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Travel Information

R.D. 9 Garlands Road Waimate
South Canterbury
New Zealand 8971
Toll Free No: 1-866-742-5378 (after 3 pm USA time) 


I hope this letter finds you fit and well for your trip to New Zealand. You will find details below on general travel requirements, our recommended gear list, firearm import information, trophy shipping, and a host of other important information to best prepare you for your trip and hunt. Following this detailed information will ensure your travel goes smoothly to New Zealand and then again, back home with your trophies.

I look forward to having you as our guest at New Zealand Hunting. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Best Regards, Gary 


All travelers leaving the USA must have a valid USA Passport for international travel. If a passport must be obtained or renewed, this can be done at certain United States post offices. You should allow 10-12 weeks for processing. No entry visa is required for most countries. However, certain country passport holders may need to apply for a tourist visa. Consult us accordingly. 


On arrival in New Zealand, when filling out your New Zealand Customs Declaration Form, be sure to declare your firearm(s) (in addition to the ‘Visitors Firearms Licence’ detailed below) and hunting boots. Also make sure your boots and all packed footwear are cleaned spotlessly. If you fail to declare or have unclean footwear, you may be fined 200 NZ$. It is helpful to keep your footwear packed in the top of your bag, so you can easily find them when you arrive at customs.

If you are traveling with your firearm, it will be processed at the Police Desk, opposite the baggage carousels on arrival in Auckland. It is also very likely that your checked firearm case will be delivered directly to the Police desk, and NOT placed on the carousel at baggage claim. The police will simply confirm the serial number of the firearm (s), collect the 25 NZD fee, and provide you with a stamped permit for your travel. This permit will also be presented to NZ Customs prior to leaving the airport. Further details on obtaining the NZ import permit is provided on Page 7 & 8. 

Airline Travel, Hotel, and Trip Planning

We recommend that you start making your hotel and airline flight reservations 9-10 months in advance, as the most economic travel and accommodation can be hard to book at specific times during the season, if left at short notice. However, you may want to wait until at least September/October, in an attempt to book around the high USA travel/booking season.

When you contact the travel agent, you must keep in mind, that when traveling to New Zealand, you will ‘lose’ a day getting there. For example, if you depart the USA on the 10th, you will arrive in New Zealand on the 12th. And in regard to your return trip – if you depart New Zealand on the 20th, you will arrive back in the USA on the 20th. Furthermore, we recommend that you arrive in Queenstown at least two (2) days before the start date of your hunt – or your first hunting day. This allows you to relax from your journey and adjust to the climate and time changes, and also not be rushed into your hunting. For example, if your hunt starts on the 12th, you would need to depart on the 8th to arrive on the 10th. You would have one night in Queenstown, which would be for the 10th, checking out the 11th. We would then pick you up from your hotel on the 11th and transfer you to the hunting lodge that afternoon. Check with us if you have any questions on your arrival and departure dates from the hunt so you can plan your travel accordingly. 

Booking online with Air New Zealand is simple and at times, considerably cheaper than a travel agent. Look at all departure airport options in your area, and also use the search by week option to get the best fare for flights.

Another option is to us the folks at ‘Travel Express’ to work your airline and hotel itineraries. They will be happy to price out your airfare itinerary for your trip to New Zealand. You are welcome to use your own travel agent; however we suggest you consider also getting a quote from ‘Travel Express’ for your trip. 

Travel Express:

Jennifer Ginn, Owner/Agent Travel Express
PO Box 493, Hamilton, MT 59840
Phone: 800-808-4868 / 406-363-0883 Fax: 888-690-1470
SKYPE: TravelExpressAgency
And one more note on air travel, the airlines are strictly enforcing their carry-on and check-in baggage allowances, so be aware of what you plan to bring back from New Zealand when you pack for your trip. Get the latest details on allowances on the airline websites. 

