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Getting To Ōtautahi Christchurch

Getting To Christchurch And Canterbury

Ōtautahi Christchurch is the gateway to exploring all this region has to offer and getting here is easy via land, sea or air.


Christchurch Airport

Christchurch Airport is New Zealand's second largest airport. As the gateway to the South Island, the airport services 11 different airlines connecting Christchurch with domestic centres and 10 international airports:

  • Melbourne
  • Sydney
  • Gold Coast
  • Brisbane
  • San Francisco (seasonal)
  • Nadi
  • Singapore
  • Hong Kong (seasonal)
  • Guangzhou (seasonal)
  • Dubai

Christchurch city centre is a short 20 minutes' drive from the airport and several transport options are available from the terminal including buses, rental cars, taxis and shuttles.

Buses from Christchurch Airport

Regular Metro bus services connect the airport to the city centre and many other locations in Christchurch. 

The Metro bus service is a good way to travel around and familiarise yourself with Christchurch city and surrounds, with buses regularly departing from the Bus Interchange.

Find out more about fares and routes from Christchurch Airport.

Bus, Trains and Shuttles

Coastal Pacific

Coastal Pacific scenic train departs from the seaside town of Picton, travelling through the stunning vineyards of Blenheim and along the breath-taking Kaikōura Coastline as you make your way through the idyllic Canterbury Plains to the Garden City of Christchurch.

Take a relaxing break and hop on the 7am from Christchurch before arriving mid-morning in Kaikōura, famous for its marine mammals and whale watching. Stay on a little longer and spend your afternoon among the vines of Blenheim, enjoying a drop of the world renowned, locally produced sauvignon blanc.

A journey on Coastal Pacific combined with the Interislander ferry it is the perfect way to connect between Wellington, Blenheim, Kaikōura and Christchurch.

Departing Picton at 2.15pm daily, the Coastal Pacific operates an extended summer season from September to late Autumn.


TranzAlpine traverses through the Southern Alps connecting the South Island's east and west coasts. Following the Waimakariri River through the Canterbury Plains and eventually climbing into the Southern Alps, the TranzAlpine stops in Arthur's Pass before passing through the Otira tunnel and continuing to Greymouth.

For a slice of the West Coast, TranzAlpine departs Christchurch daily at 8.15am. Spend the day exploring the beech forests and waterfalls at Arthur’s Pass. Carry on to Moana and enjoy a fishing excursion at Lake Brunner for a relaxing afternoon on the water.

The TranzAlpine departs daily from Christchurch at 8.15am and Greymouth at 2.05pm, enjoy this spectacular journey coast to coast year round.

Buses & shuttles

A good supply of buses and shuttles connect South Island towns and cities. Smaller destinations generally offer more of a specialised service whereas larger multi-destination services travel to a wide range of towns, cities and communities. 

When planning your trip, keep in mind that buses and shuttles often work around other major transport providers such as Cook Strait ferries or KiwiRail Scenic Journeys.

Rental cars & campervans

For the do-it-yourself types, rental cars and/or campervans are a great way of accessing Christchurch and Canterbury. Although Canterbury is a large and diverse region, an extensive network of highways makes it ideal for touring by motor vehicle.

Christchurch International Airport is centrally located in Canterbury and hosts a wide variety of campervan and car rental companies.

Check the distance and driving times between destinations.

Sea - Cook Strait Crossings

Ferries have been Kiwis' favourite way of crossing the Cook Strait for more than 50 years. Vessels connect the ports of Wellington and Picton, with the Interislander and Bluebridge ferries.

The journey takes 3 and a half hours, you can drive your car or campervan onto the ferry.