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How To Fly To New Zealand Using Qantas Points

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Tom Goward | 16/06/2021

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With regular flights between Australia and New Zealand now up and running, you might be considering burning those unused Qantas Points for a trip across the ditch. As far as international Qantas reward flights, New Zealand is a fantastic points-effective option, with good availability to boot. This article acts as a beginners guide to Qantas Points redemptions for trans-Tasman flights.

Qantas Trans-Tasman Routes

As of June 2021, Qantas is operating flights to and from each of New Zealand’s four largest airports, with many routes offering daily availability.

Auckland to/from:

  • Brisbane
  • Cairns
  • Gold Coast
  • Melbourne
  • Sydney

Christchurch to/from:

  • Brisbane
  • Melbourne
  • Sydney

Wellington to/from:

  • Melbourne
  • Sydney

Queenstown to/from:

  • Brisbane
  • Melbourne
  • Sydney

How many points do I need?

The best way to find the exact Qantas Points cost for a Classic Flight Reward booking to New Zealand is by searching for your desired itinerary at qantas.com.

Below we have put together a table showing the required points and taxes for a New Zealand return booking from each capital city. The tax applicable will differ depending on the route selected. For example, the tax on a redemption from Adelaide to Auckland via Melbourne will cost less than travelling via Sydney.

FromToEconomyBusinessTax
AdelaideAuckland36,00083,000$256
AdelaideChristchurch36,00083,000$252
AdelaideWellington36,00083,000$262
AdelaideQueenstown36,00083,000$304
BrisbaneAuckland36,00083,000$263
BrisbaneChristchurch36,00083,000$255
BrisbaneWellington36,00083,000$307
BrisbaneQueenstown36,00083,000$263
CanberraAuckland36,00083,000$277
CanberraChristchurch36,00083,000$298
CanberraWellington36,00083,000$299
CanberraQueenstown36,00083,000$306
DarwinAuckland40,600114,000$287
DarwinChristchurch40,600114,000$283
DarwinWellington40,600114,000$294
DarwinQueenstown40,600114,000$291
HobartAuckland36,00083,000$265
HobartChristchurch36,00083,000$271
HobartWellington36,00083,000$272
HobartQueenstown36,00083,000$307
MelbourneAuckland36,00083,000$230
MelbourneChristchurch36,00083,000$226
MelbourneWellington36,00083,000$237
MelbourneQueenstown36,00083,000$234
PerthAuckland40,600114,000$244
PerthChristchurch40,600114,000$259
PerthWellington40,600114,000$270
PerthQueenstown40,600114,000$267
SydneyAuckland36,00083,000$262
SydneyChristchurch36,00083,000$257
SydneyWellington36,00083,000$269
SydneyQueenstown36,00083,000$266

Swiping your way to a Qantas Points redemption

We have no shame in admitting we are utterly points obsessed at Flight Hacks. For most, the first port of call for a massive Qantas Points haul would be applying for a decent points earning credit card. The sign-up bonus on some cards is more than enough for a return trip to New Zealand business class, a return economy booking for two or even a one-way redemption for the family.

So what’s the best credit card for Qantas Frequent Flyer points? It’s a question we are often asked at Flight Hacks, and the answer isn’t that one card fits all. It depends on a variety of factors, but typically, you want something with a large sign-up bonus.

Here are some of our favourite Qantas credit cards:

American Express Qantas Ultimate

American Express Qantas Ultimate Credit Card

  • Earn Rate: up to 2.25 Qantas Points per $1
  • Bonus Points: 55,000
  • Annual Fee: $450
  • Qantas Travel Credit: $450

The American Express Qantas Ultimate card is by far one of the best offers we’ve seen for a while. You will receive 120,000 bonus Qantas Points plus 120 Status Credits when you apply by 15 June 2021, are approved, and meet the minimum spend criteria of $4,500 in the first 3 months. Available to new Card Members only.

