Views of the Southern Alps from an Air New Zealand flight

How long is the flight to New Zealand from the USA?

Here's a handy guide for our American friends, answering the question "How long is the flight to New Zealand from the USA?", with flight times to New Zealand from all the major North American airports.

Due to Covid-19, travelling to New Zealand is different today than it used to be. The below article refers to flight routes which were available before Covid-19 and these same routes may not be immediately available and subject to change.  

For more information read our article on travelling to New Zealand in a Post-Covid world.

How long is the flight to New Zealand?

From the USA, flying to New Zealand is fairly easy.  From Los Angeles and San Francisco the flight time to Auckland (our main international airport) is just over 13 hours. There are no refuelling stops or plane changes. Flights are direct and non-stop so there is a minimum of fuss and bother.

An added advantage is that flights from West Coast USA leave in the evening. This makes a lovely start to your vacation, so that you can wind-down with a relaxing evening, get a good night’s sleep, and wake up refreshed close to New Zealand (and your adventure).

From East Coast locations in USA like New York and Washington take a little longer, at around a total of 21 hours and there will be one stop.

Flight times from Southern USA like Houston and Miami take 14 ½ and 19 ½ hours respectively, also with one stop if you're coming from Miami but non-stop and direct from Houston.

Flights cross the USA and touch down generally in San Francisco or Los Angeles, and then travel the last 13 hours to Auckland, New Zealand.

Air New Zealand's latest service makes it super easy for midwest folks to come and visit, with direct non-stop flights from Chicago to Auckland commencing in November 2018. The flight time from Chicago to Auckland is just over 16 hours, a little longer than the west coast flights but much shorter than if you have to change planes.

Flight times to New Zealand from major North American cities

Flights to New Zealand from: Flight time to Auckland, New Zealand
Los Angeles 13 hours direct
San Francisco 13 hours direct
Vancouver 14 hours direct
Honolulu 9 hours direct
New York 21.5 hours (two flights)
Washington 21 hours (two flights)
Houston 14.5 hours direct
Chicago 16 hours direct
Miami 19.5 hours (two flights)

Is it longer to fly from the USA to New Zealand or to Europe or Asia?

Interestingly for travellers from North America, some flights to European destinations have similar to flight times to New Zealand.  

Compare the flight times below. You will find that, when travelling from the West Coast of the USA or Canada, the flight times are similar for you to get to New Zealand as many places in Europe. 

And just consider what is at the end of it. The trip of a lifetime!

Don’t forget New Zealand is one of the first places on earth to see the sun each day – an excellent point to brag about to your whanau (faa-no: Maori for wider family including friends).

Compare flight times from the USA to New Zealand and Europe

From   to Auckland, NZ to Paris  to London
Los Angeles 13 hours 11 hours 10 hours
San Francisco 13 hours 11 hours 7 hours
Vancouver 14 hours 12 hours 9 hours
Honolulu 9 hours 22 hours 17 hours
New York 21.5 hours 7 hours 8 hours
Washington 21 hours 8 hours 7 hours
Houston 14.5 hours 9.5 hours 9 hours
Chicago 16 hours 8 hours 8 hours
Miami 18.5 hours 8.5 hours 8 hours

Compare flight times from the USA to New Zealand and Asia

From to Auckland, NZ to Tokyo to Shanghai to Bangkok
Los Angeles 13 hours 12 hours 14 hours 19 hours
San Francisco 13 hours 10.5 hours 13.5 hours 19 hours
Vancouver 14 hours 10 hours 11 hours 18 hours
Honolulu 9 hours 8 hours 12.5 hours 16 hours
New York 21.5 hours 17 hours 18 hours 19 hours
Washington 21 hours 16 hours 18 hours 20 hours
Houston 14.5 hours 10 hours 18.5 hours 22.5 hours
Chicago 16 hours 13 hours 14.5 hours 20 hours
Miami 18.5 hours 19 hours 20 hours 21 hours

Finding a flight is the first step to visiting New Zealand

One of the first things you need to know is how to get here, and you probably think that getting to New Zealand requires a long flight? The good news is that it may not take as long as you think, and airlines (especially our national carrier Air New Zealand) are working really hard to make your flight super comfortable and fun.

At the end of  2018 Air New Zealand commenced non-stop flights from Chicago to Auckland, adding to their existing services to New Zealand from the North American ports of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vancouver and Houston.

You may think it's a long way to New Zealand, and we know it's longer than flying inside North America, but when you compare it to other main holiday spots around, flying to New Zealand stacks up pretty well. Which is longer, the flight to New Zealand or the flights to Paris, London, Tokyo, Shanghai or Bangkok? That's all here too.

Lots of people make the flight from the North America for our small group tours every year and they all tell us is that it's definitely worth it, one sleep on a plane and you're in New Zealand! If that's not a great deal then we don't know what is!

When you look at a world map, you’ll see that New Zealand is isolated. It is surrounded in fact, by over 2500 kilometres (1500 miles) of ocean to the nearest land mass and that’s just in one direction towards Australia.  If you're flying to New Zealand from North America, it is many more miles in your direction.

Fortunately, New Zealand is very well-connected for folks in USA and Canada.   

Why fly all the way to New Zealand?

To visit places like this, Milford Sound

Cruising on Milford Sound

What to expect when you arrive in New Zealand?

When you arrive in New Zealand there will be a few things you notice straight away:

  • Our weather will be different to yours at home. Our seasons are the opposite from the northern hemisphere, so if you left in winter it will be summer here (which you'll love). For more info, read about our weather and climate here so that you pack the right gear (clothing).
  • The pace of life is a bit slower here. There is no hurry; we will have time to get to know you well.
  • Everyone is friendly and smiling at you, even in an airport. Don't worry it's normal, you're in New Zealand now!

Why does everyone love New Zealand so much?

Sure, it's a beautiful country, everyone knows that. But what you'll notice right away is something different, a connection with people and a real sense of caring.

It's hard to explain, you'll just have to come down and find out for yourself. We have a wonderful country and great people, and we want to show you all our favourite spots. We can’t say more than that!

We hope you've found this travel article helpful for your trip.

We're MoaTrek, and we've been running small group tours here in New Zealand since the early 1970s, and we love nothing more than sharing all our favourite spots with visitors.

To start the ball rolling on your "Dream Trip to New Zealand" drop us a line, we'd love to chat.

North America to New Zealand Flight Route Map

Map showing flight routes and times from North America to New Zealand
Tours you’ll love