BUG New Zealand travel guidebook
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BUG New Zealand travel guidebook


BUG New Zealand travel guidebook

Destination guides > Pacific Islands > New Zealand > Canterbury > Christchurch > Local transport


Local transport

Christchurch has one tram route and an extensive bus network, but most people find the city compact enough to walk around.


Although Christchurch is a pretty easy city to walk around, you may need to take a bus or two if you want to get across town or go to the train station, airport or the good hitchhiking spots. Christchurch’s public transport system is surprisingly efficient and most services run every 10 to 15 minutes.

Most buses leave from the City Bus Exchange or from Colombo Street just outside the Bus Exchange. The Bus Exchange is just south of Cathedral Square near the corner of Colombo Street and Litchfield Street. The only major bus routes that don’t terminate here are the MetroStar and the Orbiter (route O). The Orbiter is a circular route through the suburbs that connects with most other buses.

Public transport is essential if you’re staying at the hostels in New Brighton or Sumner. Buses 5, 40, 51, 60, 83, 84 and M go to New Brighton and bus 3 goes to Sumner.

The Shuttle is a free bus that runs every 10 minutes from the Town Hall, through Cathedral Square and down to the supermarkets on Colombo Street and Moorhouse Avenue.

Most fares in the central area are $2.50 and you can use your ticket to transfer to another service for no extra charge.

The bus information centre in the Bus Exchange gives you timetables and route maps or you can get information online at www.metroinfo.org.nz.


Christchurch also has a limited tram service (tel (03) 366 6943) which runs along a 2.5km loop past the main sights. It’s a bit touristy and compared to the bus it is pretty expensive at $14 for a two-day pass.

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