Click here to get this deal if you would like to support our work! Thank you 🙂

NAB Qantas Rewards Signature

NAB Qantas Rewards Signature Visa

  • Earn Rate: up to 1 Qantas Point per $1
  • Bonus Points: 110,000
  • Annual Fee: $295 first year then $395 ongoing

NAB is offering a fantastic Qantas credit card with up to 130,000 bonus frequent rewards points. Receive 90,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $3,000 in the first 60 days + 20,000 bonus Qantas Points when you keep your card open for over 12 months. Plus, enjoy a reduced annual card fee for the first year.

Click here to get this deal if you would like to support our work! Thank you 🙂

American Express Qantas Business Rewards

 

  • Earn Rate:  1.25 Qantas Point per $1
  • Bonus Points: 150,000 Bonus Qantas Points
  • Annual Fee: $450

Receive 150,000 bonus Qantas Points and a $450 Qantas Flight Voucher when you spend $3,000 on your new Card within 2 months of your approval date. Offer ends 30th June 2021. New American Express Card Members only.

Click here to get this deal if you would like to support our work! Thank you 🙂

Want to see more cards? Check out our guide to the best Qantas credit cards for 2021

Keep an eye on the aircraft: B737 vs A330

At present, Qantas operates two aircraft types across the ditch. While the Boeing 737-800 does most of the heavy lifting, you’ll also find Airbus A330 aircraft on flights to Auckland from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. It goes without saying that Qantas’s lie-flat business class product on the A330 is far superior to the 737’s recliner seats. The difference between the two is extensive, as seen below.

Qantas B737 Business Qantas A330 Business

How to book Qantas A330

When searching for flights you can check the aircraft type under the small plane icon in the flight info window to the left of the screen. For example, below we find that the 10:35am departure is operated by an A330, with the 11:35am onboard a B737.

Qantas A330vsB737

Note that flights may be downgraded to B737-800’s due to low passenger loads.

International Qantas First Class Lounge access

While Qantas is keeping their International Business Lounges closed for now, passengers who would normally be turned away have the chance to check out the airline’s flagship First Class Lounges at Sydney (check out our Qantas First Class Lounge review here) and Melbourne. This includes:

  • Qantas Business Class passengers
  • Qantas Club members
  • Qantas Platinum One, Platinum and Gold frequent flyers
  • Equivalent Oneworld and partner airline frequent flyers

Qantas First Lounge menu

Frequent flyers rejoice as the fan-favourite à la carte dining is here to stay. The Sydney and Melbourne First Class Lounges will offer an à la carte menu featuring a range of dishes curated by Rockpool chef Neil Perry. So, what exactly can travellers expect?

Breakfast

  • Seasonal fruit salad
  • Croissant
  • House-made muffin
  • Neil’s healthy Bircher muesli with apple, cranberry and hazelnuts
  • Buttermilk pancakes with cinnamon yoghurt, berries and maple syrup
  • Brunch bowl with goats’ cheese, avocado, cherry tomato bulgur and green tahini
  • Brioche, leg ham and Gruyere toasted sandwich
  • Scrambled eggs with bacon, pork chipolata, spinach, tomato braised beans

All-day dining

  • Brioche, leg ham and Gruyere toasted sandwich, rocket and lemon
  • Salt and pepper squid with cabbage salad, green chilli dipping sauce and aioli
  • Roast cauliflower with carrot and almond hummus, zucchini, preserved lemon and hazelnuts
  • Tamarind chicken with eggplant, jasmine rice and lime pickle yoghurt
  • Red braised lamb shoulder with chilli paste and noodles
  • Signature pavlova with seasonal fruit, mascarpone and Persian fairy floss

Lounge access in New Zealand

Qantas has not yet reopened its New Zealand lounges, but is offering Qantas Club members and Gold or above Frequent Flyers access to Air New Zealand’s lounges in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown.

Qantas’ COVID-19 Change/Refund Policy

Qantas is offering unlimited fee-free changes to trans-Tasman flights booked by 31 July 2021 for travel until 28 February 2022. You’ll need to select a new travel date within 12 months of your original booking date and cover any fare increase for your new flights.

If Qantas cancels your flight they will rebook you onto the next available flight at no cost. You can also request a flight credit or refund.

Find out more on Qantas’ Fly Flexible page.

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Tom Goward

Tom is a Hobart-based writer with a passion for aviation and travel.

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