LGBTQ Travel

New Zealand is a fantastic country for LGBTQ people to live, which makes it a great destination for LGBTQ travelers to visit. Lonely Planet rated New Zealand one of the most “inclusive and progressive” gay-friendly travel destinations on the planet in 2015, second only to Denmark. What makes us so gay-friendly?

  • We are a socially progressive country, being the first country in the world to give women the right to vote in 1893.
  • We recently celebrated 30 years since same-sex sexual activity was decriminalized in 1986
  • We were the first country in the world to have an openly transgender mayor, Georgina Beyer, in 1995. In 1999 she became the world’s first transgender member of Parliament, and remained in Parliament until her retirement in 2007.
  • Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression has been illegal since 1993.
  • Our military is independently ranked the most inclusive in the world with LGB members allowed to serve openly since 1993.
  • We’ve had openly gay and lesbian politicians serving since 1993, with Rainbow Labour, a branch of the Labour Party, being formed in 1997 to represent LGBTQ people.
  • We legalized same-sex marriage in 2013.
  • Adoption by same-sex couples has been legal since 2013.
  • New Zealanders can now have a passport in our preferred sex/gender of M (male), F (female) or X (indeterminate/unspecified), without having these details amended on our birth or citizenship record.
  • The first Pride events were held in the 70s and continue today with Pride events in several cities: Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Hamilton.
  • In general the majority of New Zealanders don’t give a hoot if you’re LGBTQ or not! We are an open-minded, non-judgmental and forward-thinking society. Political parties operating on socially conservative platforms don’t hold any traction anymore in New Zealand.
  • For most LGBTQ New Zealanders, their social circles are mixed, and they feel very integrated into society. We at New Zealand Awaits are aware that this is a privilege that is not the case everywhere in the world.

You can expect a warm and welcoming atmosphere almost everywhere in New Zealand. Travel with us and we guarantee it!

As a lesbian owned and operated company, we are proud to serve the LGBTQ community. We’ve selectively partnered with high quality local business owners in New Zealand who value working with the LGBTQ community and who provide exceptional lodging, and unique and personalized experiences. When you journey with us, you’ll know you’re supporting business owners who also support our community. Where we can, we stay in LGBTQ owned lodging, and we support LGBT owned businesses as much as possible.

We’re also up to date on gay cafes, restaurants, and bars, so whether you’re travelling independently or on one of our tours, we’ll point you in the right direction to meet some LGBTQ locals.