The most common type of public transport in New Zealand, including Kaikoura, are buses.
Getting to and from Kaikoura via public transport is a good option if you’re not going to be renting a car. It’s also an exceptionally cheap way of travelling around the south island.
InterCity Bus Service
The InterCity FlexiPass is an ideal option if you’re going to be in New Zealand for a while and if you intend to travel to different destiations – it saves you from buying individual bus tickets for every trip and in the long run, for frequent travellers (backpackers for example), money is saved because you can manage your pass by purchasing it based on how many hours you’ll be travelling by bus – and you can manage it all online.
Alternatively, if you just want to catch the bus for a trip or two, check out the timetable that lists services that stop at Kaikoura.
Christchurch to Kaikoura by Bus
The InterCity bus service runs buses between Christchurch and Kaikoura with fares starting at only a few dollars. It takes a little over 2 and a half hours to get to Kaikoura from Christchurch on this bus service.
The drop off point at Kaikoura is at 86 West End.
There are two bus passes you can use to get on this bus service:
FlexiPass and TravelPass
FlexiPass: this is an ideal pass for travellers who are moving around different parts of New Zealand. The pass allows you to get on and off the bus network at any stop, plan your travel online, and change bookings within 2 hours of departure if your plans change at the last minute. You can also use the FlexiPass to travel between the north and south island on the InterIslander ferry.
TravelPass: this pass contains an intinerary that is planned in advance and includes day tours.
Catching an InterCity bus service to or from Kaikoura allows you to carry your luggage for free with a limit of 2x 25kg (maximum) check in bags, and your carry on luggage.
Coach Transport to Kaikoura
If you prefer to travel around New Zealand in a coach or bus, instead of self-driving in a hire car, you have a choice of:
- Charter coach companies with driver guides
- Group travel on buses
- The NZ public bus network
Coastal Pacific Train
Although not public transport in the traditional sense, the Coastal Pacific scenic train is well worth mentioning as it stops by Kaikoura. This year, the train service will be running until April 28, 2019 and takes you on a journey from Christchurch to Picton – via Kaikoura. View the Coastal Pacific train timetable at the Rail New Zealand website.