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New Zealand Holiday With Your Dog – Visa and Other Tips

If you’re looking for the best holiday destinations to take your dog along with you, New-Zealand is definitely one of the countries you should be looking at.  Of course, you’ll need to inform yourself about certain things as you plan your trip. For example, how do I visit this beautiful country? Which locations should I visit? Does my dog need travel documents? How can I apply for my New Zealand visa? In this article, we’ll be diving into all of these tail-wagging travel tips.

Dog Friendly Destination

New Zealand is the perfect country to visit with your dog. Most of the country consists of wide natural areas where you and your dog have plenty of space to enjoy the trip undisturbed. On the coast, many beaches are fully or partially accessible to dogs and inland there are a large number of waterfalls, where your four-legged friend can enjoy the refreshingly sweet water. However, it varies from beach to beach whether your dog is allowed to run free, must be kept on a leash, or is only allowed to run free at certain times. For example, at Takapuna Dog Beach, dogs are only allowed to run free before 10:00 and after 18:00 in the summer months. The rest of the year they can run free throughout the day.

In the Golden Bay, there are 3 beaches where dogs are allowed to run free at all times, and on Piha Beach areas for dogs are fenced off with bollards. Regardless of where you take your trusty companion, it’s important to be mindful of the wildlife in the area. What makes a New Zealand holiday with your dog so special? It is the wonderful, unspoilt nature that is extremely well protected by the people and the government. Whoever comes to visit this nature should treat it with respect. 

What Do I Need to Travel To New Zealand With My Dog?

Before travelling to New Zealand with your dog, there are a number of arrangements to be made. Since February 2021, all travellers headed to New Zealand must apply for an online permit via the New Zealand government website. You may also be asked for the following documents: proof of ownership, health certificate from the vet, copy of your passport photograph, or a legal dog exemption certificate. Click here for more information on the new UK dog passports. To make sure that everything is properly arranged before your trip, check the website of the New Zealand government. It explains all the necessary documents step-by-step, with links to the relevant pages. 

In addition, you’ll need to apply online for a visa to travel to New Zealand. Officially, European countries are visa-exempt, so the NZeTA (New Zealand electronic Travel Authority) is not an actual visa but a travel permit. However, most people still refer to it as a visa, since it operates the exact same way. To acquire it, you need to fill out the online application form. Once you receive the e-mail confirmation that it has been approved, you’re ready to go. The New Zealand visa allows you to stay in the country for up to three months per visit.

Preparing For The Trip

A long journey can be stressful for pets. A good preparation usually ensures a smooth journey. The following tips can help ensure that both owner and animal are well prepared:

  • Find out if your dog is allowed in the aircraft cabin. The majority of UK-based airlines won’t allow your dog to travel in the cabin, however if you get a stopover in France before travelling onwards, you’ll find that most airlines will allow your dog to travel in the cabin. It’s always best to check well in advance with the airline whether this is the case. 
  • Vet check. Have the veterinarian carry out a health check in order to obtain a health certificate. 
  • Dog kennel. Start getting the dog used to spending time in the dog carrier in good time so that this does not cause the animal any stress during the flight.
  • Food and drink. Make sure that the dog does not get hungry or thirsty during the flight. Check in advance whether you can take dog food with you and buy water before or during the flight.
  • Arrive at the airport on time. This is of course advisable in all cases, but if you are travelling with a pet, there may be extra checks. 
  • Book by telephone. When travelling with a dog or other pet, it is advisable not to book the ticket online, but over the phone. This way, everything can be arranged immediately and you will not face unexpected problems with regard to the flight tickets later on.  

Also make sure to check the best travel time and climate to travel to New Zealand, to ensure you and your pet enjoy the best weather for your trip.


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