By Vicky Anscombe on 11 April 2016

If you’re just about to jet off to New Zealand, we’ll openly admit to feeling envious. It’s a lush, exciting, friendly place with great food and plenty of things to do. From taking a ride in an aerobatic plane to swimming with dolphins, sharing the beach with penguins (we’re not joking - Google it) and trying the local ‘fush ‘n’ chips’, you’re spoiled for choice. There’s something for everyone.

New Zealand’s especially great for thrillseekers. Whether you’d like to try a bungee jump, explore a cave or go white water rafting, it’s all waiting for you. Imagine the thrill of negotiating New Zealand’s white water rapids; the spray in your face, the speed, the excitement!

But before you step into your dinghy to begin your adventure, wouldn’t it be great to know you’re protected? Columbus Direct’s travel insurance covers white water rafting, as well as up to 150 sports and activities as standard. This means that you’re free to let your imagination go wild – the sky’s the limit.

It’s a great country, and you’ll want to explore every inch with confidence. Maybe you’re unsure of why you need travel insurance, and what it covers? Here’s your chance to find out how you can protect your health and your wealth Down Under.

Zorbing on holiday

Get a little luxury at the airport

You arrive at the airport with all your bags, raring to go – but what’s this? Your flight’s delayed. Wouldn’t it be nice to have somewhere quiet to wait for your flight, away from the crowds?

We’ve got some good news for you. All Columbus Direct customers and up to four of their friends are entitled to FREE lounge access* if their flight’s delayed.

All of you will have somewhere peaceful to relax and charge your phone, along with free WiFi. And why not enjoy a quick bite while you wait for your flight?

Be supported if your bags go AWOL

You saunter into the baggage claim area, ready to collect your suitcase and head out. You wait, and you wait. It looks like your bag is either hiding on the conveyor belt, or it wasn’t on the flight. If you book with us, you can keep your cool.

While the airport will be working hard to find your bag, we’ll be on hand to provide up to £2,500 compensation. You’re free to start your trip, pick up some essentials and make the most of your time away.

Your gadgets are your world

Payphones and internet cafes are so 2003. Your smartphone, laptop and tablet will quickly turn into your daily staples. Go on, admit it - you’ll want to Skype your family, and upload all of your new pics to Instagram. Plus, what about adding new friends on Facebook and Googling the best places to go? Your only issue will be finding free WiFi - and making sure you’re fully charged before any long flights!

As your gadgets are your only link to home Down Under, they’re even more precious. Just add gadget cover to your policy and all your tech will be taken care of.

Tweet on, Skype away and keep those updates coming.

Woman using phone on beach

You can feel confident enjoying world-class winter sports

The ski season in New Zealand opens in June and runs through until the end of September - and it’s occasionally been known to carry on until October. You’re also spoiled for choice - if you’re staying on the North Island, your best bets for excellent powder are Whakapapa and Turoa.

If you’re planning on hitting the pistes on the South Island, Queenstown, Wanaka and Christchurch are firm favourites. The slopes range from beginner to expert, and the vibe is friendly and inclusive. You’re guaranteed to make some new friends to carve up the pistes with.

If you haven’t been on the snow for a while, you may find you take a day to warm up. After all, we’ve all come down to earth with a bump once! Book with us, and you’ll be entitled to quality medical treatment. We also provide piste closure compensation; handy if the snow doesn’t show.

If you’re more of an off piste skier, you’re in good hands. Just add search and rescue cover to your policy when you book with us. It’s extra peace of mind if you need to get help in a remote location.

Snowboarding on holiday

Your pre-existing conditions need to be accommodated

If you have a pre-existing condition, we can cover these on a case by case basis. We insure hundreds of medical conditions, many of which are available at no extra cost**. This means that you can run around zorbing, eyeing up the penguins and generally having a great time, knowing we’re here if you need us.

Should you need treatment while you’re abroad, here’s what our pre-existing protection will include:

  • Medical expenses up to £15m
  • We’ll fly you home if you miss your flight or need extra room on the plane
  • You can claim back your hotel and transport costs if you cancel your trip due to health issues
  • We have a 24 hour emergency medical assistance helpline to give you advice and support

Getting home should always be easy

A few days before you leave, you switch on the TV and discover that your airline’s gone under. How are you going to get home? Can anyone step in to help you?

It’s unlikely to happen, but if your airline stops operating, we’ll be on hand to help you get home.

You’re in safe hands with Columbus Direct. We can help to provide compensation to make sure you get home; it’s included as standard in all our policies.

Who said great customer service and value for money can’t go together?

Since 1988, we’ve insured millions of travellers. Over 15 million, to be precise! They’ve given us a five-star rating on Trustpilot – here are two comments we’ve recently received...

Martin Greaves: "Easy to sign up for on the web and price is competitive. What I really like about Columbus Direct is they give you the option to cover or exclude your current medical conditions. I don't want to pay extra for a managed condition that is under total control. Sensible cover at a sensible price."

Huw Davies: "I wanted straightforward single trip ski insurance, with my principal concern being the medical cover to get me off the mountain and home if it all goes badly on a black. Having the ability to choose different levels of cover was just what I needed to give me simple and cheap cover."

Want to read some more feedback? Just click here.

Learn five fascinating facts about New Zealand

Now that you’re familiar with New Zealand, why not learn some trivia? We’ve compiled a list of five little-known facts you should know before you go.

There are no land snakes in New Zealand. Which makes it a great destination if you suffer from ophiophobia – a fear of snakes.

TripAdvisor named Milford Sound the world’s top travel destination in 2008. Milford Sound is a fiord on the South Island, and is known for its natural beauty. Rudyard Kipling called it the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’ – it’s a must-see.

New Zealanders aren’t scared to try new things. The world’s first commercial bungee jump happened in Queenstown in 1988.

The capital city of New Zealand, Wellington, is the world’s southernmost capital.

Technically, we share our Queen with the Kiwis. Queen Elizabeth II is the official queen of New Zealand. However, she’s represented by a governor general.

Capital of New Zealand

*Your flight must be delayed for two hours or more, and you and up to four of your fellow passengers will be entitled to access in one of 500 of our worldwide lounges. Please note - some lounges may not allow children, so check with your airport(s) before you travel. Please click here for more details.

** If you need extra help finding travel insurance, we recommend our sister company,

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