10 Reasons to Travel by Bus or Coach in New Zealand


Should You Travel by Coach in New Zealand?

Travelling by the “peasant wagon” doesn’t have the most glamorous reputation but we can think of a few great reasons why travelling New Zealand by bus is a good idea. New Zealand’s most extensive public transport network is the bus network, and New Zealand bus companies make it more than “just a bus ride”. We’ll go through those points in this list of reasons to travel by bus (or coach) in New Zealand!

When we say “bus travel”, we mean the coaches that travel between New Zealand’s towns and cities. New Zealand currently has one affordable bus company that offers this service nationwide: InterCity. For other bus travel options, take a look at our article on Bus Networks in New Zealand.

How Do the Coach Buses in New Zealand Work?

Before we begin, here’s a quick video on how the bus passes and routes for InterCity work. Plus, subscribe to more New Zealand travel tips on the NZ Pocket Guide YouTube Channel. Otherwise, the InterCity bus passes are outlined in What’s the Difference Between InterCity Bus Passes?

1. Let Someone Else Worry About the Driving

Relying on an experienced bus driver who knows where they are going and can tackle the winding roads is often preferable to having to drive yourself.

InterCity© InterCity

2. Time to Daydream and Reflect on the Awesomeness of New Zealand

Get lost in your thoughts something you might not usually get time to do with a hectic traveller lifestyle.©

3. Coffee Breaks!

Longer bus journeys will include coffee stops a perfect opportunity to try that famous New Zealand coffee.©

4. No-Nonsense Travel

Bus travel will get you from A-B relatively quickly. Plus since you are not the driver, there is none of that “Honey, watch the road!” nonsense; you get to enjoy all of the scenery!

Pexels© Pexels

5. Cheap As!

It’s the cheapest transport method in New Zealand. Seriously, check out The Cheapest Ways to Travel Around New Zealand! Plus, compare the bus passes at What’s the Difference Between InterCity Backpacker Bus Passes?

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6. Free WiFi!

Many bus journeys in New Zealand use coaches with free WiFi. The connection comes and goes depending on coverage. For more ways to ensure a good internet connection, check out How to Get Internet and WiFi in New Zealand.

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7. Learn More About New Zealand

Most bus drivers provide commentary on places you travel through, like a proper guided coach tour! If you are interested in “guided tours”, by the way, be sure to check out The 10 Best Tour Companies in New Zealand.

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8. Meet a Variety of People

Both locals, tourists and backpackers use coach services so it’s a chance to talk to a variety of people. Check out more ways to meet people in the 8 Ways to Meet People When Travelling Alone in New Zealand.

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9. Easy to Use

Some bus companies will pick you up from your accommodation so it’s worth giving them a call. Otherwise, just show up at the specified bus stop 15 minutes before departure.©

10. More Eco-Friendly

Fewer cars on the road equal fewer CO2 emissions! Simple! Check out more ways to travel more sustainably in the 31 Ways to Travel More Sustainably in New Zealand.

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Start Planning Your Bus Travel in New Zealand

That’s it for the reasons to travel by bus or coach in New Zealand. Want to learn more about travelling by bus? Check out our alternative guides:

Finally, check out Travel by Bus in New Zealand: The Ultimate Guide for even more tips.


Robin C.

This article was reviewed and published by Robin, the co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. He has lived, worked and travelled across 16 different countries before calling New Zealand home. He has now spent over a decade in the New Zealand tourism industry, clocking in more than 600 activities across the country. He is passionate about sharing those experiences and advice on NZ Pocket Guide and its YouTube channel. Robin is also the co-founder of several other South Pacific travel guides.

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