New Zealand has an efficient transport system that is designed to move visitors around the main tourist routes with a minimum of delay. Advance bookings are essential in the summer high season (December-February) but at other times there is much less pressure on transport services. Discounted travel can be obtained on buses and trains for senior citizens, disabled travellers, students and Youth Hostel Association and VIP cardholders. If you are reserving seats well ahead ask if you can obtain an advance-booking discount.

Air Services

Regular commuter air services operated by Air New Zealand and other local carriers link all our main cities and towns. Bookings can be made by telephone, fax, internet or at any airline offices and travel agencies throughout the country.

Inter-Island Ferries

Modern fast ferries link Wellington and Picton carrying passengers and vehicles across Cook Strait in a three hour journey. In Bluff a daily schedule operates to Oban, the main settlement on Stewart Island.

Bus and Coach Services

Daily passenger services operate throughout New Zealand linking some 1100 cities, towns and small communities. Inter City operates the largest network in both islands. Newmans Coach Lines services the North Island. Mount Cook Line operates a range of services in the South Island. Backpacker buses such as Kiwi Experience and Magic Bus connect most tourist spots, providing flexibility for travellers to get on and off for local excursions.

Rail Services

Tranz Scenic rail services offer a number of scenic routes around the country providing visitors with the opportunity to view spectacular scenery from a totally different perspective to road travel. Light meals, snacks and bar service are available from the buffet car. The Overlander service departs each morning from both Auckland and Wellington and The Northerner operates the same route as a night service from Sunday through Friday. The Tranz Coastal runs between Christchurch and Picton daily, and the Tranz Alpine between Christchurch and Greymouth, traversing the Southern Alps.

Taxi Services

Most cities and towns have plenty of taxis available for service. The main centres have cruising cabs in busy areas that can be hailed. As a general rule it is better to telephone a taxi booking or go to a taxi stand.

Rental Cars

The international car hire companies are represented at all airports and city centres. Numerous local independent operators compete with them in the cities so it is wise to check their rates. Bring your home country automobile club membership card with you to receive Automobile Association member discounts and free maps.

Campervans

This is one of the best ways to enjoy a New Zealand holiday and see all the eco-tourism highlights in relative comfort. A home on wheels gives you huge flexibility and the freedom to get off the beaten track into New Zealand’s vast conservation estate. Mobile homes come in several sizes beginning with small two person mini-vans. Four to six berth campervans on light truck chassis come fully self-contained with toilets and showers and a double sleeping cabin. Hirers need to have a current New Zealand or Australian Licence, an international driver’s licence or an approved overseas licence. The minimum hiring age is 21 years.

Cycle Touring

This is a popular mode of travel in the November to April period. There are numerous camping options along the way, the roads are relatively uncrowded and the locals are friendly and helpful. Cycle helmets are compulsory.

Hitching

Is safer than many countries but is not without an element of risk. Good sense and careful precautions are necessary when taking a lift.

About New Zealand: Recommendations, Facts, Tips & Travel Advice

  • New Zealand Food Cuisine

    Food & Cuisine

    The country’s Pacific Rim cuisine is based on its abundance of wonderful fresh produce. Tender lamb, beef, pork, venison, succulent green-lipped mussels, Bluff oysters, crayfish (lobster), paua (abalone), whitebait, scallops, salmon, deep-sea fish and, of course, kiwifruit.

  • New Zealand Shopping

    Shopping

    New Zealand offers a great variety of shopping experiences for visitors from overseas. With currency conversions invariably favouring the overseas visitor, a New Zealand shopping spree is a ‘must do’ activity. Shops are usually open from 9 am to 5.30 pm with late shopping available on Thursday.

  • New Zealand Internet Access

    Internet Access

    New Zealand has embraced the World Wide Web with a zeal and enthusiasm. Cyber cafes are widely distributed throughout the country to enable visitors to keep in touch with friends and relatives back home. Many hostels and backpackers have Internet rooms or booths, which are usually available.

  • New-Zealand-Electricity

    Electricity

    New Zealand’s swift-flowing rivers dissect steep, broken country making them ideal for generating cheap hydro power. The vast amount of energy contained in major river systems like the Waikato and the Clutha has been tapped through a series of hydro dams. The stored water is converted.

  • new-zealand-clothing-01

    Clothing

    New Zealand dress code is pretty much a reflection of the casual Kiwi lifestyle. Living the good life in ‘Godzone’ as Kiwis describe ‘God’s Own Country’, means dressing informally. This easy-going lifestyle is exemplified by the popular, sizzling backyard barbecue. To dress ‘a la mode’ in this situation.

  • New Zealand Weather

    Regional Weather

    Prevailing westerly winds have a major effect on our climate bringing warm, moisture-laden air in from the Tasman Sea. The South Island’s Southern Alps act as a barrier, creating annual rainfall of up to 7000 mm on the West Coast. By contrast the Canterbury Plains, lying in the rain shadow.

  • New Zealand Health Services

    Health Services

    New Zealand proudly boasts a ‘clean green’ image and compared to other developed world countries we are seen as a great place that provides fresh unpolluted air, low cases of disease, easy access to fresh organic produce and clean drinking water.

  • New Zealand Visa

    Visas

    A Visitors Permit is an endorsement in your passport allowing you to visit New Zealand. It states the expiry date of your permit and allows you to visit as a tourist, see friends and relatives, play sport or perform in cultural events without pay, undertake a business trip and/or undertake medical treatment.

  • New Zealand Transportation

    Transportation

    New Zealand has an efficient transport system that is designed to move visitors around the main tourist routes with a minimum of delay. Advance bookings are essential in the summer high season (December-February) but at other times there is much less pressure on transport services.

  • New Zealand Accommodation

    Accommodation

    The range of choice in larger centres is wide, from upmarket exclusive lodges and five-star hotels, through budget hotels, motels, motor inns, bed and breakfast guesthouses, homestays, farmstays, hostels, backpackers, holiday parks, holiday homes, motor camps and Department of Conservation.

  • Stewart Island New Zealand

    Stewart Island

    Stewart Island was known to the Maori as Rakiura (glowing skies) either on account of the striking sunsets or the periodic southern lights (Aurora Australis). The island is a dream location for ornithologists and bird watchers and offers the best kiwi watching in New Zealand.

  • South Island New Zealand

    South Island

    New Zealand’s South Island is a spectacular land, which has been uplifted by prodigious earth forces. The South Island landscape is so different from the rolling green hills of the north that crossing Cook Strait is akin to travelling to another country.

  • North Island New Zealand

    North Island

    New Zealand’s North Island is blessed with a mild maritime climate ranging from subtropical in the Far North to temperate in the rest of the island. The land was moulded aeons ago by the fierce fires of countless volcanoes - the last eruption was as recent as 1996, when giant Mt Ruapehu blew its top.

  • New Zealand

    New Zealand

    New Zealand holds a special place on the world travel circuit as a premier eco-tourism and outdoor adventure destination. It is also a great place for a relaxing holiday. This small, compact group of three elongated islands, stretching 1500km down the southern latitudes of the Pacific Ocean.