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The basics
New Zealand: Destination Guides

Travel in New Zealand

Some helpful tips for getting around in New Zealand


Finding your way around New Zealand is easy, whether by rail, road, sea or air. Both the North Island and South Island have good connections and New Zealand has an extensive network of domestic and international airports.

By air

The domestic airports and relatively cheap domestic airlines make this an affordable way to hop between the islands. New Zealand has three main international airports: Christchurch, Auckland and Wellington.


Auckland International Airport sees the largest number of international arrivals and departures, and ensures that New Zealand is easily reached from abroad. 


New Zealand is a very safe country, arguably one of the safest in the world. Within the major cities, transportation is easy and cheap, with most buses running at least half hourly; however the chances are you'll be able to walk or cycle to most places near your institution!


By bus/train

Travel by road is very easy, with buses servicing main cities. This may be your best bet as the country does not have the same rail resources as the UK, for example. The two cities of Auckland and Wellington do have a rail system which has been slowly improved over the years (an ongoing process). Usually a bus ticket within a sector will cost between NZ$1.50-NZ$3.00. That said, the TranzAlpine does offer superb views when travelling between Christchurch and Greymouth.


Auckland has an efficient and affordable network of buses, trains and ferries to take you around the city and its suburbs. The Link and Stagecoach buses run every 10 minutes around the city. If you're making several trips during the day an Auckland Day Pass is usually the cheapest option and this will include buses and ferries in the city. You can also save money by purchasing a 10-ride pass for all buses, trains and ferries. The journey planner on the Maxx website will help you to decide which form of transport and ticket is right for you.


Wellington is also blessed with an efficient and affordable public transport system of buses and trains. Monthly and 10-trip passes across the trains and buses are available for longer-term students and are priced according to the zones in which you're travelling. If you're around for just a few days it's worth getting a Daytripper Pass for each day, which is valid on buses and trains in the city zones 1-3. Find out more about transport in Wellington


All local buses in Christchurch operate out of the Bus Exchange. Weekly and all day passes can be purchased which will save you money on a single fare. There's also a free central circuit bus which is bright yellow and travels around some of the main destinations in the city every 10-15 minutes. Find out more about Christchurch transport.


Dunedin is a compact city and most places will be within walking distance of your institution. There are however buses which run around the city from The Octagon. Single fares can be purchased and are calculated by zone.


Short trips 

Many students like to use their holiday time or weekends to explore the country. The different regions within New Zealand are linked by a network of domestic airlines (Jetstar, Pacific Blue and Air Zealand), as well as rail, boat and bus services which make getting around the country quite easy.


The other benefit of travelling within New Zealand is that the distances between places are relatively small: for instance a flight between Wellington and Auckland takes only an hour. If you're crossing the beautiful strip of water between the North and South Island, the Interislander and Blue Bridge ferries take passengers between Wellington and Picton in around three hours.


Arranging accommodation and travel 

Here are some useful links for arranging accommodation and travel within New Zealand:

Here are some useful links to help when booking flights or ferries within New Zealand:


Travel cards

When travelling overseas or interstate, students can save money on travel; always make sure you enquire with the travel agent when booking. STA Travel specialises in offering cheaper flights and holidays for students; their ISIC card also qualifies you for savings with some travel agencies and other shops within New Zealand.


Plan your journey across New Zealand now.