Visitors to NZ reach record-breaking numbers

Visitors to New Zealand reached record numbers in 2015 (Getty)
Visitors to New Zealand reached record numbers in 2015 (Getty)

New figures reveal December 2015 was the most successful month on record in terms of attracting visitors to New Zealand.

Statistics NZ data shows visitor arrivals totalled 444,900 in December 2015, a whopping 42,400 visitors more than the previous record, set in December 2014 -- with the biggest increase coming from China.

Population statistics manager Jo-Anne Skinner said the rise was also triggered heavily by a 17 percent increase in holiday-makers coming to our shores.

In total 3.13 million people visited the country last year, breaking another record for most visitors in a calendar year -- Australia contributing a large chunk of that figure, with 1.33 million.

The numbers show 355,900 visited New Zealand from China, while 243,100 visited from the United States, but it's not just people coming to the country that's breaking records -- it's the number of Kiwis going overseas, too.

Kiwi residents embarked on 2.41 million journeys to other countries last year, up 6 percent on 2014.

Trips to Australia contributed heavily to that increase, with 45,700 more trips taken to our trans-Tasman neighbours in 2015 compared to the previous year -- a rise of 4 percent.