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This website is the big picture, the overall view, but if you want detailed information on where to go and what to see, go to my FREE E-book "A New Zealand Travel Guide"
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Transport: Getting Around New Zealand
Once you've arrived in New Zealand how do you get around the place? Here's some thoughts
One of the questions I often get asked is about driving in New Zealand. Is it hard to drive on the left side of the road? How much petrol will I use? How many kms a day can I expect to cover? Should I rent a car or buy one? What are the insurance arrangements? And lots more.
I've put all the answers in an extensive article in my E-book. Click here to download it for free . . .
It is legal to hitch-hike and provided you are careful it's not particularly dangerous. But bad things do happen from time to time - like about once every five to ten years.
A woman hitching alone is maybe not a good idea and at night it's a real no-no - some guys seem to think that they are entitled to be "paid" for the ride, if you know what I mean. Unfortunately not all Kiwis are good Kiwis.
No doubt about it - if you want to get up close and personal with the landscape then cycling is the way to do it. But be warned, there are hills here. The country is a curious mixture of long flat stretches with a lot of hilly country between. Some of it is mountainous, even. There are a number of cycle touring companies that make it a bit easier. Some of them provide a bus that goes with you and if you want you can accelerate uphill by bus and exhilarate downhill on the bike.
There are several transport networks covering the main tourist routes. They are similar in concept - you pick your itinerary, buy a pass and just hop on and off the coach as and when you want. When you consider that you can hire a cheap rental car for around $900 a month (less in the off season) it may be cheaper to take a car if there are two of you.
There are coachlines that offer a coach pass which allow you to travel at your own pace on a given itinerary. They offer a itineraries which have varying minimum duration - from 7 to 12 days and a maximum of three months. Again compare the costs.
One of the coach operators is Naked Bus -
but beware. They base their pricing tactics on the Ryanair approach to
slowly bleeding you white. I recently tried to book a trip from Auckland
to Tauranga. Although their $23.99 fare was slightly higher than
Intercity their timing suited me better. So I started the
There are also a number of small shuttle coaches that run along set routes between cities.
There are three main-line passenger services:
New Zealand is a country divided against itself. It is split in two (three actually - more about that later) by Cook Strait, the stretch of water that divides the North Island from the South Island. The Cook Strait ferries provide a vital "iron bridge" between the road and rail systems of the two main islands in the country.
There are several sailings a day in both directions across Cook Strait but try to make the crossing in daylight - the run down Queen Charlotte Sound is quite beautiful.
Oh, yeah. I nearly forgot. New Zealand is really three islands: the North island, the South Island and Stewart Island which is off the south coast of the South Island.
There are two main trunk airline operators but only Air New Zealand services provincial centres.
All have a range of incentive fares: Generally you will buy a cheaper fare on the net - unless you can include domestic travel as part of your international ticket.
A New Zealand Travel Guide is written by David Morris and published by
148 Hillsborough Rd, Hillsborough,
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Just About Everything You Ever Needed To Know To Get The Most From Your NZ Holiday
The (Almost) Complete Guide To NZ is the kind of information you need to make the best of your holiday in New Zealand - recommendations on where to stay, where to eat, what to see.
Yes, all that. But more, much more.
Transport, rest areas, photo opportunities, historical background, special places that few others know about Ohhhh . . . heaps and heaps of stuff.
And it's all written by a local - not a visiting "editor" - who has been travelling and writing about the country for 30 years. I can give you hints and tips that only a local could possibly know - ideas that will save you time, money and tears.
This is important: No one has paid for inclusion in this guide. There are no ads and I rarely, if ever, accept free rides, accommodation etc. That way I am totally free to recommend whatever or whoever I choose.
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12 March 2013