NZ Travel Guide
How to Get To, From and Around NZ!
Flying to New Zealand
New Zealand is in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and although the original Maori settlers arrived in canoes, most people choose to get to New Zealand by jet plane these days! The new era of international aviation was ushered in with the first flight to New Zealand from Australia by Charles Kingsford Smith and Charles Ulm in September 1928, but the most famous (in NZ) was Guy Menzies' unauthorised solo flight from Sydney to Hari Hari in 1931. He had logged a flight plan to Melbourne, but snuck across the Tasman Ocean instead, though with a rather un-graceful crash landing in a swamp - most people will experience a far smoother landing on their international flight into New Zealand! On that subject, we've written a guide to surviving a long-haul flight which you might want to take a look at.
Getting Around New Zealand
Well, naturally we reckon that the best way to get around is to join one of our New Zealand tours! This way you'll get to see the very best of our country, hassle free, with the locals and without having to dip into your wallet every five minutes! Now that we've got that out of the way, generally speaking, the main method of transport is via internal flights, buses, and cars. There are limited rail links, though some of these are more tourist-oriented and very spectacular, such as the Trans-Alpine from Christchurch to Greymouth on the South Island. For some visitors, the preferred mode of transport is the campervan (known locally as mobile road blocks). Campervans vary hugely in size and facilities, from American RV-style monstrosities to highly-decorated VW Combi-style converted vans that are popular with the backpacker crowd. It's also possible to rent a car in major centres and the more popular tourist towns - just remember to stay on the left hand side of the road! .
And for the more fancy-free traveller, cycle-touring is a popular method of travel - you will often see heavily-laden cyclists pedalling their way around the countryside - and hitch-hiking is probably the cheapest way to get around New Zealand. If cycle-touring is your thing, but 'heavily-laden' sounds ominous, then you may want to check out our New Zealand Biking Adventure 'Weka' trip.