New Zealand looks small on the map, but it is actually a large country with lots to explore.
There are lots of different ways to get around the country’s two islands. The best option for you will depend upon a variety of factors including how much time you have, who you are travelling with, what your budget is and what your ideal travel style is.
Here’s a brief look at the travel options available in New Zealand and some pros and cons of each.
- Car Rental
Renting a car provides ultimate flexibility. It allows you to see the country at your own pace and visit areas that may be hard to reach by other forms of transportation. Car rental can be pricy, but if you split the cost with some friends then it’s actually quite budget-friendly.
- Campervan rental
Renting a campervan is one step up from a car. It’s more expensive, but it’s also more spacious and cuts the cost of accommodation, as you can sleep in the van. Just be sure to research where you’re allowed to park the van for the night.
- Fixed Itinerary Bus
If you know where you want to go and when you want to go there, a fixed-itinerary bus is a reliable and very affordable option. Most of New Zealand’s transportation network is made up of buses that travel across the two islands. You can even purchase bus passes if you know you’ll be using this option frequently.
- Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus
Unlike traditional busses, hop-on-hop-off buses follow a set route but allow passengers to “hop on and off” as they please. This is a flexible travel option that is great for travellers who want to explore on their own time.
New Zealand does not have the biggest train network in the world, but it does exist. While trains are not the most efficient travel option, they are a novel experience thanks to the breathtaking scenery you’ll be able to enjoy on your journey.
There are lots of domestic airlines in New Zealand which make it very easy to travel around the country in a limited amount of time. Domestic flights can be pretty expensive though. Typically, it’s worth it for longer flights (4+ hours), but not the most cost-effective option when travelling shorter distances.
Unlike in Australia and many other parts of the world, hitch-hiking is legal (and relatively safe) in New Zealand. While the likelihood of finding a ride can be hit or miss, it’s a great way to save funds and meet new people if you have the time. That being said, one must always be cautious when catching rides from strangers. It’s recommended that you travel with a buddy and are prepared for any dangers that may arise.