There are three main domestic airlines: Air New Zealand, Ansett New Zealand, and Mount Cook Airlines. The two main airlines Air NZ and Ansett NZ, along with helicopters fly between major cities and resort areas.
Both Air NZ and Ansett NZ fly bigger aircrafts whereas Mount Cook is a subsidiary of Air New Zealand and is thus a smaller regional carrier. It links the gateways with the Bay of Islands, Rotorua, Taupo, Nelson, Mount Cook, Queenstown, Wanaka, Te Anau, and Milford Sound.
Domestic flights are pretty expensive. It is better to look for other better deals, especially during off-peak seasons.
Air New Zealand
Ansett New Zealand
Mount Cook Airline
Modern ferries, operated by Interisland Line, travel between Wellington and Picton, connecting the North and South Islands. The ferries not only carry passengers, but also cargo and vehicles. The Interisland crosses Cook Strait several times a day with the journey time of about three hours. Onboard facilities include a cinema, nursery, bars, children's play area, visitor information centers, and a range of food outlets. Standard adult fare is NZ$46 and standard vehicle costs NZ$165 (up to 6 meters/20 ft).
From mid December to the end of March, the Tranz Rail operates a high-speed catamaran across Cook Strait carrying passengers and vehicles. The 74 meter catamaran sails both ways three times daily with a journey time of 90 minutes. The standard, adult one-way fare is NZ$39 and cars NZ$190.
Discounts are available although special conditions do apply. It is important to book vehicle space in advance during the summer holiday periods.
Traveling by train is not only fast and comfortable, but visitors also get to enjoy some spectacular views that are not visible from the road, particularly during the day. Train services link Auckland and Wellington on the North Island and Christchurch and Invercargill on the South Island. Trains that follow special tourist routes are limited but accessible daily.
Meals and refreshments are given on inter-city services and trains on tourist routes. Some trains even offer complimentary meals. Light snacks and drinks are served and all trains (except the Northerner) are licensed to sell a range of wine and beer.
The Tranz Scenic operates eight long distance train services. To make bookings or inquiries, phone Tranz Scenic at toll free 0800 802 802.
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