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 > Coming & going


Coming & going

Christchurch is a busy transport hub that is well served by coach, train and air transport.


Christchurch Airport (tel (03) 358 5029) is 12km west of the city centre. It’s the country’s second-busiest international airport.

There are several airport shuttle bus services, including Super Shuttle (tel 0800 SHUTTLE (0800 748 885)), which operate a door-to-door service to hostels. A cheaper option is the airport bus operated by Metro (route 29), which costs $7 and departs from Worcester Street near Cathedral Square.

Another option is the Five Dollar Bus, which runs an express minibus service between the airport and Cathedral Square about once every 20 minutes between 8am and 5pm. This is the best option if you’re staying at one of the hostels near the Square (such as Base Backpackers).


Christchurch is served by many coach and shuttle bus operators. Most buses leave from the streets around Cathedral Square although the stop at 123 Worcester Street is a busy departure point for InterCity coaches. Many smaller shuttle bus operators depart from the information centre or the train station and many will pick you up from your hostel or from any address in the area bounded by Bealey, Fitzgerald, Moorhouse and Deans Avenues.

The following coach and shuttle bus companies operate from Christchurch:

Astro Coachlines (tel 0800 800 575) and Akaroa Shuttle (tel 0800 500 929) go to Akaroa on the Banks Peninsula. They both depart from the information centre on Cathedral Square. Astro also operate a daily service to Hanmer Springs.

Atomic Shuttles (tel (03) 322 8883) go to Dunedin, Picton, Queenstown and the West Coast. They will pick up and drop off anywhere within the four avenues and at any backpackers hostel.

InterCity coaches InterCity Coachlines (tel (03) 365 1113) depart from the Ritchies Travel (123 Worcester Street, Christchurch). InterCity coaches go up and down the east coast and stop at Picton, Mt Cook, Queenstown and Dunedin.

Nakedbus.com has direct services to Dunedin, Nelson, Picton and Queenstown, which depart from 88 Worcester Street opposite Holy Grail, near Cathedral Square. Southern Link K Bus (tel (03) 358 8355 or 0508 458 835) also depart from the stop across the road from the Holy Grail. Southern Link K Bus has shuttles to Dunedin, Nelson, Picton and Queenstown.


West Coast Shuttle (tel (03) 768 0028) operate daily coaches to Greymouth with stops at Arthurs Pass and Christchurch Airport.


The TranzCoastal train goes north to Picton and the scenic TranzAlpine train goes via Arthur’s Pass to Greymouth on the West Coast.

The train station is around 3km from Cathedral Square, just west of Hagley Park. It’s on a side street between Blenheim Road and Whiteleigh Avenue. The closest local bus route is the Orbiter (route O), which runs along Whiteleigh Avenue, but many hostels will pick you up if you have booked a bed with them.


It is quite easy hitching a ride from Christchurch although you may need to take a bus to get to the good hitching spots.

If you’re heading north to Kaikoura and Picton, Main North Road (State Highway 74) before it joins up with State Highway 1 is a good bet. Buses 4, 11, 13, O and R will take you here. You should be able to get to Picton in a day as long as you set out fairly early.

It can take a bit longer to get across to the West Coast, mainly because the traffic is much lighter. Take bus 84 and get off at the corner of Yaldhurst and Russley Roads. Walk west along Yaldhurst Road (State Highway 73) and find a good spot to wait for a lift.

If you’re heading south to Dunedin, Invercargill or Queenstown you’ll want to get on State Highway 1. Catch bus 5, 82, 83, 84, B to the Hornby Mall and then walk west along the Main South Road (State Highway 1).

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