You’ve decided to go to New Zealand on your next holiday trip; great!

But, you’re having some problems with how to go to New Zealand and moving around the island.

Do I need a car? Is there a public transport system? Are there ships?

No problems.

We’ll cover everything that you need to know about transportation in New Zealand. At the end of this guide, you’ll be more confident on your upcoming trip.

The best way to travel to New Zealand

Flights are the best and most common way to go to the island.

New Zealand is actually quite far from the country closest to it, Australia (4,155km away). So, if you’re living somewhere else, the distance would be greater. Hence, flights are the most viable way to get to New Zealand.

Most major airlines fly to New Zealand every day so you don’t have to worry about your flight providers.

For your reference, these are some of the major airlines that fly to the island:

  • Emirates
  • Qantas
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Qatar Airways
  • ANA
  • Air Canada
  • American Airlines

Average prices for flight tickets from each region

If you are traveling from the US and parts of South America, economy class tickets will cost you from as low as $900 to $3,000 for a round trip. Business class and first class tickets, on the other hand, may rise up to $12,000 for a round trip.

If you are from Asia, tickets from economy to first class may cost you about $400-$5,000 depending on the flight class you are in.

Europeans can expect to pay about $1,000 up to $12,000 for a first class ticket for a round trip to New Zealand; the average economy flight ticket cost would be around $1,000-$2,000.

Australians pay the least when it comes to flight tickets thanks to their location; tickets start from as low as $200 for economy class tickets.

If you are looking for a more luxurious experience, business class and first class tickets may cost you as much as much $2,500 per ticket.

Tips to get cheaper flight tickets

  • Book your flight tickets in advance. The earlier you book, the cheaper the price of your ticket and the better your seats will be. Settling your flight tickets earlier is also good for scheduling and organisation.
  • Use a tool like SkyScanner or a mailing list like Scott’s Cheap Flights to find great deals for your plane tickets. These tools and services take out the manual work of finding cheap flights and they work great.
  • Tour companies usually have packages where the cost of traveling to New Zealand is cheaper than buying it yourself. Over here at The Road Trip, we have a lot of tour packages for tourists, check it out over at our main page.

Transportation in the island

Just like any other country in the world, New Zealand has a vast array of transportation systems that will make traveling around the island easier.

Public buses

missing out on tourist spots and attractions is not an issue; these buses will take you there.Buses are the most widely used form of transportation on the island. You can get around cities pretty easily and missing out on tourist spots and attractions is not an issue; these buses will take you there.

You can also take a bus to travel between cities. As long as you’re willing to put up with longer bus rides, there aren’t many places that you can’t get to in New Zealand.

Commuter rail (train) systems

You will find rail systems in two cities: Auckland and Wellington.

The electric trains carry passengers to plenty of locations in the cities; the train system in Auckland, for example, has a stop at Sylvia Park – one of the best-rated shopping centres in the world.

In Christchurch, you have the wonderful Christchurch Tramway – a tram system that brings you to the best spots in the city.

This colourful tram system is one of Christchurch’s wonderful heritage attractions and leads tram-goers to stops such as the Avon River and the Canterbury museum.

The train will also stop at Punting on the Avon, a sightseeing ride where you sit on a small, flat-bottom boat while being led by guides dressed in Edwardian clothing.

You can also get around cities via train. Rail New Zealand allows you to travel from one city to another in a very comfortable and high-standards passenger train.

New Zealand route map

Travel by car

If you’re not a fan of crowded spaces and waiting for public transport, then driving a car in New Zealand is the perfect choice for you.

You are legally allowed to drive in New Zealand for 12 months as long as you have a full driver’s license from your home country.

You can find out if you are eligible to drive in the island.

Tourists who are used to driving in the right lane should be careful; cars in New Zealand drive on the left which means that the driver’s seat is on the right.

Left lane driving in New Zealand


If you are not used to driving on the left make sure that you practice doing so.

You can rent a car to drive around in New Zealand but we recommend going with self-drive tours.

Self-drive tours take the hassle of scheduling out of your trips; they provide you with a recommended itinerary as well as being able to help you out for the entire duration of your trip.

Further information

Our popular private guided tours are available to tourists who want to visit New Zealand.

We also have other tour packages on offer.

If you’d like to get in touch with us, you can send us an e-mail over at [email protected] or call us at +64 2191 0433.