The Locals Banner Mt Cook Lunch


New Zealand’s tourism industry was one of the first established in the world and has traditionally been one of the most valuable to our economy. Like tourism globally, it has been hard hit by the pandemic. Our well-publicised response to the multiple variants of Covid-19 has achieved a widely admired outcome. Thousands of beds were established in quarantine facilities, multiple nationwide and localised lockdowns were enforced and generous wage subsidies and business support packages were provided. Prior to the arrival of the Omicron variant in early 2022 our fatality rate remained around 10 persons per one million of population when many other countries have experienced death tolls measured in thousands per million. Over 95% of New Zealanders are now fully vaccinated. However, despite these standard-setting efforts, since the arrival of Omicron our death toll has risen from 50 to over 1000.

Current situation

A key part of New Zealand’s success story in minimising the health impact of the pandemic has been the closure of our border. After several announcements of reopening dates that were subsequently delayed and some temporary regional reopening, the graduated relaxation of border controls commenced in early 2022. Since June 20th citizens from all countries have once again been welcomed back to our shores (including via our ports for those arriving by cruise). Requirements for pre travel testing have also been removed. Further information, including on the continued reassessment of regulations, can be found at Covid19.govt.nz and on the Covid-19 page of the Ministry of Health website.

Despite the resumption of freedoms suspended for much of the past couple of years, it remains prudent to assume that the pandemic may continue to evolve and New Zealand Frontiers strongly recommends confirming the latest Ministry of Health advice prior to booking any travel arrangements.

The future for New Zealand Frontiers

98% of people enjoying the freedom of travels by hired motorhome in New Zealand are from abroad. The reduction in demand imposed upon tourism operators by the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in unprecedented challenges to companies operating in the industry. New Zealand Frontiers took the reluctant decision to meet this challenge by entering a period of hibernation and will continue to assess uncertainties surrounding the return of demand before resuming operations.

We have elected to maintain our website during this period of uncertainty with a view to continuing to offer the widely complimented advice on issues ranging from insurance and driving locally to motorhome parks and ferry travel. All enquiries continue to be responded to promptly.

Prior to the disruption that Covid-19 has imposed upon the travel industry, New Zealand Frontiers was planning a significant upgrade to our business. The existing website is a recent redevelopment that includes a comprehensive travel guide which we hope will remain of assistance to people considering a road trip, whether or not they use our motorhomes. Previously ordered top-spec Mercedes-Benz vans have arrived and include many features not offered by other rental companies, including long range fuel tanks, upgraded infotainment systems and more powerful engines. We anticipate having camper builds completed on these vehicles once the return of demand is confirmed as sustained. And we look forward to being able to return to offering the service that has generated an unblemished record over the past 20 years once the ability to travel has been restored to the consistent volumes that will permit sustainable operation of our business.