Transportation


Transport in New Zealand — due to the mountainous topography and the population living mostly by the coast line — has always face quite a few challenges. The country has always been very car dependent but efforts have been made to reintroduce public transport as the main way to get people from one place to another. Currently, travelers use airplanes, ferries or rent cars to travel within the country.

Arriving and departing

There are 113 airports in New Zealand and the main international airports serve Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington.

Flying is the easiest and most popular way to get to New Zealand. Air New Zealand is the flag carrier of New Zealand and flies to nearly 50 destinations in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, North America, Asia and the South Pacific. Low cost carriers — such as JetStar and AirAsia — also offer direct links in the area.

>>read more about airfare to Auckland
>>read more about airfare to Christchurch
>>read more about airfare to Wellington

Occasionally, tourists come to New Zealand by boat, typically on cruise ships through Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch.

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Getting around New Zealand: from one city to another

Rental cars were the preferred method of transport for visitors, next in importance being domestic air travel and ferry travel.

The flag carrier, Air New Zealand, along with small regional airlines, offer many domestic flights between the cities on both islands.

Ferry services link the North and the South Island between Wellington and Picton. Depending on the vessel, the usual travel time between the islands is between three and three hours and twenty minutes.

Although there are train links between some major cities, the service is hardly ever used by travelers. Likewise, travelers avoid the bus network as well.

Getting within New Zealand: within a city

There are many ways to get around the major cities in New Zealand. In Auckland, travelers can choose among bus, train, ferry, taxi, shuttle and hiring your own car. However, the most used method of public transport is the bus.

In Christchurch, it is often a good idea to rent a bicycle since the city is mostly flat and there are special lanes for cyclists. Public buses offer rather good connections lately. Likewise, in Wellington you can easily get around on foot, but the public network of buses, ferries and suburban trains offer good connections.