Which airlines offer domestic flights in New Zealand? What are the main airports in New Zealand? When to get to the airport? Is it allowed to bring a suitcase? These are just some of the questions you must ask yourself if you plan to go on vacation in New Zealand and intend to move from place to place during the vacation using local flights in New Zealand. In this guide to national flights in New Zealand, we have collected all the useful information you need, including a recommendation regarding booking flights within New Zealand, comparing prices, and some tips for finding cheap domestic flights in NZ.
Tips for finding cheap domestic flights in New Zealand
Kiwi’s search engine has several functions that can be used to find extremely cheap domestic flights in New Zealand and make sure that the ticket you order is right for you.
- The first tip is to choose the origin and destination. In Kiwi, you can enter not only a specific city but also an entire region, country, or continent, or even enter the destination as “any place” and thus see all the goals that can be reached from the origin you have chosen. In addition, the search engine will offer you automatic completion with additional destinations close to your chosen airport. In both origin and destination, you can choose several destinations. Suppose you have the option of landing at additional destinations, and not just at a central airport, to find cheap flights. In that case, you should choose a wider area, or enter several relevant airports, to check if there is an airport to which there are more affordable flights and thus expand the range of results you receive.
- The second tip is about the departure and returns dates. With Kiwi’s smart search engine, you can enter a variety of options in the departure and return dates: a specific and exact date, a range of dates, or even entering the phrase “doesn’t matter” to find a flight on any date. This is a great option to see what time of year the cheapest flights within New Zealand are.
Now that you have clicked “Search,” you can use the gray buttons to filter the results according to the number of connections, take-off and landing times, and more. You can also sort the results by price or by, popularity, etc. If it is important that the ticket includes luggage, you can filter the results according to how many pieces of luggage are included in the price.
Before you choose a flight, click on it to view the full details, and you should also pay attention to the airport code (the three letters in English) to ensure you don’t get confused between one airport and another. On the booking page, apart from the part where you will be asked to enter the details of the passenger, etc., you can view the full details of the ticket again and add baggage if necessary. At this stage, you can also add travel insurance and other insurances.
Kiwi also offers an automatic check-in service, a particularly efficient service, as some airlines sometimes charge a fee for checking in at the airport compared to online check-in in advance. Kiwi has the option of signing up for a service that will automatically check-in for you.
Please note that the services, terms, and prices Kiwi offer vary from ticket to ticket. The availability of extras, benefits, and insurances that can be added to the order may also change. Also, if you want to know more, you can watch the video:
Please note that the lines, prices, and services appearing in the guide are correct at the time of writing and may change from time to time. Therefore, checking the data close to the vacation time in New Zealand is recommended. It is also important to note that in the price comparisons for internal flights in New Zealand that we conducted for this article, usually, the cheapest prices do not include baggage, so you should pay attention to the conditions of the ticket when booking (we will expand later on the most convenient way to book flights with reference to baggage allowance).
New Zealand consists of two main islands, the North Island and the South Island (plus lots of small islands), so it is convenient to travel by flights within New Zealand. Several domestic airlines in New Zealand operate frequent scheduled flights to a variety of major destinations, as well as to smaller airports.
How do you book local flights in New Zealand?
National flights in New Zealand are usually relatively cheap. In any case, as with any purchase, it is advisable to conduct a price comparison ahead of time and check the conditions of the ticket thoroughly before ordering. An excellent solution for booking flights inside New Zealand is with the help of the price comparison engine, such as Kiwi, which appears here, with the help of which you can easily find out what the ticket includes and make the reservation (and manage it afterward) already during the search and on the same website.
Kiwi is a kind of “online travel agency” where you can search and book yourself automatically and with a very convenient and friendly platform. You can also use the site’s customer service if you encounter a difficulty or a problem. The booking process is easy and simple and includes the option to add a variety of important extras, such as travel insurance, baggage loss insurance, luggage packages, and Kiwi insurance that covers connections (especially great for airline tickets with self-transfer, where it is necessary to check in again during the connection), and more.
