Getting There & Getting About

International Airports

Internal Transport

Domestic air services connect the major airports of Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington and Queenstown, with smaller airlines serving many of the 27 other airports throughout the two islands.

The South and North Islands are linked by modern ferries operating between Picton and Wellington, carrying passengers and vehicles across Cook Strait. Travel time ranges from 2 hours 15 minutes to 3 hours, and are available with long-distance train connections from Wellington and Picton railway stations. Reservations on all ferry services are highly recommended.

There are a number of long-distance railway links, with many routes offering magnificent scenic views. The Transcoastal runs between Picton and Christchurch along the east coast between the snow-capped Kaikoura Mountains and past the Kaikoura coast, which is famous for whale-watching. The Overlander runs between Wellington and Auckland with good views of volcanic peaks, forests and gorges. The TranzAlpine runs between Greymouth and Christchurch through stunning landscapes of and river valleys and gorges across the snow-capped Southern Alps.

The Scenic Rail Pass is available for 7 days or 1 month and includes a journey on the Interislander ferry. Other passes are available, which can be used for a combination of different travel methods. The 2-in-1 pass offers one ferry journey and unlimited coach travel. The 3-in-1 pass adds on one train journey, whilst the 4-in-1 pass also includes one domestic flight. Passes are issued for periods between five and 15 days and must be bought outside New Zealand.

New Zealand has an excellent road network, and cars may be hired (minimum age 21) at airports and most major cities and towns. The legal speed limit is 50 kph (30 mph) in built-up areas and100 kph (60 mph) on the open road. Distances are indicated in kilometres.

There are scheduled coach services throughout both islands; it is advisable to make reservations for seats. Coach passes are available. There are also good local bus services in the main towns. Both Wellington and Auckland have zonal fares with day passes and pre-purchase tickets.