It is not unusual for a healthy vine to cover an area 3 to0 to 4.5 m (10to15ft) wide, 5.5 to 7 m (18 to 24ft) long and 2.5 to 3.5 m (9 to 12ft) high. In cultivation it is supported on a trellising system.

The large, deep green, leathery leaves are oval to nearly circular and 18-25 cm (7 to 10in) in diameter. The large 2.5 to 5 cm (1 to 2in) diameter, white to cream coloured flowers are somewhat fragrant and produced as singlets to triplets in the leaf axiles. The oval, ovoid or oblong fruit is up to 6 cm (2-1/2in) long, with russet-brown skin densely covered with short, stiff brown hairs. The flesh remains firm until fully ripe. Kiwifruit will tolerate part shade but prefer a sunny location where they can ramble across some type of trellising system.