Hotel Accommodation

Depending on your final arrival/departure destinations, likely Queenstown, you will need accommodation after or before your flights. Detailed below are our suggestions. Below are the hotels we recommend our clients use during their trip –

Queenstown Hotel
We recommend the Novotel Queenstown Lakeside (Tel. no. 011-64-3-442-7750) in Queenstown for your arrival in New Zealand. You can book your stay on-line at:

(Be advised that the best rates for the hotel are via the internet, so if you are not able to do so, ask your travel agent to make the booking for you accordingly) This is a nice hotel over looking the lake and is centrally located in town and within easy walking distance of many shops and restaurants. Expect to pay 75-200 NZD per night, depending on the season. Another option is the Mercure Resort Queenstown (Tel. no. 011-64-3-442-6600) also available on this website, in the event the Lakeside Hotel is full.

The Novotel Lakeside is normally where our hunters stay in Queenstown. The hotel may ask you to give them your firearm(s) so that it can be put in their secure area. This is a normal practice and you should not be offended if they request this on your arrival and check-in.
The taxi cab ride from the airport to the Hotel is approx. 10 minutes. If however, you are arriving in Queenstown the day before your first hunting day, we will meet you at the airport on your arrival. If you are arriving anytime sooner, you will need to take a taxi (Abt. 30 NZD) to your hotel. 

And if the above hotels are fully booked, or the rate for your stay is higher than expected, you can also search for a room using or 

Before and After Hunt Travel

The following websites provide a good listing of what is available for your own travel plans throughout New Zealand.   or 

And for your touring and non-hunting activity possibilities, here is a good listing of websites which will help you research what is available in New Zealand: As a general guideline, to help you budget your trip, you should be able to secure excellent hotel accommodation, a car rental, and all meals, for around 500-600 NZD/day, regardless of it being for 1 or 2 persons.

Also, an excellent travel guide on New Zealand is offered by DK Eyewitness Travel Guides – the February 2014 edition, and can be purchased at a quality bookstore or ordered online. The cost is about 25 USD.

It’s also a good idea to call me when you have arrived in New Zealand, to confirm your travel is as going as planned. If you happened to be delayed or your arrival plans have changed, I can also change the arrangements to meet you accordingly.

And finally, please send me your arrival and departure details and any other travel information regarding your trip, no later than 2 weeks before your trip, or soonest after you have booked your flights and hotel reservations, preferably by email or fax for my records. Copy Fred as well for good order. 

Contact Telephone Numbers

I can be reached at one of the following number while you are in New Zealand:

Gary’s Cell Phone: 027-289-3104
Stag Lodge: 03-438-9819 (Stag-Wapiti-Fallow)
Waimate Lodge: 03-689-1131 (Gary’s home) 

When dialing from the USA, you must dial 011-64 and then the above number; however you must drop the 0 on the local #. When calling within New Zealand, dial the no. the way it reads above, without the 011-64 pre-fix. 

Firearm Rental

If you are NOT bringing your own firearm or would prefer to use one of ours at the lodge, we have a good selection of excellent firearms in 270, 30-06, 7 MM Mag and 300 Win Mag, 300 WSM including a left-handed 270 WIN. All our rifles are very reliable and accurate and are equipped with Zeiss, Leupold or Swarovski scopes. There is no charge for the use of our firearm(s) and ammunition for the hunt. However, if you wish to bring 20 or 40 rounds of the ammunition of your choice in our rifle, it would be appreciated. It is not necessary that you let me know before your arrival that you will be using one of our rifles during your hunt. 

NZ Customs does permit importation of firearm ammunition for hunting purposes, in an amount ‘deemed suitable for a visiting hunter’s trip’. Typically 40-60 rounds should not be a problem, however you must declare it to customs on arrival in Auckland, and follow your airlines regulations for checking it into your baggage.

Archery equipment should also be declared on arrival with Customs however no special import regulation or license applies for this equipment. 

USA Contact Information

Fred Kloos is our full time contact for your assistance in the USA, and you may contact him with any question regarding your hunt or trip. Email is best, and then his cell number, as he does quite a bit of traveling for the business.

