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Getting Around New Zealand
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Getting Around in New Zealand
 
 
 

By Air

You can fly between all New Zealand cities and most major towns using domestic air services.

Air New Zealand (NZ) and Qantas Airways operate domestic flights between the major airports. Several smaller airlines, including Air Nelson, Eagle Air and Mount Cook Airlines, are wholly owned by Air New Zealand and have been grouped together as Air New Zealand Link. They serve many of the 27 other airports throughout the two islands.

By Sea

The North and South Islands are linked by modern ferries operating between Wellington and Picton, carrying passengers and vehicles across Cook Strait. The Interislander (travel time – three hours) and The Lynx (travel time - two hours 15 minutes) make several daily crossings with long-distance train connections from Wellington and Picton railway stations (website: http://www.interislander.co.nz/); Reservations on all ferry services are highly recommended, particularly for visitors taking their vehicles. Information can be obtained from Tourism New Zealand.

By Rail

The main reason to choose a rail journey in New Zealand is scenery. While the rail network isn’t vast, there are some incredible voyages available. You’ll see things that simply can’t be seen from the road.

Toll New Zealand (formerly Tranz Rail Ltd) operates a reliable rail service with many routes of great scenic attraction. In the South Island,Tranz Scenic operates eight scenic long-distance trains. The Overlander runs between Auckland and Wellington (daytime and overnight) with good views of forests, gorges and volcanic peaks. The Transcoastal runs between Christchurch and Picton along the east coast between the snow-capped Kaikoura Mountains and past the Kaikoura coast, which is famous for whale-watching. The TranzAlpine runs between Christchurch and Greymouth through spectacular landscapes of gorges and river valleys and across the snow-capped Southern Alps. There are buffet cars on all trains, but there are no sleeping cars on overnight services. All services are one-class travel only. For further information, contact Toll New Zealand (tel: (4) 498 3000; website: www.tollnz.co.nz); or Tranz Scenic (tel: (4) 495 0775 or (0800) 277 482 (toll free in New Zealand); website: www.tranzscenic.co.nz).

Travel passes

Travelpass New Zealand offers a 2-in-1, 3-in-1 or 4-in-1 travel pass. The 2-in-1 pass offers unlimited coach travel and one ferry journey. The 3-in-1 pass offers unlimited coach travel, one ferry journey and one train journey. The 4-in-1 pass offers unlimited coach travel, one ferry journey, one train journey and one domestic flight. InterCity coaches, Tranz Scenic trains and Interislander ferry services across Cook Strait are available with the pass. It is issued for periods between five and 15 days, extra days cost NZ$50 each. The pass can be bought outside New Zealand from any InterCity Coachlines office, Toll New Zealand travel center or accredited travel agency.

The Scenic Rail Pass is available for seven days or one month and includes a journey on the Interislander ferry. A seven-day pass costs NZ$299, a one-month pass costs NZ$499. For further information, contact Tourism New Zealand.

The Kiwi Experience is a coach transport network for backpackers and independent travellers.

By Road

Coach

If you’re looking for a cost-effective alternative to air travel, catch a coach. Daily scheduled passenger services are available throughout the country. There’s also a multitude of coach companies serving the main tourist routes.

‘Hop on, hop off’ traveller’s networks, where you buy a pass for unlimited travel, can move you around New Zealand’s major destinations very effectively. In Auckland there are buses that circulate around key attractions, allowing you unlimited travel for a fixed price.

InterCity Coachlines (website: www.intercitycoach.co.nz) operates scheduled services throughout the country. Coach passes are available. Newmans Coach Lines (website: www.newmanscoach.co.nz) operates services in both islands. It is advisable to make reservations for seats.


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