A warm and sun-kissed welcome is promised in Phuket. This is Thailand's largest island, where pearly beaches unfold under rows of lanky palms, karst mountains come clad in jungles, and the towns really know how to let their hair down. Cheap flights to Phuket from New Zealand will almost always involve a stopover along the way. They can often take 30 hours or more in the air, but don't worry, there are isles like Koh Lanta and the Phi Phis just a short ferry from the terminal. On those, it's all about sipping cold beers to the sunset, lazing in a hammock, and bopping the nights away to reggaeton.
Thailand with a twist of Portuguese character is what awaits between the porch-fronted cottages of charming Phuket town.
The Phi Phi Islands are the stuff of tropical postcards. They crash out of the Andaman Sea with black-rock cliffs and beaches that arc perfectly beneath the jungles.
Patong pulses with go-go bars and spills onto an arc of white sand that many consider to be the very best in all of Phuket.
No airlines have direct flights to Phuket from New Zealand.
The best airline to fly to Phuket from New Zealand is Qatar Airways. The best low-cost airline is Jetstar.