Suggested USA travel agent & websites to help planning your trip.
If you don’t have a preferred travel agent to assist with booking
your flights, rental car, tour hotels etc, we can recommend the
following excellent travel agency to assist with your planning.
Freephone: 1 800 628 4893 or 617 266 7465
Here is the best general New Zealand website to get started with ideas for tours etc.
When to book your air travel to New Zealand
We recommend that you start firming up your airline itinerary within 4-6 months of your booked hunt date, as if left to the last minute during the busy tourist season, your preferred date of travel, hotels & activities may be booked out.
Destination Airport: Christchurch Airport, South Island, New Zealand.
Remember when making your bookings the following:
When flying to New Zealand, you will cross the international dateline and “lose a day”. So if you for example, leave the United States or Canada on the evening of the 1st, you will arrive to New Zealand on the morning of the 3rd. However you regain the lost day on your return home, arriving back home on the same date (and earlier!) than when you left New Zealand.
We suggest/prefer that arriving hunters spend the first night of arrival to New Zealand in a hotel/motel in Christchurch. This allows you to get your feet back on the ground after the international flight. Also a day in case any of your bags go missing (not that uncommon).
Say that your hunt is five days, plus a day before and a day after for arrival & departure. We will have you scheduled for seven days in our hunting schedule, let’s say the 10th – 16th April. You need to book your flights and hotel in the following way. Depart USA 7th April, arrive Christchurch, New Zealand 9th April, spend the night of 9th April in Christchurch hotel, be picked up 10th April (hunt arrival day) between 10 – 11 am and transferred to Woodbury Safari Lodge. Hunt runs for five days from 11th – 15th April, depart from Woodbury Safari Lodge back to Christchurch on the 16th
On the hunt arrival day, we arrange pickup with you from either your hotel/motel or your incoming flight into Christchurch Airport. Normally we take a break in Ashburton (popn 20,000) for a bistro lunch (you pay for your own lunch on arrival day) and if you require alcoholic beverages, we stop at a liquor store after lunch. Drive time (without stopping) from the Christchurch airport to Woodbury Lodge is approx. 1 ½ hour’s drive.
If arriving to Christchurch Airport on your hunt arrival day, we need to know your flight number & arrival time to have you met and transferred to Woodbury Lodge. If staying overnight in a hotel/motel, we also need to know where to meet you.
To enter New Zealand you require a passport that is valid for at least 6 months past your intended arrival date. If your passport requires renewal, allow at least 10 weeks for processing.
For US/Canadian citizens, you don’t need to have a pre-arranged NZ visa in your passport, for travel to New Zealand for stays of less than three months.
New Zealand is one of the safest countries in the world to visit. No immunization or vaccination shots are required by the government or recommended by the World Health Organization for entry into New Zealand. However, please attend to full travel/health insurance needs as you think required.
ARRIVAL TO NEW ZEALAND
Prior to landing in New Zealand, you will be given a New Zealand Border & Customs Arrival Form to fill out.
If you are traveling with a firearm, make sure that you declare this on the form (in section 4, tick yes to bringing in a restricted item, which sporting firearms are considered).
Also when packing before leaving, make sure that your hunting boots, knives and other outdoor equipment is clean and also declare that you are carrying these items in your luggage. It’s advisable to pack these items at the top of one of your bags, as the Agricultural people will most likely inspect your boots etc and likely take them for another cleaning. Failure to declare boots etc. (even though you know they are clean) can result in a $200 instant fine.
If you didn’t get some New Zealand cash before arriving to New Zealand, the airport will have a bank window for exchanging money. In Auckland, this is on the arrivals level as you disembark the plane and before you go down a level to clear the border and get your luggage.
Christchurch Hotel Info
In Christchurch we recommend the following airport hotel (shuttle available from the airport)
Copthorne Commodore Hotel
Phone from USA: direct dial 011 64 3357 9860, to call for shuttle 03 357 9860 or use the courtesy phone at luggage pickup.
Queenstown (if touring before or after your hunt)
Novotel Gardens Queenstown (friendly to hunters & store firearms)
Cnr Earl Street & Marine Parade
Phone: 011 64 3 442 7750
Sofitel Queenstown Hotel & Spa
8 Duke Street
phone: 011 64 3 450 0045
33 Lake Esplanade, Queenstown
Phone: 011 64 3 441 0890
Non-hunter touring options while hunt is in progress
From Woodbury Safari Lodge, the daily cost for a local tour guide & vehicle/fuel is $350 (in addition to the $250 non-hunter nightly rate) . This cost is shared between the number of people touring. Breakfast & dinner are at the lodge; lunch is at one of the cafes, while out sightseeing.
