Traveling around New Zealand
New Zealand airports
New Zealand has a comprehensive network of international and domestic airports. While Auckland Airport serves the largest number of international arrivals and departures, airports in Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin, Hamilton, Palmerston North and Queenstown also receive flights from other countries.
Auckland airport is only about 20 minutes from the central city and a cab fare will cost $50 - $65. Cheaper modes of transportation include shuttle buses (you should book these in advance), public buses or the airbus that provides frequent services costing around $15.
Wellington is the capital of New Zealand and is the next busiest airport. Taxis, shuttles and buses operate out of the airport and into the city and surrounding regions. A taxi ride into the central city will cost around the $30 mark whereas a bus will cost no more than $10 and leaves every half hour.
Christchurch airport is about 20 minutes by taxi from the city center and the journey will cost between $30 and $50, depending on the taxi company. Shuttles and buses also run out of the airport.
Queenstown airport is close to the town – only about 15 minutes away by car – and a taxi ride will cost about $25. The airport is serviced by a number of taxi and shuttle companies, and there is also a bus that leaves every 20-30 minutes and costs $5.
You can rent a car from any of the main airports. Domestic airports make every part of the country accessible, from Kaitaia Airport in the far north to Ryan’s Creek Aerodrome on Stewart Island. Airport facilities vary according to the size of the local population.
How to get around
*The Fine Print
Planes, trains and automobiles
New Zealand is only 1,000 miles long so the transportation you choose will depend on how quickly you want to get to your destination. Plane, train, bus, boat, car or caravan – you could even cycle if you’re feeling adventurous. In most cases getting there is all part of the fun so rent a motor home to see the sights at your own pace, or jump on a train for a scenic tour through remote areas often inaccessible by road. For longer stays or if you’re backpacking, then you might find that buying a second-hand car is the best option
New Zealand transportation options will usually include a ferry-ride or boat trip at some point. Modern ocean-going ferries that carry passengers and vehicles connect the North and South Islands, and wherever there’s an offshore island, a harbor, lake or river, there’s a good chance you’ll find a safe and convenient form of water transportation network there as well.
If you’re traveling alone, for the first time, or just fancy meeting some new and exciting people, then why not try an organized tour? Check out some of our options for tours and treks in New Zealand.
We’ve tried to make this destination guide as accurate as possible but please double check the essentials like visas, health and safety, airport information etc with the relevant authorities before you travel. STA Travel takes no responsibility for loss, injury or inconvenience caused as a result of this guide. All prices listed are in the currency of the destination, unless otherwise stated.