Guides: Finding Cheap Flights to New Zealand

Cheap Flights to New Zealand

Map of New Zealand


The Lie of the Land

Also known as Aotearoa (“Land of the Long White Cloud”), Finding cheap flights to New Zealand is popular with visitors due to its natural beauty, its produce (food & wine), Maori culture and adventures activities. The country is split into two regions – North Island and South Island with the North home to multinational cities, volcanoes and outstanding beaches; and the South home to dramatic landscapes, glaciers and sparkling blue lakes.

Cheap flights to New Zealand

High Five

Here are five reasons to visit New Zealand–

  1. New Zealand is the perfect playground for adrenaline seeking fanatics. Here is a just a few to get you salivating (or terrified) – Bungy jumping in Queenstown, abseiling in Auckland, caving in Waitomo and Zorbing in Rotorua.

  1. Fancy a glass of wine? Well New Zealand is world famous for it, especially its whites (though there is a growing list of pretty decent reds too!)

  2. Whether its hiking or driving, take your time and marvel in the magnificent scenery and diverse landscapes.

  3. New Zealand is the home of the Hobbit with both the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies filmed here.

  4. Home to beautiful mountain ranges and dramatic glaciers – with the two well-known being Fox and Franz Josef. Plus the areas around Queenstown are world famous for its ski resorts.

Chow Down

Five tasty things you must try when taking a flight to New Zealand –

  1. Hangi! The traditional Maori dish that involves meat and vegetables slow-cooked in an underground oven.

  2. Do the hokey pokey! This Caramelised honeycomb flavoured ice cream is by far New Zealand’s favourite flavour.

  3. L&P or “Lemon & Paeroa” tastes like a mix between Sprite and lemon and can be found everywhere.

  4. Whitebait fritters is a bit like a fishy omelette and considered a delicacy.

  5. The most highly sought honey in the work – “Manuka Honey” is acclaimed for its medicinal purposes.


Weather wise New Zealand is warmest in the north (average temperature of 15°C) and coldest in the south (average temperature of 9°C). January and February are considered the warmest months of the year with July the coldest. So when you find your cheap flight to New Zealand, make sure you pack accordingly!

Sunny Beach on New Zealand

Visa Requirements

From 1 October 2019, Australian permanent residents will need a New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA) to enter New Zealand. Australian citizens are exempt.

Landing Places

1. Queenstown

A paradise for adventure loving folk. From bungee jumping, to white water rafting, to skydiving to snowboarding – you can tick off those bucket list items in a hurry.

2. Wellington

Not just New Zealand’s capital, its is also the epicentre for all things cultural (though residents in Auckland may disagree). Also home to many craft breweries, wine bars and coffee shops scattered throughout the city – did I mention it’s also a bit windy?

3. Auckland

Home to towering skyscrapers, volcanic islands and idyllic beaches, the city does a pretty fine job at finding a happy medium between the rush of city living and stunning scenery.

4. Christchurch

Known as the Garden city for its many parks, gardens and greenery, the city has rebuilt itself after the earthquake in 2011.

Getting There

Finding a cheap flight to New Zealand is common, fortunately because of its close proximity to Australia, is easy to get to, with multiple airlines flying between the two countries with year-round sales. From the following Australian cities, you can jump on a nonstop flight and arrive in New Zealand within a few hours aboard the following airlines –

  • Qantas (QF)

  • Virgin Australia (VA)

  • Air New Zealand (NZ)

  • Jetstar (JQ)

  • LATAM (LA)

  • Emirates (EK)

  • Singapore Airlines (SQ)

  • China Airlines (CI)

There airlines fly between the following cities –

Airline flights

When flying with most of these airlines listed above, the cheapest published fare will include meals and checked-in luggage, with the two exceptions being Air New Zealand and Jetstar where carry-on luggage/meals/entertainment can be additionally purchased.

For the Points Junkie

Both the two main global airlines alliances are well represented here on flights between Australia and New Zealand with Qantas/LATAM belonging to Oneworld Alliance and Air New Zealand/Singapore Airlines swearing their allegiance to the Star Alliance. Not to be forgotten you can also receive Skyteam Alliance points when flying China Airlines, but this is limited to flights between Brisbane and Auckland and on its own, flights with Virgin Australia can be converted to frequent flyer points and status credits for the Velocity program.

Which Body, Anybody?

If legroom and seat pitch is important to you, pay attention.

