Nz ohope whakatane example trip

Frequently asked questions for couples

We understand that you probably have many questions about your dream journey to New Zealand. Below you can find answers to frequently asked questions for couples travelling to New Zealand. Have a read and get in touch with our travel specialists to answer any further questions you may have.


What type of accommodation do you recommend for couples?

Imagine a remote beach house. An award-winning eco-rainforest with unique treehouses. A chalet on a tropical island. And more. After we sit down and get to know you, we can make a selection of accommodation that suits your personality.

Sometimes dinner is included and breakfast is often supplied. We can also recommend the best restaurants and cafes in each region or organise accommodation with a fully equipped kitchen.

What sort of comfort levels can we choose from?

We have a range of accommodation available from comfortable to pure luxury. Choose from a quirky bed and breakfast from £150 per night to a luxury lodge from £500 per night. We don’t recommend staying in hostels. We can ensure that you will always have your own private bathroom.


Do we need a car?

To make the most out of your holiday, we recommend a self-drive holiday in New Zealand. You have complete freedom to travel wherever you want and discover hidden gems, far away from mass-tourism. It allows you to stay in small-scale accommodation and meet the locals. Wanting a break from driving? We can organise domestic flights or scenic train journeys for parts of your trip.

Do we need a 4WD?

To travel to 99% of our accommodation in New Zealand, you won’t need a 4WD. But there are plenty of roads within national parks that can be only visited with a 4WD. If you enjoy driving across dirt roads, then a 4WD could be a good option for you.

Is it safe to drive in New Zealand?

Yes, New Zealand roads are simply beautiful and easy to drive. There isn’t a lot of traffic so you can enjoy a relaxed pace, have time to soak up the spectacular scenery and stop by the river for a picnic lunch.

How much time will we be spending in the car?

The driving distance between each accommodation is generally 2 to 4 hours and you will generally stay at each place for 2 to 4 nights. This enables you to completely enjoy the best of New Zealand while travelling at a relaxed pace. There are too many amazing things to see and you don’t want to be stuck in a car for hours and hours. Are we both able to drive? Yes, two drivers are included in our rate.

Stay in small scale bed and breakfasts with friendly local hosts
Stay in small scale bed and breakfasts with friendly local hosts
Travel at a relaxed pace and find the hidden gems of the West Coast Route
Travel at a relaxed pace and find the hidden gems of the West Coast Route
© TravelEssence


How long does it take to fly to New Zealand?

The average flight time to New Zealand is between 25 and 30 hours including a short stopover but this depends on the airline.

What flight schedule do you recommend?

It depends on your wishes. We can book a flight for you with a short connection time in Asia or the USA. Or enjoy a few relaxing days in Singapore, Hong Kong, Bali or San Francisco. We can provide you with comfortable flight times that only require one stopover.

Which airline should we choose?

We work with leading airlines including Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Air New Zealand. We can select the most suitable airline for your personalised journey.

Can we book our own flights?

Yes, you certainly can. We can arrange your dream journey without flights.

Which stopover destination do you recommend?

Hong Kong and Singapore are the most popular and convenient stopover destinations. When you land here, you are over halfway on your journey to New Zealand and both places are great to explore for a few days. If you have a bit more time, you could also consider Bali, Cook Islands or Fiji.

Treat yourself and fly to New Zealand in First Class
Treat yourself and fly to New Zealand in First Class
Enjoy a relaxing poolside stopover in Fiji
Enjoy a relaxing poolside stopover in Fiji


What types of activities do you recommend?

It very much depends on your interests and fitness level. From authentic cultural experiences, wildlife encounters, meetings with the locals, kayaking, wine tours, cycling and sailing trips, sightseeing flights and more. Our focus is on nature conservation and small-scale locally owned companies. We can also arrange private tours if you wish. Check here for more suggestions.

Health & safety

Do you provide assistance in case of an emergency?

Yes, we have a 24/7 emergency number you can call in case of an emergency. Our local hosts are also there to assist you if you need. We work directly with all of our hosts in New Zealand, so if anything were to happen, we can act fast if necessary.

Is it safe to travel in New Zealand?

