About travel in New Zealand

When is the best time to visit?

New Zealand is a fantastic destination in any season, from the hot days of summer enjoyed at the beach, to the depths of winter when the ski fields spring to life and whales cruise the coast off Kaikoura. The peak travel season is summer, December to February. For travel during this time, it is recommended that accommodation, transport, flights and activties are booked well in advance. 

Spring and Autumn are excellent times to visit if you want the flexibility offered by fewer crowds. Spring (September-November) bursts with new life, from flourishing gardens and frolicking lambs, to gushing waterfalls. Autumn (April to May) brings settled weather and vibrant natural landscapes.

  • Spring

    September - November Average daytime temperature: 16 - 19˚C (61 - 66˚F)

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  • Summer

    December - February Average daytime temperature: 20 - 25˚C (68 - 77˚F)

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  • Autumn

    March - May Average daytime temperature: 17 - 21˚C (62 - 70˚F)

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  • Winter

    June - August Average daytime temperature: 12 - 16˚C (53 - 61˚F)

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Getting around New Zealand

Getting around New Zealand is easy and relatively inexpensive, thanks to a well-developed transport network. Your choice of transport will depend on how quickly you want to get from A to B. 

Rent a car or motorhome on one of our recommended trips, or take a bus or coach if you want to let someone else do the driving.

For travel between New Zealand's islands, hop on a plane or ferry. Daily flights are available between domestic airports. Several passenger and vehicle ferries offer services between the North, South and other islands.

New Zealand
Bus network, New Zealand

By Kiwi Experience

Central Otago
Arrowtown, Central Otago, Central Otago

By David Wall

Northland & Bay of Islands
Rent a car, Northland & Bay of Islands

By Matt Crawford

Christchurch - Canterbury
TranzAlpine Rail Journey, Christchurch - Canterbury

By TranzAlpine Rail Journey

New Zealand
InterCity GOLD bus, New Zealand

By InterCity

New Zealand
Aratere, Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand

By Interislander Cook Strait Ferries

Motorhome

Rental Car

Train

Intercity Bus

Ferry

Highlights

  • Cost-effective alternative to air travel
  • Hop-on hop-off networks

Tour Buses

Bus travel and coach transport is ideal if you prefer to make your way around New Zealand without the hassle of self-driving.

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Highlights

  • Available from all main centres
  • Minimum rental age is 21

MOTORHOMES

A home on the road gives you the freedom to take each day as it comes.

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Highlights

  • Organize a rental car
  • Get off the beaten track

Self-drive

Self-drive is a popular way to explore New Zealand. Roads are well-maintained and signposted, and spectacular scenery awaits around every corner.

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Highlights

  • Scenic Rail Journeys
  • Travel through remote National Parks

Rail Travel

New Zealand rail travel is an exercise in relaxation. The main reason to choose a train journey? Spectacular scenery you simply can't see from the road.

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Highlights

  • Available between towns and cities
  • Intercity & Naked Bus are main providers

Public Transport

Buses are the main form of public transport in New Zealand, with some areas also offering trains, ferries and trams.

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Highlights

  • Ferries link the North and South islands
  • Water taxis available for remote areas

Ferries & Water Taxis

Opportunities for water travel are almost everywhere in New Zealand. Ferries and water taxis can get you from A to B, or simply take you on a joy ride.

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Getting to New Zealand

Flying to New Zealand has never been easier, with more one stop services than ever before. Auckland and Christchurch are the two main international gateways, but there are also international airports located in Wellington and Queenstown.

Find & book flights

Activities and Adventures

Top New Zealand trips

Experience the very best of New Zealand with these recommended itineraries.

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Things to do

New Zealand is jam-packed with things to do. The hardest part of planning your holiday will be deciding ...

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Scenic Highlights

New Zealand is a land of immense and diverse landscape. You’ll see things here that you won't see...

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How much time do I need?

Whether you have a few days, a few weeks or a month, we have plenty of itinerary ideas to help you plan your trip around New Zealand. Check out these adventures and itineraries.

Recommended Itineraries

New Zealand Highlights Itinerary

Auckland Central to Central Queenstown

2444 km
14 Days
  • Glowworms in Waitomo
  • Sunny Nelson beaches
  • West Coast glaciers

North Island Beaches and Geothermal Itinerary

Auckland Central to Wellington Central

1332 km
10 Days
  • Bay of Islands beaches
  • Geothermal Rotorua
  • Coolest little capital

Queenstown to Christchurch via Mount Cook

Central Queenstown to Christchurch

376 km
7 Days
  • Charming Arrowtown
  • Southern Alps Scenery
  • Lake Tekapo