New Zealand Tourism in Australia - Statistics [2019]

Updated: 6 January 2020

New Zealand toppled as Australia's top tourism source

  • Up until 2017/18, New Zealand had the highest volume of visitors to Australia.
  • In 2017/18, China overtook New Zealand as Australia’s top tourist source, with New Zealand visitors numbering 1.3 million and China with 1.4 million.
  • This trend continued in 2018/19, with China numbering 1.43 million and New Zealand with 1.40 million, respectively.
Growth of New Zealand and Chinese visitors to Australia between 1990 and 2019.
Data source: ABS. Image credit: Camper Champ, NZ
  • New Zealand tourism grew by 2.6% in 2018/19 compared with the slower Chinese growth of 0.8%. The highest growth that year was India with 11.1%.
  • New Zealand and China are still well ahead of other countries, with the next-highest country being the USA with 811,900 visitors to Australia.

New Zealand's share in the Australian tourism industry

  • New Zealand contributes over 15% of visitors to Australia.

Top countries that sent visitors to Australia in 2019

Data source: ABS. Image credit: Camper Champ

Why do so many New Zealanders visit Australia?

  • The close proximity of Australia, as well as lower visa requirements for NZ citizens, make Australia an attractive destination for many.
  • A large number of New Zealanders also reside in Australia, making it a popular destination to visit friends and family.
  • The majority of New Zealand tourists are return visitors to Australia and cite visiting friends and family as one of the most popular reasons to return.
Data Source: TRA. Image Credit: Camper Champ, NZ

New Zealand's contribution to tourism expenditure in Australia

  • At an estimated $2.6B in 2018/19, NZ accounted for about 5.7% of all expenditure from international tourists, ranking 4th on the list of top spenders in Australia.2
Australian tourism top spenders in 2019 by country.
Data source: TRA. Image credit: Camper Champ

Top New Zealand Travel Trends in 2019

What do New Zealand tourists spend on in Australia?

  • New Zealanders have above average spending on food, drink and accomodation second only to the USA.
  • Holidaymakers spend the most, contributing over 1.1B to total spending.
Australian visitor spends per day in 2019 (by country)
Data source: ABS. Image credit: Camper Champ

How long do New Zealanders stay in Australia?

  • The average length of stay was 10 days per visit – very low when compared with the overall average of 32.
    • The reason for this could be attributed to the most popular reason to visit (visiting friends and relatives) and the close proximity of New Zealand to Australia.
  • This places NZ near the bottom when it comes to average length of stay.

New Zealanders’ travel patterns and Australia’s share

  • Around 75% of New Zealanders hold a passport, and international travel continues to rise each year.3
  • Australia continues to be the most popular tourist destination for New Zealand citizens.4
  • China and the USA are also popular destinations for New Zealanders, but Australia continues to lead by a wide margin.

Travel Statistics Resources

Statistics by Location

Global Statistics


  1. ABS: Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia, August 2019
  2. TRA: International Visitor Survey, 2019
  3. DIA: High demand for 10-year passports, December 2015
  4. OECD: Tourism Trends and Policies, 2018