New Zealand Transportation Tips by fishandchips Top 5 Page for this destination
New Zealand Transportation: 280 reviews and 260 photos
The major airports in NZ have just upgraded to a fully automated set up with total self check in facilities. Whe you get to the airport you go to a machine to get your ticket (if you haven't already checked in online) and also a tag for any luggage. Then you go direct to the airbridge and go on the plane. If you have no luggage and you have done the online thing you just go direct to the airbridge!! It's really easy - best set up in the world that I have seen though probably the same in other places now?
Being a long way from anywhere, the most common way you'll get here is by airplane with the occasional Cruise ships now and again. Our national airline is Air New Zealand and it is ranked fairly high on safety and service.
Air NZ is not the cheapest by any stretch of the imagination with a number of Asian airlines (Singapore, Cathay) and Emrites being more cost effective esp for trips out of NZ.
For many years flying domestically was very expensive. This is no longer the case with Air New Zealand, our national airline, having competition from both Qantas and Pacific Blue. Flights from Christchurch to Auckland can be as cheap as $79 for a standard fare with special getting the flights even lower.
Air NZ have a grabaseat site which includes daily specials on airfares. This is okay if the dates suit however this is often not the case. Have a look at grabaseat or Pacific Blue for potential options on cheap seats.
NZ as Mad Max would see it.
You will notice that there are many straight roads around New Zealand (so easy to go to sleep at the wheel) with a lot of places to park for a photo. The grade of road will be dictated by where in the great land of ours you are with many shingle roads and course grade roads located around the country.
There are not too many double lane (double carriage) roads around New Zealand so you will need to exercise patience, especially with those people in Campervans driving around some of New Zealand's hilly sections.
Type: Car/Motor Home
Taking a bus tour is a great way to see a country but you lock yourself in a set route. By hiring a car and doing a bit of pre-trip planning (PM me if you want feedback on your plan) you can see what you want to. Many places worth visiting in NZ are OTBT and therefore often not included in your bus itinerary.
If you do plan to drive look at what is going to suit you best. A campervan is a good option as it also provides your bed with the newer version spaceship like a mini campervan. Cars are better to drive, especially around hills and in strong winds but you need to find a bed each night – lucky NZ has lots and lots of B&B’s and backpackers (if you are doing it on the cheap).
If you do drive remember these essential points;
- We drive on the left not on the right
- Always wear a seat belt
- Be careful at roundabouts - if you are used to driving on the right you will be used to going anti-clockwise - in NZ you go around clockwise
- The maximum speed limit on the open road is 100 kph
- In a limited speed zone area the speed limit is 80 kph
- The maximum speed limit for most urban areas is 50 kph
- You MUST stop for pedestrians on a pedestrian crossing whether they are on your side of the road or not
Type: Car/Motor Home
Ferry coming into Picton
The Interislander connects the North and South Islands with several daily sailings. The trip takes approx 3 hours with an hour through the very nice Queen Charlotte Sound & Tory channel and another hour in the Cook Strait. The Cook Strait can get quite rough esp in winter but not so much in summer. On a fine and calm day the Ferry crossing is a very pleasant trip.
For one person, one way, prices start at $45 but you need to book early to get this price. The Ferry also takes cars so you can drive on & off with limited fuss. If you are doing a cycle tour you will get charged $10 and the same rate for large sporting items (surf boards, canoes etc).
You can go onto the Interislander Website for details of sailing times and costs. There is also a fast Ferry which operates in the peak season from 1 December to 28 February.
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