The majority of visitors to New Zealand will arrive by plane or disembark from a cruise ship, but if you’re planning to take off and explore the island by land on your own, there are number of ways to do it. Top of the list for many people is renting a car, as it allows for greater flexibility, and the distance between most destinations isn’t that big compared to many countries. There’s a wide range of vehicles available to rent in New Zealand to suit all budgets, with most of the big car rental companies represented there including Avis and Budget if you’re collecting frequent flyer miles, as well as locally owned companies. The longer you rent a car for usually the cheaper the daily rate will be, but if you need one-way hire between locations, choose a larger company which allows this as smaller ones may only allow for return journeys. Travelling by bus is another way to go, and it’s ideal for anyone who prefers to sit back while someone else does all the work. Coach companies include InterCity Coachlines, which services the entire country, and if you’re planning to visit multiple places, ‘hop on, hop off’ passes are available offering unlimited travel for a fixed price.
Renting a campervan or motorhome is another great option, as it offers flexibility as well as a home on the road. All the major companies are represented in New Zealand including Britz, Maui Motorhomes, KEA Campers, and Apollo, and there are hundreds of holiday parks across the country offering powered sites and facilities, with free overnight camping at local homes through special networks. New Zealand’s trains, which is another option, cater largely to tourists and sightseeing, offering scenic journeys through remote national parks, across volcanic landscapes, alpine passes and its rugged coastline. KiwiRail Scenic Journeys operates three routes including the Northern Explorer between Wellington and Auckland while the Coastal Pacific travels between Christchurch and Picton on the South Island. The TranzAlpine is arguably the most famous route, however, linking Christchurch with Greymouth, across Southern Alps. A final way to explore on land, and doing it a bit differently, is on two wheels. Motorcycle rental companies have a range of popular rides on offer including Harley Davidson bikes with one-way hire available depending on the company you choose