Arriving in NZ

Arriving in NZ

Flight Transits

If you are transiting in another country (e.g, Australia, Singapore, Dubai etc) on your way to New Zealand, you may require visas. Check with your travel agent.

International Arrival in New Zealand

All passengers arriving in New Zealand must complete a Passenger Arrival Card. You will be given this on the plane so you can fill it out then. If you make a mistake on your Passenger Arrival Card and need a new one, you can pick one up in the Passport Control area after you leave the plane.
Make sure you read the questions on the arrival card very carefully and answer them all.
Click here for the latest passenger arrival card.
Translations of the card in other languages can be found on the Biosecurity NZ website.

Immigration (Baggage Claim)

Once you depart the plane follow the sign to Baggage Claim. This will take you first to Passport Control, and then to the baggage claim area where you can collect your bags.
When you reach Passport Control, also called Immigration, you must produce your:
Passenger Arrival Card.
Your passport must be valid for at least three months beyond your intended departure date.


After showing your passport to the immigration officer, and collecting your bags, walk towards Customs. An officer will ask you to produce your Arrival Card. Your Arrival Card should declare whether you are carrying any restricted items.

Restricted/Prohibited Items
There are some things that you are not allowed to bring into New Zealand, such as some foods (eg fresh fruit), animal products or plant material. This helps keep New Zealand safe from pests and diseases.

Restricted items include:
any type of food you can cook, eat or swallow
plants, parts of plants
items made of wood
plant-based medicines
animals (alive or dead) or products of animals
equipment used with animals
used camping gear, hiking shoes and golf clubs
more than 3 litres of spirits, 4.5 litres of wine/beer; or 200 cigarettes.

Declare or Dispose
If you have restricted items, it’s a good idea to throw them in the large ‘dispose’ bins before you reach Customs. Otherwise, declare them on your Arrival Card.

You must also declare:
goods carried on behalf of another person
NZ$10,000 or more in cash, or foreign equivalent
If you declare restricted items, the goods will simply be taken from you. If you do not declare them, you will face a fine of between NZ $400 and $100,000.

Exit Customs
If you have goods or cash to declare, go to the red exit.
If you have nothing to declare, go to the green exit.
At New Zealand airports, the Customs Department sometimes has detector dogs working in the International Arrivals Hall to sniff out anything that should not be brought into the country. Don’t worry if you see a dog walking around with a Customs Officer, sniffing carry-on and checked baggage – they’re working to keep New Zealand safe!
If you are coming to Christchurch by transiting flight in Auckland, please follow the diagram.

Changing Money

You might like to change some money at the airport so that you have enough NZ currency for the first few days. We suggest between $200 and $300. Look for the Travelex sign or use an ATM machine.
For more information on Travelex, PLEASE CLICK HERE

Airport Pickups

Make sure you know where to meet your transport or homestay provider when you arrive. Usually you will meet just outside the arrival gate inside the airport. During busy student arrival times you might see the Christchurch Educated Welcome Desk located near the domestic arrival gates. During these times this will be the pick-up point for homestay, halls representative, organised taxi or shuttle.

Public Transport

Christchurch Airport is located about 8km / 15-20 minutes from the city centre. You can take a bus, taxi or shuttle from the airport.

You can find the list of taxi operators in Christchurch here and make a booking:
For an estimated taxi fare, visit:

Bus No.29 travels to and from the airport. To check their timetables, visit:

Super Shuttles operates to and from New Zealand’s largest airport 24 hours a day and they don’t use meters. Check out their website for fares and booking information: