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Wellington plane MB

New Zealand: Getting around

Michelle Brotohusodo and Courtney Carr

We’ve given you some ideas of what to see in New Zealand — are you now wondering the best way to get from A to B?

Well, wonder no more! We’ve tried and tested a few different ways to get around New Zealand that will help you plan your itinerary.

Campervan

Caravans and mobile homes are big business in New Zealand because the country is not only beautiful, but it’s also ridiculously caravan friendly with hundreds of powered sites, unpowered sites and utilities dotted all along the road in every direction you could possibly want to go!

There are designated caravan parking spots convenient to most major attractions, and you won’t be hard-pressed to find somewhere for the night. This is also a great way to overturn some jewel locations you might otherwise not be privy to, such as the unpowered site next to Hanmer Springs Reserve Park on the South Island, or waking up right next to the beach at Castlepoint on the North Island.

Top tip: There are a few professional campervan companies around New Zealand and they regularly do deals that save you money – especially if you are travelling in the winter months. Just make sure you check the fine print when you organise the van because often the smaller items such as snow chains or linens might cost extra, and insurance will not be included until final processing. Other than that, the freedom of not having to pull over

Other than that, the freedom of not having to pull over by the side of the road when you need a bathroom break is pretty damn amazing! For more information, check out the Britz website.

Campervan CC

Ferry

If you’re heading from the South Island to the North Island of New Zealand (or vice versa), there is nothing quite as classic as taking the Interisland Ferry between Picton and Wellington. The ferry is a convenient way to travel between islands – especially if you have a car or the aforementioned caravan – and on a nice day can be an excellent way to see New Zealand from a different angle.

Top tip: The ferry will need to be pre-booked, especially if you have a mode of transport that you are transferring between islands, and there are only three main crossings a day. The preferred times get booked out pretty quickly, so pre-book at least two to three days in advance to avoid having to take the 2.15am crossing, and if you get the chance it is highly recommended that you splash out and pay for one of the private lounges. For the whole

For the whole trip you will be provided with free food, drink and desserts (including alcohol and heavenly scones with jam and cream) and get set up on some comfy couches. It’s your holiday, and you deserve to treat yourself! For more information on the Interisland Ferry, check out the website.

Plane

For those of you who want to cover as much ground as possible in a short period of time, or who don’t necessarily like or want to drive around, flying is a good option. My friend and I covered Auckland, Wellington, Queenstown and Christchurch in just over two weeks (plus Rotorua). Transport between airports and the centre of town is pretty easy and reasonably priced, and the airports are really easy to navigate. You’ll also get to enjoy Air New Zealand’s famously quirky safety videos, and some awesome aerial views.

Top tip: As for all flights, research and timing is key. Have a plan of where you want to go, research if it’s cheaper or more practical to go in a particular direction or at certain times (e.g. mid-week, middle of the day), and book accordingly. For more information, visit Air New Zealand’s website.

Wellington plane MB

Bus

If you want to enjoy New Zealand’s scenery without having to drive yourself, or you’re on a bit more of a budget, the bus is a good way to go. You can get from Auckland to Rotorua for less than $25, and even from Wellington to Rotorua for less than $30. InterCity is New Zealand’s main bus/coach provider, covering pretty much all of the country, and also offering day tours as well as standard transport. One thing to bear in mind when planning is how long you’re willing to sit on a bus — make sure you double check the travel time before booking.

Top tip: As with flights, pricing can vary greatly depending on the time and day of departure, so do your research and be prepared to be flexible with timing if you want to get the best deal. InterCity also offers different kinds of bus passes (FlexiPass and TravelPass) so you can travel to multiple destinations with one pass and create your own itinerary. For more information, visit InterCity’s website.

Rotorua bus MB

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Michelle Brotohusodo

Michelle moved to Canberra vowing to stay for two years, tops. 10 years later, she’s a bona fide Canberra convert. When she’s not working in her day job as a public servant, she’s enjoying Canberra’s culinary delights or finding fun things to do/see in and around town. More about the Author

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Courtney Carr

Courtney Carr is the author of the science fiction horror novel Cosmic Decay: Contamination, and the eBook Secrets of a Party Planner. She is also the writer and creator of the party planning blog The Party Connection, and is one-half of the travel blog Wild Pineapples. She is a vegan gym junkie who often drinks too much wine, and loves coffee, writing, travelling, dogs and Instagram. More about the Author

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