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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.

North Island

Auckland: AT Metro

Northland: Northland Regional Council

Waikato: Waikato Regional Council & BUSIT

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

South Island

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. 

Road code online

Test your knowledge of the New Zealand Road code

Driving in New Zealand book download

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. 

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