Whether you want to explore this stunning land of New Zealand by car or campervan, fly or take the train, we can help you with all your transportation requirements.
Driving yourself in a rental car is a very popular and convenient way to explore New Zealand. You’ll also have the flexibility to evolve your itinerary as you go along and the freedom to explore places that are away from the main tourist trails.
We can organise your car hire for your whole trip or just for part of it, whatever suits you best. We work with reputable rental car companies to offer a wide range of vehicles available to suit any budget. You can choose anything from a small hatchback to a large SUV or people carrier. The cars are always modern, clean and well maintained. Generally, the longer you hire the rental car, the cheaper the daily rate.
There are convenient depots in the main cities as well as in most of the airports throughout the country.
Average price for 1 week compact hire: NZD$550
Average price for 1 week SUV hire: NZD$770
While you’re here, checkout our “Driving in New Zealand” section.
This is a popular drive and accomodation all-in-one option. Refer to Accommodation section
Exploring this stunning land of New Zealand by car, campervan or motorhome is a great way to get around. Even if you’re used to driving in other places, you need to be well aware of things like weather extremes, narrow, windy roads and different road rules before you begin on your journey.
We drive on the left hand side of the road and our vehicles seat the driver on the right. Remember - if you are driving, you must be seated in the middle of the road – your front seat passenger will be the on edge of the road.
New Zealand’s diverse terrain means roads are often narrow, hilly and windy with plenty of sharp corners. Outside of the main cities, there are very few motorways. Most of our roads are single lane in each direction without barriers in between. You may also encounter gravel roads.
It’s easy to underestimate drive times when looking at a map. Maps don’t show how narrow and windy roads can be. What might look like a short trip can take a long time. Always allow for more time than you think you’ll need.
Weather-related hazards are commonplace. In New Zealand, you might experience four seasons in one day. It’s possible to start your day off with blue sky and sunshine, but arrive at your destination in rain and hail. Because of this, weather related hazards on the road can occur at any time. Always check the weather forecast before departing, and adjust your plans accordingly. If you’re driving in the South Island or the central North Island in winter, spring or late autumn, snow is a real possibility, especially on the higher passes. Extreme weather conditions can close roads at any time of year, so you may need to alter your travel plans.
Only half of the 1500 rail crossings in New Zealand have automatic alarms. When red lights are flashing it means a train is coming so stop and only proceed once the lights have stopped flashing. Other crossings have a ‘Railway Crossing’ sign and give way or stop signs only. If you see this, stop, look both ways and only cross the track if there are no trains approaching.
Flying is easily the quickest way to get from one end of New Zealand to the other. The main international airports of Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown connect you to domestic flights that will take you all over the country.
Routes between the main cities and tourist centres, such as Queenstown, can be relatively cheap but flying between smaller regional airports can get quite pricey and may involve stopping to change planes.
We can organise your domestic air travel to get you moving quickly around the country. Contact us to discuss how this can work with your itinerary.
Average prices for main routes (per person one way):
Auckland – Wellington: NZD$100
Auckland – Christchurch: NZD$100
Auckland – Queenstown: NZD$140
Wellington – Christchurch: NZD$90
Wellington – Queenstown: NZD$140
Christchurch – Queenstown: NZD$130
In some parts of the country, and for some activities (e.g. Heaphy Track or Hollyford Track), getting a flight from one end of the track to the other is an excellent transportation solution.
NZD$200 to $250 per person depending upon location and length of flight.
Surely one of the most famous ferry routes in the world is the three and a half hour trip across Cook Strait between Wellington in the North Island and Picton in the South Island.
Stunningly beautiful on a good day, frequent gales can churn up mountainous seas but don’t get too concerned though, the massive and comfortable ships plying the route are more than capable of safely dealing with these sorts of conditions. As well as crossing the strait itself, the journey showcases the extraordinary beauty of the Marlborough Sounds. Sightings of dolphins, whales and fur seals are common.
