Getting Around New Zealand
Getting to New Zealand, from anywhere, is something of a mission. It takes about 25 hours to fly to Auckland from London. Even from neighbouring Australia, it’s at least a 3.5 hour flight. After all the planning, time and expense that goes into your arrival it’s easy to forget about how you’re going to get around once you land. Before you go, here are the best ways of getting around New Zealand.
Renting a car is easily the most popular way to get around New Zealand. If you plan on doing a lot of travelling, it is the most cost effective and allows you a great deal of flexibility. Most travellers pick up a car rental in Auckland after they land at the airport and then see the country from north to south. Most rental companies cater to this itinerary and allow for one-way rentals, so you can return your rental vehicle in Christchurch.
For longer trips, consider renting a campervan. New Zealand has plenty of holiday parks for camping, and this can be an easy way to combine the cost of accommodation with the cost of transport.
Any valid driver’s license (if your license is not in English, get a certified translation made) allows you to legally drive in New Zealand. The road rules in New Zealand are pretty standard, but it’s always a good idea to review them before you start driving.
For travel within the bigger cities (Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch), public transportation is great for getting around. In the smaller towns, however, you may find yourself wishing for a car.
If you are looking to travel around the country, there are plenty of buses and shuttles to get you where you want to go. You can get good deals by doing some online research and booking in advance, though the cost of long-haul bus fare in New Zealand is often more expensive than many backpackers are used to. If you are travelling with a group, it may be more cost effective to rent a car.
Jetstar, a lot cost airline runs domestic flights around the country. Air New Zealand also offers cheap domestic airfares (check for sales online!). The trick with getting a great fare it to plan ahead and be flexible with travel dates. You can get really great deals on one-way fares to and from major destinations around New Zealand.
Train is not the most convenient way to get around New Zealand, but the train route does offer some spectacular scenery. Trains run from Auckland down to Wellington (through Hamilton and Palmerston North); from Picton to Christchurch and from Christchurch to Greymouth. They make limited stops, but if you are looking for a pleasant, site-seeing holiday this is a great option.
Author bio: The article “Getting around New Zealand” was written exclusively for Hotels-Fairy by Whitney Cox, a New Zealand-based blogger. She writes on behalf of a number of clients including Rental Cars New Zealand, offering cheap car rental in Auckland as well as rental vehicles in Christchurch.