Getting around New Zealand

As a sparsely populated nation, New Zealand’s urban areas are quite small and easy to get around.  The following is a list of transport options available in New Zealand:

Air travel

Domestic flights between New Zealand cities are quite short – a flight from Auckland to Wellington only takes an hour.  Flights are usually cheaper (and sometimes offer discounts) if you book online.  Students under the age of 25 who have a Youth Card can sometimes claim discounts through STA Travel.  You should visit their website before you book your flight.


There are three companies that ferry people between the north and south islands, from Wellington to Picton.  Fares start at $58.00 for a walk on passenger with a student card.

Wellington and Auckland both have commuter ferries that take people across the harbour.  They also offer scenic cruises.

Buses and Trains

The New Zealand public transport system is very good.  In most cities, they run every half hour.  Secondary school students can purchase school travel tickets at a greatly discounted rate, while tertiary students who have a student card can also receive discounts.


If you possess an international drivers license, you may drive in New Zealand for one year.  After that, you will have to pass a theory and in some cases a practical examination.  In any case, it is a good idea to take a look at the New Zealand Road Rules Handbook before driving in New Zealand, as driving rules may differ dramatically from those in your home country.  Your car must be registered and pass an inspection of fitness.  You should probably get insurance as well.
New Zealand drivers drive on the left side of the road.  When driving, you can be fined if you are caught not wearing a seatbelt.  You may lose your license if you are caught speeding or driving drunk.


Cycling is a great way to explore New Zealands beautiful surroundings.  You must wear a helmet at all times, and use reflective gear while riding at night.  Cyclists ride near the left side of the road (not on the footpath).  Some cities have special cycle lanes.


Motorcyclists must possess a license, be over the age of fifteen and wear a helmet at all times (as do passengers).  Your motorcycle must be registered and pass an inspection of fitness.


As cities in New Zealand tend to be quite small, walking is a popular option.  If you live in univerisity accommodation, you will normally live a short walk from your campus.  Walking is a great way to explore your new city.