New Zealand Health, Medical and Insurance
Before travelling to New Zealand review the following health and safety facts.
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
New Zealand is a country without snakes or dangerous wild animals, making it safe for visitors to enjoy outdoor activities. 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, except as a result of an accident. We strongly advise you to arrange your own health insurance.
Visitors bringing in a quantity of medication are advised to have a doctor's certificate to avoid possible problems with Customs. Doctor's prescriptions are needed to obtain certain drugs in New Zealand.
No vaccinations are needed to enter 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.
Accident Advice for Visitorsx
A private company called Accident Info Services can advise visitors to New Zealand on how best to access New Zealand's health system should they have an accident or need medical attention for an illness. The 24 hour service can give advice on where to go and can arrange for a medical practitioner to visit the patient.
Patients access the service by telephoning +64 9 529 0488. No prior arrangements need to be made. For free information on the service once you are in New Zealand, telephone 0800 263-345.
Although there are no snakes or dangerous wild animals in New Zealand, you should be aware of the following:
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.
In wetter areas, particularly in Fiordland, sandflies can be pests, but are effectively controlled by use of an insect repellent.
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.
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.