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What's the best way of getting around New Zealand?

by Visagov | September 29, 2022
lake with trees in New Zealand

New Zealand is a paradise for outdoors and nature lovers. Traveling to New Zealand is an unforgettable experience with its snowy mountains, sparkling lakes and rivers. The fascinating Māori culture also inspires the All Blacks Rugby team with their Haka and is a huge part of New Zealand’s culture. 

Here is all you need to know about New Zealand transport and how to get around New Zealand

Airport Transfers

There are four international airports in New Zealand. Auckland is the largest and where all major airlines fly into. The airport is 20 Km away from Auckland city center and there are several options to get to the city. 


A free terminal transfer bus service operates every 15 minutes between the international and national terminals at Auckland in case you need to catch a connecting flight. 

The Skybus is the bus that runs from Auckland airport to the city center and it departs every 10 minutes at peak times and takes around 45 minutes to reach the city. You can get your tickets online or from the terminal kiosks if you're paying by card, or you can pay in cash to the driver. Prices for adults are: $17 One Way or $32 Return. 

There are also some pre-booked shuttles you can organize to pick you up. They cost $35 per person. Shuttles can be a cheaper way to travel if you are a bigger group or don't mind sharing with other passengers. 


There is a taxi rank outside the arrivals area. A taxi into Auckland city center will cost around $75 to $90 and will take around 30 minutes, although this depends on the traffic. Make sure you plan ahead and make sure you allow enough time to get from the city to the airport. 

There are also apps available such as Uber, Ola and Zoomy if you prefer a to share a ride. 

roads and mountains for New Zealand transportation

Getting around New Zealand 


Since New Zealand is a long country with large unpopulated areas and long stretches of road from town to town, many locals prefer to travel by car. It is the most used New Zealand transportation method and the best way to travel in New Zealand, if your plan is to get lost in New Zealand's nature. 

Most big rental companies have offices at the airports and main New Zealand citiesso you can rent your car as soon as you land and discover everything there is to do in New Zealand. 

Rentals can sometimes get expensive in New Zealand, particularly if the driver is under 25 years old, so check prices carefully. 


There are plenty of inter-city buses in New Zealand which can be booked before you set off on your trip. Intercity is New Zealand's most well-known bus company and it provides a travel pass and a flexible pass which allows you to travel to several destinations around the country. 


This way of getting around will give you freedom and also allow you to save on accommodation, which can sometimes be expensive in New Zealand. Tourism in New Zealand takes on a new dimension if you decide to take a New Zealand campervan trip as you can wake up next to the beach or up in a snowy mountain.

You can rent one from van rental companies where you will find different options. Make sure you know which areas you are allowed to camp in as sometimes it isn't legal to free camp. Check with the Department of Conservation to avoid fines. 


Trains aren't widely used in New Zealand, except when local trains. Nevertheless, it is the best New Zealand transportation for those who want to take the scenic ride from Auckland to Wellington in the North island. There is a tourist train that caters to that. You can also go from Picton to Christchurch in the South island. 


You can get around New Zealand pretty quickly by plane. Air New Zealand and Jetstar are two airlines which operate internal flights to multiple destinations. Many people choose to fly between the North and South islands as it is quicker. 

New Zealand transportation plane from Air New Zealand


Getting around New Zealand with a ferry is a grear way of visiting the whole of New Zealand. The North and South islands of New Zealand aren't connected by tunnel or bridge, so to get between the two travellers usually take a ferry. There are two ferry companies you can choose from: Interislander Ferry or Bluebridge Cook Strait Ferry.

Some rental companies won't allow you to take your rental car from the North to South island and back, so make sure you know the rental conditions before you travel. 

The trip is considered one of the most picturesque ferry rides in the world. It takes around 3 hours to travel 92 Km. 

Tips to travel in New Zealand 

If you are thinking on how to get around New Zealand, you travel must know some New Zealand tips:

  • Remember that Kiwis drive on the left-hand side of the road.
  • Since a lot of New Zealand's attractions such as national parks are off the beaten track make sure you fill up your car before you set off. Gas stations can be few and far between. 
  • If you're going to New Zealand on a hiking trip, make sure your gear is clean before you set off, as the country has strict rules to avoid bringing diseases in.
  • Although paying by card is common, we always recommend carrying some cash for smaller purchases. Get to know all about the currency in New Zealand before your trip.