Getting Around, Christchurch Travel, Transport and Car Rental
(Christchurch, Canterbury, South Island, New Zealand NZ)
Christchurch has a good public travel and transportation system which consists of a major international airport, bus travel operated by 'Metro' services, Clarence Street Train Station in the Addington district of Christchurch - with regular trains that travel to Picton and Greymouth, and an excellent bus network which includes free daily yellow shuttle buses around Christchurch city centre.
One of the most important cities on New Zealand's South Island, Christchurch lies on State Highway 1 and is located around 350 km / 218 miles south of Picton, and Christchurch is also around 360 km / 225 north of Dunedin.
Renting a car is often the most inexpensive and preferred mode of travel and transportation for excursions outside of Christchurch. There are plenty of interesting locations near to Christchurch, which can be easily reached in less than one or two hours by car.
Christchurch Airport (CHC) / Arriving by Air
Christchurch features the main airport on New Zealand's South Island and Christchurch Airport (CHC)
is located just 12 km / 7 miles outside of Christchurch city centre. This busy airport deals with enormous numbers of passengers each day and Christchurch Airport has modern airport facilities.
Christchurch Airports Guide
Christchurch is served by a number of major roads, with highways throughout Canterbury, and driving in the city is fairly straightforward, although peak traffic hours should always be avoided if possible (07:30 to 10:00 and 16:00 to 18:00).
With numerous central parking spaces with meters operating between 07:00 to 18:00, parking in these locations outside after 18:00 is free. A large and inexpensive car park is available in Hagley park, with free parking for the first three hours and also at weekends.
Buses and Coaches
Tel: +64 (0)3 366 8855
Buses in Christchurch are efficient and inexpensive, operated by the 'Metro' from Monday to Saturday between 06:30 to 22:30, and on Sunday between 09:00 to 21:00. Departing from the City Bus Exchange, located on central Colombo Street, Christchurch bus schedules are available from the Exchange and at the main Christchurch and Canterbury Visitors' Centre on Cathedral Square. Providing regular bus travel throughout the day, alternatives include free yellow shuttle buses around the city centre, an 'After Midnight Express Service' which runs every hour from midnight until 04:00, and guided tour 'Best Attractions Direct' double decker buses. Metrocards are a particularly useful way to save money on bus travel in Christchurch.
Intercity and Mount Cook landline buses and coaches travel from Worcester Street to major east coast cities, and also cross the mountain to Greymouth.
Located on Clarence Street in Addington, on the south-western side of Christchurch, the city's train station is just 2 km / 1 mile from Christchurch city centre. With a free bus service that travels to the train station each morning, trains travel to a number of locations close to the city, including Kaikoura, Picton and Blenheim, with regular connections to Wellington, Greymouth and Arthur's Pass.
Christchurch is well pedestrianised and has a fairly compact city centre. Travel around Christchurch city centre by foot is the perfect way to sightsee, with many of Christchurch's best tourist attractions and museums located near to each other.
Taxis in Christchurch are plentiful and provide one of the most convenient ways to travel around the city and nearby areas of New Zealand's South Island. Christchurch's numerous taxis operate from several central taxi ranks and the city's main taxi rank is situated on the north-west side of Cathedral Square. Taxis in Christchurch can also be ordered by telephone and Blue Star Taxis, First Direct Taxis and Gold Band taxis are some of the main taxi firms in Christchurch and Canterbury.
Cycling in Christchurch is a common way to travel around Christchurch's many recreational areas and much of central Christchurch is particularly suitable for cycling. With relatively quiet roads and a flat terrain, cycling in the Christchurch area is popular and a number of cycle-hire shops are situated off Cathedral Square.