How to get around New Zealand’s towns and cities

Seeing the sights and exploring New Zealand’s cities and towns is easy, with a wide range of transport options to choose from.

Public transport

Local buses are the main option for travelling within New Zealand’s cities and towns, with some main centres also offering trains, ferries and trams. See the options for public transport in each city here.   

Rental cars/motorhomes

If you want to drive in New Zealand, you could hire a car or a motorhome. The major international rental companies have bases at the main airports and in the cities, and there are many local options too. Street parking in cities and towns is usually metered and parking machines generally require coins or a credit card.  

Guided coach tours

There is a wide range of guided tours available within town and cities in New Zealand, from sightseeing day tours to winery or activity tours.  

Hop-on/hop-off buses

Bigger cities like Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch have buses that run a loop route around key attractions, making it easy to see the sights. Christchurch also has a heritage tram(opens in new window) that circles the inner city. You can buy a day pass that lets you hop on and off these services as often as you like.  

E-scooters and bikes

You will see e-scooters and bikes for hire in New Zealand’s central cities and these can be accessed using smartphone apps.  

Ferries/water taxis

Ferries and water taxis(opens in new window) are used for harbour crossings and to get to some of the many islands in and around the harbours, such as in Auckland(opens in new window) and the Bay of Islands(opens in new window). Water taxis in Marlborough(opens in new window) are a quick and easy way to access more remote spots at the top of the South Island 

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