Ms Gillard will arrive in the mountainous Otago resort town later today in preparation for the yearly Australia-New Zealand leaders' meeting this weekend.
Economic ties are expected to be at the heart of discussions.
Last year's talks were held in Melbourne and foreshadowed further discussions on defence ties and planning for the commemorations of the ANZAC Day centenary in 2015.
The two nations gave a commitment to strengthen the regional response to asylum seeker arrivals and to hold consultations on targetted refugee resettlement programs.
They also agreed to further cooperation on tackling climate change.