Reminder: You need an ETA for Travel to New Zealand Starting in October

Reminder: You need an ETA for Travel to New Zealand Starting in October

New Zealand is a bucket list destination for any one: it has a magnificent food scene, jaw dropping scenery, and some of the world’s friendliest human beings. Let’s not forget as well that New Zealand is the setting for the Lord of the Rings, one of the greatest series of fantasy films ever shot.

a yellow door in a house

Up until now, New Zealand has let citizens of the following countries travel to the country without any sort of visa or travel authorization:

a group of countries/regions with names

Well now it turns out that New Zealand has seen the light and has decided to impose an electronic travel authorization requirement for the visa waiver countries listed above to help maintain its tourism related infrastructure. The ETA will be required starting October 1, 2019 and will be valid for 2 years from the time of approval. The ETA application can be accessed online at the following website:

How much does it cost?

If you were to complete the application on the website, it would cost 47 NZD which consists of a 12 NZD fee for the ETA, and a 35 NZD  conservation fee. The government of New Zealand even has mobile apps to download and complete the application for which the cost is 44 NZD (3 NZD less than the 47 NZD you would pay online).

So you would be saving 3 NZD if you were to apply on the mobile application versus the website.

My Thoughts:

I said New Zealand “has seen the light” because foreigners have lately been less than kind to New Zealand’s gorgeous environs when visiting (more on that later).  It has become harder by the year for New Zealand to maintain the upkeep of its natural beauty, as more visitors than ever flock to its shores every year. In fact if trends keep up, sheep won’t be the only things outnumbering residents of New Zealand. A record 3.8 million visitors came to New Zealand in 2018. 3.8 Million may not seem like much to most, but it makes the task of cleaning up the trails and keeping invasive species (as visitors’ pets) out much tougher.


a landscape of a mountain range
Storm Clouds Breaking

With that being said I wonder why New Zealand just doesn’t include the conservation fee as part of airline and cruise tickets into the nation. I suppose seeing the airfares go up even that slightest bit would scare tourists away?

Why I would pay the fee, if it were even higher :

New Zealand (alongside Switzerland) have special places in my heart because they shaped my love for the great outdoors and the art of photography. As a lone traveler, I always have to be aware my surroundings when hiking in Canada, United States, and many other places because of snakes, bears, mountain lions among other things. So I was understandably always reluctant to head out by myself. New Zealand, however gave me the freedom to go into the wilderness alone and not feel the need to be scared in the least bit about anything. And so I will gladly pay the conservation fee so that I can help maintain NZ’s cleanliness and continue to experience its rugged beauty void of any poisonous or harmful wildlife.

a body of water with mountains in the background

What do I know about New Zealand?

I have been to New Zealand a total of 3 times (2015, 2017, and 2018) and written about my experiences extensively in the past on the following blog posts/trip reports. I consider it to be among my Top 5 favorite places to visit in the world.

Arrival in Queenstown & The Rees Queenstown Luxury Hotel Apartments
Queenstown Day 1: Milford Sound
Queenstown Day 2: Glenorchy
Queenstown Day 3: Crown Range Road & Wanaka
The Hilton Auckland & New Year’s Eve
Hobbiton, New Zealand

AirBnB Review: Lake Tekapo

Focal Point: Tekapo
World’s Greatest Drives: Tekapo to Franz Josef Glacier
Te Waonui Forest Retreat: Franz Josef Glacier
Focal Point: Lake Matheson
Focal Point: Korowai-Torlesse Tussocklands Park
Crowne Plaza Christchurch
Manaia (Priority Pass) Lounge Christchurch

a man standing on a rock in the water
Shores of Lake Tekapo
More recently I started a Photography Vlog of which 12 videos are from New Zealand (you can expect a video every Wednesday and Sunday). 


All images/content/videos were created by me and if you like my work, I would greatly appreciate a like and a follow on Instagram or on my Vlog. I could really use your help because YouTube doesn’t allow creators with less than 1000 followers to link to their blog or monetize the video in any way. It’s not like I expect to make a lot of money off it, but a few bucks never hurt for the time spent making the videos.



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