Getting Around New Zealand
How you choose to travel around New Zealand is a question of both preference and time. An excellent network of roads makes either driving or coach-travel the most popular options and are complemented by efficient air, ferry and rail services.
Car and Motorhome
The main advantage of having your own vehicle is the freedom to travel as you please and at your own pace. We offer a range of vehicle hire options, including cars and motorhomes. Itineraries can be as flexible or as fixed as you wish. Given this, pre-booking all or at least some of your accommodation allows you to enjoy open-ended travel each day with no need to worry about finding a room for the night. Indeed, when time is limited or during peak season pre-booking is the most practical option, as accommodation and excursion availability can be greatly reduced. Talk to our New Zealand Travel Specialists about the best option for you.
The Cook Strait divides New Zealand’s North and South Islands and offers superb views of Wellington and the maze of islands and inlets that make up the Marlborough Sounds. Operating daily between Wellington and Picton, the 92km crossing takes 3 hours on the InterIslander (3-5 sailings daily) and has been described as “one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world”. There is no need to take your car on the ferry. You simply leave it at the ferry depot, check-in your baggage and pick up another vehicle on arrival. However, for motorhome hire, you will need to take your vehicle on the ferry. Pre-booking is highly recommended during peak times.Talk to our Travel Specialists about including this in your itinerary. Enjoy the comfort of travel on board in the Premium Plus lounge which includes wifi access, as well as a range of hot or cold meals and drinks. (Available to travellers over 18 years of age).
Flying is a great way to travel between major centres in New Zealand if you are pressed for time or should you wish to focus on specific regions. Air New Zealand is the largest domestic operator offering economy class flights to 26 destinations throughout the country (main routes are shown on the map below). In addition, a number of domestic flight routes are offered by Qantas and both airlines also operate Trans Tasman services between New Zealand and Australia. These open up a wealth of travel options and can be incorporated into any tailor-made itinerary.
Independent Coach Travel
Seat in Coach tours provide a travel option for those who do not wish to self drive but prefer to remain independent. With the security of pre-booked accommodation and transport between places of interest using scheduled transport services, you can maintain much of the same flexibility as on a self drive holiday. Each journey is more than just a bus ride, as the drivers point out places of interest en route, stopping periodically to break the journey. We offer a choice of itinerary on set routes, from two to eight days in duration. Please contact our team for further details.
The Great Journeys of New Zealand operate scheduled train travel in New Zealand which is both leisurely and scenic and can add a delightful variant to your self-drive itinerary. On the North Island, The Northern Explorer is a glorious journey through the interior, travelling between Auckland and the capital Wellington. On the South Island, The Coastal Pacific runs through Marlborough wine country from Picton to Christchurch via Blenheim and Kaikoura and connects with the InterIslander ferry service – ideal if you wish to change vehicles between islands. The TranzAlpine is regarded as the country’s finest rail journey and operates between Christchurch and Greymouth travelling across the majestic Southern Alps.
Please note: The Coastal Pacific is currently not operating and not likely to do so until September 2017 at the earliest. During the winter months (May-September) the Coastal Pacific train does not operate. The TranzAlpine runs daily throughout the year, departing Christchurch at 08:15 and returning at 18:05. It stops at Greymouth for 1hr, arriving at 12:45 and departing at 13:45.
Steam Train Journeys
The ideal option for both rail enthusiasts and travellers looking for something just a little different.
Contact our team of Kiwi Specialists to discuss how any of these options can fit into your tailor made itinerary.