One of the hardest parts about travelling abroad, even if it’s just to the next island over, is figuring out public transportation. Routes and numbers are always changing and it can be hard to know which way is north, let alone the combination of public transport you need to take to get to your final destination. Daunting doesn’t even begin to describe it. 

Thankfully, New Zealand has many safe and affordable public transportation options similar to those in Australia. While these systems can be found throughout the country, Christchurch has an especially interesting and diverse number of transportation options for locals and travellers alike. Although Australians can drive on the islands up to 12 months after arrival, the environmentally conscious traveller will enjoy this guide to public transportation in Christchurch.


The Christchurch International Airport handles nearly 5.7 million passengers yearly and caters nearly 20 percent of international flights for the country. Approximately six percent of flights from the airport travel directly to and from Sydney. Book tickets here:


A short train track runs through central Christchurch carrying a tramway for those interested in a journey of leisure. Trams are a popular method of short-distance transportation as well as sightseeing. Adults can purchase tickets for this hop-on-hop-off ride for $8.90, while children ride free. Find more information on the tram here:


New Zealand has a safe and affordable reputation. With many cheap options, buses are the perfect way to move around a bustling city without waiting in traffic.

Metro Star

From Christchurch, the Metro Star runs west and east of the city. This bus can take you to most suburbs, as well as the University of Canterbury, Merivale Mall and QEII Stadium. Bus fares start around $1.10 for children and $2.25 for adults. More detailed bus information is available here:

The Orbiter

Like it sounds, this bus circles the city. Driving both directions, this bus passes many large shopping centres and cultural attractions. For travellers looking to use many different forms of public transportation in Christchurch, Metrocards save at least 25 percent on trips.


Most New Zealand taxis are considered safe, as many drivers belong to the New Zealand Taxi Federation. Typical taxi fares run between $1.75 and $2.75 per inner-city kilometre, while fares increase outside the city.

That covers the basics of public transportation as you navigate through Christchurch but remember, when you opt to use public transportation in a foreign country, vigilance is key. Be cautious of your surroundings, plan your trips ahead, and, as always, insure your belongings against unexpected threats with Cover-More Travel Insurance.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Bernard Spragg.