New Zealand for Seniors Travel

Much like Australia, New Zealand is quite friendly to senior travellers; indeed, it is a country of seniors, as many of the Baby Boomers have watched their children head off to the U.K. and America in search of better opportunities and jobs. In light of their own aging population, New Zealanders are incredibly welcoming toward mature visitors and you will find that many of your Australian senior benefits will be honoured in New Zealand.

Camper van travel. Camper van travel is all the rage in New Zealand, especially on the stunningly beautiful South Island. You’ll find plenty of places to hire a camper van and there are numerous pull-in sites and campgrounds to take advantage of. As well, all public land around the country is open for overnight camping. Ferries carry cars and camper vans between islands from Wellington to Picton. Check out the New Young Travel Car and Campervan Hire page.

Tours. Adventurous seniors might want to sign up for an all-inclusive seniors tour of New Zealand.  There are so many companies offering senior travel discounts it is not worth mentioning them all.  Make sure that you ask your travel agent or the tour company direct when booking about seniors discounts.

Wineries. New Zealand has some 450 wineries, many situated in the lush Marlborough Valley of the South Island. Since New Zealand’s wineries are scattered around both islands, you can opt to drive between them, sampling a number of varietals, or sign up for a wine tour, such as those offered by Grape Escape.

Scenery. New Zealand’s biggest draw is perhaps its scenery, which consists of stark mountains, snowy peaks, rugged coastline, extinct volcanos and exotic farmland. The fjordlands are arguably the most beautiful area of the country, located on the South Island. A cruise through Milford Sound offers up-close views of stunning rock faces and hidden waterfalls and includes breakfast or lunch. If you’re an adventurous senior, you might also want to explore the many opportunities for tramping in New Zealand, whether through elegant mountains or along rocky beaches.

Maori Culture. New Zealand’s native Maori culture is one of its most beautiful and unique elements. It is possible to visit the bush and experience firsthand the elements of Maori culture that are so special through tours like Maori Tours, which offers half-day treks that bring you into the unique Maori landscape.

Shopping. If it’s a more cosmopolitan flair you’re after, make for New Zealand’s cities. Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin all offer different types of shopping, from cute local boutiques to secondhand shops and trinket stores. You may wish to pick up a Maori jewellery piece, including the beautiful jade, bone and blackshell pieces, and colourful paua shell necklaces. Likewise, you can invest in a comfortable Marino wool jumper, made locally from the wool of New Zealand’s 39 million sheep.

Climate. Being a snip further south than Oz, you may find New Zealand’s climate to be slightly different, but still incredibly pleasant. The country generally enjoys mild summers and rainy winters, though the central parts of the South Island can get quite cold in winter. There is plenty of snow in the mountains for winter sports and plenty of sunshine on the beach for summer fun. Try to pack light layers, as the weather can change quickly here.

Seniors travel deals and discounts.  New Zealand is undoubtedly one of the best destinations for Australians to travel to at the moment in terms of value.  The airlines are offering extremely competitive fares as the seat capacity grows almost on a daily basis.  You are also in a position in New Zealand to use the strong Australian Dollar to your advantage.  If you are willing to do your research, particularly on the net, you will certainly nab a few great travel bargains.  And don’t be afraid to negotiate and bargain your prices directly with the accommodation suppliers.  Also, check out in your planning, it is similar to our hot dockets site.  You can download discount coupons for accommodation and restaurants.  Make sure you sign up for Seniors Card NZ. It is available to everyone (not just New Zealanders) provided you are over 55.  There is a small fee for the card but it gives you access to loads of negotiated discounts. 

User submitted comments

Bev Saegenschnitter

Posted: 10 Apr 2011 1:01pm

I spent September and October 2010 driving a motorhome around NZ as a solo senior (I am 60, my husband is younger and still working!). It was a wonderful experience and I’d recommend it to others. My blog on the experience is (you’ll need to copy and paste into browser window). Enjoy the journey!

doug ferguson

Posted: 07 Dec 2011 10:14am

Thank you. Going to New Zealand has been my dream for almost 40 years. Your pictures were stunning. I jsut turned 64 and decided I can not wait any longer!

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