New Zealand travel   - get FREE detailed information on attractions, things to do and see  and much, much more.

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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A New Zealand Travel Guide

Transport: Getting Around New Zealand

To get more information on transport options Download my FREE E-BOOK "A New Zealand Travel Guide.  It will give you much more detail on arrival formalities, transport, accommodation, driving in the country, as well as a detailed guide to the action and attractions in the regions.  All that and a whole lot of other useful stuff you'll need to know to get the most enjoyment from your time here.

Once you've arrived in New Zealand how do you get around the place? Here's some thoughts

By Land


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.

Backpackers bus.

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 booking process. 

Surprise, surprise a "web booking fee" of $2.99 was added.  Reluctantly I decided to accept it so I took the next step.  Suddenly I'm hit with a .99c SMS reply fee and a $1 cancellation insurance - neither of which I wanted but there appeared to be no way to avoid those charges. 

The result of the "$23.99" fare is actually $28.98  In my view view this is manifestly dishonest trading. Apparently you can book by phone, but only by paying $1.99 a minute!!!

There are also a number of small shuttle coaches that run along set routes between cities.

Rail Travel

There are three main-line passenger services:

The Overlander - Auckland to Wellington and vice versa.
The TranzCoastal - Picton to Christchurch and return daily.
The Tranzalpine - one of the most famous and popular between Christchurch and Greymouth through the spectacular Southern Alps.
Great as an experience, but limited in terms of getting out into the countryside and experiencing it.

By Sea

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. 

By Air

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.

Download my FREE e-book "A New Zealand Travel Guide

A New Zealand Travel Guide is written by David Morris and published by

148 Hillsborough Rd, Hillsborough, Auckland 1042, New Zealand.
Phone (Country code 64, area code 9) 625-6469


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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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Arrival  Formalities



A Regional Guide




12 March 2013