Transport in New Zealand
Going places? We’ll show you how.
It's highly recommended that you explore your local town, city or other parts of New Zealand to appreciate its spectacular scenery.
Driving is easier in rural areas. Generally, it's the only option but if you don’t own a car, public transport is available in the larger centres.
The cost of public transport is dependent on where in New Zealand you live and the type of transport you use. All New Zealand cities and most towns have buses, an Auckland and Wellington both have city-suburban rail services. Check out the Public Transport websites for each region for the full range of services available, timetables and the costs associated.
Auckland: AT Metro
Northland: Northland Regional Council
Bay of Plenty: Bay of Plenty Regional Council
Gisborne: Gisborne District Council
Hawke’s Bay: Hawke’s Bay Regional Council
Taranaki: Taranaki Regional Council
Whanganui-Manawatu: Horizons Regional Council
Wellington: Wellington Regional Council
Marlborough: Marlborough District Council
Nelson-Tasman: Nelson City Council
West Coast: West Coast Regional Council
Canterbury: Christchurch NZTA
Otago: Otago Regional Council
Southland: Invercargill City Council
Renting a car
It’s smart to rent first, especially if you’re still in the process of securing the best deal for a car. Always do your research and know your rights. Ask lots of questions before you decide to avoid dissapoinment. Find out:
- Total cost (rental, basic and excess insurance cover and all extra cost).
- Are online rates cheaper?
- Who is permitted to drive the car?
- Are you entitled to a refund if you return the car early?
- Can you pick the car in one location and return it at another? Will there be an extra cost?
Rental Cars: Auckland Airport
New Zealand rental Cars: Google Search
Driving in New Zealand
You can drive in New Zealand without a New Zealand driver licence if:
- you have a current and valid overseas licence or driver permit, and
- you haven’t been given a disqualification or suspension in New Zealand, and
- you came into New Zealand less than 12 months ago, and
- your overseas licence is in English, or you have an accurate translation, and
- you haven’t been granted a New Zealand driver licence since you last entered New Zealand.
- If you don't meet all of these requirements, you must apply for a New Zealand driver licence to drive in New Zealand.
If you don’t meet the criteria, find out how to get a New Zealand licence as there’s a time limit on how long you can drive in New Zealand. You can drive for a maximum period of 12 months each time you arrive in New Zealand.
Familiarize yourself with the New Zealand Road rules, what the street signs mean and how to drive safely.
Tertiary student concession
If you’re a full-time student on campus, check with your education institution to confirm you qualify for public transport concessions.