You can place the order in the Kiwi search box that appears above in this article.
Ordering an Airport Transfer in New Zealand
Domestic flights in New Zealand will save you time on long trips. Still, another detail worth considering ahead of time is the transportation from the airport to the city (or to various other destinations). By ordering a taxi to the airport in New Zealand, you can also save time waiting and searching at the airport, know the price in advance, and plan your budget.
To find private transportation in various vehicle types, which is usually also suitable for large groups and families, you can use Kiwitaxi search engine, in the yellow box on this page. Choose the destination and origin from the various main destinations available in New Zealand. After choosing from various vehicle types, you can go to a short order form and make the order right now.
Booking a taxi in advance in New Zealand has a number of advantages: the price is fixed in advance, the driver is waiting for you at the meeting point, a certain waiting time is included in the price, and extras like a safety seat can be added in advance (usually for an additional fee). If you encounter a problem or difficulty, you can use Kiwitaxi’s customer service. You can choose from various vehicle types (vehicle availability may vary, depending on the time of booking and destination).
In the search we conducted at Kiwitaxi to book a private transfer from Wellington airport, we found various vehicle types: minibus for seven, minibus for ten, premium minibus for six, micro vehicles, and more. Please note that the conditions and availability of vehicle types may vary from place to place.
Domestic Airlines in New Zealand
Several companies, large and small, operate flights inside New Zealand. The two companies that operate most of the flights are Air New Zealand and Jetstar.
Air New Zealand
Air New Zealand is the national airline of New Zealand. Besides a variety of international flights, Air New Zealand also operates a wide variety of flights within New Zealand, with daily flights between over 20 domestic destinations. Air New Zealand’s aircraft fleet includes Boeing 777, Boeing 787-9, Airbus A320, and more.
When booking internal flights in New Zealand from New Zealand Air, the tickets usually range from extremely cheap tickets without baggage allowance to upgraded tickets, which include baggage allowance, flexible change conditions, and more.
The service on Air New Zealand’s domesticflights usually includes light refreshments, except on particularly short flights, which are operated on turbo-prop planes (flights of less than 45 minutes), where the service serves only water. Air New Zealand’s domestic flights, which are branded as “Core Hour” flights and fly between certain destinations with a flight time of over fifty minutes at certain times, include a greater variety of light refreshments and beverages.
Jetstar is an Australian low-cost company that operates flights between Australia and New Zealand, as well as a variety of flights within New Zealand, between destinations such as Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and more.
This is a low-cost company that offers tickets at extremely cheap prices with standard low-cost conditions, which do not include baggage or refreshments during the flight but also upgraded tickets that include vouchers for food and drink and upgraded ticket conditions. In any case, refreshments or food can usually be purchased during the flight, with availability varying depending on the time of the flight. On the shorter flights ( New Zealand domestic flights are generally very short), the food available for purchase is usually light refreshments. Jetstar’s fleet includes modern aircraft such as A320, A321, Boeing Dreamliner, and more.
Besides these two main companies, other airlines operate domestic flights in New Zealand, such as Sounds Air, Golden Bay Air, Air Chathams, and more.
Domestic flights in New Zealand – Main Destinations
Domestic flights in NZ from Auckland
Auckland is a large and most populated city in the country, located on the North Island of New Zealand.
Auckland Airport (AKL) is the busiest airport in New Zealand and serves a variety of local flights. You can reach a wide range of destinations in New Zealand domestic flights from Auckland: Christchurch, Queenstown, Nelson, New Plymouth, and more.
Auckland Airport, about 21 km from the center of Auckland, has two terminals: one for national and one for international flights, with a shuttle connecting them.
Throughout the port, you will find a variety of shops, restaurants, and passenger services, such as currency exchange and convenience stores.
