Health and Safety in New Zealand
Before coming to New Zealand review the following health and safety facts.
No vaccinations are required to enter New Zealand.
Although there are no snakes or dangerous wild animals in New Zealand, you should be aware of the following:
Variable Weather - Weather conditions in New Zealand alpine areas can change rapidly. Be prepared for cold wet weather if you plan to walk in our National Parks, whatever the time of year.
Sandflies - In wetter areas, particularly in Fiordland, sandflies can be pests, but are effectively controlled by use of an insect repellent.
Giardia - Giardia is a water-borne parasite that causes diarrhoea. To avoid contracting it, it is best not to drink water from lakes, ponds or rivers without first boiling, chemically treating or filtering it.
Sunburn - New Zealand's clear, unpolluted atmosphere and relatively low latitudes produce sunlight stronger than much of Europe or North America, so be prepared to wear hats and sun block if you plan to be out in the sun for more than 15 - 20 minutes.
General Insurance and Safety
New Zealand is one of the safest holiday destinations in the world. However, you are advised to observe the same precautions with your personal safety and possessions as you would in any other country or at home. We recommend you invest in comprehensive travel insurance before departing.
Health and Medical Insurance
We strongly advise you to arrange your own health insurance. New Zealand's public and private medical/hospital facilities provide a high standard of treatment and service but it is important to note these services are not free to visitors, except as a result of an accident.
Visitors bringing in a quantity of medication are advised to carry a doctor's certificate to avoid possible problems with New Zealand Customs. Doctor's prescriptions are needed to obtain certain drugs in New Zealand.
Accident Compensation Scheme
Visitors to New Zealand are covered under the local Accident Compensation Scheme for personal injury by accident. Benefits include some medical and hospital expenses, but do not include loss of earnings outside New Zealand. We therefore recommend your travel insurance policy also covers accidents.
Medical Advice for Visitors
New Zealand has a wide range of public and private hospitals. Depending on your country of residence, international visitors may be charged for using the public hospital system. Charges for surgical services are extremely variable and it could be worthwhile seeking advice regarding both your best clinical and most cost effective option.
The government provides Healthline, a free, 24 hour telephone advice health advice service. Please call 0800 611 116. Healthline is staffed by registered nurses who can assess a person's condition and health needs and recommend the best course of action. They can also provide general health information and location of services.
To protect people from the health effects of second-hand smoke, smoking in all hospitality venues, including bars, restaurants, cafes, and casinos, is prohibited in New Zealand. If you smoke, please remember to smoke outside.
View more key facts and information about New Zealand.