It’s been more than twelve months since Australians could leave the country, but this week marked the launch of the long-awaited trans-Tasman bubble, which now allows quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand.
We know everyone’s travel instincts are probably a little bit rusty, so, whether you’re yearning with wanderlust or eager for a family reunion, this article will be your guide to a smooth travel experience. We explore the best flights and accommodation for your upcoming holiday, taking the stress out of the planning stage!
With its snow-capped mountains, ancient glaciers, rolling hills, and copious amounts of wine, New Zealand is a destination unlike all others. There are hundreds of reasons why you’ll love visiting New Zealand, from breathtaking scenery to adrenaline-packed adventures, but first: getting there.
Travelling in a Time of COVID
Before we get into airlines and hotels, check out our feature on the trans-Tasman bubble here to find out how the ‘traffic light’ system works for travel eligibility. An informed traveller makes a relaxed holiday!
Speaking of being informed, let’s look at flights. Right now, Air NZ, Qantas, and Jetstar are the only three carriers operating flights to and from New Zealand, though Virgin hopes to operate travel to only one NZ Airport by September.
So, what are the best flights? Here are a few you can catch to Auckland, though keep in mind they’re subject to change:
From Melbourne with Qantas: from $575
From Sydney with Qantas: from $604
From Brisbane with Qantas: from $676
From Perth with Air NZ: from $974
Before you book your flights, make sure your state doesn’t have any travel restrictions – jump on the New Zealand Government’s website to confirm and to find out the requirements.
WHERE TO STAY?
Nestled by Lake Wakatipu, New Zealand's largest and most beautiful lake, the QT Queenstown location is the perfect place to be among the gorgeous Queenstown scenery. With an unsurprisingly cool and eclectic vibe and a team of friendly staff, this QT Hotel offers a modern chic experience like no other. With 69 boutique guest rooms and stunning views, this is definitely a go-to destination when visiting Queenstown.
The M Social Auckland Hotel features a modern boutique design with 190 rooms and suites to suit every type of traveller. Overlooking the vibrant Princes Wharf, the hotel is home to a stunning array of dining, entertainment, and shopping experiences.
A highlight of the hotel is 'Beast & Butterflies', M Social's signature restaurant, which is known for its mouth-watering menu that uses the region's best local produce and freshest seafood.
With an extensive range of classic and signature cocktails alongside a broad wine list from all over the country and the world, the hotel is the perfect place to spend your evenings.
Fable Hotels feature the perfect blend of timeless luxury and a contemporary setting, situated just a short distance from Auckland in the hip nearby precinct Ponsonby. The carefully restored landmark villa features ten beautifully appointed and carefully curated ‘superior’ and ‘luxury’ guest rooms.
The spacious design aesthetic and soft furnishings give the rooms an abundance of warmth and natural light, making them the perfect place to retreat and relax.
Finally, we can't go without mentioning The Sofitel Wellington, situated in NZ’s capital city. Located at the southern end of the North Island, Wellington was recently named ‘the coolest little capital in the world’ by Lonely Planet.
The Sofitel continues to build its reputation with its excellent service and elegant luxury comfort. From the lavish interior décor in each of the guest rooms to the friendly staff's impeccable service, as well as the superb Jardin Grill Restaurant and La Sere bar located within the hotel, every element of the guests’ stay has been considered. With so much to do in Wellington, the Sofitel provides the perfect place to restore and unwind.
For more on what to do in Wellington, check out 100% PURE New Zealand feature here.
So, what are you waiting for? New Zealand is waiting for you – happy travels, folks!
Stay tuned for more highlights from New Zealand this month as our resident NZ writer Sanda uncovers some unique hiking trails.