The quickest, easiest and cheapest way to get to New Zealand is to fly. It is possible to arrive by sea, but there are no international passenger ferries, so unless you own a boat this means joining a cruise, crewing on a private yacht, or paying for your passage on a cargo ship (a rewarding experience for those who like sea journeys – find out more at w freightertravel.co.nz).
Air fares depend on the season, with the highest during the New Zealand summer (Dec–Feb); prices drop during the shoulder seasons (Sept–Nov & March–May) and you’ll get the cheapest rates during the low (ski) season (June–Aug).
Arriving in New Zealand, your only real choice, unless you’re coming from Australia, is between the international airports at Auckland and Christchurch. Christchurch receives fewer direct flights but many scheduled airlines have a codeshare shuttle from Auckland at no extra cost. The most desirable option, an open-jaw ticket (flying into one and out of the other), usually costs no more than an ordinary return.