We love New Zealand and many of my clients either have it on their wish list or want to return. So it's great to see Air New Zealand Business Class award space open for many dates in May, June, July, August and September, even though these are the fall to winter months in the southern hemisphere. It does coincide with U.S. school vacations though, making it easier for many folks to get away.
Air New Zealand flies nonstop to Auckland from Los Angeles LAX and San Francisco SFO in the U.S., although I see more award space for two people from LAX than from SFO. There's also more award space in July-September than in April-May.
How Much is a New Zealand Business Class Award?
Air New Zealand is part of the Star Alliance, so you can book it several ways, for example:
- 80,000 United MileagePlus miles + ~$30-$40 per person each way
- 80,000 Aeroplan miles + ~CAD 40-50 per person each way
- 120,000 ANA Mileage Club miles per person round trip (ANA does not permit one way awards on partners)
Which Points Transfer to United, Aeroplan and ANA?
Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer 1:1 to United MileagePlus, and transfers are typically instant. AMEX Membership Rewards points transfer 1:1 to Air Canada Aeroplan, and again the transfer is usually instant. SPG Starpoints transfer 1:1 to ANA Mileage Club and you'll receive 5000 bonus miles for each transfer of 20,000 Starpoints, but transfers can take up to 1 week or so.
What's Air New Zealand Business Class and the Business Class in Auckland Like?
How Cold Is It in New Zealand in Winter?
It depends where in New Zealand you are, but in Queenstown on South Island, daytime highs range from 61 in April to 46 degrees in June-July, with lows ranging from 43 degrees in April to 32 degrees in June-July. Auckland is a bit warmer, ranging from highs of 68 degrees in April to high 50s in June-August, with lows in the mid-40s to mid-50s.
What Are the Best Luxury Hotels in New Zealand?
Unlike in many destinations, the best New Zealand luxury hotels are not Aman Resorts, Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental, and the like; they're unique and intimate luxury lodges, many of which are Relais&Chateaux, where the rate includes daily breakfast, pre-dinner drinks, and a multi-course gourmet dinner each night. Our favorites are Otahuna Lodge
near Christchurch, Matakauri Lodge
in Glenorchy near Queenstown, The Farm at Cape Kidnappers
in Hawke's Bay, and Kauri Cliffs and Eagles Nest
in North Island. TravelSort Clients
enjoy Virtuoso benefits at these lodges.
What About in Auckland?
What Are the Best Months for Visiting Milford Sound?
Milford Sound is a spectacular, must-do activity while in Queenstown, but it also receive high rainfall and the weather can change quickly, so try to allow plenty of days in Queenstown, particularly if you want to take a scenic flight to/from Milford Sound
, which I recommend. February-March and June-September tend to see less rain and fewer rainy days, but these are just averages and as always there's no guarantee. Animals such as penguins and seals tend to be more active in cooler weather, so if visiting during the winter months of June-September, that can be a benefit of braving the cooler temperatures.
Are you planning a visit (or return visit) to New Zealand?