Fred R Kloos
Cell: 301-675-2422

Trophy Shipment

As soon as you return home from your hunt, if you haven’t already done so, contact GV International Freight Ltd with an email explaining that you have hunted with me and confirm all relevant info regarding your desired shipping details. All the information outlined on the Trophy Shipment Instructions, provided to you on Page 11, will be required to arrange your trophy shipment. It is therefore best to email or fax these instructions.

Export Airfreight Account
Phone: 011-64 3 358 4087
DDI: 011-64 3 358 0005
Fax: 011-64 3 358 4152

I will provide you with your trophy shipment cost at the end of your hunt and will ask you to pay for this item before your departure. This charge will be for your trophy processing, crating, export permit, and NZ to USA destination shipping to 1st port of entry. 

Firearm / Valuables Insurance

If your homeowner’s does not adequately cover your firearms and valuables, or another insurance policy, you may want to review the coverage provided to Safari Club International members by Sportsman’s Insurance Agency, Inc. The company offers worldwide/complete replacement coverage, with no deductible, at 1.25 USD per 100 USD coverage. Coverage for 8,000 USD of valuables costs about only 100 USD per year.

Sportsman’s Insurance Agency, Inc.
1450 North US 1, Suite 500
Ormond Beach, Florida 32174
Tel: 1-800-925-7767

Note: You must be a SCI member to obtain this coverage, which costs an additional 55 USD, if you are not already a member. 

Suggested Hunting Gear List

New Zealand weather patterns are very unpredictable, and are constantly changing from day to day and even hour to hour. It can rain or snow at anytime of the year. Even if your hunt is planned for late summer or early autumn (March/April), we recommend you bring one full set of warm hunting clothes, including some type of insulated underwear. We also suggest that for a Feb/Mar trip, you bring a set of lightweight (summer) clothes. A warm, winter layer should be packed for June, July and August hunts. After saying this, our weather is usually very mild and we do not experience the extreme cold temperatures like those encountered throughout North America. The best way to dress is in layers, and to avoid the heavy and bulky items.

  • 1 or 2 pair hunting trousers – light / medium weight 
  • 2 shirts – one light and one medium weight
  • 3 pair of woolen socks
  • 2 silk or poly material base layer jerseys
  • 2 pair of base layer shorts
  • 1 set of insulating underwear – preferably wool or poly
  • 1 light weight jacket
  • 1 warm hunting jacket
  • 1 set of high quality lightweight/breathable raingear – jacket and pants
  • 2 pair of gloves – 1 lightweight or leather, the other waterproof
  • warm or insulated hat or cap
  • well broken in waterproof boots – CLEAN (a good support boot (Meindl/Kenetrek/Lowa/Schnee’s style)
  • binoculars (preferably 8 or 10 power, the guides are outfitted with excellent spotting scopes) 
  • rangefinder
  • small day pack
  • lightweight flashlight and / or head lamp
  • camera – digital cards, with your 110/220v charger
  • sunglasses
  • rifle with at least 40 rounds of ammunition, preferably the one you shot very well

As per personal items – it is recommended that you bring at least 2 times the required stay days for prescriptions and daily-required medicines for the duration of your trip to New Zealand. These should also NOT be packed in your luggage, but taken as carry-on to avoid lost baggage delays. Also, it is a good idea to bring an extra – pair of glasses, contacts and daily cleaner, and other ‘essential’ items for your trip. Also, consider sun screen, allergy medicine, and any other type of ‘seasonal’ item which you may require during your trip.

Also a point to remember, you will be hunting from a lodge and the staff will wash and dry your clothes overnight if necessary. Pay extra attention to your airline baggage allowances and limitations. Excess baggage charges are very costly and are not needed on your New Zealand trip.

Also, hair dryers, irons, and 220v/110v power converters are available at the lodge. If your charging equipment reads 110v-220v & 50-60 Hz on the UL label, you will only need a plug adapter to use your charging equipment in New Zealand (other than at our lodge), which can be purchased at the airport in Los Angeles or at local Radio Shack. 

