Visitors and migrants to New Zealand have an extensive choice of transportation available to them. Because New Zealand is an easy place to navigate, be it around a town, city or the length of the country, most people find it relatively easy to find transport to fit their requirements and budget.
New Zealanders enjoy an extensive suburban bus network as an economical way to travel around a town or city. Using suburban bus transport instead of driving your car eliminates car parking, petrol and general car running costs. Bus fares normally start at NZ $2.50 and increase with each ‘stage’ you travel, obviously the further you travel the more it will cost, however you can purchase concession cards and cheaper bus fares is available for students and senior citizens. Many of the larger cities in New Zealand offer a free bus service that travels a set route periodically within the inner city area.
Taxis are often more convenient than buses and for this reason hiring a taxi is more expensive but with benefits such as operating 24 hours a day along with pick up and drop off to any destination, whereas buses are limited to the routes they can take and timetables. Taxi companies are listed in local phone books and you can also hail down an empty taxi or find one at a “taxi stand”. Taxi charges vary depending on location however most flagfalls start at NZ $2.00 and then $2.00 per kilometre.
Auckland and Wellington offer suburban rail services with trains running throughout the day. The cost of travelling via train varies but charging is similar to suburban buses as you are charged per stage of journey. Catching a suburban train can cost from NZ $2.00 upwards, the longer the journey the more you should expect to pay.
Sea, Train & Coach Travel
The price for crossing the Cook Strait via ferry depends on the time of year you choose to travel and if you are transporting a vehicle. An adult travelling without a vehicle, one way from Wellington to Picton can expect to pay from NZ $52.00 off peak.
The Trans Scenic railroad network covers most of New Zealand and in comparison to flying allows people a more scenic and economical travelling experience while coach travel is available to most destinations in both the North and South Islands. You can purchase individual tickets for national transport however if you plan to investigate New Zealand extensively then a basic TravelPass could save you up to 40% on transport costs. TravelPass allows unlimited coach travel on specified company coaches for a specific number of travel days within a twelve month period. The pass also allows for one Cook Strait ferry crossing.
Major cities and towns in New Zealand are accessible by air on a daily basis while many smaller areas have some type of domestic airport. Fares can vary depending on the time of year you are intending to fly, your destination and the company you choose to travel with. 1 adult travelling one way from Auckland to Christchurch should expect to pay between NZ $150 – $260, however many companies such as Air New Zealand do offer some excellent special prices on domestic travel.
Personal Motor Vehicle
New and used vehicles in New Zealand are for sale both privately or through licensed motor vehicle dealers. If you purchase a motor vehicle through a Licensed Motor Vehicle Dealer (LMVD) you have the benefits of a comprehensive range of mechanical cover warrantees plus added protection under the Consumer Act. Purchasing from a private vendor means you are buying the vehicle in an “as is” condition, which can be risky business if you end up purchasing a ‘lemon’.
The cost of buying a vehicle in New Zealand varies, you can purchase a new BMW for approximately NZ $120,000 while a second hand 2005 BMW has a retail price of NZ $15,000. You can find quality used Japanese imports for around NZ $5,000 upwards.
Running costs for a vehicle soon add up! All vehicles on New Zealand roads must pass a road-worthiness test set by the LTSA, this must be done every 12 months for a new car and every 6 months for other cars and costs approximately NZ $40.00 each time. Vehicles must be re-licensed every 12 months for around NZ $210.00. Cost of petrol in New Zealand fluctuates but expect to pay NZ $2.16 per litre. Car insurance in New Zealand is not compulsory, however it is highly recommended! Shop around different insurance companies to find the best price, what you can expect to pay for car insurance depends on many factors, such as the amount your car is worth, age of driver plus previous driving and insurance records.
New Zealand roads are very cycle friendly and many cities have installed cycle lanes around city routes. It is compulsory in New Zealand to wear a cycle helmet which can be purchased from NZ$ 40.00. Purchasing a new bike from a cycle shop gives you the benefits of qualified mechanics, sales support and their expertise at helping you find a bike suitable to your requirements. Budget to spend at least NZ $800.00 for a good quality new bike while a decent second hand bike will cost from NZ $300.00.