularly if you suffer from respiratory ailments
- follow the instructions of local emergency services personnel
- monitor local media for up-to-date information on the situation
Fire weather information – Fire Emergency New Zealand
There are 12 alpine regions in New Zealand and avalanches can occur during any season. Learn about the risks of the terrain at your destination and carry the recommended equipment.
- Avalanche Advisory - New Zealand Mountain Safety Council
- Be avalanche alert - Department of Conservation
Earthquakes and tsunamis
New Zealand is located in an active seismic zone. Earthquakes and tsunamis occur. A tsunami can occur within minutes of a nearby earthquake. However, the risk of tsunami can remain for several hours following the first tremor. It can travel long distances across the Pacific.
If you’re staying on the coast, familiarize yourself with the region’s evacuation plans in the event of a tsunami warning.
- Earthquakes - What to Do?
- Tsunami alerts - U.S. Tsunami Warning System
New Zealand has six Volcanic Alert Levels, ranging from no volcanic unrest, through two levels of volcanic unrest, to three levels of volcanic eruption. Currently Mount Ruapehu in Tongariro National Park is at alert level 2 due to high levels of volcanic gas emissions and steam plumes. There are a number of volcanoes and active thermal areas in the country, consider the risk before you go.
In the event of a volcanic eruption:
- stay indoors to reduce your exposure to ash
- keep windows and doors closed to prevent ash from entering
- use a face mask when outdoors for respiratory protection
- wear protective clothing if you need to be outdoors for extended periods
- monitor local media
- follow the instructions of local authorities
Dial 111 for emergency assistance.
Wellington - High Commission of Canada
American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Niue, Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Wallis and Futuna
For emergency consular assistance, call the High Commission of Canada in New Zealand and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.
The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
Learn more about consular services.
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