Firearms Overview – USA Return with a Firearm:

Just as importantly as your New Zealand Import License, you must have a USA Customs clearance of your firearm on your return trip home. It is essential that you obtain the USA Customs Form – 4457 for the firearm(s) you bring into New Zealand. This form must be completed and signed/stamped by a US Customs Officer before your departure from the United States. Customs is interested on where you purchased the firearm for tax purposes. On the Form 4457, list not only the firearm details – make, model, caliber and serial number, but also the scope details – make, model, and serial number.

You can obtain more information regarding USA Customs regulations on firearms using the following website link:

A list of all the USA Ports of Entry, by State, can be found on the following:

New Zealand Firearm Import Requirements:

A lot of information here, however the process for bringing in your own firearm into New Zealand to hunt is actually simple, provided you take the time to understand the requirements before your trip. General information and suggestions –

Be sure to complete your application online –

It is a good idea to bring along a previously issued Hunter’s Safety Card or Firearm’s Permit or Hunting License to show the Police that you have legally hunted in the USA or another country. If you don’t have one, don’t worry as this is just a suggestion. Be sure to have your CBP Form 4457.

You should have a minimum of 25 NZ dollars to pay for your firearms permit. The police will NOT accept USD or credit cards. It is best to obtain some NZ$ at the exchange office in LAX airport. We suggest having 200 NZ$ for use in your arrival in New Zealand – to cover the firearm’s permit, taxi fares, meals, etc. Also, the airline will likely deliver your rifle case directly to the Police Permit Registration desk, opposite the baggage carousel. On arrival, go directly to this counter to obtain your firearm and permit. If you follow these points, it should take you no longer than 10-15 minutes to clear your firearm with customs.

Also, for the form, be advised your departing airport – is either Auckland or Christchurch, whichever airport you are departing from the country, not Queenstown. 

Visitors Import License – what is required for your online application

  1. Your personal details
  2. Your passport details
  3. Country of Issue
  4. Evidence you have a firearms licence (or equivalent) in your own country. When completing the form section – ‘Firearms Licence Number in Country of Origin’, we suggest that you leave this -blank- and bring a past or current USA / State Hunting License, Firearm, or Safety Certificate. This number can then be entered if required.
  5. Address while in NZ: 1398 Birchwood Drive, Omarama South Island, NZ
  6. Place where firearms will be stored while in NZ: Lodge Firearm Storage
  7. Who with: Gary Herbert
  8. Their NZ Firearms No.: RO458376
  9. Purpose of importation: Booked hunting and touring stay
  10. Flights: Arrival and Departure Airport, Date, Flight Numbers
  11. Firearm Details: Description, Make, Model/Caliber, Serial Number

NEW – Recommendation traveling with Firearm Baggage

Unfortunately, it is unclear and inconsistent between the various airlines what is required regarding checked firearm and ammunition baggage. Recently, we have been ‘told’ that the passenger should call and advise the airline that a firearm/ammunition will be checked in on departure. We therefore recommend that if you are bringing a Firearm/Ammunition, that you contact each of the Airlines on your travel itinerary, at least 2 full weeks before departure, to confirm that a firearm/ammunition will be part of your checked baggage. Also, ask the agent to make a note of same on your booking or reservation. A good time to do this at the same time of faxing the New Zealand Firearm Permit application into Auckland/Christchurch as noted above.

Here are some of the Airline’s Customer Service numbers for your reference:

Air New Zealand   1-800-262-1234
American Airlines   1-800-433-7300
Delta Airlines    1-800-455-2720
United Airlines   1-800-864-8331
Quantas   1-800-227-4500

Also, regarding your ammunition be aware that the airlines have a specific weight restriction (typically a maximum of 5 kgs) on the amount of ammunition permitted in checked baggage. This equates to 2-4 boxes or 60-80 rounds of rifle ammo. Do not exceed the weight limit.

Airport Travel and New Zealand Arrival Procedure

Today, speak to any seasoned traveler and you will know that airplane travel is the most difficult and sometimes trying aspect of any journey. Customer service appears to be an unknown term in the airline’s dictionary. And furthermore, it is slightly more complicated when flying with a checked firearm. But only in the sense that it is very difficult to obtain accurate and reliable information on checking firearms. However, if you are knowledgeable of the general requirements, you should have no problem with the process. We take the time here to offer you some basic incite to making the journey to New Zealand from home.