These are some of the local flight routes from Auckland:
Flights within New Zealand from Auckland to Christchurch
This airline is extremely popular, and flights to Christchurch depart daily from morning to late evening and are operated by Air New Zealand or Jetstar. One-way flight prices started at around $35 one way. The flight from Auckland to Christchurch is approximately one hour and twenty minutes.
Local flights from Auckland to Nelson
Nelson is a popular city for sightseeing on the South Island of New Zealand, and flights from Auckland take off daily from morning until evening. Flight time from Auckland to Nelson is approximately one hour and twenty-five minutes, and flight prices start at roughly $44 one way.
Internal flights from Auckland to Wellington
Flights to Wellington from Auckland depart daily, from morning to evening, and are operated by Jetstar and Air New Zealand. The flight time from Auckland to Wellington is about one hour and five minutes, and flight prices start at about $34 one way.
Flights from Auckland to Dunedin
Dunedin is a large city on the South Island of New Zealand, and flights to it from Auckland depart daily, from morning to afternoon, and are operated by Air New Zealand and Jetstar. The flight time from Auckland to Dunedin is approximately one hour and fifty minutes, and ticket prices start from approximately $47.
National Flights from Auckland to New Plymouth
New Plymouth is a city on the North Island where you can get tours in the Taranaki region. Flights from Auckland to New Plymouth depart daily, from morning to evening. The flight time from Auckland to New Plymouth is about fifty minutes, and prices start at about $32 one way.
Local flights from Wellington
The capital of New Zealand, Wellington, is south of the North Island.
Wellington Airport (WLG) is one of New Zealand’s busiest airports, connecting Wellington to a wide range of domestic destinations in New Zealand and Australia.
It has a variety of services for passengers: family rooms, lounges, showers, free wireless internet, and more.
The complex also has a variety of restaurants, cafes, and shops. You can find cosmetics, gifts, fashion, convenience stores, and more among the various shops.
Internal flights from Wellington reach various destinations: Christchurch, Queenstown, New Plymouth, Tauranga, Taupo, Blenheim, and more.
These are some of the local flights that take off from Wellington regularly:
Infernal flights from Wellington to Auckland
Take off with high frequency daily, from morning to evening, and are operated by Jetstar and Air New Zealand. The flight time from Wellington to Auckland is about an hour, and prices on this route start from about $34 one way.
Flights inside New Zealand from Wellington to Christchurch
Takes off daily, from morning to evening, with high frequency. Flight time from Wellington to Christchurch is about fifty minutes, and ticket prices start at about $30 one way.
Flights from Wellington to Tauranga
Takes off daily, several times a day. The flight time from Wellington to Tauranga is about an hour and a quarter, and flight prices start at about $38 one way.
Local flights from Wellington to New Plymouth
Takes off several times a day. Flight time from Wellington to New Plymouth is approximately fifty-five minutes, and flight prices start at approximately $38 one way.
National flights from Wellington to Dunedin
Takes off every day, about two or three times a day. The flight time from Wellington to Dunedin is about one hour and twenty, and prices start from about $46 one way.
Internal flights from Christchurch
Christchurch Airport (CHC) is the main airport serving the South Island and the second largest in New Zealand.
The airport is located approximately 12 km from the city center and serves mainly internal and several international flights.
This is an excellent base for trips to the Canterbury region, from whale watching to a trip to the beautiful Lake Takapo.
Christchurch Airport has one terminal, with a variety of shops and restaurants. You will find cell phone services, currency exchange, souvenirs, technology stores, fashion, gifts, restaurants, cafes, fast food, and more.
With flights within Christchurch, you can reach various destinations in New Zealand: Auckland, Wellington, Dunedin, Nelson, New Plymouth, Hamilton, Hokitika, and more.
Local flights from Christchurch to Auckland
Take off daily, from morning to evening, and are operated by Air New Zealand and Jetstar.
The flight time from Christchurch to Auckland is about an hour and twenty, and prices start at about $35 one way.