The ferries transport foot-passengers and vehicles, but if you’re renting a car it’s cheaper to leave it at one end of the crossing, board as a foot-passenger and then pick up another rental on the other side.
Costs for one way:
Passenger: From NZD$56 (per person)
Car: From NZD$121
Motorhome: From NZD$188
Foveaux Strait (to Stewart Island)
Costs for one way:
Passenger: From NZD$79 (per person)
Auckland to Great Barrier Island
Costs for return trip:
Passenger: From NZD$111 (per person)
Car: From NZD$377
In some parts of New Zealand water taxis are an extremely convenient, and in some cases essential, transportation solution to get around some of the tracks featured on this website.
Average costs for water taxis:
NZD$60 to $160 per person depending upon location.
If you don’t want to drive yourself around New Zealand, then coach and bus travel is very flexible and definitely a more cost-effective alternative to domestic air travel. Also bear in mind that outside of the main cities, and a few tourist routes, passenger rail travel is non-existent. Daily scheduled passenger services are available throughout the country serving the main tourist routes. You can either book a for a single journey or buy a pass for unlimited travel which can move you around the country very effectively.
The main considerations are longer travel times than by car and also that once you have reached a main destination you will need to find further transportation to get you out to the various activities and attractions that you want to do in that area.
Never fear though because if you are keen to travel this way, we can book your bus travel into your itinerary and also help to sort out all your other transportation requirements too.
Average prices for main routes (per person):
Auckland – Wellington: NZD$60
Picton – Nelson: NZD$30
Picton – Christchurch: NZD$50
Christchurch – Queenstown: NZD$60
Queenstown – Milford Sound: NZD$50
There are lots of transportation options to get you from one part of a track to another, and they usually involve a shuttle bus of some description.
In most cases if you are driving yourself to a multi-day, track based activity, the best option is to leave your car in a designated safe parking place and then get transported to and from the start/finish of the track.
Average costs per person:
NZD$50 to $70 depending upon location.
The rail network in New Zealand is small and the trips are primarily tourist routes. This sort of rail travel is all about the art of relaxation. A train journey here will mean spectacular scenery sliding past your window with views you simply can't see from the road. Observation carriages and buffet cars for meals, drinks and snacks ensure your comfort is never compromised.
The trains travel through remote national parks, across spectacular volcanic landscapes, over braided river valleys and alpine passes and along rugged coastlines with steep mountains on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other.
In the North Island, the Northern Explorer links Wellington and Auckland. A remarkable 12-hour journey through the volcanic heart of the North Island with highlights including Tongariro National Park and the famous Raurimu Spiral, a feat of railway engineering.
From NZD$180 per person
The other intrepid South Island rail route is the TranzAlpine. The fantastically scenic rail trip on the TranzAlpine - one of the world’s greatest - crosses the Southern Alps on a journey that links the city of Christchurch to historic Greymouth, a river town on the rugged West Coast. Highlights include the 73-metre-high Staircase viaduct, Arthur’s Pass National Park and the Otira tunnel.
The TranzAlpine covers 223.8 kilometres in four and a half hours. There are 19 tunnels and four viaducts. An outdoor viewing carriage will get you close to the fresh alpine air and spectacular scenery.
From NZD$180 per person
The main airports for International arrivals in New Zealand are Auckland and Christchurch. You can also fly directly to Wellington and Queenstown from some Australian cities. From these main arrival points you can then transfer onto domestic air routes, pick up rental cars or motor homes, board a bus or coach or get public transport into the city centres.
Arriving in New Zealand requires fairly stringent customs checks, especially for bringing in foods, plant materials etc. You will need to declare anything you have with you that appears on the arrival form, or you may be at the airport for a long time. All your bags are x-rayed before you get out of the customs hall so they usually find things that shouldn’t be brought into the country.
There are a vast choice of airlines and routes flying in to New Zealand. If you want advice on the best carriers, routes and stop-overs please get in touch we will be happy to help