  1. Make sure the airline reservation has a note on your reservation that you will be checking a firearm(s) and ammunition, at time of your booking or 2 weeks in advanceTry to obtain the airline’s (each airline used on your travel) firearm baggage check requirement – they normally state simply that the firearm is to be unloaded and checked in an airline suitable or approved case, with ammunition checked separately. Keep a copy with your travel documents and reference it if the agent is not sure of their own policy. Be ‘helpful’ if you can.If the rifle is a bolt action, remove the bolt, and place it in the firearm case – an old sock works well, but do not put it in any other check-in bag.Your ammunition should be limited to 40-60 rounds. The FAA limit is actually 5 kgs, about 10+ lbs. Pack your ammo in the factory boxes, or use ONLY packaging designed specifically for ammo, and keep all in a container of some type so if they ask to see it and weigh it, it is easy for you to find in your luggage. I use a ‘Strong Case’ aluminum lockable box which is perfect in shape and size. Also, do not put the ammo in with the rifle case. (FAA and TSA actually state that this is not a requirement, but the airline typically does)All misc firearm parts – bolt, magazines, slings, scopes, cleaning kits, ANYTHING that looks like a part or used on a firearm, must be place in your checked rifle case as well. Also knives and other weapon type things (I had camo duct tape cause an issue in Canada!) If in doubt, always check it.Arrive 3 hrs minimum before departure… go to the check-in desk, and advise the agent immediately that you have a firearm(s) and ammo to check, and you may even state that it should be noted on your reservation record.They will ask you to sign a card which states the firearm is unloaded, and then you will place it in the case. They do not ask to see or handle the firearm. Do not forget to lock the case!After you have checked in and received your boarding passes, tell the agent you will stay near the desk, and in 15 mins or so, ask the agent if the firearm went through TSA screening ok. (On one occasion, they called me in the airport and I had to exit security and they brought the case back to me to be opened and re-screened)When you are confident it is cleared, proceed through security and your gate as normal.

Arrival in Auckland

Your firearm should be checked all the way through your itinerary; however, you will need to obtain your NZ Firearms permit and clear NZ customs in Auckland, before checking in for your domestic flight from Auckland to Queenstown. So here is this routine.

  1. Enter passport control on arrival – they will typically ask you why you are there and for how long. Simple and truthful answers are the only way to go.Proceed to baggage claim and on the arrival carousel, pick-up your checked bag (not firearm case). Use a cart – it’s free.Proceed to the Police desk, directly opposite the carousel, where your firearm case will be brought from the plane (it should not be on the carousel)Present your Firearm Application form to the officer – the one you have completed online as per our instructions. They will recover your file and then ask you to open the case to verify the Serial No., stamp your permit, and collect their 25 NZ$ fee.With permit now cleared and in hand, proceed to NZ Customs, provide them with your customs arrival form and your cleared NZ Firearms permit.Once you have cleared customs, you will drop your baggage off on the transfer baggage desk and exit International arrivals and you then need to proceed to the NZ Domestic Terminal
The Domestic Terminal is about a 15 min walking or transfer ride from the International Terminal. I suggest that you walk to the domestic terminal. You simply follow the blue painted line on walkway, out to the right, and it will take you to the Domestic Terminal. If the weather is crummy, you can also take a bus.At the Domestic Check-in for your flight from Auckland to Queenstown, you will check-in to your flight and obtain your boarding pass. This should be a simple process, as you have already arrived in NZ and now just traveling onwards. Then get a coffee or a light bite and relax. The hard part is over.  

Any further questions for preparing for your hunt or trip, call myself or Fred Kloos in (Maryland-USA)

Fred’s cell – 1-301-675-2422

Expediting Instructions

The below ‘form’ is included in the downloads of this page

2018 Nz Trip Travel Notes Page 11

Download printable pages as:

– Travel Information (pdf)