We can also arrange overnight & multi-day tours while the hunt is running. Also scenic helicopter flights from right outside Woodbury Safari Lodge. Contact us for more details & options. A popular itinerary includes Mt Cook – Lake Wanaka – Milford Sound – Queenstown. Accommodation can range from motels/motor lodges through to super luxury lodges depending on your tastes & budget. Activities available include shopping/sightseeing, in-house spa treatments, photo tours, wine tasting excursions, scenic flights with either plane or helicopter, bungy jumping, wilderness jet boating, skiing (June/July/August), guided fly-fishing & casting tuition (February/March/April), lake trout fishing (all season), Earnslaw steamer lake cruise to a working New Zealand sheep station, Kiwi viewing, dolphin and whale watching. This is just a small representation of what is available on the South Island of New Zealand.
BRINGING A SPORTING FIREARM INTO NEW ZEALAND FOR YOUR HUNT
It is entirely optional to either bring a rifle with you or use one of our quality guns. New Zealand welcomes international hunters who wish to hunt with their own rifle/shotgun. There is a simple paperwork process for importing your guns. Prior to leaving the United States, you should obtain a USA Customs Form – 4457 for your proof of ownership when returning to the United States. Check with your airline on their particular requirements for firearms and ammunition. It’s a good idea to print out this info, in case you strike an airline employee who doesn’t know the airline’s policies.
Please note the following:
A visiting hunter who travels to New Zealand with a firearm needs to obtain a Tourist Firearms Licence & Permit to Import, which is valid for one year and costs NZ $25. You receive the paper licence on arrival to New Zealand from the Police Office at the airport where you are entering New Zealand. On arrival to New Zealand you must declare all firearms to the NZ Police and to NZ Customs.
We ask that within 4 weeks of travel to NZ, that you complete the online application. Link to online application
At the Airport Police Office on arrival to New Zealand, you will need to present your passport and proof of a firearms licence or hunting permit from your home country to show that you are legally entitled to firearm ownership in your home country.
The licence costs NZ $25. The police do not accept foreign currency such as US dollars or plastic, so you need to make sure that you have exchanged some cash into NZ dollars, prior to going to the Police office.
Note that handguns, some military style semi-automatic rifles and short barreled shotguns (less than 20 inches) are restricted in New Zealand and should not be brought on your hunting trip. Handguns are illegal for hunting in New Zealand and should not be brought into the country.
Trophy Crate Broker info
Following is two brokers we have used in the past and can recommend:
Fauna & Flora Customhouse Brokerage
Jamaica, New York
1 – 888 – 826 – 4388 ext 120
Other New Zealand Info
Population 4.4 million.
Land area about the size of California.
Electricity is 240 volt 50 hertz, 3 pin flat angled (same as Australia).
Each bedroom at Woodbury Safari Lodge has a hair dryer, curling iron & straightener iron.
Most electronics are dual voltage, so just need an adapter plug.
Tap drinking water is very safe to drink.
New Zealand has no dangerous animals or snakes at all.
New Zealand has a 15% GST tax on goods and services, which is included in the retail price (not added at time of purchase). The GST tax is non-refundable when leaving New Zealand. Hunt prices include GST where required.
New Zealand has very strong sunshine, during early season hunts (February – April) sun block is recommended, even when temperatures are not that hot.
We recommend that our hunters take out full & comprehensive travel & medical insurance prior to traveling to New Zealand.
Safari Club International members can apply to the following company for excellent equipment insurance:
Sportsman’s Insurance Agency, Inc.
1450 North US 1, Suite 500
Ormond Beach, Florida 32174
Another option worth looking at is: www.travelguard.com
If bringing your cell phone, Blackberry/iPhone etc with you to New Zealand, make sure that you call your service provider prior to leaving to make sure you have it set up for international roaming. We have both GSM & CDMA cell networks in NZ (Vodaphone & Telecom)
If you are planning on using your Visa/Mastercard in New Zealand, it is recommended to call your credit card company prior to leaving and let them know to expect charges to come through from New Zealand. We have found it common for blocks to be put on cards, especially if for larger dollar amounts.
On the Visitors Firearms Licence, there is a question asking for your “Firearms Licence in country of origin”, if you do not have this requirement where you live, then use your latest state hunting licence or concealed carry permit and bring that with you to New Zealand. It shows that you legally own & use firearms in your country of residence. Make sure to confirm the airport you will be doing your clearance at if faxing the form, rather than completing online.
Arrival & departure days are not considered hunt days for hunters.
Non-hunters are charged on a per night basis at Woodbury Lodge (e.g. a 5 day hunt is 6 nights at lodge)
American Express is not accepted for any form of payment.
We do not supply any alcoholic drinks (beer, wine or liquor) but you are very welcome to bring your own or buy on arrival to New Zealand.
Fraser Safaris lodges are all 100% non-smoking inside, smoking OK outside in designated areas.
Fraser Safaris NZ retains ownership of meat from all harvested trophies. We do not offer export meat processing.
If you have any special needs or diet requirements, please let us know prior to your hunt.