ClubMates Travel

Accessible Travel in New Zealand

Featured image of Blog post about Accessible Travel to New Zealand
Read this article from our disability travel writers: Accessible Travel to New Zealand
Traveling to New Zealand is a dream for many. It offers breathtaking landscapes, a wide range of activities and unique Maori travel.

Here at ClubMates Travel, we’ve got three full-supported trips coming up to New Zealand. And they’re all very different. So we thought this was a great opportunity to give you some insights about how accessible New Zealand is.

Fun fact: New Zealand is one of the world’s leading destinations for accessible travel. And the bonus is that it’s easy to get to from Australia.
So let’s take a look at:
  1. Getting to and travelling around New Zealand, and
  2. Things to do
We’ll then end this blog with some information about our upcoming New Zealand trips.

Traveling to and getting around New Zealand


Airports around New Zealand provide great accessibility with:

  • doors wide enough for wheelchair access
  • mobility car parks
  • taxis and shuttles
  • wheelchairs for your flights

We’ve found most airports have information about accessibility on their websites.

Air New Zealand also assist those needing help with travel. Our booking consultants work with the airline to make sure all passsngers’ acessibility needs are met. Learn more about this by visiting their Flying with a disability pages.

Public transport in New Zealand

Most public transport services in New Zealand claim to provide for wheelchair assistance, but this can vary depending on what mobility equipment you utilise. To learn more, you’ll need to visit the website of the service you’re after. It does take a bit of research to know exactly which services you can use, but our team does all that as part of the booking process.

The New Zealand Transport Agency lists public transport providers here.

Intercity national bus network

InterCity is New Zealand’s national bus network. This allows you to travel by bus between different regions of New Zealand. As their drivers travel alone, they do have some limitations regarding the level of assistance they are able to provide, and therefore passengers must be able to board and disembark the bus without assistance from the driver. On our supported tours, there is always a guide to assist passengers to embark and disembark vehicles and ensure any mobility needs are met. 

You can learn more about their special assistance here.
A friendly bus driver in New Zealand
Bus travel in NZ is generally very accommodating to people with disabilities, but you need to check with each service their specific restrictions.

Self-drive and mobility parking

A road trip is one of the best ways to see New Zealand. And there are specialist car rental companies that rent out accessible vehicles.

Both Freedom Mobility and Disability Rentals have fleets of accessible vehicles. This includes hand-controlled, wheelchair-suitable vehicles, left foot drive and swing-out seat vehicles.

Mobility parking permits from overseas are not recognised everywhere in New Zealand. So it’s best to organise a visitor’s mobility parking permit before travelling to New Zealand.

You can find more information about mobility parking applications and renewals here. And you can find the New Zealand Mobility Parking Permit application form for overseas visitors here.

Things to do

Accessible beaches and tracks

With over 15,000 km of coastline, there is no shortage of beautiful beaches to visit in New Zealand.

Check out Accessible Beaches New Zealand to find which beaches are accessible-friendly. They continue to add more beaches to their website. Want to rent a beach wheelchair? Check out the Beachwheels New Zealand website.
Do you prefer the bush over the beach? Some of New Zealand’s bush tracks are wheelchair accessible. You can search for these on the Department of Conservation website. The AllTrails website also lists some of the best wheelchair-friendly trails in New Zealand.
Sign for Beach Access in NZ
There are lots of accessible beaches for wheelchairs in NZ and they keep adding to the list every year.

Adventure activities

If you love getting an adrenaline rush, check out the Inclusive Tourism Directory to find adventurous activities that suit you.
Also check out the Accessible Places Library. This has information about accessible places across New Zealand.

Are you feeling inspired to cross the ditch for a holiday?

If you are considering international travel for the first time, NZ is a great way to stretch your legs. It’s a welcoming and accessible country for people with special needs, but organising, booking and travelling without support can be daunting for many. And that’s where we come in. We’re one of the very few travel companies that provide fully-supported holidays for NDIS participants.

We’ve got three very different trips to New Zealand planned for the second half of 2023. Our trips leave from every city in Australia. And they’re a whole package solution that includes:

  • flights
  • meals
  • accessible accommodation
  • land transport
  • activities
  • a carer

Travel gives NDIS participants more choice and control over their lives. And it can help participants build confidence, independence and social connections.

Benefits of booking your travel through us include:

  • we plan all of the trip for you, making it as stress-free as possible. This is regardless of whether you book one of our group trips or if we help you with an individual holiday
  • having trained and caring support workers travel with you
  • we’re an NDIS Registered Provider, helping you access funding for your dream travel experience.

Take a look at these upcoming trips to New Zealand. Each of them has something different to offer:

Bay of Islands

Bay of Islands Maori welcome, NZ
Explore pristine waters, spot dolphins and learn about Maori culture in the Bay of Islands tour.

The Bay of Islands is on the east coast of the far north of New Zealand. It’s a popular fishing and sailing spot that incorporates 144 islands.

Duration: 7 days

Departing: 30 October 2023

Itinerary includes:
  • a scenic road trip from Auckland to Paihia
  • a cruise around the Bay of Islands
  • visiting the largest island in the Bay of Islands
  • a shopping trip

Find more about the trip by clicking here.

New Zealand to Australia Cruise

NZ to Aus Cruise
Visit New Zealand on board an accessible cruise liner and enjoy delicious food & onboard activities.

If you prefer cruising, why not fly to Auckland and cruise back to Australia? After a day in Auckland, cruise back to Australia while enjoying:

Duration: 8 days

Departing: 27 November 2023

Itinerary includes:
  • the stunning waters of Hauraki Gulf Marine Park
  • a luxury ship where you can wine, dine and enjoy nightly cabaret shows
  • playing ship trivia, singing karaoke or watching the latest movies
  • the sun, swimming and watching the world go by.

Learn more about this cruise here.

North Island Culture

Stunning thermal lake in Rotorua, NZ
Stunning thermal lake in Rotorua, NZ

Arguably one of the country’s most iconic locations, check out the stunning landscapes of Rotorua:

Duration: 7 days

Departing: 13 March 2024

Itinerary includes:
  • the Hobbiton village featured in the ‘Lord of the Rings’
  • learning more about New Zealand’s natural and military histories
  • visiting a farm show at Agrodome
  • cruising Lake Rotomahana
  • enjoying the Maori Thermal Village and experiencing a traditional hangi.

Learn more about the trip here.

Want to know more about how to access NDIS funding for a supported travel experience?

Contact our team now on info@clubmates.com or call 1300 158 003.
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