5 Best Ways to Enjoy Getting Around in New Zealand

Getting there is more than half the fun when you're in New Zealand!

As a land of diverse regions and landscapes, New Zealand offers a range of unique experiences within easy reach. Travellers can even experience snow and paddle in the ocean on the same day. The close proximity between regions and various modes of transportation available have made it possible for travellers to get around New Zealand easily, making the journey around New Zealand an inspiring experience in and of itself.

getting around new zealand

Driving along the West Coast

Tourism New Zealand South & South East Asia Regional Manager, Steven Dixon shared, “Travellers continue to seek authentic, immersive experiences, including the way they travel from one point to another. From self-driving to relaxing aboard a scenic rail journey, Malaysian visitors can enjoy multiple choices of transportation in New Zealand which offer convenience and incredible views.”

5 Best Ways To Enjoy Getting Around In New Zealand

As recommended by Tourism New Zealand, here are five best ways to enjoy getting around in New Zealand:

1. Rental cars

A growing trend, self-drive offers the flexibility to set your own timetable and the freedom to explore places that are away from the main tourist trails. Another bonus? The traffic in New Zealand is comparatively light and the roads are well-maintained, making it an enjoyable way to see the land.

Tip: Utilise New Zealand’s travel time and distance calculator to get an approximate time and distance between two points in the land.

2. Motorhomes or Campervans

If you want to have a truly engaging experience of New Zealand’s great outdoors and at the same time ease the costs of travel, then travelling via campervan might be the answer. In New Zealand, there is a wide variety of sizes and facilities to choose from including campervans that come fully equipped with toilets and kitchens, depending on your needs and budget.

A campervan driving in Arrowtown, Central Otago

Tip: Responsible camping may be possible, but it’s wise to check with the local information centre first as each district in New Zealand has different rules on where it is permitted.

3. Rail Journeys

Dreaming of a scenic trip but don’t feel like driving? Try an epic New Zealand train journey where you can sit back and take in the sights in a truly relaxing way. Travel through dense forests, volcanic landscapes, valleys, rivers, and steep mountains – something you do not want to miss.

getting around new zealand

Tranz Alpine train going by a river bend

Tip: Here are three routes operated by KiwiRail Scenic Journeys that you can try: The Northern Explorer linking Wellington and Auckland through the volcanic heart of the North Island; the Coastal Pacific hugging the coastline between Christchurch and Picton in the South Island; and the iconic TranzAlpine connecting Christchurch with Greymouth across the breath-taking Southern Alps.

4. Buses

Live like a local and travel between towns and cities via bus, a common way to get around due to the availability of daily scheduled passenger services throughout the country. InterCity is a popular choice.

Tip: If you’re travelling with a group, charter coach companies are a great option as they have the flexibility to adapt to your itinerary. The drivers are also guides, so you’ll have the added benefit of a commentary if you want one.

5. Ferries & Water Taxis

Opportunities for water travel are almost everywhere in New Zealand. The most famous ferry route is between Wellington in the North Island and Picton in the South Island. The journey showcases the extraordinary beauty of the Marlborough Sounds. Sightings of dolphins, whales, and fur seals are also common.

getting around new zealand

Ferry going through Dusky Sound, Fiordland

Tip: Water taxis are a useful service for getting to the start of a hiking track or reaching a destination that isn’t accessible by ferry. Most water taxi operators can also put together a customised scenic tour of local sights.

For more information on how to plan a trip to New Zealand, visit newzealand.com/my