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How to Plan a Trip to China from New Zealand

China, a magic land full of history, culture and natural beauty, has been inspiring New Zealanders to travel around the country. There are a variety of ancient wonders and sights to be discovered, and all types of activities for you to experience. The language barrier makes people think it can be hard to plan a trip to China from New Zealand. But if you travel with us (our company has been established over 50 years) or take our advice, you China tour from New Zealand will be easy and smooth. 

Trip to China from New Zealand

Where is China?

Check the world map of China location, you will find China is also situated in the Eastern Hemisphere of earth, just like New Zealand, but in the northern part. In eastern Asia and west of Pacific Ocean, China borders 20 countries by land or by sea. With geographic differences, a trip to China will bring you not only a different culture experience but also different experiences of climate and landscape. 

Distance from New Zealand to China

How far is it from New Zealand to China? The shortest air travel distance between the two countries is 11,147 km / 6,926 miles / 6019 nautical miles. So your air journey to China will take around 11 hours.  

Time Difference between New Zealand and China

China has five time zones, though, it uses UTC/GMT+08:00 as standard time. We call it Beijing Time or China Time. 
New Zealand (UTC/GMT+12:00) is normally four hours ahead of China. But from late September or early October to early April or late March, when New Zealand is in summer time, you are five hours ahead of China. 

China location map 

Other Geographic Differences  


New Zealand

GPS Coordinates (DMS)

35° 51´ 41.9760'' N

104° 11´ 43.4400'' E

40° 54´ 2.0160'' S

174° 53´ 9.4920'' E


Average Elevation

1084 m (6,037 ft)

388 m (1,273 ft)

When to Go - Best Time to Visit China

Before your trip to China from New Zealand, you should understand that China has the exact opposite seasons, which means, when you are in summer, China is undergoing winter time. >> know more about China climate and weather
New Zealand in Four Seasons
China in Four Seasons
Spring: September - November
Summer: December - next February
Autumn: March - May
Winter: June - August
Spring: March - May
Summer: June - August
Autumn: September - November
Winter: December - next February

For our clients from New Zealand, we usually suggest them to visit China in autumn (when New Zealand is in spring time). However, you are also encouraged to travel to Harbin or northern China in winter (your summer season) to embrace the ice and snow, for a different and fun-filled Christmas and New Year Holiday. And if you are tired of the cold in winter, go visit China, there are warmer and hot destinations for your winter vacation. 

Good Time for experience tradional Chinese Festivals: Qingming Festival, Dragon Boat Festival, China Lunar New Year Festival, when the hotel rates may be higher than usual, but you may join the festivities for cultural experience or great fun.
Time to avoid traveling to China:
► China National Day Holiday, the ‘frightening’ Golden Week on October 1-7, when all sights are packed with domestic tourists
► May Day on May 1 – 3, when tourist crowds are everywhere, but fewer than National Day Holiday 

Tour to China from New Zealand

How to Apply for Chinese Visa

All foreign tourists, including NZ passport holders, are required to obtain a visa to enter China. You can summit your Chinese visa application to the visa office of the Embassy/Consulate-General Embassy of the People's Republic of China in New Zealand.  
You can find embassy or consulate-General of China in Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch. 
Embassy of PRC in New Zealand
2-6 Glenmore Street, Kelburn, Wellington
+64-4-4749631, 4733514  
Consulate-General of PRC in Auckland
630 Great South Road, Greenlane, Auckland
+64-9-5265680, 5713471
Consulate-General of PRC in Christchurch

106 Hansons Lane, Upper Riccarton, Christchurch

What is the requirement for NZ citizens travel to China? You need to apply for an L-Visa for tourist purpose. Prepare yourself with the basic documents like your valid passport, a completed visa application form and photos, and supporting documents like proof of round-trip air ticket booking and hotel reservation.
Processing time: it normally takes 4 working days to process the visa.
New Zealand citizens can enjoy visa-free access to Hong Kong, and can stay for up to 90 days. If traveling to Macau, they can stay for up to 30 days without a visa. 
With the visa-free transit pocicy, NZ citizens can travel to China without a visa:

China visa

Entry Cities - How to Get to China from New Zealand

Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Shanghai are the major entry cities when you plan a trip to China from New Zealand. Thanks to the increasing direct flights, now you can also choose to fly to Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing and Shenzhen directly. Therefore you have more flexibility of gateway city, exit city and travel route for your China tour.   

New Zealand to China direct flights

Non-stop Flights to China from New Zealand

Currently there are direct flights to China from Auckland and Christchurch, New Zealand, operated by Air New Zealand, Air China, Cathay Pacific Airways, China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines and some other airlines. 
Departure City in New Zealand
Arrival City in China
Notes for Schedule

Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing, Shenzhen

Daily flights from Auckland to Guangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong

Guangzhou, Hong Kong
Daily flights from Christchurch to Guangzhou
Notes: The air route and flight schedule are for reference only. Please check the official website of each airline for the accurate information and the airfares.  

Where to Go – Best Places to Visit in China for NZ Tourists

When planning your trip to China, you need to figure out what to see, where to visit and what interests you. If it is your first time to China, go visit the top destinations and big-name attractions. The Great Wall is a must. If you are planning your second or third time to China, you may focus on one or two places, or the specific things suitable to your interest, for instances, a foodie tour or a hiking tour. 