Flights from Wellington to Taupo
Usually, take off about six times a week and are operated by Sounds Air. Flight time from Wellington to Taupo is about an hour, and flight prices start at about $105 one way.
Internal flights from Christchurch to Wellington
It takes off daily with a flight time of about fifty minutes and cheap prices that start at about $29 one way.
National flights from Christchurch to New Plymouth
Takes off daily about twice a day. The flight time from Christchurch to New Plymouth is approximately one hour and twenty-five minutes.
Flights Inside from Christchurch to Tauranga
Takes off every day, about two or three times a day. The flight time from Christchurch to Tauranga is approximately one hour and fifty minutes, and flight prices start from approximately $65 one way.
National Flights from Dunedin Airport
Dunedin is a city on the South Island of New Zealand, a relatively small and enjoyable city for tourists with interesting architecture, cafes, restaurants on the beach in front of a mountain view, and more. In addition, from Dunedin, you can also reach the Otago Peninsula, which is a short drive away.
Dunedin Airport (DUD) is one of New Zealand’s main airports, serving the country’s southern region. As of the article’s writing, flights to major destinations such as Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch take off from it.
It has one terminal and is comfortable and friendly for travelers, with a cafe, convenience store, gift shop, game center for families, family rooms, first aid, storage of belongings, and more.
Internal flights from Dunedin to Auckland
Take off several times a day, usually in the morning and afternoon and sometimes in the evening, and are operated by Air New Zealand and Jetstar. The flight time from Dunedin to Auckland is about fifty minutes, and ticket prices start at about $50 one way.
National flights from Dunedin to Christchurch
Depart several times a day, usually from the morning until the afternoon or early evening, and are operated by Air New Zealand. The flight time from Dunedin to Christchurch is about an hour, and ticket prices start at about $38 one way.
Direct flights from Dunedin to Wellington
Take off several times a day and is operated by Air New Zealand. Flight time from Dunedin to Wellington is about an hour and a quarter, and prices start from about $58 one way.
More airports in New Zealand
Besides the main airports, there is also a long list of small airports that mainly serve flights to a limited number of domestic destinations. These are just a few of them:
- Blenheim Airport (BHE) serves flights to Auckland (about an hour and twenty-five-minute flight, with prices starting at about $50) and ultra-short flights to Wellington and Paraparaumu.
- New Plymouth Airport (NPL) serves daily flights to Wellington (from about $30 one way), Christchurch (from about $45 one way), and Wellington (from about $37 one way).
- Whanganui Airport (WAG) serves daily flights to and from Auckland, operated by New Zealand airline Air Katanas. The flight time is about an hour, and the prices start from about $84 one way.
- Rotorua Airport (ROT) serves daily flights to Auckland (from about $37 one way), Christchurch (from about $51 one way), and Wellington (from about $43 one way).
How far in advance do you need to be at the airport for domestic flights in New Zealand?
The standard recommendation for national flights worldwide is usually to arrive at the airport about two hours before the scheduled departure. However, it might be worth adding time to be safe, in case of traffic jams, long queues, etc., especially during tourist periods, but this decision is at your discretion.
According to Air New Zealand’s website, check-in counters close half an hour before the scheduled departure on flights inside (compared to 60 minutes before on international flights). Of course, to all this, you have to add the time of checking, walking to the gate, etc. Try to leave as much time as possible before the flight, especially during busy periods from a tourist point of view, and in any case, you should check with the airline in advance when you should arrive at the airport.
Can I bring a suitcase on flights within New Zealand?
Baggage conditions vary from company to company and the type of ticket. Usually, the cheapest tickets for internal flights do not include luggage, and sending a suitcase will involve an additional cost. But if you need it, the upgraded tickets usually cost a little more and include sending a standard bag. If you book a flight using Kiwi’s price comparison, you can filter the results so that only tickets that include baggage allowance are shown to you.