Yes, overall it’s a safe destination to visit. New Zealand has a low crime rate and generally, New Zealanders live a safe lifestyle. And Kiwis are renowned for being friendly. Of course, we still recommend using your common sense as you would if you were at home.


Is New Zealand suitable for a honeymoon?

Yes! New Zealand has a lot of romantic places to stay. Stargaze from your outdoor hot tub, watch the sunset with a glass of wine from your private terrace, enjoy local dinners or take a scenic flight over the Southern Alps. Enjoy a tropical stopover in the Cook Islands. There are many possibilities for a dream honeymoon down under.

Is New Zealand suitable for a Sabbatical journey?

Yes, it’s a perfect destination for a sabbatical. It’s a perfect chance to discover New Zealand at a relaxed travel pace. Get away from your busy daily routine and enjoy the relaxed Kiwi way of living.

What kind of wildlife can we expect in New Zealand?

New Zealand is well known for its native birds including the iconic Kiwi, Kea and Albatross. You can also have close encounters with marine life such as whales, dolphins, seals and penguins.

A man in a kayak in the fords with towering cliffs
Kayak the mystical waters of Doubtful Sound
Spot seals and other unique wildlife
Spot seals and other unique wildlife

Travel Time

How much time do I need?

You need at least three weeks in New Zealand to make your journey worthwhile. Travelling for 5 to 6 weeks allows you to see both islands. If you have less time, you can choose one island or see a few regions of both islands.

What travel pace do you recommend?

We recommend a relaxed travel pace, instead of rushing past all the highlights and returning home exhausted. Spend 2-4 nights at each location and discover each place through the eyes of the locals.

Do you recommend travelling to New Zealand during the winter (July - August)?

Yes! Winter in New Zealand is beautiful. It is less crowded and the snow-capped mountains are stunning. Go skiing in the South Island and in the North Island, you might even find yourself walking outside in a t-shirt. We can help you select regions and activities that are best suited to the wintertime.

What is it like travelling during the Christmas period?

Christmas time is New Zealand's peak season, Kiwis are enjoying their 6-week summer school holidays during this time. You can expect it to be more crowded and expensive than in other months. It’s strongly recommended to book 9-12 months in advance if you would like to travel during this period.


Should I pre-book or travel on the go?

It depends on what type of holiday you are looking for. If you would like to stay at a personal small-scale accommodation and experience the best activities, it’s best to book in advance. We can make sure everything is organized, so you can simply relax.

It enables you to travel at a relaxed pace, stay at suitable accommodation within your price range and secure bookings for the must-do activities in New Zealand. If you are travelling in the low season and for 2 or more months, it could be worthwhile to book as you go.

How long in advance do I need to book?

We work with small-scale accommodation and activity suppliers, therefore, they are generally fully booked very quickly. We recommend booking your journey to New Zealand 9 to 12 months in advance. Of course, we can organize a trip 3 months before departure, but the options might be limited, and ticket prices may be higher than expected.

Why should we book with TravelEssence?

Every holiday we create is personalized to individual wants and interests. Providing small-scale, hand-selected accommodation and personal activities, all tailored into wonderful and perfectly organized journeys. We are New Zealanders, or have lived and worked there. Our local knowledge makes the difference.

Do you have presentations especially for couples travelling to New Zealand?

Yes, please take a look at our destination day page here.

Our travel advisor Michiel sharing his local knowledge
Our travel advisor Michiel sharing his local knowledge
Conquer the Fox Glacier all year round
Conquer the Fox Glacier all year round


How is the WIFI and internet in New Zealand?

Please be aware that some remote accommodations Downunder have limited WiFi access or none at all. In some places, you may also need to pay for WiFi and internet access. This, of course, varies from accommodation to accommodation.

Do you offer group tours?

We specialize in personalised journeys. We don’t offer group holiday packages, however, we can include day trips or multi-day activities with small groups within your itinerary.


How much does a holiday to New Zealand cost?

This depends on your choice of level of comfort, flights and time of travel. Please take a look at some of our suggested journeys to get an idea of the possibilities.

View of Kawau Island | New Zealand holiday
Visit Kawau Island on New Zealand's North Island
© Joshua McCormack

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