Prepare to travel
Plan ahead for your travel and arrive well-prepared for your new life in Wellington, New Zealand.
Arrange to be met when you arrive
The International Student Support team provides a free meeting service for all new international students, or international students coming to Wellington for the first time.
Our meeting service team will confirm your pre-arranged accommodation, meet you with a welcome pack at Wellington's airport, ferry, or train station when you arrive, and transport you to your accommodation in person.
This is a free service, all you need to do is complete our arrival meeting service form to let us know when you will arrive in Wellington.
What to pack
You won’t be able to fit everything you need into your suitcase. Do some research before you come about the cost of any household items you might need to buy when you arrive.
You should pack:
- certified photocopies of important identification documents, such as your birth certificate and passport—do not bring your original documents
- any documents you might need if you want to open a New Zealand bank account
- your driver’s licence, if you plan on driving in New Zealand
- your medical history in English, including your immunisation history and current prescriptions
- your medication in its original containers, plus the original prescription from your doctor in English—there are restrictions on bringing prescription medicines into the country
- your mobile phone—you may also need an adaptor plug and voltage converter for your charger and other electrical items. The New Zealand power system is 240 volts, 50 hertz
- clothing and personal items—include warm and waterproof gear, good walking shoes, sunblock, and a sunhat
- a face mask—you may need them on your international flight depending on the requirements of your airline and the countries you transit through
- some money to spend when you first arrive—we recommend about NZ$400 on a pre-paid credit card and about NZ$100 in cash.
Most banks are not open over the weekend so keep this in mind when planning how much cash you will bring with you.
For more information about what to bring, and items you cannot bring, go to the NauMai NZ website.
Check the baggage allowance of your flights before you leave. If you book a domestic flight (for example, from Auckland to Wellington) separately to your international flight, the baggage allowance may be less and you will then have to pay for any extra luggage.
What you need at the airport
At the airport, New Zealand Customs will ask to see documents to support your entrance into New Zealand. These will include:
- your passport
- your student visa
- a copy of your Offer of Place letter
- if you are a New Zealand Scholarship student, a copy of your Scholarship Letter of Offer.
It is also good to bring with you:
- a list of important phone numbers, such as:
- your bank (in case you lose your credit card)
- your emergency contact details (your family)
- your high commission or embassy (in case you lose your passport)
- contact details for the University’s International team and our arrival meeting service.
If it is your first time flying overseas, or you just want to know what to expect, here are some tips for your travel.
Make sure to check the COVID-19 requirements for any countries you transit through on your way to New Zealand and any airlines you fly with, as they may have different requirements.
Arriving at a different airport
If you arrive at Auckland International Airport, make your way to the domestic terminal to catch your connecting flight to Wellington. There is a free shuttle bus service every 15 minutes—or it is an easy 15-minute walk.
You must collect your luggage from the international terminal and clear Customs before your domestic flight to Wellington. You can check in your luggage for the domestic flight within the international terminal at a counter located close to the exit point or check it in at the domestic terminal when you get there.
If you arrive at Christchurch Airport to fly to Wellington, the international and domestic terminals are in the same building. You will still need to collect your luggage and check it in for your flight to Wellington.
Contact your family
Once you have arrived in New Zealand, contact your family and let them know you have arrived safely. Most airports have free WiFi that you can access.
What to expect when you arrive
Depending on where you are travelling from, you might be arriving in a different season to at home. We suggest you look at the weather in Wellington before you travel so you know what to expect. Wellington’s weather is fairly temperate—not too hot, not too cold—but it could still be very different from what you are used to.
Some useful things to know about Wellington are:
- The sun in New Zealand is strong, and you can be burned even on cloudy days.
- The weather in Wellington can change quickly, even in summer—it could also be quite windy.
- All the tap water is fresh and safe to drink—but don’t drink directly from rivers or streams.
- You can get around Wellington easily by walking and cycling, but there are a lot of hills.
Find out more about Living in New Zealand.
Get ready to study
It is a good idea to get your health checked before you travel and to get immunised for common illnesses. Find out more about healthcare.
Have you got your student visa and accommodation organised? Find out what else you need to do to get ready.