Enclosed by the endless ocean, New Zealand presents itself to its well-travelled guests as a green pearl in an iridescent blue. The unique nature makes the country a real place of longing. In order to fully enjoy the natural beauties, you should make some preparations.

These are, for example, a review of the climatic conditions, as the seasons in New Zealand are mirror images of those of the northern hemisphere, preparations for the long flight or even a look at the entry requirements. Fortunately, New Zealand offers relatively easy entry for German travellers. Find out exactly how here!

What documents do I need to enter New Zealand?

New Zealand travellers who hold German citizenship require a passport to enter, with a temporary passport also sufficient. However, it is important to note that the ID must be valid up to one month after the planned departure.

If the trip takes less than three months, you will not need a visa, in which case you will have to prove that a ticket to travel to New Zealand has already been booked. Since October 1, 2019, only electronic registration, the so-called ETA, is required. This can either be done online via the website of the New Zealand Immigration Service or via an app. If you decide to register via the app, you save some money, since this option only costs 9 New Zealand dollars or NZL, while online registration costs 12 NZL.

In addition, a city tax of 35 NZL is payable when applying for the electronic entry confirmation. It is important when applying for ETA to ensure that registration is made at least 72 hours prior to departure, otherwise, timely processing cannot be guaranteed.

After receiving the ETA, travellers can travel to New Zealand any number of times for a maximum of 90 days within the next two years. After this period, you will need a new ETA.

If you get to know the country without a visa, you are also obliged to provide proof that you can finance yourself.

Suffice it to prove that you have at least 1,000 NZL per month you want to spend in New Zealand. This amount can be reduced to 400 NZL if the accommodation has already been paid in advance. If you want to travel the country for more than three months, you need a visa, which can be applied for through the consular section of the New Zealand embassy in Berlin.

For this, an indication is first necessary for what reason the planned trip should take place. This can be a work & travel stay, a family visit or just an extended vacation.

What entry requirements for New Zealand apply to children?

Children also need a special children’s passport to enter New Zealand, which is valid up to one month after the planned departure. This passport for children and the normal passport will be issued by the responsible authorities in Germany.

In addition to this document, children have also required an ETA for trips lasting a maximum of three months since October 1, 2019, or a visa for longer stays. As with adults, the correct reason for travel should also be given to children.

Travelling with four-legged friends: This is how your pets come to New Zealand

The entry for the four-legged family members is somewhat more complicated. Since New Zealand, as an isolated island country, has unique flora and fauna, the administration is making every effort to prevent the potential introduction of pathogens.

Since Germany is a category 3 country where rabies is controlled, it is generally permitted to bring cats and dogs to New Zealand. However, they must have lived in Germany for at least six months, be at least nine months old and not pregnant.

In addition, dogs must not have been ill with the diseases Brucella canis or Babesia gibsoni throughout their lives. If these requirements are met, pet owners can apply for the entry of their dogs and cats. It should also be noted that quarantine may be necessary. This can be prescribed by the competent authorities for a period of four weeks to six months.

All information is also provided by the New Zealand government. The same applies to other entry requirements. In addition, New Zealand only permits the entry of rabbits and guinea pigs from Australia and chinchillas from the United Kingdom.

All other pets, unfortunately, have to stay at home. Because of these complex rules, which can differ individually even within an animal species, it is advisable to plan a trip with your own pet especially long in advance. This is the only way to ensure that all forms are submitted on time and the necessary preparations are made in good time.

Which items should stay at home?

Some items may not be categorically imported into New Zealand. This applies in particular to illegal things, such as weapons or drugs, whereby the import of drugs can be punished very sensitively. In addition, things that are produced for the consumption of drugs are also subject to the ban and can, therefore, prevent entry.

For example, bongs or other heat-resistant pipes fall into these categories. In general, there is nothing to impose that would be punishable in New Zealand or imported for the purpose of committing a crime in New Zealand.

Apart from these obvious aspects, however, there are also other items whose import is at least limited. This mainly applies to foods and products of animal origin or to objects that could adhere to soil or water.

Since this category is quite broad, this includes, for example, walking shoes with not thoroughly cleaned sole, Harken and other items that could theoretically be contaminated. If an object in your possession is suspected of posing a threat to New Zealand flora and fauna, a report is recommended. On the New Zealand Customs website. In addition, detailed lists of completely prohibited and notifiable items can be found.

Vaccination protection for the trip to New Zealand

For German citizens no special vaccinations for entry into New Zealand are necessary. However, it is generally very important to follow the vaccination plan. You can see this for example on the website of the Robert Koch Institute for both children and adults.

Especially in the context of the current outbreak of measles due to a lack of vaccination protection, it is advisable in travel preparation to have the vaccination protection renewed if necessary. If travellers get sick despite all the preparations, the efficient and modern New Zealand health care system offers good treatment.

In the event that you need this, it is also advantageous to have compulsory travel insurance, as the costs could otherwise be very high.

Customs and duty-free import

As a basic guideline for the duty-free import of goods, it can be assumed that goods up to an equivalent value of 700 New Zealand dollars can be imported duty-free. For children, however, this value only refers to things that belong to the child and are typically used by children of the appropriate age.

More restrictive is the regime for imports of alcohol and tobacco. For the latter, the limits are 50 cigarettes or 50 grams of other tobacco products, or alternatively 50g of a mixture of cigarettes and other tobacco products. If you want to import more tobacco products, this must be registered and paid on the spot.

If this does not happen, the confiscation of the goods and further legal action can be expected in the event of discovery. For alcoholics is a limit of 4.5 litres for beer and wine or three bottles for high-percentage alcohol. Each of these bottles can hold a maximum of 1.125 litres.

It should be noted that this maximum value cannot be divided across the different bottles, but that this maximum value actually represents an upper limit for each of the three bottles individually. The importation of tobacco and alcoholic beverages is reserved only for persons 17 years of age or older.

In addition, all such goods must be provided either for their own use or as gifts. Carrying on to other travellers or on behalf of New Zealand residents is therefore prohibited, as is importation for commercial purposes.

Regardless of the goods to be cleared, At the time of entry, a so-called Border clearance levy, a border crossing fee, must be paid directly. For air travellers, this amounts to NZ $ 15.79 for entry and a further NZ $ 2.94 for departure. Guests arriving by cruise ship pay NZL 18.10 on arrival and 4.72 NZL upon departure.

How big is the language barrier on entry?

English is de facto the national language of New Zealand and therefore of course of great importance – also because the customs and border officials tend to address travellers in this language. Proof of English language skills is not required for holidaymakers.

Travellers planning longer stays, on the other hand, are best advised to find out in advance about the exact evidence of their English language skills that they need to obtain a visa.

Something else needs to be considered?

If you meet all the requirements, you only need a completed “arrival card”. This is available directly from the tour operator or at the airport and must be presented upon arrival. Here you can specify, among other things, whether there are items to be cleared in the baggage. In addition, some data points about your own person such as the first name and surname, the ID number or the home address are to be noted here.

Overall, the entry requirements for New Zealand are basically easy to comply with German citizens. So, make sure you have a passport that is valid at least one month after the end of your stay and gets your visa or ETA in time.

If you have special requirements or want to take some of the items discussed above with you, it is advisable to read directly on the website of the New Zealand Immigration Service. If you follow the instructions given here, nothing stands in the way of your carefree stay on the other end of the world!