There’s something for every kind of traveler in New Zealand, whether you’re looking to take in the scenery on the newly reopened Coastal Pacific Train or catapult yourself across the Nevis Valley at 62 miles per hour. But as of October 1, New Zealand’s government will start making adventure seekers and slow travelers alike register and pay a new tourist tax before entering the country in order to strengthen border security and raise money for conservation and infrastructure projects in the country.
Similar to the upcoming European Travel Information and Authorization System, travelers will need to fill out an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) form online before they can enter New Zealand. Although it is not a visa, the ETA will take approximately 72 hours to get approved and will cost NZD$9 (approximately US$6) if you register via the mobile app or NZD$12 (about US$8) through the Immigration NZ website. The ETA is valid for up to two years and multiple visits to New Zealand.
Here’s who will need to register for the ETA before landing in New Zealand in the future:
- Visitors and anyone in transit from visa waiver countries (The United States, Canada, and United Kingdom are all included.)
- Cruise ship passengers of any nationality
- Australian permanent residents (noncitizens)
- Any cruise or airline crew members
Travelers with a valid New Zealand visa, New Zealand passport, or Australian passport will not need to register for an ETA. Those who do need to register and are traveling to New Zealand after October 1 will be able to request an ETA starting in July 2019 via the mobile app or website.
New Zealand will also begin charging most travelers a new International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) on October 1, to fund infrastructure and conservation projects throughout the country. All international visitors—except for Australians—will be charged NZD$35 (about US$24) per person. The government hopes that this new tax will bring in an additional NZD$57-$80 million (US$39-$54 million) a year. The new tax will be collected when you apply for an ETA and also will be valid for up to two years and multiple visits to New Zealand.
>> Next: Plan Your Trip With AFAR’s Guide to New Zealand