Dunedin is a very accessible city and getting around is relatively easy, as distances are not great. This is why many high school and tertiary students chose to study in Dunedin. Independent transport options include public bus, taxi, or rental car. Visitors to Dunedin generally arrive via air or road. Situated on State Highway 1, Dunedin is easily accessible from other major towns and cities.
A gateway to the wider Otago region, Dunedin Airport receives trans-Tasman flights from Brisbane and domestic flights from New Zealand's main centres. Note you will have to take a domestic flight to arrive at Dunedin. The airport is located 22km west of central Dunedin, which is some way from the city centre; the drive takes approximately 30 minutes. Taxis and shuttle services provide a transfer service between the airport and the city, or rental cars are available.
Bus companies have frequent services from Christchurch, Queenstown and Invercargill. Contact the Dunedin i-SITE Visitor Centre to enquire further and to make a booking.
Driving distance times are 4.5 hours from Christchurch, 3.5 hours from Queenstown, and 2.5 hours from Invercargill. For driving times and a touring map look at the New Zealand Touring Map.
Dunedin bus information
Dunedin buses provide affordable transportation options for residents to get around the centre and suburbs of Dunedin city. For details on the Dunedin bus service and timetable, link to the Otago Regional Council Dunedin bus information. Bus users can pay with cash or use a Go-bus card. Buy a GoCard on any Dunedin urban bus, any Connectabus bus in Queenstown, from the Dunedin City Council Customer Service Centre in the Octagon, the Otago Regional Council office at 70 Stafford Street, Dunedin, the University Bookshop, 378 Great King St.
As distances to places of interest in Dunedin are not great, taxis are reasonably cheap by New Zealand standards. They provide transport to most destinations and most companies offer wheelchair taxi transport. Yellow has more details.
A New Zealand Drivers Licence is required to drive on New Zealand roads. The NZ Transport Agency has requirements when converting an overseas driver licence to a New Zealand driver licence - international students will need to go to the NZ Transport Agency overseas conversion site.
For more information on gaining a drivers licence and New Zealand rules and regulations, link to the NZ Transport Agency. New Zealanders drive on the left hand side of the road, and some road rules differ from other countries – visitors are strongly advised to familiarise themselves with the rules.
New Zealand roads are considered narrow and windy and care is needed. Drivers also need to be aware that in winter, ice and snow can occasionally make driving a challenge on some Otago roads.
The major rental car companies are located within Dunedin city and at the Dunedin airport terminal. Dunedin is serviced by the main rental car companies including Avis, Budget, Hertz and Thrifty, and there are also many local rental car companies. See DunedinNZ rental cars for more information on rental options.
Drivers have to pay for parking in the central city. Visit Dunedin City Council parking for more information including where to park, parking buildings, where not to park, what to do if you get a ticket , parking schemes, and permits.
Central Dunedin and the Dunedin campus areas are all flat and very easy to bike, although outer hilly suburbs may provide more of a challenge. Some of Dunedin’s main roads have a dedicated cycle lane to make navigating traffic easier. There is a code available from the NZ Transport Agency code for cyclists to help understand regulations. There are several bike shops in Dunedin to buy bikes, or students could try on-line to buy a second-hand bike.
Dunedin is a compact city, which makes it very walkable, and very inexpensive. Many students do not need to rely on other transport, finding walking the easiest way between their home, study institute and central Dunedin.
Dunedin is a really easy city to get around – walking works.Adding Add to Information File Remove from Information File