Top Destinations for NZ Tourists to Experience the Essence of China

Beijing – UNESCO heritage sites & top landmarks of China
  • Take cable car up to Mutianyu Great Wall, and take toboggan slide down. 
  • Stroll through Palace Museum and find a good guide to explain you the history and background stories. 
  • Riding through Beijing hutongs by bike or in a pedicab, for traditions tracing back hundreds of years
Chengdu – a cultural place where giant pandas live 
  • Hug a panda and take photos, join in panda volunteer program.
  • A leisure walk on Wide & Narrow Alleys or JInli Old Street
  • UNESCO heritage Leshan Giant Buddha and Mt. Emei are nearby Chengdu
Shanghai – the most popular destination in China and beyond
  • A stroll on the Bund, and the Town God Temple area including Yuyuan Garden
  • Have a panoramic of the city on Shanghai Tower or Oriental Pearl TV Tower.
  • There are several water towns around Shanghai, Zhujiajiao is the best. 
Xian – a city steeped in history
  • Terracotta Warriors was built 2000 years ago.
  • The ancient City Wall of Xian was the biggest and best-kept of its kind in China and was built in 1370. 
  • Many ancient architectures, pagodas and historical museums to be explored.

China tours from NZ
Yangtze Cruise: The fantastic cruise trip normally starts in Chongqing, and ends in Yichang. You will experience the uniqueness of China cruising to the Ghost City of Fengdu, Shibaozhai, a traditional Chinese architecture gem, Three Gorges Dam, etc. 
Suzhou: Many New Zealanders are living in Suzhou, a beautiful cultural city in China, famous for a dozen Chinese classical gardens and romantic water towns. 
Nature lovers often dream of traveling to Guilin and Yangshuo, the best scenic destinations in China, featuring surreal landscape on earth. Kunming is a similar destination, from which, you may plan an extension tour to Lijiang, Dali and Shangri-La. 
With non-stop flights, the bustling port cities of Guangzhou and Hong Kong are also popular destinations for NZ tourists. There are both modern and old historical & cultural heritages. And the cuisine is excellent. 
Trip to China from New Zealand

Best Foods to Try in China 

  • Peking Duck in Beijing
  • Dumpling banquet in Xian
  • Hot Pot in Chongqing
  • Sichuan Cuisine in Chengdu (learn to cook by yourself in Sichuan Cuisine Museum of Chengdu)
  • Dim Sum in Guangzhou

Recommended Tour Packages to China from New Zealand

A private China tour package with local English-speaking guides in each city is a high-value choice for NZ tourists to China. Top China Travel, committed to China tourism business for 50+ years, is glad to assist you in your China tour from New Zealand, to see ancient wonders, neon cities, quaint villages, highland lakes, and so many more…
The below all inclusive China tours are for your reference and make sure you will see all China highlights. They can be adjusted and customized based on your personal needs.  >> Check our clients’ reviews on TripAdvisor

11 Days Best Yangtze River Cruise Tour

Destinations: Beijing, Xian, Chongqing, Yangtze Cruise, Yichang, Shanghai
Highlight Attractions: Forbidden City, Mutianyu Great Wall, Olympic Park, Temple of Heaven, Old Beijing Hutong, Summer Palaces, Terracotta Warriors, Ancient City Wall of Xian, Yangtze River Cruise, the Bund
Why Recommended: Travel to the most popular China destinations for big-name attractions and have a relaxed, luxury cruise trip on China’s most legendary river.  
Destinations: Beijing, Xian, Guilin, Shanghai
Highlight Attractions: Forbidden City, Great Wall, Olympic Park, Temple of Heaven, Old Beijing Hutong, Terracotta Warriors, Ancient City Wall of Xian, Reed Flute Cave, Li River, the Bund, Shanghai Tower
Why Recommended: A classic China tour for you to visit ancient architecture wonders, UNESCO world heritages, one of the most beautiful rivers in the world... 
Destinations: Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Shanghai
Highlight Attractions: Forbidden City, Mutianyu Great Wall, Olympic Park, Summer Palace, Old Beijing Hutong, Chengdu Panda Base, Sichuan Cuisine Museum, Temple of Chen Family, West Lake, Wuzhen Water Town, Yuyuan Garden

Why Recommended: By taking this tour package to Guangzhou, Chengdu and other China destinations, you will not only taste the delicious, iconic foods in China, but also visit the most famous attractions.

18 Days Experience the Southwest Paradise of China
Destinations: Beijing, Xian, Guilin, Yangshuo, Kunming, Dali, Lijiang, Shangri-la, Shanghai
Highlight Attractions: Great Wall, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Terracotta Warriors, Li River Cruise, Stone Forest, Dali Three Pagodas, Lijiang Ancient Town, Tiger Leaping Gorge, Songzanlin Lamasery, Shanghai Jin Mao Tower
Why Recommended: Travel to China’s most cultural and most beautiful destinations. Visit the majestic UNESCO world heritages and enjoy the amazing nature with laid-back ambient. 

World Travelers' Reviews on Our China Tours

Since our company was founded in 1959, we have arranged China tour packages for many NZ travelers, e.g. Ms Heather WEBSTER (2 pax), who give positive feedback,
“We enjoyed everything about our trip and all the guides and drivers were wonderful. The itinerary was idea and we feel we had a good look around.

Thank you so much for the photos you sent to us in Shanghai and we would recommend you to any of our friends wishing to make a similar trip to China.
Hope all is going well for you and hopefully we will return to China one day.”

China Travel Tips for NZ Tourists 

Finally we list practical travel tips for your China tour from New Zealand, with which, you will know what needed to be prepared, the do's and don'ts in China and safety issues, tips for riding a train in China, etc. 
► What to Pack: necessary documents, clothes for different season, toiletries, the luggage suggestions, medicine, etc
► Survival Chinese: you are suggested to learn some frequently used Chinese words & expressions, especially for free independent travel in China
► How to use phone & access internet in China: follow our guidance, you can use mobile phone and access internet when traveling in China
Tips for travel in China by train: try bullet train in China, and learn the train ticket booking procedure and how to take a train in China
New Zealand Embassy in China, including those in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou