travel & accommodation
Once you have been accepted into an institution you will need to begin looking for accommodation. It is important to do this as early as possible as you may need to prove you have guaranteed accommodation for your student visa application.
Most institutions offer accommodation and although spaces are limited, international students tend to get priority when allocating rooms. Most will also offer a service or have staff to help you find private student accommodation.
When researching your accommodation choices, you may wish to consider:
- How close is it to the institution?
- What public transport links are there?
- How close is it to shops and services?
- How big is your room?
- How many people are sharing your bathroom/kitchen?
- How much is the rent and bills?
Below are some popular types of accommodation for students (all figures in NZ$):
On-campus/halls of residence
Approximate cost: $500-600 per month
This is one of the most common forms of accommodation for university students. On-campus accommodation is offered by the institution and is usually next to, or within walking distance of, the institution. You will have either a private or shared room in a large building entirely occupied by other students.
Some offer meals in a communal dining room, whilst others are self-catering and will include a shared kitchen. Basic cleaning services are usually provided, though you will be expected to clean your own room. There will normally be a warden living on-site to help residents.
Student hostels/private boarding
Approximate cost: $500-600 per month
A student hostel or private boarding house is similar to halls of residence but is not run by the institution. You will have your own bedroom and will usually share a living room and kitchen. It may be self-catered or may offer meals in a communal dining room. You will be able to come and go as you please. Therefore this is a good option for those wanting to be independent.
Approximate cost: $150-600 per week, plus bills
Some students opt to privately rent a house or apartment with others or by themselves, particularly those wishing to be completely independent. Usually, all members of the household will contribute to bills and cleaning/chores will be shared.
It's important to consider the possible set-up costs of privately renting; most landlords will require a deposit or security bond and advance rent, and setting up utilities/phone lines can also incur costs. You may also have to sign a minimum lease of six months to a year. It is important to find out whether the property is furnished or unfurnished, as buying furniture can be costly.
Your institution should be able to help you find private accommodation, or you can use internet sites or contact estate agents in the area, though be careful about handing over money before seeing the property. You may also be able to move into a room in a property that is already being privately rented.
Approximate cost: $200 per week, plus a one-off placement fee
A homestay/host family offers you a room in the house of a local family and is an excellent opportunity to integrate into the culture and learn English. Host families usually provide family meals, but students may be expected to fulfil their share of the chores and follow household rules such as curfews. They are likely to be located further away from the institution than halls of residence, but can be a fantastic way to experience New Zealand culture and life.
For more information about accommodation in New Zealand, visit New Zealand Educated
It is important to consider your travel arrangements to New Zealand early and it is a good idea to have onward travel to your institution or accommodation arranged before departing. You are advised to carry the address and phone number of your accommodation in your hand luggage to make it easier to ask for directions or to get a taxi.
Whilst it is advisable to research the best mode of transport and book tickets before departing for New Zealand, you should wait until you have confirmed your university place, accommodation and visa before booking anything.
New Zealand has restrictions on bringing certain items into the country and it is important that you are aware of what you can and cannot bring. There are also restrictions on the quantities of certain items that you bring and current laws about carrying liquids may apply. For more information, please visit the New Zealand government's bio-security regulations website
New Zealand has a comprehensive network of international and domestic airports. Auckland airport serves the largest number of international arrivals and departures but there are several other international airports. There are also a number of regional airports across the country, from Kaitaia airport in the far north to Ryan's Creek Aerodrome on Stewart Island.
Below is information about getting to and from each of New Zealand's international airports. Information about flights to and from regional airports can be found through the international airport websites. All figures are in NZ$.
Auckland International Airport
- There is an airbus airport-to-city service that runs 24 hours a day (every fifteen minutes during the day and every 30 minutes in the evening). It costs $16 one-way and takes about one hour. There are also buses to Manukau, Northshore and Botany
- There are various train stations throughout Auckland, including the Britomart Transport Centre and Mount Eden (served by the airbus). Trains can be taken to most destinations throughout North Island
- Taxis can be taken directly from the airport and take about 30 minutes to get to the city centre, costing approximately $60-80. There is also a shuttle service to the city, costing approximately $30 one-way and taking about one hour
- There are various shuttle services to the city centre. taking about 20-35 minutes. The airport shuttles can stop at the Transport Centre in Hamilton, which offers national coach services, regional bus services and taxis
- There is a train station in Hamilton (Frankton Station), ten-fifteen minute's walk from the city centre. It is served by the Overlander network
- Taxis can be taken from the airport and take about 20-40 minutes to get to the city centre. It will cost approximately $40-50, though can cost more at busy times
- The Stagecoach 'Airport Flyer' service runs from the airport every fifteen minutes from early morning to early evening daily. It passes through Wellington city centre and continues north as far as Upper Hutt. Fares depend on how far you are travelling
- There is a train station in downtown Wellington, about ten kilometres from the airport, with train services to destinations throughout North Island
- Taxis can be taken from the airport direct to the city centre, railway station or other destinations. A trip to the city centre will take approximately 20-40 minutes and costs approximately $30-50. There is also a shuttle service to the city centre, taking about 25-40 minutes and costing from approximately $18
For more information, visit Wellington Airport
- There are three public bus routes from the airport to the city centre, costing approximately $7 and taking about 30-40 minutes. The most direct is the Airport Flyer, departing frequently every day
- There is a train station in central Christchurch, about ten kilometres from the airport, with trains to various destinations in South island
- Taxis can be taken from the airport to the city centre, costing about $45-65 and taking about fifteen-twenty minutes. There is also a shuttle service to various destinations and the city centre, costing approximately $15-20 and taking about 30-40 minutes
- The Connectabus service from the airport serves all major hotels and downtown Queenstown, costing from $6, departing every twenty minutes and taking about 25 minutes. Connexions also offers four daily bus services to Wanaka via Cromwell
- A taxi taken from the airport to the city centre will take about fifteen minutes and costs approximately $30. There is also a shuttle service to the city centre, costing from approximately $10 and taking 20-30 minutes
- There is a bus station in central Dunedin with services to various destinations in New Zealand
- There is a train station in central Dunedin, famous for its history and grandiose appearance, with train services throughout South Island
- A taxi from the airport to the city centre will take about 20-30 minutes and will cost approximately $75-85. There is also a shuttle service from the airport to the city centre, taking 35-45 minutes and costing from $30
- There are daily bus services from the airport to the city centre, operated by Cityride
- The nearest train station is ten kilometres outside of Rotorua city centre and has limited train services, including the Geyserland service to Auckland via Hamilton
- A taxi to the city centre will cost approximately $26 and will take about ten minutes, though will take longer and cost more at busy times. There is also a shuttle service to the city centre, costing approximately $17 and taking about twenty minutes, possibly longer at peak times
- The nearest bus station is the Palmerston North Travel Centre in the city centre, which has bus services to most destinations in North Island
- The nearest train station is the Palmerston North train station, close to the city centre and with trains to destinations including Wellington and Auckland
- A taxi from the airport to Palmerston North city will cost approximately $15