As New Zealand is made up of two islands, South Island and North Island along with many smaller islands, many residents use regular ferries along with buses, trams and trains. Many of the highways, especially around Auckland and particularly on the Auckland Bridge do get heavily congested so using public transport is a stress-free and reliable way of getting around New Zealand.
Buses in New Zealand
The bus network in New Zealand is pretty comprehensive with many services offering Hop On, Hop Off buses where a pass can buy you unlimited travel. There are bus passes for students, commuters, travellers and flexible passes, some of which can also be used on ferries. Tourist coaches are common and can give you a unique travelling experience!
New Zealand Ferries
Commuter ferries are available in Auckland and Wellington and are known as interisland ferries. The journey takes just over 3 hours and is operated by two ferry companies, The Interislander and Bluebridge which both take passengers and cars. There are regular sailings every day, around 11 during peak times. They sail from Wellington to Picton and it is advised that ferry tickets are booked in advance, particularly during the peak tourist seasons which are around Christmas and the summer holidays.
Getting the Train in New Zealand
The train runs along both islands and works in conjunction with the ferries, providing a Coastal Connection train and ferry service. The trains link all the major cities in New Zealand, passing by some stunning scenery on the way. You can travel by train between the following cities:
- Auckland to Wellington
- Wellington to Auckland
- Christchurch to Picton
- Christchurch to Greymouth
- Greymouth to Christchurch
- Picton to Christchurch
New Zealand Tram Network
The Christchurch City Tramway is non-operational due to the 2011 earthquake but is due to be re-opened in 2013.
The Auckland Waterfront Tramway operates a circular route on the waterfront from Halsey Street to Gaunt Street, Daldy Street, Jellicoe Street and back onto the waterfront. It is hoped that this line will eventually extend to serve the city centre.
Melbourne's tram system, run by Yarra Trams, is one of the largest tram networks in the world and it allows tourists to travel for free on its city circle services. There are also regular routes to and from many areas such as East Brunswick and St Kilda. Find out about timetables and fares on the Melbourne tram system with the Public Transport Dept of Victoria Council.