All airlines listed offer regular narrow-body flights (single aisle aircraft like A320/B737s) across the ditch. However, flights to/from Auckland tends to also attract the lion share of flights on bigger wide-body planes (twin aisles) offering greater seat pitch and width as listed below –

To/From Auckland

  • Air New Zealand (B777s/B787s –Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane/Adelaide/Perth flights),

  • Qantas (A330 – Sydney flights), LATAM (B787 – Sydney flights)’

  • China Airlines (B777 – Brisbane flights).

To/From Wellington

  • Singapore Airlines (B777 – Melbourne flights)

To/From Christchurch

  • Emirates (A380 – Sydney flights)

Airplane in the sky

Best times to Fly

With the increased competition between airlines, there are sales generally all year round with the exceptions being the period and leading up to xmas and until new years.  Generally speaking, the cheapest times to fly are during off-season which stretches the New Zealand winter (June to August) followed by shoulder seasons which cover the periods between March to May and September to November. Be sure to check into Flightfinderau regularly to find cheap flights when they become available.

Benchmark Prices

If you find flights within this price range, book it!

For carry-on luggage only airfares (Jetstar/Air New Zealand)

  • Auckland – $220 & below

  • Wellington – $260 & below

  • Christchurch – $210 & below

  • Queenstown – $280 & below

For full-service carriers (Qantas/Virgin Australia etc)

  • Auckland – $310 & below

  • Wellington – $320 & below

  • Christchurch – $300 & below

  • Queenstown – $340 & below

When to Book

Given there are sales throughout the year, there is no best period to book flights. Below is an indicative guide on when you can expect sales for the above-mentioned benchmark prices –

  • Jetsar/Air New Zealand – once a month.

  • Virgin Australia – multiple times a year

  • Qantas/Emirates – very rare, though the odd sale once a year does happen

  • Singapore Airlines – multiple times a year

  • LATAM/China Airlines – Have never seen one!

Additionally, you can avoid missing out on cheap flights to New Zealand by visiting this site on a regular basis/and or by subscribing by email for daily flight alerts.

Tips and Tricks

  • Of all the cities in New Zealand, Queenstown is by far the most expensive to fly into/depart from, followed by Wellington, Auckland and with Christchurch considered the cheapest. To keep costs low, for example if you wanted to visit the south island you could fly into Christchurch and out of Queenstown (or vice-versa) or if you wanted to visit the north island, you could fly into Auckland and return home from Wellington (or vice-versa).

  • Fancy a bit of pampering? There are often discount business class flights sales between Sydney and Auckland with LATAM with prices ranging from $600-700 for a return airfare with all the trimmings – flat bed, lounge access etc.

  • Have Qantas Frequent Flyer points? For just 62,000 points you can experience a world of luxury (for 3 hours at least) and fly first class on a Emirates A380 between Sydney or Christchurch (or vice-versa).

  • Free in-flight WI-FI is offered on some Air New Zealand flights, with the intention by end of 2020 this will be a feature on every Air New Zealand flight. If you want to be guaranteed of this, try and book a flight aboard the new A320/A321 NEOS and if this not possible download the Air NZ mobile app and check if your flight has the lucky WI-FI icon next to it.

New Zealand mountain range

Extracts from the Finding Cheap Flights Rule Book

Some simple rules when looking for cheap flights

  • Be flexible with travel dates. Rather than selecting dates first, work in the reverse order by finding out when it’s the cheapest to travel and work backwards.

  • Usually departing midweek is considered generally cheaper than weekends, Additionally departing mid morning and late evening are often the cheaper than other times during the day.

  • Don’t ever book last minute. As fewer seats become available, airlines will always increase prices – just simple supply and demand economics at play. As a guide sale fares are usually available 2-4 months in advance for domestic flights and 5-7 months for international flights.

  • Consider the extra costs. Sometimes a base fare with a budget carrier such as Jetstar will often be more expensive once you factor in checked-in luggage as compared to a airfare with a full service airline such as Virgin Australia.

  • When searching for flights, use an aggregator (such as as they display fares both by various consolidator websites and airlines as well.

  • For short haul destinations, booking one-way tickets often nets you the best deal. While for long haul destinations, booking a return ticket holds true

  • Be always alert to airline promotions and also airfare alert sites.

Interesting facts about New Zealand to Impress Your Mates

  • New Zealand’s population is just over four million, making it one of the world’s least populated countries

  • More people live in Auckland than in the whole of the South Island.

  • In 1893, New Zealand became the first country to give women the right to vote.

  • Wellington is the southernmost capital city in the world.

  • Just 5% of NZ’s population is human – the rest are animals.

And that’s it for finding cheap flights to New Zealand. I hope you found it helpful when looking. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook or sign up for our daily newsletter!

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